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Singles
Cat: MRB 7131. Rel: 24 Nov 16
International
  1. Because Of Money (5:54)
  2. Obi Ye Saa Wui (4:21)
Review: The 3rd Generation Band hail from Ghana, recording only six tracks in their time together, all for the Essiebons label and now Mr Bongo reissue these two super rare tracks. The life affirming Afro Rhythm & Blues of "Because Of Money" was also featured on Soundway's Ghana Soundz compilation previously. It was compiled by Andrew Edwards. The band was formed in the late 70's by leader Rockson, a soldier at the time. The original record is extremely rare and this reissue is a replica 7", including the original picture paper sleeve that was carefully restored by Andrew Edwards. B side track "Obi Ye Saa Wui" is African style soul-funk, very influenced by James Brown.
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 in stock $9.64
Boula Niit Tognie (7") (1 per customer)
Cat: PWEP 56. Rel: 10 Apr 19
International
  1. Boula Niit Tognie (4:13)
  2. Boula Niit Tognie (Ryuhei The Man re-edit) (2:59)
Review: Nothing screams global music culture like a Senegalese-Japanese Afrobeat band, although listening to Afro Begue you would imagine all creative minds involved come from the mother continent. "Boula Niit Tognie" is a wonderfully expressive slice of Afrobeat in the finest tradition of the sound, all interwoven guitar twisting out complex but utterly natural sounding configurations, and a tumbling rhythm section you can happily float away to. Ryuhei The Man steps up for a re-edit on the flip that does a delicate job of beefing the track up for the club - the difference is subtle, but worthwhile, like a good re-edit should be.
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 in stock $14.58
Desire (7")
Cat: DYNAM 7020. Rel: 02 Nov 18
International
  1. Desire (4:13)
  2. Casa Fuerte (4:09)
Review: Copies of Francisco Aguabella's 1977 album "Hitting Hard" are not only extremely hard to come by, but also suitably pricey when they do come up for sale online. Fret not - Dynamite Cuts are here to help. They've decided to reissue two of the Afro-Cuban jazz/funk fusion set's most potent track, thus saving us the need to fork out the best part of 800 pounds. A-side "Ramon's Desire" - a cover of a Ramon Robes song - is suitably breezy, jazzy and positive, with glistening guitar and vibraphone solos combining wonderfully with a soulful vocal. Flipside "Casa Fuerte", on the other hand, is an all-action, high-tempo Afro-Cuban jazz dance treat, with high-octane piano solos rising above a Tito Puente style rhythm track.
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 in stock $10.94
Aynotche Terabu (limited 7")
Cat: AFR 45015. Rel: 14 Jun 16
International
  1. Mahmoud Ahmed - "Aynotche Terabu" (with Equators Band) (4:02)
  2. Girma Beyene - "Ene Negn Bay Manesh" (2:24)
Review: The Afro 45's / Mr Bongo lineage has produced some of the hottest, most sizzling funk reissues from around the globe, and this tasty two-header from Mahmoud Ahmed - who has appeared heavily on Portland's monumental Mississippi label - and Girma Beyene, two greats of the African soul / funk heritage. Ahmed's "Aynotche Terabu" is backed by the Equators Band, and the man's voice rides like crispy waves over the dusty percussion and charging trumpets of the outfit; Beyene appears with a less moody but equally brilliant jazz-leaning piece named "Ene Negn Bay Manesh", bringing through the spirot of greats such as Mulatu and the rest of the African luminaries.
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 in stock $8.07
Tu Jamas (7")
Cat: SG 039. Rel: 08 May 17
International
  1. Tu Jamas (4:14)
  2. Solo Tu Amor (4:55)
Review: Although best known as the lead singer of well-regarded Japanese funk-soul band O.A.S.B, Amy Akaoka has long dreamed up recording a salsa album in the style of '60s and '70s pianist and bandleader Larry Harlow. This tasty two-track 7" single is her first release in the style - the album will appear later in the year - and is as summery, breezy and life affirming as you'd expect. She begins with "Tu Jamas", where male backing vocals, jaunty pianos and her own passionate lead vocal ride a sweat-soaked salsa rhythm. Turn to the B-side for the horn-heavy delight that is breezy salsa shuffler "Solo Tu Amor". Naturally, both are hugely authentic to the style of salsa championed by Harlow.
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Gespielt von: I Love 45's!
 in stock $14.33
Tchero Adari Negn (limited 7")
Cat: AFRO 45 004. Rel: 31 Jul 15
International
  1. Alemayehu Eshete - "Tchero Adari Negn" (4:27)
  2. Mahmoud Ahmed - "Bemin Sebeb Litlash" (4:26)
Review: The UK's Mr Bongo has been reissuing old music and putting out new tunes since the late 1980's, and the label is still going strong in 2015. This latest 7" features two of Ethiopia's greatest musicians, Alemayehu Eshete and Mahmoud Ahmed, in a head to head, split EP. On the A-side, Mr Bongo has resurfaced Eshete's "Tchero Adari Negn", a supremely funky piece with the man's own voice gliding effortlessly over hard drums and fuzy guitar riffs; "Bemim Sebeb Litlash" goes deeper and more psychedelic on the flip, and Ahmed's voice is a pleasure as always. Check their other material on Mississippi for a broader introspective.
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 in stock $8.07
Cat: BJR 456. Rel: 07 Aug 18
International
  1. Tatli Dile Guler Yuze (2:41)
  2. Hababam (2:13)
Review: Altin Gun are the hottest property to come out of Istanbul in the last ten years. Fact. Led by Jacco Gardner, the 7-piece outfit specialise in the deepest, most wild-eyed psych funk available at the moment and this was clearly visible from their recent debut LP, On. A similar narrative continues here, one which resonates so well with the traditional sound of 70s Turku-funk from pioneers such as Erkin Koray or Baris Manco, and there is, quite simply, something very honest about this band. O this new 7" from the banging Bongo Joe we have "Tatli Dile Guler Yuze", a seductive vocal groove filled with aptly trippy guitar funk and Merve Dasdemir's sublime voice waving in the distance, and the quirky sounds of the instrumental cut "Hababam" - making this one of Bongo Joe's best EPs to date, and another proof-point for Altin Gun's quality. Highly recommended.
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 in stock $10.16
Qnitia (7")
Cat: RRZAMA 01. Rel: 04 Jun 18
Funk
  1. Qnitia (4:07)
  2. Makossa (3:03)
Review: Longstanding Osaka live troupe Amanita took the bold step into recorded original territory in 2016 with this exceptional 45 on Rustafe. Reissued for 2018, it's still as endearingly lofi and mesmerising as the five piece Afrobeat evangelists lay down two alluring pieces. "Qnitia" leans back on a hypnotising chord swing, sparse percussion and vibrant sax and subtle dubby echoes while "Makossa" takes a well known rim-shotting rhythm and cooks it up slow n' low for another smouldering summer.
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 in stock $17.97
Cat: PINGIPUNG 063. Rel: 16 Jan 19
International
  1. Atuy So Kata (3:47)
  2. Atuy So Kata (Patric Catani remix) (4:34)
Review: German imprint Pingipung has been doing a great job in re-introducing the world to the music of Umeko Ando, a Japanese folk singer who spent decades championing her native Ainu culture before passing away in 2004. Pingipung has already reissued her rare debut album, 2000's "Ihunke", and here gives a deserved first single release to that set's closing track, "Atuy So Kata". Her beautiful and haunting original version - all handclaps, traditional instrumentation and her sublime vocals - nestles on the A-side, with Patric Catani's remix on the flip. His version is drowsy, foreboding and fuzzy, with the remixer expertly mixing Ando's vocals and instrumentation with crunchy electronic drums, psych-rock guitars and all manner of out-there noises.
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 in stock $9.90
Banko Woman (7") (1 per customer)
Cat: COS 1157. Rel: 30 May 17
Funk
  1. Banko Woman (5:47)
  2. Faith, Luck & Music (4:10)
Review: Destination '77: Nigerian troupe The Apostles lay down their third album Banko Woman. And, with it, this widescreen vibe excursion that's been a go-to for Afrobeat diggers since it was released on Love Day 40 years ago. "Banko Woman" is a firing, energetic funk jam layered with vibrant levels of instrumentation that gradually strip back at points to let you feel the raw tempo of the groove. "Faith Luck & Music" is at once both more bluesy, thanks to the sliding, melting guitars, and spiritual, thanks to the traditional rhythm and chords. A rare and long-awaited reissue.
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 in stock $10.41
Cat: AFR 45013. Rel: 18 Mar 16
International
  1. Mulatu Astatke - "Assiyo Bellema" (feat Frank Holder & Niaaza Alsherif) (2:53)
  2. Teshome Meteku - "Hasabe" (3:55)
Review: Another weighty slab of Ethiopian music history from Mr Bongo... First up is the hugely influential fusionist Mulatu Astatke with the Latin-meets-Afro jam "Assiyo Bellema". Loaded with frenetic guitars and mesmerising drum work from Frank Holder, this was actually recorded during Mulatu's time in London. Flip for an equally influential force in Ethiopian music: Soul Ekos Band affiliate Teshome Meteku with a more traditional local sound, Teshome's yearning insistent vocals wrap around the horns and tight drums like fog around a mountain. Captivating.
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 in stock $7.81
1 Thing (7")
Cat: BC 0637. Rel: 01 Oct 18
Funk
  1. 1 Thing (2:28)
  2. Hoopla Hoop (3:33)
Review: Bjorn Wagner's Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band combo recently returned from a two-year hiatus with a killer new album, "The Serpent's Mouth". It's that set - a glorious fusion of funk, soul, disco, jazz and Trinidadian steel band music - from which these two top tracks are taken from. A-side "1 Thing" is particularly glorious. As one quick listen to the clips will confirm, it's a riotous instrumental cover of the Amerie R&B classic of the same name, which replaces the singer's vocals with ear-catching steel drums. The same killer combination of flash-friend funk guitars, bustling drums and tropical steel drum sounds can also be heard on B-side "Hoopla Hoop", which also boasts some suitably fuzzy horns.
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 in stock $10.54
Tessassategn Eko (limited 7")
Cat: AFR 45016. Rel: 14 Jun 16
International
  1. Bahta Gebre Hiwot - "Tessassategn Eko" (4:04)
  2. Alemayehu Eshete - "Ayalqem Tedqem" (3:22)
Review: Afro 45's / Mr Bongo show no signs of stopping their tireless run of form and, 7" after 7", they just keep on producing the goods. There's yet more '70s goodness with this new little scorcher: the A-side is 1973's "Tessassategn Eko" by Bahta Gebre Hiwot, a pensive Ethiopian pop hit for all sorts of music fans to enjoy, but "Ayalqem Tedqem" by Alemayehu Eshete on the B-side is where it's at... just listen to that bass and you'll instantly recognize this wonderful little cover.
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 in stock $8.07
Cat: BRZ45 056. Rel: 13 Oct 16
International
  1. Maria Fumaca (2:27)
  2. Mr Funky Samba (3:41)
Review: For the latest release on their on-point Brasil 45s sub-label, Mr Bongo takes a trip back to 1977, and the early days of legendary fusion outfit Banda Black Rio. Both the cuts here are taken from the band's brilliant debut album, Maria Fumaca, and see them fusing Brasilian samba and jazz sounds with the righteous, dancefloor-friendly grooves of funk and disco. "Maria Fumaca" itself is a deliciously sunny and sweaty affair, with punchy horns, eyes-closed guitar solos and jazz-funk electic piano lines rising above a carnival-ready samba-funk groove. The U.S funk influence comes to the fore more on flipside "Mr Funky Samba", which sounds like Azymuth jamming with members of the T.K Disco, Philadelphia International and Salsoul house bands. Yep, it's that good.
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 in stock $9.64
Cat: BRZ 45055. Rel: 24 Oct 16
Funk
  1. Banda Black Rio - "Miss Cheryl" (3:47)
  2. Miele - "Melo Do Tagarela (Rapper's Delight)" (instrumental) (4:10)
Review: Although Brazil's Banda Black Rio remain infamous for the albums that they recorded in the late 1970s, two beautiful LPs that rode that singular wave of samba-ridden jazz dance, 1980's "Miss Cheryl" is an outstanding tune, and we can hear why RCA picked it up back in the day. Mr Bongo provides us with the reissue here and, if you haven't heard it, it's an absolute delight which switches between disco, psych, and something inherently Brazilian - there's even a wacky synth in there, for good measure. Compatriot Miele appears on the flip with "Melo Do Tagarela (Rappers Delight)", a sublime slice of early, electronic boogie that sounds as fresh today as it did back at the tail end of the 70s. A devious little reissue that you should own...
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 in stock $9.12
Cat: AJX 445S. Rel: 01 Feb 19
Funk
  1. Mercy Mercy Baby (2:45)
  2. Mercy Mercy Baby (instrumental) (3:02)
Review: Puerto Rican music legend Ray Barretto has a seriously impressive biography, including spells with the Tito Puente Orchestra and the acclaimed Fania All Stars. This tasty seven-inch single serves up one of Barretto's best boogaloo-era cuts, 1968 single and Acid album track "Mercy, Mercy Baby". It remains a fine song, wrapping a jaunty salsa rhythm in various boogaloo aural hallmarks, including impassioned vocals, funk-influenced horns and an incessant piano riff. Interestingly, this edition doesn't feature the original single B-side, but rather a previously unissued instrumental version. Shorn of the vocals and pop production, it feels breezier and heavier, with additional trumpet solos that will wind their way into your subconscious.
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 in stock $11.45
Viajecito (7") (1 per customer)
Cat: MSR 009. Rel: 17 Jan 19
International
  1. Viajecito (5:13)
  2. Too Late (3:05)
Review: For a brief period between 1968 and 1975, Peruvian band Black Sugar recorded some seriously heavy fusions of soul, rock and jazz. It's because of this that both of their self-titled albums now exchange hands for eye-watering sums online, as does their 1971 debut single "Viajecito". Helpfully, Matasuna Records has done a deal to reissue the latter. The track itself remains a rare treat; a gloriously sunny, horn-heavy fusion of Latin jazz rhythms, spacey sounds, jaunty group vocals and twinkling pianos. B-side "Too Late", a sumptuous, boogaloo-sounding soul number in which the group sings in English over a Blackbyrds-esque backing track, is similarly impressive.
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 in stock $9.90
Cat: PH 45021. Rel: 16 May 19
International
  1. This Is Bolga! (part 1) (3:35)
  2. This Is Bolga! (part 2) (3:53)
Review: German-Ghanaian group the Polyversal Souls have previously collaborated with a number of bands and solo artists from West Africa, so this hook-up with Northern Ghanaian outfit the Bolga All Stars - a collective made up of leading local kologo and frafra-gospel singers and musicians - should not come as much of a surprise. Separated into two parts for the seven-inch release, the track blends the Polyversal Souls' lolloping, late '60s style Afro-funk grooves - complete with fuzzy, period style production - and sharp horn section with glistening guitars, snaking solos and fine vocals from the Bolga All Stars. It's one of the Polyversal Souls' finest releases yet, and that's saying something.
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 in stock $8.86
No No No (limited 7" Nachpressung) (1 per customer)
Cat: BAS 1006. Rel: 17 Jun 19
International
  1. No, No, No (3:52)
  2. Evil Ways (instrumental) (2:58)
Review: Originally pressed (on a limited run) in 2013, LA Latin funk troupe Boogaloo Assassins have reissued these two spellbinding cover versions again due to public demand. Still on a highly limited run, both cuts need to be in your collection: Dawn Penn's "No No No" gets a strict samba switch with lavish percussion and consistent vocal harmonies throughout while Sonny Henry's "Evil Ways" (best known from its Santana cover) gets the dreamy instrumental treatment where the horns and glocks do the narrating over a tight bed of wood blocks, shakers and liquid Rhodes. Killer stuff and Juno is one of the few stores outside of USA which is carrying the 45. Don't Sleep !
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 in stock $11.45
Afro Beat (7")
Cat: FLIES 4504. Rel: 14 Jun 18
International
  1. Afro Beat (3:24)
  2. Afro Flower (3:27)
Review: The library music crate-diggers behind Italy's Four Flies label aren't quite sure when regular collaborators Braen (an alias of composer and multi-instrumentalist Alessandro Alessandroni) and Raskovich (Guillano Sorgini) recorded these two previously unreleased tracks, but it's thought to have been around the time of the 1971 sessions for a psychedelic rock 7" by The Pawnshop. A-side "Afro Beat" is something of a saucer-eyed, Modernist delight, with the duo mixing meandering organ lines and breezy Afro-funk grooves with heavy bass. "Afro Flower", on the other hand, sounds like something that would have emerged from the studio of the Graham Bond Organization during the swinging '60s, which is no bad thing in our book.
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 in stock $16.66
Cat: STR 001. Rel: 29 Sep 16
International
  1. Rocksteady Bugalu (3:40)
  2. La Cadena (3:45)
Review: The Bugalu Foundation collective are not to be messed with when it comes to funky Afro-Latin soul-funk. Taking inspiration from many different genres between South America and Africa, this is some truly dope material, and a little bit of a breath of fresh air. "Rocksteady Bugalu" is the ultimate hybrid, a tune that starts off with a Cuban swing jazz but that quickly develops a noticeable dubwise twist which takes us back to Jamaica. "La Cadrena" is a more traditional Cuban-style ballad, complete with blasting trumpets, those utterly additive piano keys and vocals that just call for you to hop on a plane and cross that pond over to the Caribbean...
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 in stock $7.55
Por La Vida (7" + insert)
Cat: NYCT 7043. Rel: 20 Sep 18
International
  1. Por La Vida (4:21)
  2. Miri (3:55)
Review: According to the South American fusionists who run Names You Can Trust, Buyepongo is one of the leading lights on the Los Angeles "tropical underground", a scene known for fusing traditional rhythms and instrumentation with more streetwise contemporary influences. The two cuts showcased here were recorded in an analog-rich New York studio, and are apparently particularly popular with the group's Los Angeles fans. A-side "Por La Vida" is a real killer - a jaunty, dub-fuelled Cumbia outing rich in dancing accordion lines and Tito Puente style percussion. Flipside "Miri" is way more tropical in tone, doffing a cap towards the Caribbean and low-slung 1960s psychedelia whilst remaining close to the band's South American roots.
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 in stock $10.94
Eu Bebo Sim (limited 7'')
Cat: BRZ 45 025. Rel: 01 Jun 15
International
  1. Elizabeth Cardoso - "Eu Bebo Sim" (3:37)
  2. Elza Soares - "Deixa A Nega Gingar" (2:19)
Review: Brazil 45s hit the quarter century in their run and show no sign of stopping. It's an all-girl affair on this one as two hugely popular and prolific singers take a spin under Mr Bongo's spotlight. Elizabeth (often known as Elizete) lays down a steamy samba flavour that gets raunchier as the track develops. Elza, meanwhile, gets busy on a Bossa tip as a carnival of percussion and horns go toe-to-toe with her sharp, sexy staccato vocals. Powerful.
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 in stock $8.07
Na Boca Do Sol (limited 7")
Cat: BRZ45 050. Rel: 01 Jul 16
International
  1. Na Boca Do Sol (2:45)
  2. A Hora E Essa (3:06)
Review: Moving further into the '70s Brazilian scene, Mr Bongo delivers two supreme pop scorchers by Celia, the sweet-faced artiste who released so much great music back in the day. Her "Na Boca Do Sol" is a gentle soul journey that brings out the best in her own voice, and in the Brazilian style of that era. "A Hora E Essa" is more of a dancefloor tune, more uptempo and less reliant on the sensuality and sexiness of the A-side. Excellent, as per usual.
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 in stock $7.81
Cat: BRZ 45066. Rel: 14 Aug 17
International
  1. Deixa O Morro Cantar (2:33)
  2. Mas Que Nada (2:33)
Review: Supreme musica popular Brasileira and bossa-nova vibes here on two tracks from Mr Bongo's leading Brazilian 45's lady, Claudia. "Deixa o Morro Cantar" features on Claudia's very first 7", released in 1965 by RGE Brazil. Her version of "Mas Que Nada" is said to be more of a jazzy/folk-funk take on the Ben classic. A relatively recent discovery made during the label's last trip to Brazil, Maria das Gracas Rallo was born in 1946 in Rio de Janeiro. She has become the most awarded singer outside of her home country and was most popular internationally in 1982 with the song "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from the musical Evita. Moreover, she has recorded over twenty albums and has amassed huge record sales throughout her successful career.
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 in stock $8.07
Garra (limited 7")
Cat: BRZ 45036. Rel: 25 Jan 16
International
  1. Claudia - "Garra" (2:23)
  2. Os Tres Morais - "Freio Aerodinamico" (2:43)
Review: Jane, Roberto, and Sidey Morais - Brazil's Os Tres Morais - are placed alongside the wonderful Claudia for the latest all Brazilian showdown courtesy of the always point-side Brazil45 series from the Mr. Bongo label. The latter gives us the mythical "Garra", a tune that sits very nicely next to the likes of Marcos Valle and co, and the singing trio get a reissue of 2006's "Freio Aerodinamico", a gorgeous blend of samba, disco, and something perfectly exotic and vintage. Heart-warmers.
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 in stock $8.07
Cat: AOE 029. Rel: 22 Feb 18
Soul
  1. Drown My Heart (2:59)
  2. My Foolish Heart (3:00)
Review: Not to be confused with the sports commentator, David Coleman was behind the scorching boardwalk vocals that graced Hector Rivera's debut 1966 album At The Party. The right levels of swoon and croons over vital Latin orchestration - led by the renowned pianist and regular Tito Puenta collaborator - David exudes some serious emotion. "Drown My Heart" lilts with a soft samba while Coleman scatters powerful heartbreak tales, "My Foolish Heart" takes a much more stripped back rhythmic arrangement with yearning, soaring strings that break out into the full orchestra on the chorus. Both cult attractions on the northern soul and popcorn scenes, it's another hearty reissue from them up north.
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 in stock $5.20
Cat: AR 106VL. Rel: 14 Sep 17
International
  1. Balantinje (3:40)
  2. Balantinje (Mankoora remix) (3:46)
Review: Colonel Faat aka Rocky Dawuni is one of Ghana's few reggae artists to have made a name for themselves since the 90s. He is particularly hard to come by these days, but Austria's Agogo imprint clearly know how to get their links form around the globe, and this new tune is a peaceful ballad for purely positive vibes. "Balantije" is one of those tunes you can slap on in just about any scenario, spreading love and good will wherever and whenever, guided by a subtle ska off-beat; Mankoora's remix takes it to more danceable territories, adding in a layer of percussion and just the right amount of funk. Yes.
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 in stock $7.55
Nhu Djon (7")
Cat: OST 4502. Rel: 21 Jun 18
International
  1. Nhu Djon (4:15)
  2. Volta Pa Terra (4:05)
Review: The Ostinato label is, without a doubt, coming through with the heaviest, most sought-after funana on the planet, and that is something quite special in itself if you think that this is some pretty niche, limited material. Their Cape Verde 45s series comes through with their most killer 7" yet, a two-tracker from 1984 by the Conjunto Jovens Africano, led by Ze Orlando - a prominent figure in the connection between Santiago (CV) and Lisbon, Portugal. Both tracks are pure fire, with "Nhu Djon" rocking that classic funana style, fast-paced and full of colour, while "Volta Pa Terra" offers the island's well-known passion for synthesisers and organic instruments, landing an instantly seductive groove that grows and grows. Wonderful stuff. Don't miss this!
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 in stock $13.80
Cat: BJR 45003. Rel: 10 Apr 18
International
  1. Colosse De Rhodes (3:21)
  2. Sayyara (4:06)
Review: Together, Cyril Yeterian and Cyril Bondi is Cyril Cyril, a Geneva-based duo with their own unique brand of mind-altering global fusion. That much is clear from this debut 7", which delivers thrills and spills in spades. Check first "Colosse De Rhodes", where spoken and improvised vocals rise above a psychedelic backing track rich in meandering Bontempi organ solos, restless banjo chords, and incessant, off-kilter African percussion. The flipside cut, "Sayyara", is equally inspired, with the two Cyrils brilliantly layering up swamp funk guitar solos, held-note organ chords, gentle Turkish rhythms and woozy atmospherics.
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 in stock $10.16
Cat: BRZ45 067. Rel: 11 Sep 17
International
  1. Dalila - "Canto Chorando" (4:22)
  2. Neyde Alexandre - "Perplexidade" (2:22)
Review: The Brazil 45s / Mr Bongo outlet is back with its classic moves, coming through with some truly special soul blends out of the Brazilian golden era. Dalila and Neyde Alexandre feature in this latest 7", the former with 1968's "Canto Chorado", a slow-burning bubble of funky exotica - surely impossible to find in its original shade - and the latter with a funky little bomb from 1971 by the name of "Perplexidade" - surely the smoothest, sexiest soul number out this week! Lovely stuff.
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 in stock $8.07
Es Lilin (7")
Cat: RM 005. Rel: 04 Jul 19
International
  1. De Evergreens - "Es Lilin" (3:03)
  2. Les Jaguars De Casablanca - "Gonzales" (2:36)
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a must-have seven-inch containing two curiously off-kilter cuts from obscure "beat generation" bands of the early 1960s. Der Evergreens "Es Lilin" (that's "Ice Lolly" in English, apparently) is a sun-kissed rhythm and blues cover of a Sudanese love song recorded in Rotterdam in 1965. It's fairly short but very, very sweet. Arguably even better is Les Jaguars De Casablanca's 1962 cover of surf classic "Gonzales". The band was truly international - Spanish and French guitarists and a Moroccoan rhythm section - and on the resultant recording you can tell. Think of it as an "outernational" take on the Shadows, and you're close.
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 in stock $10.94
  1. Nu E Injoseala (N-am Carti De Credit) (3:43)
  2. I Love You Viata Mea (Lema) (4:40)
Review: By now Future Nuggets have surely been established as one of Romania's leading exponents of leftfield electronic oddities, and they don't disappoint on the surprising delights of this new 7" from Renato Din Sala and Ion Din Dorobanai. There's an Eastern lilt to the vocals and melodies on both tracks, but they're framed by some wonderfully quirky synth parts and budget drum machines. "Nu E Injoseala (N-am Carti De Credit)" in particular capitalises on cranky monosynth squelch and organ wails, while "I Love You Viata Mea (Lema)" takes a more energetic approach and works some Rhodes-like sounds into the mix.
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 in stock $6.77
Basa Basa (7")
Cat: PH 45014. Rel: 22 Mar 18
International
  1. Basa Basa (4:08)
  2. Sahara Akwantuo (3:46)
Review: Those with a deep knowledge of Berlin's Ghanaian ex-pat "burger-highlife" scene may already be familiar with Lee Dodou, a singer who recorded a number of classic singles and albums during the 1980s as part of bands Georg Darko and Kantata. He retired from music in 1991, but has been persuaded to return to action by the Philophon team. This comeback single is pretty impressive all told, with A-side "Basa Basa" - a triumphantly celebratory chunk of 1960s "concert party" highlife rich in punchy horn lines and Dodou's full-throated vocals - being joined on the flipside by the slower, synth-laden "Sahara Akwantou". Brilliantly, the label describes this as "kraut-life" due to its unique (and rather good) fusion of highlife and German kosmiche.
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 in stock $8.86
Keleya (limited 7")
Cat: AFRO45 002. Rel: 06 Jul 15
International
  1. Moussa Doumbia - "Keleya" (4:51)
  2. Amadou Balake - "Super Bar Konon Mousso" (5:23)
Review: Sweaty funk fusion abounds as Moussa Doumbia follows up his appearance on Mr Bongo's first Afro 45s release with the equally frenetic and chaotic "Keleya". Recorded in 1974 and previously rarer than hen's teeth, it's loaded with shouts, cries and floor-burning bellows. Meanwhile on the B we're hit hard by Amadou Balake who made international speakers shake in the 70s with their Latin/Afro fusion. Steamy, unpredictable and flawlessly funky with its firm focus on the guitar backbone, it's another impeccable discovery from the ever-digging Bongo team.
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 in stock $8.07
Cumbia Chulita (purple marbled vinyl 7" in hand-stamped sleeve)
Cat: MAS 022. Rel: 16 Jan 19
International
  1. Cumbia Chulita (3:49)
  2. Saludos Desde Oakland (3:59)
Review: El Mero Guero Sonidero is a fairly well known DJ on the Californian cumbia underground, though this seems to be the Bay Area resident's debut single release. As with many cuts on Discos Mas, "Cumbia Chulita" offers a suitably 21st century take on the Colombian genre, with traditional elements - accordions, vocals, hand percussion - sitting side by side with hip-hop vocal samples, intergalactic synth lines, heavy sub bass and shuffling drum machine beats. His love of dub delays, wild synthesizer lines and spoken vocals comes to the fore on spaced-out B-side "Saludos Desde Oakland", which is pretty out there despite the presence of a relentless cumbia riddim.
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 in stock $9.12
Unathi (7")
Cat: BC 061745. Rel: 11 Jun 18
International
  1. Unathi (3:36)
  2. Zaharila (3:43)
Review: Leon Michel's El Michels Affair has always grabbed our attention, since the very early days of the Juno website, back in the early 00s. The New York outfit, an instrumental collective that seems to change every decade, have been experimenting with jazz and all sorts of ethereal styles from across the globe. This new single, out through the trusted Big Crown label, is perhaps one of their most memorable outings of the last 5 years. The title track, "Unathi", is a mystical voyage across time and space, with psyched-out vocals riding high above a solid trip-hop groove and a marvelous array of trippy atmospherics. On the flip, "Zaharila" is a slower, moodier piece that speaks to the heart, spewing horns and tough beats from every angle, making it instantly recognizable and, yes, as seductive as most of El Michels Affair's music. Excellent.
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 in stock $8.55
Morena (7")
Cat: FBBRG 005. Rel: 12 Mar 18
International
  1. Morena (4:02)
  2. The Vibes (feat Ephniko) (3:55)
Review: Afro-Carribean Latin fusionists Empresarios have been doing their thing with modest success since the turn of the decade, serving up albums and singles that cleverly combine elements of cumbia, reggae, salsa, hip-hop, dub and house. Here they appear on 7" for the very first time, serving up two typically steamy slabs of ear-pleasing dancefloor fusion for the Virginia-based Boogieburg imprint. While stoned Latin hip-hop flipside "The Vibes" is undoubtedly a cheeky, cheery and quietly impressive affair, it's A-side "Morena" that hits home hardest. Sitting somewhere between electro-cumbia, salsa and skanking Latin pop, it's a full-force blast of sunshine that will sound particularly potent at outdoor parties in the summer months ahead.
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 in stock $7.81
Telantena Zare (limited 7")
Cat: AFRO 45010. Rel: 18 Jan 16
International
  1. Alemayehu Eshete - "Telantena Zare" (3:46)
  2. Girma Beyene - "Ene Negn Bay Manesh" (4:03)
Review: vKeen Africa 45 followers should recognise Eshete's name as he's appeared on the series before. Mr Bongo call him the Ethiopian James Brown and the Abyssinian Elvis... And they're not far off. This 74 rarity shows him crooning and crying at full pelt over a solid funk groove that's powered by piano and guitar. Flip for an equally rare vocal track from fellow Ethiopian Girma. Recorded in 69, full focus is squared on the lavish organ leads while the horns provide a soft but sturdy backdrop.
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 in stock $8.07
Ashadwa (7" limited to 300 copies) (1 per customer)
Cat: MSH 104. Rel: 29 May 19
Funk
  1. Ashadwa (part 1) (4:25)
  2. Ashadwa (part 2) (3:58)
Review: Mushi 45 is keeping tight lipped about the story behind their latest release - so much so, in fact, that we can't ascertain whether it's a reissue or a new production. Given the label's history, we're thinking the former, though it's hard to find any reference to the record, the artist or the producer. Either way, the release is fire - a killer chunk of Afro-funk blessed with heavyweight drum breaks, punchy sax solos, celebratory African vocals and super-funky bass. In classic funk style "Ashadwa" is split into two parts; the first boasts chant-along vocals, extended drum breaks and a genuine "party in the studio" vibe, while the second is more instrumental and stripped back with greater use of snaking saxophone solos. In a word: essential.
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 in stock $10.41
Cat: GR 1252. Rel: 28 May 19
International
  1. Auidny (3:39)
  2. Njoo El Leyl (4:07)
Review: Earlier in the year, Italian reissue specialists offered up a tidy reissue of Ahmed Fakrun's "Nisyan", a sought-after chunk of Arabic blue-eyed soul that originally appeared as a seven-inch single in 1977. Here they offer up a new edition of its predecessor, which the Lebanese musician recording during the same recording sessions in Milan. With its flanged guitars, lolloping reggae-funk swing, spacey synths and warm bass, "Auidny" is particularly inspired, though the West Coast AOR-influenced warmth of flipside "Njoo El Leyl" is arguably equally as addictive. Both are superb, though, so it's great that Groovin' has slung them out again.
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 in stock $13.02
Sondirama (7" limited to 300 copies) (1 per customer)
Cat: OKRA 301. Rel: 24 Sep 18
International
  1. Sondirama (3:27)
  2. Crema Mental (3:47)
Review: It's a while since we heard from contemporary cumbia stars Frente Cumbiero, who found fame earlier in the decade with a string of singles and an album length dub revision of their work by British soundsystem hero Mad Professor. They kick of their first single in six years with "Sondirama", a jaunty and restless affair rich in rasping horn lines, mazy 1970s Moog synthesizer sounds, lilting Latin trumpet, incessant organ stabs and the band's omnipresent Colombian style beats. It's rather good, all told, as is the rather more eccentric B-side, "Crema Mental", which sees them pepper a dense, off-kilter tropical rhythm with tango style accordions, trip-inducing synthesizer solos and marching brass stabs.
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 in stock $16.66
Cat: AFR 45014. Rel: 18 Mar 16
International
  1. Seyoum Gebreyes & Wallias Band - "Muziqa Muziqa" (3:42)
  2. Wallias Band - "Muziqawi Silt" (3:44)
Review: Destination Ethiopia: The Wallias Band are one of the country's longest standing troupes with over 20 years service to their name from the early 70s to early 90s and serious accomplishments such as being the first Ethiopian band to tour the USA. Here they're represented in all their full spread glory; "Muziqa Muziqa" has an almost northern soul dynamic with its speed and wily sax blasts from Seyoum while "Muziqawi Silt" is a much more measured, introspective affair. Beautiful.
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 in stock $7.81
Aquarela (limited 7")
Cat: LAT 4502. Rel: 29 Oct 14
International
  1. Nico Gomez & His Orchestra - "Aquarela"
  2. Nico Gomez - "Rio"
Review: Monster reissue from Mr Bongo off shoot label Latin 45's....Massive dance floor filler !!
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 in stock $8.07
Cat: PH 45013. Rel: 07 Dec 17
International
  1. Everything You Do, You Do For Yourself (4:27)
  2. Estre (feat Florence Adooni) (5:02)
Review: Philophon is a Berlin-based label run by Max Weissenfeldt. Part of Philophon is the Tonstudio Bluetenring in Kreuzberg, operated by Benjamin 'Stibbo' Spitzmueller. The label's essential motivation is to support any form of local culture with reason, freedom and ludic drive. North-Ghanaian singer Guy One presents his first international release here. He promises what his name is saying: he is the number one artist of Frafra music, named after his people. "Everything You Do, You Do For Yourself" is a driving Highlife rhythm and his only song having a phrase in English. "Estre" features one of the leading voices of Frafra-Gospel named Florence Adooni. She interweaves perfectly with the horn arrangements by Weissenfeldt and the drummer. Washington's Hailu Mergia, San Francisco's Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids and the legendary Scandinavian producer Jimi Tenor have also released on the label over the last year too.
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 in stock $7.81
Psychedelic Woman (limited 7")
Cat: AFRO 4508. Rel: 06 Nov 15
International
  1. Honny & The Bees - "Pschedelic Woman" (4:29)
  2. Gyedublay Ambolley & The Steneboofs - "Simigwado" (4:36)
Review: Mr Bongo come through with two pounding slabs of Ghanaian magic from 1973. Up top Honny & The Bees live up to their sweet name on "Psychedelic Woman," a hypnotic, insistent mid-tempo bell-bashing, string twanging nodder that really arrests when the big harmonic chorus heaves in. Complementing this, Gyedublay Ambolley & The Steneboofs offer "Simigwado" which will appeal to all break diggers; powerful JB-level horn heaven, it's concentrated funk of the highest order.
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 in stock $6.77
Cat: PH 45010. Rel: 19 Jan 17
Jazz
  1. Tinoge Ya Ta'a Ba (part 1) (3:27)
  2. Tinoge Ya Ta'a Ba (part 2) (2:45)
Review: Following their surprise reunion and Strut-release album We Be All Africans last year, Idris and The Pyramids return... This time on Max Weissenfeldt's Philophon imprint. Laying down a spiritual arrangement so frenetic and full of its own life it takes up two parts, Idris's sax plays duet with Philophon's own vocalist Guy One. Gutsy, raw and full of surprises, it's another out-of-body experience from the longstanding jazz troupe.
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 in stock $8.60
Vuelve (7" limited to 300 copies)
Cat: OR 002. Rel: 09 Jul 18
International
  1. Vuelve (3:27)
  2. Decima (2:50)
Review: Paris-based quartet Insolito UniVerso make their debut through London's Olindo imprint, pressing up two tracks over two sides of 7" wax. The Venezuelan outfit have a deep, mystical style about them, taking their jazz to new and exciting territories beyond the genre's usual constraints. In fact, the opening "Vuelve" has the knack of remaining addictive and hummable even in its ethereal, intricate construction - an oddly eerie sort of melody is worked into a tight groove made up of organic instruments and the lead singer's (Maria Fernanda) voice. "Decima" is a slower, deeper, darker song that works its charm even without the help of the band's percussive work. With this crowd, it's all about the vibe...
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 in stock $10.93
Scarface (7")
Cat: SG 055. Rel: 04 Apr 18
Funk
  1. Scarface (6:40)
  2. This Day (5:28)
Review: Four years on from their last outing, Japan's premier neo-Afrobeat band returns to the warm embrace of Soul Garden Records. A-side "Scarface" is arguably one of the band's most addictive and ear-pleasing tracks yet; a rousing Afrobeat workout that sees band members trading solos over a densely percussive, Fela Kuti style workout. In a bid to let us have a bit of a breather, flipside "This Day" is a more languid and laidback affair, with drunken trumpet solos and jammed-out keys relaxing over a shuffling, Afro-Latin groove. As ever, the playing is immaculate and the production authentically fuzzy. Worth a listen.
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 in stock $11.45
Bomb (7")
Cat: SG 054. Rel: 24 Apr 18
International
  1. Bomb (Ultimate take) (6:15)
  2. Panama (4:25)
Review: Nu-wave afrobeat swingers, Jaribu Afrobeat Arkestra, touch back down on Masamichi Ishikawa's Soul Garden, and they have arrived just in time for what we hope to be a blazing hot summer of joyful Fela vibes. In fact, these guys have cited Kuti as their main inspiration - which is always a good thing, in our opinion - and the title track "Bomb" is clearly of that ilk, unleashing a driving bass surrounded by wild chanting and a little disco sensibility. On the flipside, "Panama" provides a deeper, cooler edge that's much more in line with Kuti's work alongside the Afrika 70 band, with booming horns guiding the jazzed-out percussion. LUSH!
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 in stock $13.80
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