Nigeria 70 Sweet Times
The long-awaited third compilation from the pioneering Nigeria 70 collective has finally arrived. The exclusive Sweet Times: Afro Funk, Highlife and Juju from 1970s Lagos features a carefully hand-picked collection of tunes by series curator Duncan Brooker.
The thirteen rare grooves offer a range of music styles; afro-funk, highlife and traditional juju, whilst also highlighting the blending of such sounds as highlife with jazz and funk and not forgetting the heavy influence of soul, disco and rock that dominated dance floors over the Atlantic in North America.
As with previous Nigeria 70 compilations, Sweet Times offers a selection of songs previously unissued outside of Nigeria. Vintage tracks including dark psych grooves from Don Isaac Ezekiel move alongside exuberant funk from college band Tabanaku, comprising of students from the University of Ife. The late Ali Chukwumah and his enchanting “Henrietta”, with its Congolese-drenched guitar riffs and funky beats gives us a further insight into the musical happenings of post-independent Nigeria. Also entrenched in the socio-politics of the era is juju legend Ebenezer Obey’s lilting and deeply sublime track “Ajoyio”, with its soul-stirring Yoruba harmonies and mid-tempo groove calls, its a musical plea for peace.
Like previous volumes of the acclaimed Nigeria 70 series (released in 2001 and 2008), Sweet Times presents a deep exploration of the various sonic sounds that were rampant in 1970s Lagos. Standing apart from other humdrum compilations comprising of identical styles and over-produced sounds, this album presents Nigerian music at its best: untouched and pure. A definite purchase this Spring.
by Amy Cunningham
Release Date: May 9th