Following on from their magnificent work in unearthing the unheralded classics of Ghana on the two Ghana Soundz compilations, the compilers have turned to the more familiar territory of 1970s Lagos, the birthplace of Afrobeat.
As with Jamaican roots reggae, there is an enormous quantity of recordings from this period, but the musical archaeologist can have a difficult time sorting the wheat from the chaff. After Afro Strut's stunning 'Nigeria 70' compilation, you may wonder what the need is to delve further into obscure recordings. Any compilation album that claims for its tracks that they are 'never released before outside Nigeria' has to answer the question - well why not? The album makes no claims to being either complete or representative.
This album justifies its obscure selection through sheer quality from start to finish. Eschewing the stereotypical focus on Fela Kuti and his associates, the album encompasses a wide range of the fermenting sounds of this decade that was willing to blend funk, soul, R&B, jazz and traditional African rhythms into one coherent whole. The sheer joy of experimentation shines through on every track, and while shards of cliched hooks often drift through the mix, they're consumed by the beat and regurgitated in delectable new forms.
First buy the Nigeria 70 compilation. Then, once you've fallen in love with the more familiar end of Afrobeat, make this next on your shopping list.