V/A - Air Africa / Murder By Contract (Aziza Disques)
Brand new label alert! Brand new fantastic comp alert! The new Aziza Disques imprint has just popped up with 2 amazing compilations of rare African music. Over the last 5-10 years, many compilations have been issued dedicated to the brilliant sounds of Africa, mainly in Afrobeat, Highlife, Disco / Boogie, Afro-Rock and traditional / ethnic terrains by labels such as Analog Africa, Sublime Frequencies and Soundway. While many of those are excellent in their own right, it’s high-time for some variance in the African material being presented within the vinyl community. And that’s what Aziza Disques is presenting here. Air Africa (focused on Beat & Soul) and Murder By Contract (Garage, Psych & Prog) both dive deep into some unknown territories within African music. You shouldn’t expect traditional ideas of soul, garage or prog but the African take on that via countries as far and wide as Benin, The Congo, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Mozambique, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Guinea and South Africa. Instead, expect your mind to be blown by the nervous and overdriven jerk-beat of “Jerk Bastos” by Les Kilts or the groovy and emphatic group-soul of “L'amour Au Prix De L'argent” by Sax Wary And Orchestre. Or cut up the rug with the ecstatic and joyous fuzz-organ-funk of Francois Lougah’s “Pecoussa.” Simply killer! (these cuts above all from Air Africa AZIZA 001) Murder By Contract (AZIZA 002) goes into freakier territories. Lead-off “Verequoi” by Wrong Notes is wonderfully unhinged as in-the-red organs create a droning pulse amidst insane percussion. Narma Samithx’s “Zifaffildad” (the lone track I’ve heard before, just issued as part of the Abdou El Omari trilogy on Radio Martiko) creates a lovely and buoyant texture populated by psych’d-up organs and kinetic drumming. How about a wild, insanely danceable version of the Shocking Blue’s “Venus” by Orchestre Veve? Yes please. African surf? That’s in effect too with Os Rebeldes “Murder By Contract.” The beauty of these comps is each track comes from a different country so the styles are quite varied yet they all make perfect sense together. While some of these cuts were included on old, unofficial comps elsewhere, they’ve never been perfectly brought together like this. Rare African compilations don’t get much better than this. (Dom) Check out a track here and here.