Lagos Is Burning
I lived Africa a few years ago, and during my time there I discovered a wealth of great African music. It was a real revelation to me, the wild rhythms, the use of native instruments, the chanting, and the insane production was so uniquely African.
I remember this one night I was cruising the downtown streets of Cape Town in my car and heard this ultra-cool funky sound. However, I could not place the record or the artist, so I decided to park up and venture in to see what was going on. Upon entering the bar, I realized that this was not a place regularly frequented by people with my complexion.
I walked over to the bar and ordered a beer, the barkeeper gave me a disapproving look and turned to get a cold one from the fridge. I then felt a prod in my back and promptly turned around, a tall, slim black guy looked me in the face and said: “you don’t belong here.” At that moment, the bar keeper slammed my drink down on the bar, and I turned to him and said “and one for my new friend” and turned back to the guy and said, “hey the music is so cool I just had to find out what it is.” He looked at me and smiled and said “North African Funk from Nigeria,” I responded “fucking cool man.” He nodded and said “yes man, fucking cool” he took is beer and walked off.
I then went over to the DJ and asked if I could see the album covers and if he minded me taking photos of them, he was cool and let me stand next to his table and take notes. A few hours later I was jamming to this one tune with a heavyweight drum break and another dude deliberately barged into me, this guy looked quite scary, and I was not quite sure how to play him. Out of nowhere the guy, I earlier bought a beer from stepped over to the aggressive guy and said “he’s ok” and with that he turned and walked away.
I realized that my hunger for new music had almost got me into a world of trouble. However, it also saved my bacon.
These mixes feature a few of the tracks I heard that night plus many more I have discovered over the last few years.