The Rough Guide To African Disco

Disco done African style can mean a whole throng of divergent sounds and this Rough Guide serves you up a hand-picked platter of the continent’s most sensational party vibes old and new.

A strong South African contingent appears on the album. Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s sound on ‘Kwedini’ is firmly bubblegum – a strand of saccharine disco-pop that employs electronic keyboards, synthesizers and crazily catchy call-and-response vocals. The eleven-piece South African party band Mango Groove makes an appearance on the track ‘Tsa-oo’. Teaspoon & The Waves provide a gem of a track with ‘Oh Yeh Soweto’ – a disco-fied cover of the classic track ‘Going Back To My Roots’, by Detroit-based Motown maestro Lamont Dozier. Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens are heard on the bright number ‘Kazet’, a rare disco flavoured track that encapsulates the band’s positive lively sound – a style they termed mgqashiyo – literally ‘to bounce’.

Pat Thomas is a highlife musician from Ghana who can be heard on the irresistible funky track ‘Yesu San Bra’. Legendary Cameroonian saxophonist and vibraphone player Manu Dibango is heard on the driving track ‘Yekey Tenge’. ‘A Brand New Wayo’ by Nigerian ensemble Mixed Grill is a thick, brassy number that bristles with cool. Identical twin duo The Lijadu Sisters are also heard on ‘Come On Home’.

Heading up the modern movers, Bibi Tanga’s music bridges the gap between France, where he now lives, and the suburbs of the Central African Republic, where he grew up. Sofrito producers Frankie Francis and DJ Simbad remix Victor Uwaifo’s classic sounds on ‘Ohue’.

The bonus disc is a one-off re-issue of Soul On Fire by Maloko. Hear the works of Wilson Pickett, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and James Brown as they have never sounded before – soukous style!