We Got Sound: An Afro-Funkified Mix

we got sound

One of the year’s most formidable mixes came in March and I’ve lagged on coverage, partially due to a frenzied dayjob and partially due to the denseness of the mix itself– it’s a lot to take in. A home brewed project spearheaded by Nerdtorious regular Allen ‘Overflo’ Johnson and Taran Escobar-Ausman of Fatheadphones.com, We Got Sound features rare African songs outside of the typical ‘High Life’ fare or ubiquitous Fela nods.

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These are some serious records you can’t hear anywhere else compiled, dusted-off, and blended together in seamless fashion in all its crackly glory. In short: essential listening. I shoulder-tapped Taran to expound a bit on the mix and some of the artists that went into it. Here’s what he came up with. – DM


Effi Duke & The Love Family “Time Has Come”
Album: Mr. Love [1980]

This hypnotic, jazz influenced head-nodder is definitely one of the centerpieces of the mix, and it guided the feeling, theme, and tempo of the whole project. It immediately grabs your attention with Effi’s octave guitar workout over the echoed clap (which actually sounds like the scraping of guitar strings with wah-wah and echo) on the backbeat. Once the funky turn-around riff plays, there’s no turning back.

Charles Effiom Duke was a man on the scene, being a hired hand and contributor to a slew of bands, including the Funkees, Wings, Original Wings, Dan Ian, Kingsley Burstic Bassey, and Etubom Rex Williams, to name a few. At the same time, he was a founding member of the Ceejebs, an afro-rock band from Calabar. Eventually, the Ceejebs disbanded in the mid-70s, after which Duke formed his own band, Love Band/Love Family, which recorded two albums, including Mr. Love. Duke gets credits for guitar, bass, vocals, composer, engineer, and producer. In other words, he has the skills to pay the bills!


The Elcados “Funky Music”
Album: Whatever You Need [1979]

The Elcados started out as the Moonrakers, the resident band at the Moulin Rouge Club in the Nigerian city of Kano, in 1966. After a management change, the Moonrakers left the club and changed their name to the Elcados, recording two LPs for EMI in the mid 70s. The song Funky Music, however, comes from their third album, Whatever You Need, which was more of a reunion album, with one member not returning.

This song gave the mix its name with its refrain, “We got rhythm, we got sound. You’re going to dig it, we got sound.” Sound they have indeed, as they lock into a funk/disco groove that doesn’t let up, declaring their sound credentials to everyone on the dance floor. The Elcados’ previous records were more rock oriented, but with this late 70s ‘reunion’ release the beats get tighter and mixed with Disco/Reggae influences, which was becoming popular in the region. My 3-year old asks for this one on repeat. (Props to ‘oreje’ scholar, Uchenna!) -Taran Escobar-Ausman, Fatheadphones.com


Rap Beautician, Facts You Listen

Man, it’s been way too long since we’ve heard from one of our favorites, Edan. Last time we spoke was following the release of his wildly entertaining Echo Party. What followed were singles, guest spots, and these equally thorough, offbeat, off-the-cuff home mixes dubbed “Radio Shows”. Here’s the latest one, a live mix of records, washes of echo, and on the spot cuts. We’re stoked on the announcement of a new Rap EP due out in 2014, as is a Rock EP. Looking forward!