There’s diggin… And then there’s African diggin.
While most of us are content with days out to record fairs, charity shops, bazaars, and car boot sales, over the last 10 years a few lucky people have taken the art of beat diggin to the extreme by embarking on African odysseys.
Famous names here in Francis Falceto (Ethiopiques), Quinton Scott (Strutt), Duncan Brookes / Samy Ben Redjeb (Analog Africa), Greg Villanova (Oriki). All of whom have gone off to Africa to return with long lost music to lovingly re-issued to a worldwide audience. And better is the world for it!
However, if we are talking African beat diggers, then no list is complete without Miles Cleret, Soundway Records boss and compiler of ‘Ghana Soundz’ and ‘Afro Baby’. Its been a while since Cleret was last in the spotlight, but after a few years settling down as a family man, he’s back with a new compilation called ‘Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Nigerian Blues‘.
Surprisingly, unlike Soundway’s past releases, Nigeria Special is not aimed squarely at the dance-floor (although there are winners on it), but at a listener wishing to broaden their mind to the diversity of music coming out of Nigeria in the early 1970s. A connoisseur’s release, for those who grew up listening to funk fuelled re-issues of Fela Kuti, Peter King, and Blo, but now wish to sit down while listening.
Anyway, check it out, you won’t be disappointed. And just in case you are, never fear… Nigeria Special is to be followed by two more release mined from Cleret’s extensive catalogue:
So all you oldies into Nigeria Special can still have a jig or a bit of air guitar in secret.