African Rhythms 1970-1982 is a triple-LP / double-CD compilation tracing the career of Plunky J. Branch’s Oneness of Juju across their many iterations. An expansion of an existing compilation dating from 2001, with liner notes by Chris Menist, the music within has been has been highly sought-after by rare groove collectors and DJs for years.
Vinyl Triple LP £24.99 STRUT233LP
3LP on Strut.
CD £12.99 STRUT233CD
2CD on Strut.
From the very first whistle the title track ‘African Rhythms’ delivers precisely what you’d hope it would - and that’s the ability to make your head move like it’s trying to gently detach from your shoulders. Oneness of Juju is an ever-changing collaborative project spearheaded by leader James “Plunky Nkabinde” Branch, and this time around he treats us to a compilation of Afrocentric rhythms drawn from a range of complementary styles.
From start to finish the selection is hugely funky and devastatingly jazzy (and of course, there’s some R&B in here too). Perhaps the most toe-tappingly tantalising offering in the early stages of ‘African Rhythms’ comes with ‘Sabi - Black Fire Mix’, a drum-laced, high-energy number which could go on forever and not become tiresome. The long-sought-after and often-sampled ‘Every Way But Loose’ will have you feeling like you’re living in a world designed by George Clinton.
Oneness of Juju also allow you opportunities to experience more traditionally-minded arrangements - the album's interludes and tracks like ‘Nairobi/ Chants’ remind you that this is all about Africa. However, it's not long before you’re smacked in the face with funk, jazz or something similar.
The album comes with great variety - it is a compilation after all - but each track ties in nicely to the next. ‘African Rhythms’ is a journey, a performance and quite frankly a really enjoyable time.
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- African Rhythms 1970-1982 by Oneness of Juju
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