May 11, 2010

Monomono - Dawn of awareness


"Dawn of Awareness" was released on Capitol Records in 1974 to little critical acclaim. Friday Jumbo, the leader of Monomono was a member of Fela's group before he joined forces with vocalist Joni Hasstrup and bassist Kenneth Okulolo to form Monomono. The opening track entitled "Awareness Is What You Need" really nails the Fela afro-beat sound while still creating it's own sound. "Ipade Aladun" is the longest track on here at just over eight minutes and it really cooks with soulful vocals laid over a bed of funky organs and keyboards. Lots of breaks and weird sound effects for the beat junkies on this track alone. At just under five minutes, "Tire Loma Da Nigbehin" is the epitome of Clift-notes for afro-beat with complex syncopated basslines, repetitive vocal refrains and incendiary organs.

Monomono's roots trace back to Fela Kuti's band: the leader of Monomono (which means "dawn of awareness" in Yoruba), Friday Jumbo, was originally a congeuro for Fela and left the band to join forces with vocalist Joni Haastrup (who would blossom into a legend) and bassist Kenneth Okulolo. From best I can tell, they put out several albums in the early/mid-1970s.



01. Plain Fighting 5:39
02. Ipade Aladun 8:05
03. Get Yourself Together 5:05
04. Awareness Is Wot You Need 6:17
05. Make Them (You) Realise 6:40
06. Tire Loma Da Negbehin 4:45

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