Feb 8, 2011

New Orlando Julius - Album by Voodoofunk

Original posted at Voodoofunk.blogspot.com


"Orlando Julius has been a well known name on the West African music scene all through the 1960s and 70s. His early work was recorded in the Philips studios under the strict supervision of their house producers who were putting an emphasis on a pleasant and swinging sound that was jugging along in a pleasant way, bridging big band highlife music with American soul.

In 1972 and 1973, Orlando Julius and his band The Afrosounders visited the legendary ARC Lagos studio of Ginger Baker and what OJ and the gang put to tape there was an entirely different beast: They recorded and album packed with unadulterated, funky Afrobeat of the heaviest caliber.

The soundtrack to the video above is a shortened version of "Aseni", recorded directly from my original vintage vinyl copy. Only a short edit of one out of six long and epic killer tunes which are all included on this record

For the first time, Orlando and the his band were able to really let loose and showcase their full power with an unfiltered impact. They laid down six epic tracks that from a Funk or Afrobeat perspective definitely count as Orlando's strongest work but it seemed that Philips were not too happy with this result. They completely botched the distribution of this record and while Orlando's earlier and later work has all been re-issued over the past years, sometimes multiple times and from various international labels, this, his best record has remained under the radar and virtually unknown to the worldwide community of African music lovers. This was until I was sitting in my friend Damian Iwuagwu's house in Lagos back in January of 2010, drinking a cold Star beer and enjoying the evening when he casually handed me this LP and asked "what about this one, I got this the other day and I don't think I've ever seen it before".

Now this record is re-released with its original artwork and extensive liner notes written by Orlando Julius himself, including loads of great vintage photographs.

Vinyl copies are being shipped to the retailers as I type this and the hard cover book bound CD version be sent out by the end of the month.


Words by Frank Gossner, Mr. Voodoofunk


When Nigerian afro beat comes to mind, the name that typically comes to mind is Fela Kuti. But for true enthusiasts of the genre, composer and band leader Orlando Julius is held in the same regard as his more famous colleague. By the mid-60s, Julius had already established himself as a bona fide star in Nigeria, becoming highly popular for his ability to marry traditional African rhythms with the bold arrangements and highly melodic sounds of American pop, soul, funk and R&B. Comes with a 11 X 11 inch booklet.

Orlando Julius and the Afro Sounders, recorded between 1970 and 1973 in Ginger Baker’s studio in Lagos, represents Julius working as a composer and producer with more creative freedom than his earlier recordings, recording 24 tracks with a close-knit group of musicians. The result is an album that stands as a testament to Julius’ genius, and one that sounds just as good as the day it was recorded. On this album, the audio is remastered from the original analog tapes!



1. Yio Si Da Miliki Beat
2. Afro Instrumental
3. Osika Ranti
4. Buje Buje
5. Aseni
6. Kete Kete Koro

... more information and reviews ASAP!

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