Mar 23, 2011

Orlando Julius and The Afro- Sounders


If you’re a Nigerian over the age of 25, then you probably know who Orlando Julius is. If you don’t, then your parents do. Orlando was and is a big deal in Nigeria and the neighboring countries. While his work is known to fellow West Africans, and diggers into West African music, he’s certainly not a household name globally. I’m glad to see his work get more spotlight. Frank Gossner of VoodooFunk fame is the brainchild behind this release. It’s the best Orlando Julius I’ve ever heard, and believe me, I’ve heard plenty. This was the music our parents played. Go pick this one up. The booklet, pictures and liner notes alone are worth it. Orlando himself wrote it. Forget the CD, get the LP for the full experience.

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


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.

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.

Traffic Entertainment Group, in partnership with Voodoo Funk, is proud to present Orlando Julius And The Afro Sounders in a new edition, with audio remastered from the original analog tapes and packaged in a hardback case book with extensive liner notes and vintage photography.


Frank Voodoo Funk is well known around digger circles for his deep crates, especially when it comes to rare African gems. This album from Orlando Juilius & The Afro Sounders is an excellent example of the high calibre recordings he's dealing with. This album was recorded back in 1973 and is impossible to find, even in Africa! Thankfully Voodoo Funk has lovingly reissued the LP from the only known remaining copy, that was found in an undisclosed location in South East Nigeria! The whole album is bursting with extra funky afro beat sounds from beginning to end. Drop the needle anywhere and be prepared to move to the lively groove. There are 6 tracks total, packaged with a booklet full of detailed liner notes and amazing vintage photographs. Recommended.


An uber-rare album from Orlando Julius & The Afro Sounders – recorded at Ginger Baker's studio in Lagos and originally (apparently quite scarcely) released by Philips in 1973 – wonderful stuff and on par with the excellent material the group recorded in the handful of previous years! The sound is terrific, still fresh and live sounding, but recorded with the best studio technology Julius had access to to date. The drums and percussion are prominent in the mix and so is the bass – with punchy, soulful brass, organs and passionate vocals. Wonderful! Tracks include "Yio Si Da Miliki Beat", "Afro Instrumental", "Osika Ranti", "Buje Buje", "Aseni" and "Kete Kete Koro". (CD version comes with a great hardcover book-like package that includes liner notes by Orlando Julius.)


01. Yio Si Da Miliki Beat
02. Afro Instrumental
03. Osika Ranti
04. Buje Buje
05. Aseni
06. Kete Kete Koro

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