Nov 28, 2013

Rare Nigerian: Heads Funk Band & Akwassa

The heady funk of Akwassa is as infectious as it is rare. Actually, it is so potent that it couldn’t be contained within just one group:

The Akwassa band were born out of the groups The Founders (later to become the Foundars 15) and an obscure group called Red House. The duo of Felix Day (guitar, vocals) and Kevin Coburn (keyboards, synths, vocals)  are listed as the core of Akwassa, with guest musicians rounding out the ensemble. It turns out, however, that the duo and these guest musicians are in fact the group Heads Funk (or Headzfunk). Or, actually, all of them were both bands. The duo of Akwassa were signed to Afrodisia with the rest of the band listed as guest musicians, while Heads Funk were signed to EMI with the Day/Coburn duo listed as guest and the others front and center. Clever!


Under this system, Heads Funk recorded 3 albums and Akwassa recorded 2, La’ila (1975) and In the Groove (1977). Featured here are two tracks from In the Groove, a most apt title for music that conspires to keep your head nodding and your bell-bottoms swaying. As with other Afro-funk releases of the time, In the Groove showcases more than just straight funk numbers, but of course, it is the funk numbers that get my attention.


Everybody Is Getting On has got an Ohio Players-like groove, accentuated with wah-wah guitar and synth effects, with typical late 70s lyrics about everyone realizing their get-down partying credentials at the same glorious time for an euphoric booty shakin’ time on the dance floor!

Jam All Night takes this theme into the wee hours of the morning with an all out instrumental jam, a bedrock of afro-funk allowing ample room for synth experimentation and screaming guitar solos!

Price @ Heads Funks Band: Check out here!

Price @ Akwassa: Check out here!

For more info on Akwassa/Heads Funk and its individual members, check here.

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