May 31, 2016

Heads Funk Band - Hard World

Hard World is the first of three albums released by Heads Funk Band and it's one of the most rare LPs coming from Nigeria. What we have here is a pure, well crafted Afro-Funk. Heads Funk Band is related to Akwassa, where both are two exceptional bands with the same members, but co-existed simultaneously featuring Felix Odey (Feladey) on guitar and Eddie Offeyi on drums. The original forming duo of Akwassa was Felix Day / Feladey (guitar, vocals) and Kevin Coburn (keyboards, synths, vocals), who collaborated with guest musicians, which later turned out to be the actual Heads Funk Band. Some rumours say all of them were in both bands and musically speaking we can hear a lot of similarities. Akwassa released two incredibly rare albums, while Heads Funk Band managed to release three LPs, of which Hard World is the most hard to find.


01. Hard World
02. Money Makes You Happy
03. Can You Do It
04. Jesus
05. Egbe Bere Ogo Bere (Live And Let Live)
06. Hot Punk
07. Got To Love

May 6, 2016

From Tanzania: Sunburst – Ave Africa

Strut is extremely proud to present a definitive collection of recordings from one of Tanzania’s most revered but short-lived bands of the 1970s, Sunburst. Covering their entire output from 1973 to 1976, this first retrospective features music from their 45 RPM singles “Moto Moto” and “TFC,” as well as their sole album, Ave Africa, and an unreleased radio session recorded in Tanzania in 1973.

Sunburst was formed in 1970 by Zairean guitarist Hembi Flory Kongo who recruited resident drummer Johnny “Rocks” Fernandes, bass player Bashir Idi Farhan and organist / vocalist Kassim Magati. They were soon joined by Zambian-born lead singer James Mpungo.

Having developing their sound via covers-heavy live performances and a string of early singles, Sunburst’s sole LP came out at a time when Zambia was enjoying a stream of releases by bands that would now be considered icons of Zamrock such as Witch, Ngozi Family, Musi-O-Tunya and The Blackfoot. The sleeve text described the Sunburst sound as “a fusion of the traditional sounds of Africa with Western Rock, spiced with a piece of the Caribbean” but the intricacies of the Kitoto Sound that Sunburst had crafted for years peaked on this recording. Band members born in six different countries were tapping into a multitude of influences, styles, languages and stories. “We try to compose songs that have a bearing to the situation we live in,” James Mpungo recounted at the time. “Our songs are songs that support freedom struggles, songs that encourage peasants and workers to work harder, songs in praise of our leaders. We also sing a lot of songs criticizing our people for allowing themselves to be too westernized and throwing away their traditional values. And above all, we preach love and happiness!”

Ave Africa: The Kitoto Sound Of East Africa 1973-1976 is the result of over three years of research by compilers DJ Thomas Gesthuizen and Dave Tinning and comes out 24th June on 2xCD, 2xLP (w. CD included) & digital formats. Stream the track “Simba Anguruma” below. Pre-orders are available here and now.
Strut Records


A1 Kitoto Sound
A2 Ukuti Ukuti
A3 Ba Motoka Na Castle
A4 Kamungulwe
A5 Your Day Will Come
A6 Ani Uni
B1 Wakulu Wa Kuno
B2 We Need Each Other
B3 Alhamdullilahi
B4 Ntambwa
B5 How Can I Get To You
B6 Ave Africa