The noteworthy reissue label dishes up another foot-shaking classic-in-the-making.
In 2009, Analog Africa’s founder Samy Ben Redjeb travelled to Cameroon and returned with enough music to document a shapeshifting era in the country’s popular music landscape.
Pop Makossa – The Invasive Dance Beat of Cameroon 1976–1984 collects feverish funk and disco belters that “plugged Cameroon’s traditional makossa style into the modern world,” held together by a beat that has its origins in a funeral dance.
Out June 16, the 12-track compilation comprises tracks from the likes of teenage prodigy Bill Loko – whose monster hit ‘Nen Lambo’ you can hear below – producer Mystic Djim and Dream Stars’ jewel-in-the-crown, ‘Pop Makossa Invasion’. See the full tracklist below.
Framed by an incredible cover image that depicts a figure wearing a traditional mask in the midst of a modern Cameroonian city, Pop Makossa follows last year’s superb Space Echo compilation and is set to be another coveted release from the ever-reliable imprint.
An explosive compilation highlighting the era when funk and disco sounds began to infiltrate Cameroon's Makossa style. The beat that holds everything together originate's from the Sawa people's rhythms. When these rhythms collided with merengue, high-life, Congolese rumba, and, later, funk and disco, modern Makossa was born. Makossa, the beat that long before football, managed to unify the whole of Cameroon. Some of the greatest Makossa hits incorporated the electrifying guitars and tight grooves of funk, while others were laced with cosmic synth flourishes.
However, most of this music's vibe came down to the bass, and 'Pop Makossa' demonstrates why many Cameroonian bass players are among the most revered in the world.
Double LP version. Gatefold sleeve with 20-page booklet; 140 gram vinyl. The Pop Makossa adventure started in 2009, when Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb first travelled to Cameroon to make an initial assessment of the country's musical situation. He returned with enough tracks for an explosive compilation highlighting the period when funk and disco sounds began to infiltrate the makossa style popular throughout Cameroon. From the very beginning, there were several mysteries hanging over Pop Makossa. It was not until DJ and music producer Déni Shain was dispatched to Cameroon to finalize the project, license the songs, scan photographs, and interview the artists that some of the biggest question marks began to disappear. His journey from the port city of Douala to the capital of Yaoundé brought him in contact with the lives and stories of many of the musicians who had shaped the sound of Cameroon's dance music in its most fertile decade. The beat that holds everything together has its origins in the rhythms of the Sawa people: ambassey, bolobo, assiko and essewé, a traditional funeral dance. But it wasn't until these rhythms arrived in the cities of Cameroon and collided with merengue, high-life, Congolese rumba, and, later, funk and disco, that modern makossa was born. Makossa managed to unify the whole of Cameroon, and it was successful in part because it was so adaptable. Some of the greatest makossa hits incorporated the electrifying guitars and tight grooves of funk, while others were laced with cosmic flourishes made possible by the advent of the synthesizer. However much came down to the bass; and from the rubbery hustle underpinning Mystic Djim's "Yaoundé Girls" to the luminous liquid disco lines which propel Pasteur Lappé's "Sekele Movement", Pop Makossa demonstrates why Cameroonian bass players are some of the most revered in the world. "Pop Makossa Invasion", an obscure tune recorded for Radio Buea makes its debut here and joins the pantheon of extraordinary songs that plugged Cameroon's makossa style into the modern world. Also features: Dream Stars, Mystic Djim & The Spirits, Bill Loko, Eko, Olinga Gaston, Emmanuel Kahe et Jeanette Kemogne, Nkodo Si-Tony, Bernard Ntone, Pat' Ndoye, and Clément Djimogne.
02. Mystic Djim & The Spirits – ‘Yaoundé Girls’
03. Bill Loko – ‘Nen Lambo’
04. Pasteur Lappé – ‘Sanaga Calypso’
05. Eko – ‘M’ongele M’am’
06. Olinga Gaston – ‘Ngon Engap’
07. Emmanuel Kahe et Jeanette Kemogne – ‘Ye Medjuie’
08. Nkodo Si-Tony – ‘Mininga Meyong Mese’
09. Pasteur Lappé – ‘The Sekele Movement’
10. Bernard Ntone – ‘Mussoliki’
11. Pat’ Ndoye – ‘More Love’
12. Clément Djimogne – ‘Africa’