Grooves & Samples is a weekly dive into old dusty crates of jazz, funk, soul and beyond.
Afrobeat music is some of the happiest and most infectious music on the planet. Fast paced percussive rhythms, funky horn and brass lines, and uplifting voices all comes together for monstrous dancefloor grooves that blend traditional african musicality with funk, soul, and jazz. The most well known artist is obviously the legendary Fela Kuti, but aside from Fela there were countless other magnificent African musicians during the 60s and 70s.
This week our feature will focus on a fellow Nigerian contemporary of Fela, Orlando Julius. Along with many other Afrobeat artists, his music has experienced somewhat of a renaissance due to the overwhelming demand for his records among crate diggers and vinyl enthusiasts. In the past few years Julius has had his music reissued by labels like Strut, Vampi Soul, Hot Casa, and Voodoo Funk. This has been great for a new generation of collectors and funk fiends to be able to experience an era of African music that influenced the evolution of music in Europe and North America.
Orlando Julius was very active within the scene in the 60s and 70s and made his first major impact with the 1966 album Super Afro Soul. He is a very well known and respected musician in his home country of Nigeria but only really began to receive global acclaim recently with the series of reissues. Many believe that his work had a significant impact on the development of soul music in America, and he himself spent a great deal of time in the United States working with artists like Lamont Dozier, Hugh Masakela, and The Crusaders.
If you get a chance to pick up any original vinyl pressing of his work do not hesitate! Until then, check out the sounds on the track “Jagua Nana” and go pick up a reissue from this African legend.