1970s: V/A - Afro-Rock Vol. 1

Strut has a habit of re-releasing excellent compilations, and Afro-Rock Vol. 1 is no exception. Originally released on Kona in 2001, nine years later the collection still comes as close to perfectly presenting a panoply of afro-rock as is necessary. From jazz-inflected big band rockers to groove-heavy soul influenced dance tunes, Afro-Rock Vol. 1 trots through the gamut like so many dikdik and puku.

Whereas the Nigeria 70 compilation focuses more on documenting the Nigerian scene’s influence on the larger world of afrobeat, Afro-Rock acts as a smaller, rarer, and farther ranging collection. Fela Kuti is not present; rather, we get to check out some lesser known names like Dackin Dacking (whose super-smoking track “Yuda” is this author’s current favorite on the album) and Super Mambo 69. Or perhaps your taste is more akin to The Mercury Dance Band track, which features some colonial dance band touches that tie into African roots music more often associated with calypso or highlife.

Purchase the CD and allow yourself to learn a thing or two from the excellent liner notes. The compilation is an excellent introduction to what could become a lifelong obsession: unearthing rare afro-rock gems. Geraldo Pino, the “Nigerian James Brown” (pictured above), lays it down in a succinct fashion: “it’s really really heavy.”



There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

Most Read