BBE Music are proud to reissue one of the most elusive and sought-after Afro-Funk LPs of all time: SON OF AFRICA, by REMI KABAKA.
Now a proud 85 years of age and enjoying retirement in America, Remi was the cornerstone of British West African music in the 50s, 60s and 70s, along with Ginger Oloronso Johnson, Fela Kuti and others. But while Ginger played mambo and cha cha cha in Soho clubland and Fela released his early ‘highlife jazz’ records on the Melodisc label, Remi Kabaka was fully ensconced in the UK Rock world, playing sessions and live shows with The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood and countless others.
As the 60s became the 70s, Kabaka developed yet another string to his bow: the development of a UK based West African Funk scene, that found its genesis in the legendary Osibisa, but with an influence and an inspiration that spilled over into every contemporary Brit Funk band from Cymande and the Equals to The Average White Band, Matata and beyond.
SON OF AFRICA was originally released by Chris Blackwell’s Island records in 1976, to little acclaim, very few reviews, and with almost no promotion. African music was a hard sell when the 70s Black British record market wanted reggae first and foremost, and with Bob Marley on the books, Island understandably had other priorities at the time. The record disappeared. Until it reappeared in the early 2000s, as a £700-plus collectors’ item.
It’s barely 30 minutes long. But every single minute is drenched with sinuous, spare funk: no spacey psych rock, no disco, no boogie, no over-the-top production: just 90-110 BPM grooves that go straight to the body.
So: whether you’re a turntablist, a hip hop sampler, or just an honest-to-goodness African Funk lover, catch this limited reissue (with full, updated liner notes) while you can. There won’t be another chance.