UK’s Soundway Records has been extremely active in 2011 for reissue and rarity releases. With a lot of content covering many continents of the world, each new release becomes a piece to a much larger puzzle than anyone could have imagined the label creating. Recently, the label took listeners to the Caribbean island of Trinidad circa 1976 with the much needed reissue of the extremely rare full length Ifetayo by the Black Truth Rhythm Band. Originally recorded in 1975 and with the band headed by Oluko Imo, Ifetayo is one of the rarest fusion albums from the Caribbean region to carry as much influence with calypso, soul, jazz and funk as it does with the afro-beat rhythms and ideologies of the same time. Steeped in a message of determination, social equality, freedom and a deep respect and love for life, this is a record that is as important for today’s political and social climate as it was when released in the United States in 1976.
Ifetayo by the Black Truth Rhythm Band has been prepared on high grade vinyl, CD and the various digital versions like all of the Soundway releases. The Black Truth Rhythm Band was officially formed in 1971 and it took the band 5 years to release their first and only record, Ifetayo. The album is full of beautifully orchestrated compositions, all that have very distinctive 70′s style organ, smooth and rich bass lines, perfectly placed guitar and flute sheets and group vocals that show how passionate these guys were. About halfway into the self titled track and opener of the song, you are knee deep in the world of Ifetayo. The fact that the Black Truth Rhythm Band retained so much African influence is somewhat of a mystery to the history books of their region and most West Indian bands. Trinidad was known for its cross emergence of native rhythms and harmonies along with carrying out an identity founded by James Brown in the United States.
The Caribbean region wasn’t even known for carrying albums of African descent, let alone housing bands with all of the musical ideas, instruments and clothes to fulfill that label. Out of Trinidad came a true enigma in every sense of what the word means. This enigma is of course the Black Truth Rhythm Band and they were a group of men willing to step out of the norm and fuse ideas untouched along side the honor and celebration of their roots. When I listen to Ifetayo, I feel this indescribable balance, where Africa meets the tropical and angelical region of the Caribbean. This isn’t the first time these regions have connected in history, and in the fusion scene it was only a matter of time before something like Ifetayo was created.
Soundway Records continues to out do themselves and Ifetayo is one of the most intriguing inclusions to their catalog. By the time you get to the second piece ‘You People’, and the albums first sign of english lyrics, you are heavily into the spiritual soul and afro-funk that will exists on the rest of the record. The percussion, organ and low riding bass provide the perfect vehicle for the lead singer to show how much soul Ifetayo is all about. When the organ stretches out and solo’s, you know that this isn’t just guys copying notes, but people who had caught the same bug that was going around the world from the funk and soul pioneers around them. My favorite piece on the album is ‘Umbala’. 8 minutes in length, the mid tempo groove and laid back vocals really solidify this record as vital to a dance floor as it is in your consciousness and way of living. The complex arrangements of melody that exists over the loop like grooves from the rhythm section is marvelous and keeps this record moving forward the entire ride.
If you are looking for something different and want to groove in the process, this record is for you. For fans of the vinyl format, the label has pressed a special 7″ record that accompanies the full length vinyl format. Like most of their special releases and vinyl, this will sale out quickly.
- You People
- Save D Musician
- Imo (Bonus track on the CD & LP versions)
Order the LP or CD HERE
One of the newest releases from Sound Way Records, this one focuses on Afro Colombian music! Incredible set, don’t miss out on anything from this label.
Palenque Palenque! Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia 1975-1991
Boasting twenty one pulsating tracks drawn from the northern coasts of Colombia, ‘Palenque Palenque!’ reveals a unique and fascinating story of how Afro Colombian music developed from the 1970s onwards and how the local sound-systems in Cartagena and Barranquilla played such an important role in shaping the sound of the Colombian champeta.
Co-compiled by Lucas Silva (resident of Bogota and owner of Palenque Records) and Soundway Records’ Miles Cleret, the album highlights the long relationship that the Caribbean coast of Colombia has with Africa stretching back to the 17th century. Specifically, the rise of the percussion heavy champeta sound, born out of a wave of popularity for psychedelic Afro, Latin & Caribbean music inspired by the DJs of the time.
The influence of the sound-systems spread to local artists as well as re-energising traditional African folk songs and rhythms that had survived since the days of slavery. Record labels recognized the major change in direction from the days when cumbia and porro ruled the hearts of the ghettoes and began employing bands that began experimenting and tapping into these new cultural and musical movements. Disco Fuentes were one of the first labels to recognize this sudden swing and duly signed Wganda Kenya who went onto record some of the first Afrobeat records in Colombia. The trend in recording African music continued at pace with labels like Machuca, Discos Tropical, Orbe & Costeño quickly adapting to the newly adopted sound of the Palenques and bands like Son Palenque, Cumbia Siglo XX and La Cumbia Moderna de Soledad went onto readapt Afrobeat rhythms with a Caribbean slant.
The vinyl version comes as a triple LP with two extra bonus tracks.
PRE-ORDER FROM THE SOUNDWAY STORE AND RECEIVE A FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD OF THE ALBUM
1. Manuel Alvarez y Sus Dangers – Esclavo Moderno
2. Casimbas Negras – Burumburumbum
3. Aberlado Carbono y su Conjunto – Palenque
4. Son Palenque – Tungalala (El Sapo)
5. Cumbia Sigo XX – Naga Pedale
6. Wganda Kenya – Pim Pom
7. Banda Los Hijos de La Niña Luz – Dejala Corre
8. Pedro Beltran – Puyalo Ahi
9. Grupo Palma Africana – Tetero
10. Aberlado Carbono y su Conjunto – Quiero a Mi Gente
11. Lisandro Meza – Shacalao
12. Son Palenque – Palenque Palenque
13. Aberlado Carbano – La Negra Kulende
14. La Tromba – Calaba Calabao
15. Los Soneros de Gamero – Katunga
16. Rabel Y su Grupo – Manaye
7. La Nelda Pina – El Sucusu
18. Wganda Kenya – El Lobo
19. Son Palenque – Dame Un Trago
20. Grupo Palma Africana – La Botellita
21. Wganda Kenya – Yoro
Vinyl Bonus Tracks
Cumbia Siglo XX – Los Esquelitos
Los Aguilas Rojas – Yeye Yeye