Lagos Disco Inferno

Believe the Hype

WOW! This record and the dedication that has gone into making it happen is amazing. In doing a little research for this release, I’ve found one of the best things on the web! Check out the VOODOO FUNK blog. The info, pics and love here is hard to beat.

From the press release:

Compiled by Frank Gossner of, this record contains 12 tracks that represent the sound of Lagos in the late 1970s.

Dean Disi (Music Journalist and formerly Director of Lagos based label TYC Records) wrote the liner notes for this album: “It was the era of sheer ecstasy. The music not only represents the vibrancy of youthful expressionism of the time but is also deeply rooted in African rhythm though not traditional in phraseology… This collection of songs marks the development of Nigerian urban pop culture… There was diametric difference in the music of the discos and the music play by the groups. Disco music as played by the DJs was essentially western. The fans could connect with this easily. It was hip, urban and stimulating. The young Nigerian groups were hooked on it and tried to play it but with a distinctive African stamp of their own.”

Some of the artists on this record were stars of their times while others remained in obscurity.

And here is what makes Nigerian Disco so special:

Lagos by the 1970s was a huge metropolitan city. Due to the oil boom, there was money to be made with music and nightlife and big international record labels like EMI, Decca and Philips had set up their recording studios that for a big part got equipped with vintage hardware handed down from their European franchises. So as the sound of the late 70s and early 80s in Europe and in the US got more and more modern and from todays point of view just plain shitty, overloaded with ugly sounding Roland keyboards, the sound of Lagos was dominated by powerful horn sections, heavy drums and percussion instruments. There’s plenty of early Moog synthesizers but no synth-generated strings or fake horns.

EMI’s house producer Emmanuel Odenusi had worked with Fela for many years, defining the sound of Afrobeat. Kayode Salami who produced another couple of tracks on this album also was responsible for the incredible sound of the famous debut LP by Psych-Rock group Ofege.

Lagos, a uniquely vibrant, gritty, energetic and sometimes quite dangerous tropical metropolis has always been much more than just a city. A state of mind where third world poverty met the oil boom, where African traditions clashed with Western decadence.

Make no mistake, this stuff will have you dance in a feverish rush in no time.

Side 1: DORIS EBONG – Boogie Trip 5:28  GEALDO PINO – African Hustle 5:25  GROTTO – Bad City Girl 5:34

Side 2:  POGO LTD. – Don’t Put Me Down 4:37  ASIKO ROCK GROUP – Everybody Get Down 8:17  PARADISE STARS – Boogie Train 5:31

Side 3:  DORGU – Rover Man 4:37 MFB – Boredom Pain 5:06  ESSIEN – Take Life Easy 4:14  TIROGO – Dancing Machine 4:03

Side 4:  BLO – Root 3:24  NANA LOVE – Hang On 14:45

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