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Various Artists

Africamore: The Afro-Funk Side of Italy 1973-1978 (2LP)

€34.00
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Continuing Four Flies' dedication to delving into lesser-explored periods of Italian music, Africamore takes us on a captivating journey into the intersection of Afro-funk and the Italian soundscape during the six years between 1973 and 1978 - a time when disco was looming on the horizon and the nightclub market was rapidly expanding. Before reaching Italian shores, the infectious sound originating from African and Afro-Caribbean roots traversed both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, landing on New York dancefloors, where DJ Dave Mancuso discovered "Soul Makossa" by Manu Dibango. In 1973, from Mancuso's Loft parties, the song's hypnotic groove spread to the rest of the globe, including in Italy, where it sparked a wave of imitations and variations. 

Tribal influences thus found their way into Italian soul-funk and early-disco productions released between 1973 and 1978 – from psychedelic-tinged tunes like Jean Paul & Angelique's "Africa Sound" to the Afrobeat-inspired club banger "Kumbayero" by composer/producer Albert Verrecchia (aka Weyman Corporation); and from groundbreaking Afro-cosmic songs like Chrisma's "Amore", co-written by Vangelis and featuring the rhythms of Ghanaian-British Afro-rock band Osibisa, to mind-blowing floor-fillers like Beryl Cunningham's "Why O", a re-write of Nat King Cole's "Calypso Blues" arranged by Paolo Ormi, with percussion breaks that sound pretty much like what would later become known as techno.

Combining feel-good vibes with driving rhythms, world-style percussion, and even synths, all these productions pushed the boundaries of dance music at a time when disco had not yet taken over. In doing so, they sowed many of the seeds of the later Italian cosmic scene and its unique mixture of African elements, disco-funk and electronic music. This was a brief but nuanced period in Italian music history, one that deserves to be rediscovered, with love.

Details
Cat. number: FLIES 65
Year: 2024

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