With 3 weeks until our Afro Disco at Hamemerschlagen Cafe in Dalston. One of our headliners John Gómez has agreed to share a few gems from his very deep bag of tricks. As he himself puts it: “I wanted to mix it up a bit with different types of music and without giving away too many secrets”. After giving these a listen we’re sure you’ll be as excited to hear some of those secrets as we are.
Ezy & Isaac – Let Your Body Move (Oba Balu Balu)
This sultry cosmic afro-disco from Italy has been a staple of the early part of my sets for some time now. It’s probably one of my most overplayed records; a tune I always come back to to take a night to the next level, to tease dancers onto the floor and mark the beginning of the dance.
Gnonnas Pedro – How Much Love Naturaly Coast
At a time when everyone has gone crazy for the lost electronic and boogie sounds of African townships, we seem to have forgotten how good good afrobeat can be. Gnonnas Pedro was a master of Cuban flavoured afro-latin music from Cotonou. This is a favourite of mine, heavy latin-tinged afrobeat with an intoxicating groove, spacey organ solo, and a charming need for a spell-check.
African Vibration – Hinde
I couldn’t make a current list without at least one electrified afro cut, and Hinde is just totally unique. This was a big hit in Kenya and was recorded by a commercial dance band, but it sounds unlike anything else. It’s an old giriama folk song transformed into an oddball electro jam, that sounds more like moody desert music than something born from the Kenyan coast.
Amadou Et Mariam – Bara (Joaquín’s Sacred Rhythm Dance)
Joe Claussell makes a spacious dancefloor bomb out of the Malian pop duo made up of a blind husband and wife Amadou and Mariam. This remix marks a sweet spot where ethereal Malian wonder meets chugging loft rhythms, and it will keep both your house-head-friends and your world-music-enthusiast relatives happy. It has the organic warmth of Claussell’s productions and – obviously – a touch of his over-the-top approach to afro-spirituality, but Mariam’s full voice and Amadou’s guitar quiver with feeling, bringing the whole thing back down to the earth where it belongs. It’s undeniably epic; a power song that always brings people to the dancefloor.
Houn Pierre De L’Orchestre Belier Andralex – Mansou Djouwi
I wanted to finish of with an uptempo afro-disco monster from the Ivory Coast. For me this is up there with the best Eko Roosevelt: the horns and vocals on this are tight and the bubbling bass-line and skittering drums lock down a no nonsense dancefloor groove. It’s big, funky, and thumps like a house tune, perfect to start a tropical excursion on the dancefloor.
Catch John along with Mr Bongo Soundsystem at Hammerschlagen Cafe on the 12th August. Final release tickets available here.