Nearly 50 years ago, Fela Kuti and Tony Allen opened the West's ears to the riches of Nigerian music, and today we're still unpacking vast warehouses of sonic treasures from that African nation. The fecund '70s and '80s have yielded several compilations' worth of Afrobeat, funk-rock, disco, and other club-friendly sounds, as anyone who's visited a record store or online vendor in the last decade realizes. Making sense of a wonderful fraction of this trove - and some zones hitherto unearthed - is Swedish record collector Leolyxxx.
Sifting through mountains of wax procured from a Nigerian street buyer, Leolyxxx has woven an 81-minute joyride on Plastic Inners. The records spun here no doubt would severely deplete your bank account were you bold enough to purchase them, but our wily Swedish selector has gone the extra kilometer to score rarities that reveal Nigerian music's stylistic diversity and quality. The mix features with uptempo euphoria-bringers that would make Fela proud; winsome, warped disco, and extraordinary examples of spacey funk. A significant slice of Plastic Inners examines mellow, sensuous facets of Nigerian music that tend to go overlooked in the deluge of more rhythm-oriented collections, including some chiming and chugging, slow-motion highlife and mood-elevating R&B. Some of these songs might be the closest African musicians ever have come to yacht rock - but, you know, the sublime kind... more Donnie & Joe Emerson than Toto.
Throughout Plastic Inners, Leolyxxx unspools a unique narrative that illuminates the golden mean between sumptuous bump-and-grind and laid-back buoyancy.
Side A - Untitled (38:59)
Side B - Untitled (42:05)
22 July 2017