When it comes to African disco written during its incredible zenith in the seventies, you needn’t look any further than mastermind Joni Haastrup. The son of a Yoruban king, Haastrup grew up among Nigerian royalty and made his name on the dance floors of his adopted country. While he’s often overlooked nowadays in favour of bigger names such as Fela Kuti and Orlando Julius, in the seventies he was known as ’soul brother number one’, and made an incredible contribution to afrobeat, highlife and African disco. Nothing typifies his incredibly funky sound better than the single ‘Greetings’ from his LP ‘Wake up Your Mind’. The song begins with Haastrup’s cries panning around the listener before his band kicks in with the song’s incredibly groovy bassline and funky rhythm. Haastrup’s powerful vocals hit the listener over the backing, and the sax solo midway through the song is simply irresistible. Surely one of the greatest examples of African disco ever recorded.
An absolutely beastly tune by Voilaaa on Favorite Recordings. A blissfuly funky rendition of The Police’s Every Breath You Take, this one does the business every time. Think wakah-chikah guitars, sultry backing vocals and heavy trumpet action. The saxophone solo in the middle is absolute class as well.
Favorite Recordings have just released an EP with a remix of this by Africaine 808, as well as Voilaaa’s On te l’avait dit, remixed by none other Dimitri From Paris. Check it out: