Best Stuff Day 7: Soundway compilations
I’m perfectly willing to admit that my appreciation of Afrobeat probably stems from some combination of Akron/Family, Paul Simon and the folk fest, all of which helped bring together the genre’s basics in a way that I could finally make sense of. Whatever did it, I’m glad for it, because it means I can appreciate the amazingness of the Afro- and Caribbean samplers that Soundway puts out on a regular basis.
This entry may be cheating slightly in the whole “things I found in 2010” project, because it was actually the 2009 Tumbele and Ghana Special compilations that first won me over. I’m including it because the releases in 2010 have been just as outstanding. With crate-digging skills that put the Nuggets comps to shame, Soundway has dug up rarities aplenty, with an ear for hypnotic grooves and frenetic energy — some of the guitar tones and keyboard sounds are just unreal. More than just the music though, the comps showcase the truly global nature of rock, spotlighting Nigerian psychedelia, Thai garage rock, Colombian Afro-tropical fusions and other regional rarities.
See also: Strut Records, which has put out its share of Afro-rock and Calypsoul records, plus Italian disco, forgotten post-punk and other awesomeness.