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Super Afro Soul

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Album Review

This Vampi Soul package contains the original Strut reissue of Orlando Julius & His Modern Aces 1966 debut album Super Afro Soul, plus four bonus cuts, which were all singles that preceded its release — indeed, demanded its release, as the people of Nigeria went wild for this blend of the highlife sound with soul. The first four singles, "Jagua Nana," "Topless," "Olufe," and "E Se Re Re," are all sounds that point the way to the album. The first has a much more juju-meets-jazz feel (and indeed it is the reason the track was included on the album as its final track). Its B-side, "Ijo Soul," touches on calypso and early James Brown-styled funk along with Stax-brewed dance-soul. The other three cuts move toward the interconnected rhythms and dance music feel of '60s Northern soul. Indeed, this magical brew with upstepping rhythms, tight, funky changes, and repetitive grooves with American soul and rhythm and blues melody and horn lines is no less than infectious today — just ask any of the DJs in the U.K. who began playing this stuff in the '90s.


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Few artists have been more crucial to the invention, development, and popularization of Afro-pop than Orlando Julius. Starting in the '60s, Julius was fusing traditional African sounds and rhythms with those of American pop, soul, and R&B. Aside from performing and recording in his native Nigeria, he spent many years in the United States working on collaborations with Lamont Dozier, the Crusaders, and Hugh Masekela. His 1966 effort, Super Afro Soul, made him a national celebrity in Nigeria and even...
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