The Funkees – Dancing Time: The Best Of Eastern Nigeria’s Afro Rock Exponents 1973-1977 (Soundway Records)


Nigerian rockers The Funkees churned out a series of 45s in the mid-’70s before migrating to the UK in hopes of a big breakthrough. Dancing Time collects eighteen songs from those Nigerian singles, as well as the best songs from their two UK albums. The promo copy I received didn’t have the full liner notes so I can’t tell you when/where each song comes from but I would assume that the UK-era songs are the ones sung in English. Regardless of language, there are some constants in the Funkees’ sound: repetitive grooves that combine nimble American funk moves with African rhythms, long instrumental interludes with acid-rock guitar solos (tellingly, there is a song called “Acid Rock”), and an almost single-minded dedication to getting people moving on the dance-floor. Admittedly, I’m not well versed in African funk-rock so I can’t judge how The Funkees stack up against others in the genre. All I can tell you is that I like most of what I hear on Dancing Time, although the seventy-nine minute run-time and penchant for long instrumental jams can be exhausting.

Tracklisting:

1. Ole

2. Akpankoro

3. Onye Mmanya

4. Abraka

5. Point Of No Return

6. Akula Owu Onyeara

7. Acid Rock

8. Ogbu Achara

9. Slipping Into Darkness

10. Dancing Time

11. Baby I Need You

12. Break Through

13. Life

14. Mimbo

15. 303

16. Dancing In The Nude

17. Salem

18. Dance With Me

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