Saturday, September 01, 2007

New "Made In Nigeria" special on Boogieheads Radio!

obafunkie jR is a London-based DJ/record collector specializing in funk, "modern soul" and most especially (as the name would suggest) boogie music. Over the past several months I've greatly enjoyed checking out his online radio show/podcast (especially since I've been getting back in touch with my own boogie roots after many years of basically repudiating my sordid Eighties history).

Do I hear you ask, "But Uchenna, what nature of fish or fowl is this 'boogie music' of which you speak?"

No? I don't? Well, a couple of people have asked me this question lately, so I'll just go ahead and answer it here anyway.

"Boogie" is one of the names casually applied to the post-disco R&B that emerged in the late 1970s as the disco craze--already alienating black audiences with its deracinated take on funk, musical facelessness and campy excess--was succumbing to the massive backlash that would force it back into the underground. In boogie, the disco's frantic robot gallop was slowed down to more relaxed and organic bounce, usually anchored by sumptuous basslines (often with a dash of slap 'n' pop) and bristling chicken scratch guitar. Basically, think of something like, say, "Boogie Oogie Oogie"

and you're on the right track.

This style, which held sway until around the mid-80s when the machines took over completely, was occasionally also called "street music" or "roller-skating music"--as roller rinks started replacing discotheques as the primary centers for social engagement and dancing in black neighborhoods. In the UK, it was sometimes called "two-step" because (I assume) with its upbeat and downbeat groove, with two accented "on" beats beats per measure, it stood in marked contrast to disco's relentless "four on the floor." This is the sound that was hot when I first really started listening to the radio and actively digging music. In Nigeria, we mostly still called it "disco," though.

Speaking of Nigeria, obafunkie jR is also extremely knowledgable about the funk and boogie music that came out of that lively nation in the 1970s and 80s, and he just returned from from Lagos after a summer spent excavating precious nuggets of vintage vinyl. His latest show is part 3 of his ongoing "Made in Nigeria" series. (The last installment, dedicated to the "Soundz of the 80s" actually inspired a blog entry I wrote a few months ago but never posted... I think I'll put it up tomorrow.)

Check out the latest show at Boogieheads dot com and by all means, subscribe to his podcast, he plays some killer stuff.

(To check out the previous "Made in Nigeria" shows, click on "Guest dj Shows")

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