The Mod Eclectic blog

A running review of local artists, modern pop music and culture from Capital Public Radio.


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2014’s Top Five Vintage World Music CDs


Various Artists – More Jammy’s From the Roots (VP)

Jamaican record producer King Jammy led the island’s switch from live drum and bass to digital “computer rhythms” in the mid 1980s. This compilation showcases some of Jammy’s finest ‘80s productions featuring a myriad of reggae singers including: Horace Andy, Dennis Brown and Barry Brown. Among the highlights is a fierce track from The Wailing Souls titled “Spread Propaganda” and Youth Man’s “Mr. Boss Man” on the timeless “Stalag” rhythm.

Les Ambassadeurs – Les Ambassadeurs Du Motel De Bamako (Sterns Africa)

Les Ambassaduers were Mali’s premiere band in the late ‘70s. Lead singer Salif Këita soaring voice and Ousmane Kouyate’s shimmering guitar brought together both traditional and contemporary (salsa, jazz, rock) elements and helped make Les Ambassaduers West Africa’s top group. This compilation contains the first ever release of two recordings from the vaults.

Various Artists – The Afrosound of Colombia Vol. 2 (Vampisoul)

Tropical grooves from Colombia – music with: throbbing percussion; blistering horns and funky rhythms that folks in Medellín and Bogotá were dancing to in the 1960s and ‘70s. Sure to get your party started if you’re throwing a New Year’s Eve bash.  

Verckys et l’Orchestre Vévé – Congolese Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978 (Analog Africa)

If you’re into funky African music from the 1970s, this one’s for you. “Verckys” is Georges Mateta Kiamuangana, a multi-instrumentalist who formed his band Orchestre Vévé in the late ‘60s. The group mixed the funk of James Brown with modern Congolese rumba. The Godfather himself dubbed Verckys “Mister Dynamite” after seeing him perform in Kinshasa in 1974. These mid ‘70s tracks were recorded in Nairobi for the Kenyan market.    

Various Artists – New Orleans Soul: The Original Sound of New Orleans Soul 1960-1976 (Soul Jazz)

World-renowned as the home of jazz and funk, New Orleans' soul side is spotlighted on this set chock full of killers, including rare tracks from Eddie Bo, Jean Knight and Francine King. Many of these cuts were produced by the legendary songwriter and arranger Allen Toussaint. From Ernie K-Doe’s bubbly “Backstreet Lover” to the balladry of Inell Young’s “I’ve Never Considered” this compilation covers the full breadth of Big Easy soul.  

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