The fifth release on Canopy continues to up the ante and expand on the tropical Techni-colour palette already set out by the label.
Alafia was a studio project from the mid 80s in Paris. Masterminded and written by musical maverick Phil Han Mandounou and bringing together musicians from Benin, Cameroon and the French Antilles. The project is a superbly orchestrated and expertly delivered exploration of funk and afro off-beats with 80s synth leanings. Precise musicianship and forward leaning afro synth funk wizardry. Dextrous, extrovert, playful and masterful.
A1. Alafia – Assanssan (Original Mix) (33rpm)
Uplifting vocals are set against shimmering guitars and punctuated by triumphant horns. Growling and bouncing synth bass is underpinned by tight digital drums. Assanssan defies categorisation while encapsulating many vibrant genres and motifs. “A proper mind melting hybrid tropical beast of a tune”!
“Assanssan” refers to a type of quilted fabric popular in West Africa and is a metaphor for togetherness and blending cultures harmoniously. “
Assanssan hé hé hé, come and sing along, Assanssan hé hé hé, come and dance along.”
A2. Alafia – Assiove (Original Mix) (33rpm)
A powerful afro funk groove built around punchy off-beat digital drums and tightly syncopated guitar and bass-lines, augmented by searing synth arrangements and positive vocal passages. Assiove is a highly successful fusion of western and African influences.
B1. Alafia – Assanssan (Bosq Remix) (45rpm)
Bosq, the man with Midas touch, takes Assanssan and pours gasoline on the already raging flames, setting the whole funky situation alight! Swapping out the bass groove for an insistent and pulsing funk, he switches the track into overdrive while the original passages shine sublimely under his benediction.
- A1. Assanssan Alafia 1:04
- A2. Assanssan (Bosq Remix) Alafia 1:20
- B. Assiove Alafia 1:11