Taking notes from terrific reissue labels like Numero Group and Soul Jazz, Analog Africa has focused exclusively on releases from the musically rich depths of Africa. On their latest compilation, Pop Makossa, the German label focuses on a microcosm of dance music, showcasing sounds coming out of Cameroon during the worldwide disco and funk era.
Featuring a dozen tracks, the stories behind the artists involved come off just as captivating as the music included. Tracks like "Yaoundé Girls" by Mystic Djim & the Spirits, "Mussoliki" by Bernard Ntone and Dream Stars' titular "Pop Makossa Invasion" blend the 1950s makossa style of Cameroon beat-heavy urban music with electric guitar and bass, while Bill Loko's "Nen Lambo" and "M'ongele M'am" by Eko by break out dance-y synthesizers and Nkodo Si-Tony's "Mininga Meyong Mese" and Pat Ndoye's "More Love" freely incorporate classic horn-heavy Afrobeat influences.
Although the compilation only runs at a short 66 minutes, it's the pure quality of music involved, paired with the gorgeously laid-out extensive 44-page booklet included (filled with photos and obsessively researched liner notes), that makes Pop Makossa a must-have for fans of African music and disco purists. (Analog Africa)