Various

African music junkies take note: here’s a strain that could become your new fix. This double-disc alludes to highlife’s origins, from sources as diverse as church music, African song forms and military brass bands, right up to its nightclub heyday. Vampisoul’s crate-diggers managed to find master tapes in Lagos, along with Euro and U.S. catalogue material. Some names will be familiar to long-time highlife fans — Opotopo, Rex Lawson and Dr. Victor Olaiya, all of whom contribute multiple tracks. Standouts like Lawson’s "Numfiye” capture the sizzling, proper dance floors of the era with its throbbing, happy horns and joyful chanting. Unfortunately, the bass takes more effort to hear, which goes for other tracks here as well — coupled with the already mostly mild tempo selections, this detracts from the dance floor nostalgia Vampisoul’s collectors have worked so hard to document. As well, Opotopo’s "Etuk Owo,” while psychedelic, dynamic and fresh, drags a fair bit. But for those seeking highlife insights and vintage sound origins, this is a worthwhile pick, especially with complete track-by-track liner notes and history.