Remi Kabaka Black Goddess

An acclaimed 1978 film by noted Nigerian director Ola Balogun, shot and cast in Brazil, Black Goddess tells the tale of an unlikely love affair between a young Nigerian on a quest to find an ancient family heirloom and an enraptured female cult member. Performed by some of Nigeria's top session players and out-of-print for way too long, Remi Kabaka's soundtrack is a rather murky slice of Afro-jazz that smartly sidesteps any clichéd temptations towards the exotic with a vibe drenched in experimentation. The funky-butt clavinet that graces opening track "Brothers and Sisters" wouldn't sound out of place in a porno film of the era, but before there's any chance of complacency, percussion, keys and saxophone quicken, resulting in an atmosphere of unnerving yet danceable funk. "Slave March" is the most overtly cinematic track, sonically conjuring up the horror of human bondage with a torpid bass line and serpentine percussion. As a reissue label, it seems that Soundway can do no wrong and Black Goddess is another unearthed gem deserving reappraisal. (Soundway)