African Music Machine – 1972/74 – Black Water Gold

Session bassist Louis Villery formed African Music Machine in the 1970s as an eight-piece outfit of instrumental funk, which would gradually become the house band of the Jewel/Paula record label. Their distinct style of performance blended the classic sounds of deep funk music with their own New Orleans creole influences, and made its way onto singles and releases by Fontella Bass, Roscoe Robinson, Bobby Patterson, and many more. It was Patterson’s own subsidiary label Soul Power which released African Music Machine’s own singles from 1972 to 1974. These singles would provide a well of material for beatsmiths, and would later be compiled into a collection titled Black Water Gold. Highly recommended for the 70s-era James Brown maven in your life.

Tracks
A1 Black Water Gold (Pearl)2:59
A2 Mr. Brown 2:48
A3 A Girl In France 2:25
A4 The Dapp 2:40
B1 Never Name A Baby (Before It’s Born) 3:10
B2 Tropical 2:20
B3 Making Nassau Fruit Drink 2:26
B4 Camel Time 2:50

Incredible work from the obscure African Music Machine – a southern funk combo led by bassist Louis Villery – a legendary batch of funky singles, finally brought together as a full album! The band has a very unique sound that involves a lot of rolling bubbling basslines, spacey organ grooves, tight choppy guitar riffs, and punchy horn blasts – almost with the African elements promised in the title, but served up with a deeper funk sound all the way through! In a way, the group’s a bit like Cymande or some of the other 70s hybrid ensembles – yet they’ve got a lot less dub, a much more direct funky groove, and plety of raw southern elements in the mix as well! This is the funky 45 material we first cut our teeth on back in the day – and the original singles are legendary.

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