Top-5: Charlie McCann


Charlie McCann run a party with Fergus Clark and David Barbarossa called “loosen up!”, event in pub basement on Glasgow’s southside focused on all sorts of global grooves from leftfield US disco stuff and South African boogie to lovers rock and dub disco.

Weapon Of Peace – If / Misty Rhodes 12″ [1981, Fontana]
Discogs / Youtube
Lovers / slow motion jazz funk produced by the mighty Denis Bovell. Weapon Of Peace are an English reggae act who were tipped for big things of the UB40 & Aswad variety until things went south for whatever reason. I found this one when I was in my early twenties and being the supercilious wee prick I was back then I couldn’t quite handle just how sweet it is. Probably because of all the sax. However, it remained while other more “serious” & dark things were swapped, sold and given away, so I must have known somewhere in the depths of my cynical, blackened heart that this was something that I just had to grow up a bit more to fully appreciate.


Khodjo Aquai – Wodo Yi Ye Cdc LP [?, ?]
No Discogs / Youtube
Classy electronic highlife with a somewhat less that classy sleeve! I think this is his first actual LP but Kojo studied European classical music and arranged a number of film scores, applying techniques such as counterpoint to highlife while also banging out the boogie. There’s a couple of highlights on the LP but the title track “Wodc Ye Yi Cdc” gets a special mention for its eleven minutes of sinewy, tumbling, joy-rhythm that oils the hips and warms the arses of partiers. It’s a pretty heady mix of echoing voices and shimmering Balearic-ish flutes over a mid tempo highlife groove. I once had an extremely drunk girl shout at me about how it was the happiest thing she’d ever heard from across a busy pub (I’m almost certain that’s what she was shouting, anyway).  This sound is all the rage in certain small corners of the globe at the moment, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon so I can pretend to myself that I’m still down with… someone in France? 


Kallaloo – Star Child 12″ [1978, IDA Records]
Discogs / Youtube
Kallaloo “Star Child” – I can’t think of anything much to say about this one really, other than that I’ve been playing it a lot again recently. I think I picked it up when I lived in London. It’s a New York / Trinidadian Age of Aquarius-vibeing love-tangle-disco track produced by Jeffrey Turpin. Storming prime-time cut in which the bass sounds like psychedelic mercury spillage, the divas wail and outer galaxy hot loving’ synth bending abounds! 


Ismail & Sixu Toure – Mandinka Dong LP [1979, Disques Espérance]
Discogs / Youtube
I heard a track from this record on the first volume of DJ Gioumanne’s excellent Afro Cosmic mix series, which I found while wasting precious wage hours at work googling song names and following clues. It’s just very recently come home to rest in my loving bosom. Like all men living on the edge of irrelevance I’m ambivalent about the internet’s role in music commerce, so I reserve the right to bore youthmen with tales of the “good old days” while some soup dries disgustingly in my beard. That said, I’m not so curmudgeonly as to deny the joy of stumbling upon incredible music and meeting some thoroughly good eggs during my on line flaneurings. Anyhow, after this, their debut recording, Ismail and Sixu Toure went on to form Toure Kunda with a couple more of their brothers. This LP is a typical mixture of styles but there are a couple of truly outstanding tracks on here- “Utammada” will take the paint off the disco walls, no doubt, but I plumb for “N’Yo”‘s 130bpm heatstroke melancholia every time.


Osayomore Joseph – Ororo No De Fade LP [1983, Supremedisk]
Discogs / Youtube
Frank Gossner helped me out with a copy of this when we put him on in Glasgow last year after I was ripping his tights about how good it is and that I’d never seen one for sale. Despite Frank not be entirely convinced by the rather extreme levels of my proselytising, I maintain that the title track is a perfect groove; the percussion, the bass drops, the percussion, the late-arriving flute, the percussion. The rhythm is almost aggressively ebullient, which makes it strangely well suited to Scottish dance floors I think. Especially so when you consider the contrast between the music and lyrics of the song, which I’m led to believe is concerned with the continually stomach turning actions of British Imperial interests in Africa.  


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Texts & photos Charlie McCann