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(African Record Related) Bunzu Soundz (Makossa lbl)

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  • (African Record Related) Bunzu Soundz (Makossa lbl)


    does someone have more information or know the whole story behind the "Bunzu Soundz" album on the famous (& for me still mysterious) N.Y. based Makossa label?

    here's what i can share so far, not sure if all is 100% correct:

    the band came from Ghana. the album was recorded 1974 in nigeria originally! John Collins composed some (all?) of the tunes, Fela Kuti helped with the production, Emmanuel Odenusi on the controls giving it its final heavy treatment!

    John Collins recorded his 2 "famous" afrobeat tunes (Onukpa Shwarpo & Yea Yea Ku Yea) at the same time/place with some of the band members (and others)... these 2 recordings found their way on the "Bunzu Soundz" album (here entitled as: Makola Special & Volta Suite)! released 1976 on the N.Y. based Makossa label w/o his permission, he's not even credited! (-> he re-recorded the tunes and released "Onukpa Shwarpo" on his own label in 1978 along with 3 other brilliant hilifes on a 4-track 7inch ep in ghana)

    must say i was looking for the Bunzu LP since quite some years, not intensively, just from time to time but i've never came across any information, even google only offers 2 (dead-ending) results if spelled right: "soundz" not "sounds" ... the latter, mis-spelled search leads 99% to the "worlds psychedelic classics 3" compilation.

    quite strange for a record on such famous N.Y. label (which is loved by collectors of many different genres) and the music is damn nice, one of the better/best afro releases on the label (imo), very unique sounding! mix of highlife, touches of rock/psych/funk and an overall raw & tight sound, heavy bass...

    i already asked some people in the US who are into african sounds, quite some never came across a copy and lots never even heard (of) it!

    was this a "legal" or rather shady Makossa release (the whole album)?
    did it get a local african release aswell?
    is this more of a "common" record in N.Y.?

    feeling wise i'd answer all questions with "no" but then i know nothing!

    the inclusion of the 2 non-licensed tunes by the famous/important ghanian musician John Collins could be a reason that it didn't get that much promotion... who knows?

    thanks for reading and thanks to for any help leading to another jigsaw piece!

    best wishes, rainer

    check our site for free sounds from all over the world! peace

  • #2
    Try this

    Rainer, can't be of much help with your query I'm afraid, but why not try posting on the forums at
    I'm sure there will be someone on there who can help you out.

    Love the mixes on your site, btw!/obrftokyo

    Formerly, lecturer at the University of Rome, with two commas and a full stop in the normal way.