Commissioned for Fela Day in Amsterdam Paradiso Noord, Raul Monsalve y Los Forajidos celebrates the legacy of the father of Afrobeat, Fela Anikolapu Kuti, with this new 10’’ vinyl on Super Sonic Jazz Records, where Nigerians rhythms travel the Atlantic ocean to meet Venezuelan Calipso , sangueos, and more.
First in Venezuela, Monsalve played with a number of bands before forming the first incarnation of his Forajidos band. A move to Paris, via London, led to opportunities to share stages with a vast array of musical giants, not least of all the legendary Nigerian saxophonist Orlando Julius, as well as the Heliocentrics, Venezuelan master percussionist Orlando Poleo and members of Fela Kuti’s legendary bands, Afrika 70 and Egypt 80.
“Calipso Time” is none other than a cover of Fela’s Koola Lobitos’ “Highlife Time. Taking the original track to the region of El Callao in Venezuela, where the population from Trinidad & Tobago and other islands in the Caribbean settled themselves at the end of the 19th century when they started to work in mineral exploitation. As a result, this region of Venezuela has a particular language, mixing English and Spanish elements, and of course the celebration of the Carnival and the birth of Venezuelan calipso .
Side B brings the Afrobeat madness of “Deo e’ Mono”, the very first track Monsalve did for the project back in the day. As Raul says “I just took the opportunity to celebrate Fela’s anniversary by recording this track as I dreamed it should sound when I was starting the project, learning Afrobeat only through records” . For this Monsalve called Chief Uduh Essiet, the original percussionist of the Egypt 80 and with the Forajidos’ Mario Orsinet on drums the rhythm section was without doubt cooking immediately. As on their last record, “Bichos” on Olindo Records, these two tracks are full of psychedelia, rough electronics, powerful vocals and tons of traditional Venezuelan percussion.
Raul Monsalve - bass, guitar, percussion
Lya Bonilla - vocals
Edgar Bonilla- keys, FX
Nando Guerrero - guitar
Julien Matrot - trumpet
Andres Vela- tenor sax
Christine Roch- barytone sax
Yves Prudhomme- cumaco, campanas
Chief Udoh Essiet - congas
Dionis Bahamonde- bumbac
Mario Orsinet - drums