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Radio LBB: Roots XX



Adelphoi Music's Jonathan Watts returns, taking us on another eclectic journey of old, new, overlooked and lesser known tracks that have musical roots in Africa

Radio LBB: Roots XX

Now into its fifth year and the 20th edition, Adelphoi Music's Jonathan Watts presents Roots. For the uninitiated the Roots playlist showcases an eclectic range of music from across the globe of unfamiliar, forgotten, or recently discovered, to the most upfront sounds of now, all with the common theme of being rooted in Africa. Check out some of the highlights below this playlist. 

Ron Everett

Ron Everett’s private press masterpiece, Glitter in the City, remained the stuff of local legend in his native Philadelphia until a recent reissue by Jazzman Records. Spoken of in hushed tones by local collectors, but scattered across the world in a handful of copies pressed onto anonymous black wax in plain sleeves, its blend of funky, sweet and soulful jazz is finally available for us all to hear.

Mballa Bony

There’s little information to be found on Cameroonian funk guitarist and singer Mballa Bony. Despite a prolific slew of albums and singles, the majority of his discography is obscure in origin and hard to date except for his eponymous album Bonnie. B-side cut Mezik Me Mema, from an earlier 7 inch resurfaces on Analog Africa's various artists compilation Cameroonian garage funk.


Common’s album released last month Beautiful Revolution Part Two was created ‘with hope and inspiration in mind.’ Tapping into a long-standing tradition of optimistic futurism in black American music, Common tells us ‘the spirit of the album was meant to emulate what a great today would sound and feel like”. When We Move features The Roots’ Black Thought and saxophonist Seun Kuti, youngest son of Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.

Disco Vumbi

Disco Vumbi is an alias of Kenyan musician Alai K. Emerging from the 90s hip-hop collective Ukoo Flani, he’s gone on to release a handful of acclaimed EPs on the incredible Nyege Nyege Tapes, whose festival of the same name brings together the cutting edge of African experimental dance music each year, along with Slikback’s Hakuna Kulala imprint. The new album draws on Benga electro and the local stories of Alai’s native Magongo.

These are just some of the highlights in what I hope is an enjoyable musical journey that spans across continents, generations and genres…

A huge thanks goes out to labels such as Now Again, Light In The Attic, Numero Uno and Luv N’ Haight, Analog Africa, Music From Memory, Africa Seven, Far Out Recordings, Strut, Mr Bongo and Soundway, who continue to unearth some of the most unique and amazing music that may have otherwise never seen the light of day.

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Adelphoi Music, Tue, 21 Sep 2021 11:37:22 GMT