Few people are onto great records as quickly as a great record store.
Phonica’s end of year lists are always a treasure trove for undersung gems, so we realised we ought to just give the shop’s learned staff their own slot on FACT. Every Saturday, the team behind the counter at the Soho institution select five vinyl records you should pick up this week.
Two tracks of cosmic boogie from Australian producer Harvey Sutherland, a session player and synth enthusiast who appeared on This Thing Records in 2013 with a somewhat cult hit leading to more releases on Echovolt and Voyage.
Ali New Biye (inc. Manasseh Dub)
Hailing from the Mersa tribe in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia, Hanna Mekonnen and her band deliver a blend of the traditional and modern, fusing tough basslines with hypnotic vocals, flute and krar, a local version of the lyre. The B side features collaborator Nick Manasseh working dub magic, stripping it all down for dancefloor pleasures. Limited to 500 copies.
Daa Nyinaa / Bome Nnwom
(Awesome Tapes From Africa)
12″ vinyl release of Ata Kak’s leftfield dancefloor anthem, recorded in his Toronto apartment in 1993 and brought to the world by Awesome Tapes From Africa. Remastered from one of the few remaining playable tapes in existence, this is a track that has journeyed far and wide in 20 years. It comes backed with the original release’s final song, the minimalist electronic instrumental ‘Bome Nwom’.
MARY AFI USUAH
Ekpenyong Abasi LP
Voodoo Funk re-issues a 1975 Nigerian album that blends highlife, Fela-inspired afrobeat and spaced out jazz. The funk can be heard loud and clear throughout as Mary Affiong Usuah leads an outstanding band that includes Daniel ‘Satch’ Asuquo. Beautiful packaging and notes by Uchenna from Comb & Razor.
Tangible Sound inaugurates its label with two cuts from CNTRL, an upbeat jam designed for the dancefloor on one side backed with a more minimal and emotive psychedelic journey on the other. Artwork from Astrid De La Forest completes this debut.