Available on March 3rd, the No Food Without Taste If By Hunger album is a piece of history, showcasing the beauty and innovation of Edo-funk, a magical musical blend from east Nigeria.
A cosmic fusion between highlife, the West African night-clubs entrancing sounds, and Edo culture core elements, Edo-Funk was born in Benin City, Nigeria in the late 70s. Emerging out of experimentation, the new groove became a not-so-distant cousin of Fela’s Afrobeat wave that was taking over Lagos. Using the latest sounds and technologies of the contemporary scene, Edo Funk pioneers – namely Victor Uwaifo, Osayomore Joseph, and Akaba Man – perfected a more minimalistic, psychedelic tune, driven by synthesizers and electric guitars. And with the rhythms came messages of elevation and political contestation against corrupt officials and lingering colonizers. Bouncy, mesmerizing and unafraid, Edo-Funk lived glorious days in the capital of Edo State.
In this joyous and booming Edo-Funk scene of the 80s, a mysterious but almost omnipresent character flourished. Multi-instrumentalist and producer, Brother Angel Philosopher Okundaye composed some of the genre’s biggest hits all throughout the decade, leaving an undeniable impact but only little physical evidence of his contribution. Most importantly, in 1982, Philosopher Okundaye released his own first album, with his band The Good Samaritans. Recorded at Phonodisk Studio in Ijebu-Igbo and mixed by Okundaye himself, this Edo-funk gem philosophically titled No Food Without Taste If By Hunger was published in small edition. It quickly became a rarity, almost inaccessible if not for a few lucky researchers.
However thirty years later, the German label Analog Africa is digitizing and reissuing the opus. Giving the record everlasting life on the internet, they’re also bringing it back in 2000 Philosopher Odayonke-approved, limited edition vinyl copies. This new version featuring the original bright-orange cover includes six colorful and vibrant songs, for more than 35 minutes of danceable bass, electrifying keyboards, and mystical horns. Available March 3rd, No Food Without Taste If By Hunger is the now-timeless testimony of a niche genre, born out of love for sound effects, traditional highlife, and funk from abroad.
No Food Without Taste If By Hunger, out March 3rd via Analog Africa.