UPR!SE is a blog dedicated to The Shrine's Patron Saint and inspiration, Fela Anikulpo Kuti.

The blog focuses on music, fashion, art, design, politics and culture. It is a celebration of trailblazing souls who rise up without compromise.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Orlando Julius has been a well known name on the West African music scene all through the 1960s and 70s. His early work was recorded in the Philips studios under the strict supervision of their house producers who were putting an emphasis on a pleasant and swinging sound that was jugging along in a pleasant way, bridging big band highlife music with American soul.

In 1972 and 1973, Orlando Julius and his band The Afrosounders visited the legendary ARC Lagos studio of Ginger Baker and what OJ and the gang put to tape there was an entirely different beast: They recorded and album packed with unadulterated, funky Afrobeat of the heaviest caliber.

The soundtrack to the video above is a shortened version of "Aseni", recorded directly from my original vintage vinyl copy. Only a short edit of one out of six long and epic killer tunes which are all included on this record

For the first time, Orlando and the his band were able to really let loose and showcase their full power with an unfiltered impact. They laid down six epic tracks that from a Funk or Afrobeat perspective definitely count as Orlando's strongest work but it seemed that Philips were not too happy with this result. They completely botched the distribution of this record and while Orlando's earlier and later work has all been re-issued over the past years, sometimes multiple times and from various international labels, this, his best record has remained under the radar and virtually unknown to the worldwide community of African music lovers. This was until I was sitting in my friend Damian Iwuagwu's house in Lagos back in January of 2010, drinking a cold Star beer and enjoying the evening when he casually handed me this LP and asked "what about this one, I got this the other day and I don't think I've ever seen it before".

Now this record is re-released with its original artwork and extensive liner notes written by Orlando Julius himself, including loads of great vintage photographs.


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