Soundway and Tummy Touch are proud to present this sampler highlighting tracks culled from three blistering albums of afro-rock and funk from Nigerian multi-instrumentalist Joni Haastrup and his band MonoMono. Re-issued for release on CD, download, and replica gatefold LP are three of Nigeria’s most coveted releases; MonoMono’s 1971 debut album Give The Beggar A Chance, the follow up Dawn of Awareness, and Joni Haastrup’s debut solo record Wake Up Your Mind. Soundway have been championing Joni Haastrup since day one featuring tracks on both the Nigeria Special! and Nigeria Rock Special! releases. Most recently Joni appears as a guest keys player on Black Goddess, an Afro-jazz soundtrack collaboration with Remi Kabaka.
Growing up in a royal household in Nigeria, Joni Haastrup began his musical journey performing for his brother’s band Sneakers and was quickly snapped up as a vocalist for O.J. Ekemode and his Modern Aces’ Super Afro Soul album, one of Afro-beat’s formative LPs. At this point James Brown was all the rage, and Joni Haastrup was tearing up stages across Western Nigeria, known as his country’s own “Soul Brother Number One.” Soon after, Ginger Baker of Cream fame replaced Steve Winwood with Joni on keys for Airforce’s UK concerts in ‘71. The success of the collaboration led to further shows with Baker as part of the SALT project before Joni returned to Nigeria to set up MonoMono.
MonoMono were a drastic departure from the 60’s groups in Nigeria that mainly did soul covers but a logical progression from the jazz-rock fusion saturating the London scene. MonoMono often took on the blues-rock grooves of Santana and Hugh Masekela, but with their own unique Yoruban flavor. The sound is unique and sounds contemporary to this day. Laced with funk basslines, swirling keyboards, and screaming guitars on top of solid Afro-beat rhythms these songs are sure to liven up any DJ’s playlist and grab the instant attention of the most casual listener.
Laurent Garnier - “Pure afro-beat heaven — AWESOME.”
Kid Loco - “This is just brilliant.”
Chris Todd (Crazy P / Hot Todday) - “I’m no Afrobeat afficionado, but i’m enjoying these tracks!”
Nickodemus (Turntables On The Hudson) - “I’m doing the Funkro right now!”
Mock & Toof (Tiny Sticks / DFA) - “Totally a-m-a-z-i-n-g ! ! !”
Dimitris Tzaninis (Hip Sound, Greece) - “Regarding timeless afro-beat, this is the real stuff!”
Johnwaynes (cecille / Compost) - “Roooots! funky power! I love it! everyone should listen this.”
DJ Sabo (Sol*Selectas, NYC) - “I can’t get enough of this rare afro-beat. Thanks for un-earthing these gems!”
Available now from Tummy Touch Shop