Diggin’ in Japan vol 8 -Tokyo update December 2018

one of the longest running and most consistent posts on Soul Safari is undoubtedly ‘Diggin’ in Japan’. Some are written by myself, other posts are first hand experiences by my friend and dedicated collector MP Flapp. All visits are documented with lots of tips on how to travel to Japan, how to get around within the cities, where to find the best places to eat, to chill and spend your cash…. no detail is spared!

dj MP FLAPP @ Wonderland, Paradiso Amsterdam 2018

The latest in the series is Mp Flapp’s report of his journey through the land of the rising sun and the many record stores in Japan, updated version 2018.

see also diggin’ in Japan vol 1; Tokyo record shops

diggin’ in Japan vol 2; Osaka finds

diggin’ in Japan, vol 3; One Box Record Fair Tokyo

diggin’ in Japan vol 4-El Sur Records Tokyo-interview with Takashi Harada

Diggin’ in Japan; vol 5 Tokyo Dec 2014 by MP Flapp

Diggin’ in Japan; vol 6 Osaka Dec 2014 by MP Flapp

Diggin’ in Tokyo & Osaka vol 7 -December 2015

On the Vinyl trail in Tokyo, update December 2018

Part One: Forever Changes (Tokyo)

                I believe the last time I put pen to paper with respect the hunt for musty vinyl in Japan was back in 2015. As you might expect a lot has changed on the Japanese vinyl trail since then… This trip was a particularly a good one as the adventure started in Amsterdam in a late night café with this blogs author Eddy De Clercq and Japanese DJ Jun following a fantastic party playing records in the adult kindergarten as part of the Wonderland event at the Paradiso on 14th December 2018. One of those events where the conversation naturally arrives as record shops both past and present… the places where unexpected treasures are found or the proprietor is always good at highlighting recommendations based on what you’ve selected to listen to or buy…

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dj JUN @ Wonderland, Paradiso Amsterdam 2018

                It would have been a missed opportunity (you never know what you might find) if the next morning DJ Jun and I hadn’t taken a quick tour of a subset of Amsterdam’s record shops before our respective flights… his back to South Africa and mine to Japan via Vienna and Frankfurt…  


after an epic overnight flight or en-route home with cases full of records it’s a bit of a long journey to and from the airport to the city centre. On the last couple of trips I’ve opted to fly to Haneda instead as the airport is within 20 min of the city centre by metro. It also has the advantage of being about 30/40 Euros by taxi from many central hotel locations. Flights to Haneda are about the same price as Narita Airport from Europe; at times they can be cheaper. A number of flights to Haneda from Europe arrive around lunchtime as opposed to 8 am meaning it’s possible to check-in to the hotel on arrival. In addition, with Haneda being so close to the city centre, there is no need to exchange your JR travel voucher for a Japan Rail Pass on arrival. Arriving at Narita it makes sense to obtain the JR travel pass to save buying a ticket for the train from the airport to the city centre.

                This trip is a few days less than previous years. The loose agenda is to spend a day and a half in Tokyo, travel down to Osaka, go on to Fukuoka before return to Osaka for a few more days then back to Tokyo for a day before catching the flight home. 

                 On arrival, bags dropped at the hotel there is just under half a day left to go digging. From the hotel it’s possibly to go in a sort of short circle by metro and take in two locations (Shinjuku and Ochanomizu) both with a high concentration of stores before returning to the hotel.

                In Shinjuku there are two clusters of stores either side of main train station. Short on time the focus is on the south-east side of the station and the pocket of Disk Union stores… with more time a trip to Dub Store on the other side of the station is more than recommended. My interest in Japanese music has changed quite a bit over the last few years… first port of call these days is the Disk Union Japanese Pop (Kayoukyoku) basement store… always loaded with great 45s and given it’s end of the year, the premium 60s/70s stock is out… often records that very rarely appear on-line are on display… not always cheap, but in person you can check the condition and quality. Depending on how busy the store is you can give batches of five to seven records a listen to ensure they are as expected…

A couple of floors above the Japanese Pop store is the Disk Union soundtrack store… again always worth a visit… not that I’m big on CDs, but there are some Japanese soundtrack music from the 60s/70s that was never released at the time and only issued on CD at a later date… always worth having a look just in case… with the advent of relatively cheap one-off lathe cut 45s there’s not harm in buying the CD and cutting a couple of the tracks (edited or not) to a one copy 45…

A few hundred meters up the street from the first location is the main Disk Union store in the area. The store is split over eight floors, covers near ever genre imaginable from almost every corner of the planet. I usually do the basement location first as it covers Japanese releases both old and new. There is a small crossover in stock with the Japanese Pop store, but in general the selection in unique to this location. From here it’s up to seventh floor of punk then down through the New Wave/Avant-Garde on the sixth floor to the Latin, Brazilian, African and Reggae on the fifth floor before finishing up in the Progressive Rock selection on the fourth floor.

Disk Union

There are another three Disks Union stores in the area worth visiting depending on your taste: the Dance store covering everything from Soul to Techno, the Rock Store split over two floors covering rock in its many forms and the General Store which is completely across the board. To do all of these stores on a half day you kind of need to be going through the racks fairly quickly and selectively. It’s fairly easy to get side tracked and spend a lot of time waiting to hear records. The listening policy is enforced quite strictly when the stores are busy. At weekends or early evening it’s easy to end up in a queue of six or seven people and lose 30/40 minutes waiting. The best approach is make a note of titles that are unknown, try and check them on-line or keep the listening to early morning visits, soon after the store has opened. 

                Next stop Ochanomizu which is a short ride on the Chuo from Shinjuku. In a couple of hours you can do about seven stores before closing time which varies between 8pm and 9pm. There are a few more record stores in the area coupled with some fantastic book stores, but that tour requires quite a bit more time to do.

                 The first stop is the Jazz Disk Union which is five minutes’ walk from Ochanomizu station. There is a bit more than Jazz going on here as the annex on the same floor covers a broad selection of Japanese groove, Latin and funk. However, if it’s Jazz you’re looking for this is the place to come based on volume of stock and range on offer. One of the most notable changes over the years has been the change in interest from overseas Jazz to domestic Jazz. Gone are the days when Japanese Jazz records were easy to find at sensible prices… releases on Three Blind Mice, in top condition with OBI and booklet are now near impossible to find at regular prices. 

                A short walk from the Jazz Disk Union is the main Disk Union store in the area… it’s a fairly broad genre crossing selection, but the real gems are in the selection of domestic releases in stock. The overseas Folk, Psych and Progressive Rock sections are worth a mention as they tend to be loaded with items you only see on-line or at record fairs in Europe. The records are suitably priced, but it is nice to see these records appear as shop stock.

                My favourite 45 store, Orient is about 15mins walk from Disk Union down the hill in Kanda. It’s not the size of the store that makes the place so good, it’s the range of domestic releases from the 50s through to the 80s… it’s a curated selection that tends to be in top condition. There isn’t the ability to listen to records in store, so you need to know what you are looking for. That said it’s fairly straight forward to find clips on-line.

                Walking towards Jinbocho from Orient there are four store of note: a further Disk Union, Tacto – Showa Music, Fuji Record Sya and the highlight Record Sya. Record Sya was established in 1930 and is affiliated to the Fuji Record Sya store. It’s possibly not a store for the hipster, but for those collectors looking for something a little off the radar…

                One advantages of finishing the day here is that between Record Sya and Ochanomizu station there are a myriad of places to stop to eat and drink. The better Sake places tend to be Yakitori (grilled chicken) spots. However, for the vegitarians there’s a laid back Okonomiyaki restaurant in the area that is hard to beat. Okonomiyaki is a highly addictive savoury pancake like disk more associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan. Until I make it further south, this is an ideal way to finish the day… sort of a flavour of things to come.

                 When asked where would go record shopping with a whole day to spare?

My regular response is Shibuya and Shimokitazawa. The rational being both areas are relatively close together, have a great selection of records stores, are totally different architecturally and have more to see and do that just record shopping… 

                Starting is Shibuya the first port of call is the basement of the main Disk Union in the area for the Jazz, rare groove, reggae and global sounds… if possibly its best to go early on a weekday close to opening time as the store is loaded with stock, but a little tight for customer space. Aside from the mix of stock what I like about this store is the broad price range… most of the stock is sensibly priced and accessibly to anyone, but for the collector there are items you very rarely see in a shop… the type of records that appear in auctions or on the wall at record fairs… often not cheap, but priced and available… The priced factor is quite a good point. There is nothing worse as a buyer than going in to one of those stores where the records aren’t priced. Anything you bring to the counter the sales assistant has to look-up on Discogs, often quoting the highest price the record sold for… this isn’t cool in the slightest… it’s a bit like buying a beer in Berlin and the barperson suggesting it’s eleven Euros as that’s the price the last beer in Tokyo sold for… if you run a store… pick a price, put it on a sticker and stick it on the record…

A short walk from Disk Union is RecoFan on the fourth floor of Beam store. It took me a while to realise why there weren’t really rare records in store. These items appear to be made available on-line via stores Yahoo Auctions presence. Even without a selection of high end records in store the shop is good for finding common titles in great condition at sensible prices…

The next stop is the local HMV shop which is little further along the street from Disk Union. One of the strangest record stores (from a stock perspective) I’ve even been too once existed on tenth floor of the building that now houses HMV on the ground floor. Manuel of Errors stocked the broadest range of left field exotica, lounge, private press and abstract electronica from the 1950s to present. Sadly the shop closed about two years ago and to the best of my knowledge there isn’t similar store anywhere in Tokyo. The HMV store may not be quite as exotic as Manuel of Errors was, but fairly hard to beat. Split over two well sized floors you can find a mix of both new and second hand stock with the ratio of new to old being 30% new and 70% used. The blend of stock is further complemented by the mix of accessibly priced and collector’s items which again are not often cheap, but are available.

                The last two stops in the area I visit are Face Records and El Sur Records… two independent stores that have existed for a number of years… Face Records is about five minute walk from HMV. It’s not the biggest of stores, but it is a store for the groove heads… the short fall in physical space is complemented by a well-stocked on-line presence and regular eBay auctions…

at el sur with owner Takahashi Harada & Eddy De Clercq

                A short walk from Face Records you’ll find El Sur Records… possibly the original purveyor of global grooves… The location of the store is relatively new, possibly three years old. The original store (also in Shibuya) was in a building that was demolished as part of the rejuvenation of the area around the station… as great as the original location was this new spot might just be a little easier to find… the store is situated on the fifth floor of a free standing block, whereas the old location was on the tenth floor of a fairly non-descript 70s building located within a unit in a veritable rabbit warren of small businesses on the floor…

                Before leaving Shibuya you could do no wrong by dropping in Los Barbados (about a ten minute walk from El Sur back in the direction of the station)… it’s not big… at a push the restaurant seats eight to ten people, but has a fantastic selection of Middle Eastern and African cuisine… with a décor to match the menu…

                Shimokitazawa is four stations (about ten minutes) on the Keio Line from Shibuya. The Keio Line is a private line so you can’t use a JR Rail pass, but the fare is only about 150 yen. Aside from record shopping, the area is a fairly laid back part of town to spend some time in… around the station on either side of the railway are many small streets of boutique style stores, cafes, restaurants and bars… if I make it to Shimokitazawa it’s usually the last stop of the day in as much as when the shopping is over, often punctuated by more than one coffee stop, it’s the place to eat and have a few relaxed drinks before heading back to the hotel…

                Of the twelve record stores in the area only one is a Disk Union, the others are independent. Possibly the best known store in the area is Flash Disk Ranch which has existed for a many years, run by husband and wife duo Masao’s and Atsuko. The stock changes frequently and the prices are sensible. The store is less about rare records and more about regular titles available as part of deals (three records for 2000 yen type offers).

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Flash Disk Ranch

Round the corner from Flash Disk Ranch is City Country City, a hybrid record store come café with a limited, but excellent pasta centric menu. Ideal spot for a coffee stop. The weight of the stock is dance based covering Soul, Funk, Rare Groove to modern electronica.

                The Disk Union in the area is well worth a visit as it has an across the board selection covering almost every musical base. There are often a serious amount of rare records in store, particularly along the back wall. Almost directly across the street from Disk Union is The General Music Store. It’s not the biggest of shops, but the stock is very well curated. They often have a good selection of rare records from a broad range of genres.

MP FLAPP enjoys a naked lunch

                Of the other record stores in the area, the highlight is possibly Ella Records situated on the other side of the railway from the aforementioned stores. This is the second Ella store. The original store is based in Hatagaya. The Hatagaya store is not the easiest store to find and a little out of the way, but well worth a visit if time permits. The more accessible branch office in Shimokitazawa is really a great asset to the area. The store is spacious and has a great range of stock from about every genre imaginable. From a price perspective there is a great variety, everything from bargain bin to serious collectors’ items. The stock changes frequently and like a number of other stores on key dates of the year the store has themed sales of harder to find items.

The accessibility to an eclectic selection stock combined with a broad price range is possibly some of the elements that make record shopping in Japan quite desirable. Visiting a physical store is way better than browsing lists any day of the week. Another factor, particularly if you are fan of Japanese music, is that until quite recently finding what you were looking for or finding what you didn’t know existed was really a chance undertaking. Google translates has opened up access to a set of fan based blogs that provide details on both artists and releases that would have potentially slipped you by based on the language barrier and the fact for many years very little Japanese music has been covered in western publications in any detail. Basically in the old days you had to know someone with local knowledge who potentially knew the music you might be interested in and could recommend releases based on your interests or records you had already bought… sort of a translator with a degree of censorship based on the intermediates knowledge. The Japanese on-line translation is not perfect by any means, but after a while reading translated blogs its’ possible to deduce the gaps in the software’s ability. The software tends to make the same mistakes in selecting language… keep in mind a few inconsistences in language is way better than the days when there was no translation available at all…


  1. Compared to ten years ago where finding record stores in Japan was a sort of word of mouth exchange or a chance occurrence, today most stores have sort of on-line presence which can be translated fairly easily.  One of the most useful sites is https://recoya.net/japan – use Chrome and translate the catalogue to find the stores by city. The site is kept reasonably up-to-date.
  2. A handy phrase to type in to google maps is “レコード店” – it means “record stores” – based on where you are matches will appear on the map as green markers. Another handy one is “フリーマーケット” which translates to “flea-market” Not a perfect science, but it does turn up places you wouldn’t expect.
  3. Disk Union Shop map – https://diskunion.net/st/shop/
  4. Record Sya – https://www.recordsha.com/
  5. Nagomi Okonomiyaki – https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1310/A131003/13199942/
  6. Yakitori and 50 Shades of Sake – https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1310/A131003/13205392/
  7. Face Records – https://www.facerecords.com
  8. El Sur Records – http://elsurrecords.com/
  9. Lost Barbados – http://www7b.biglobe.ne.jp/~los-barbados
  10. Flash Disk Ranch – https://www.facebook.com/flashdiscranch/
  11. City Country City – http://city-country-city.com/
  12. Ella Records – http://www.ella-records.com/

The definitive remastered edition of Miriam Makeba’s ‘Pata Pata’

Strut Records presents the definitive remastered edition of Miriam Makeba’s
‘Pata Pata’ for the latest instalment of Strut’s Original Masters album reissue

The all-time classic of South African music, and international breakthrough for
Makeba, has been mastered by The Carvery from the original reel to reel tapes,available in its mono and stereo versions for the first time. Living in exile
in the US after the anti-apartheid film ‘Come Back, Africa’ gained international
attention, she quickly built her career in New York during the ‘60s, mentored by 
Harry Belafonte

After a period with RCA, she revisited to one of her older hits ‘Pata Pata’ with early vocal harmony group The Skylarks. Rerecording this time with producer Jerry Ragovoy, the new version brought a lighter uptempo R’nB arrangement, adding some English lyrics. “It was my first truly big seller,” Makeba recalled “In the discotheques, they invented a new dance called the ‘Pata Pata’ where couples dance apart and then reach out and touch each other. I went to Argentina for a concert, and across South America, they are singing my song.” 

Other songs on the album include a version of the traditional Xhosa classic, ‘Click Song Number One’ (‘Qongqothwane’), the atmospheric ‘West Wind’, later famously covered by her friend Nina Simone, and a version of Tilahun Gessesse’s ‘Yetentu Tizaleny’ which Makeba learned on a trip to Addis to perform for Haile Selassie at the Organisation Of African Unity. 

Physical formats also feature brand new sleeve notes alongside rare photos from the time of recording and session details. 

‘Pata Pata’ is released on 6th September on 2LP, 1CD, streaming and digital.

see also

South African Soul Divas pt 1-Miriam Makeba

South African Soul Divas Pt 4 -The Skylarks

Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 2 – Kaseko

see also Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 1 – Billy Jones & The Twinkle Stars


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Take a blaring fanfare from New Orleans parading during a funeral. Blend it with a snappy calypso. Then add swinging Latin rhythms from South America. Add a hint of African rhumba and combine all this with the question and answer patterns from West African music …. and what is cooking in today’s post? Kaseko! A real melting pot of styles that represents the roots of Africa and Holland in South America perfectly, and without any doubt the most danceable music from the former Dutch colony across the Atlantic Ocean.

Kaseko is a corruption of the French “casser les corps”, which means as much as ‘break their arms/body’. And even after all those years it is still the most popular Surinamese dance music, derived from traditional Surinamese Creole kawina music, as played by Creole street musicians in Paramaribo since the early 1900s. That is clearly the link to New Orleans street fanfares….but Kaseko is not defined that easily at all. Read on….

from Kawina to Kaseko

Kaseko is based on two important elements of traditional kawina music: the patterns of question and answer singing and the use of percussion instruments. The most important percussion instrument is the skratjie, consisting of a large drum / pauk with a cymbal on it. This indicates the basic rhythm. The name literally means trestle and indicates that this drum is usually placed on a wooden rack. In the 1920s and 1940s, under the influence of the New Orleans Jazz, Surinamese folk melodies simultaneously improvised on brass wind instruments. The typical roll pattern on the snare was contrasted by loose, varying beats on the bass drum. This ‘bigi poku’ was also played at folk dance parties by members of the Military Chapel out of service. After the Second World War this form of music was strongly influenced by Latin American music and calypso, which resulted in a new Surinamese type of music that was called kaseko and quickly became popular. The influence of rock and pop music complemented the percussion instruments with western pop music instruments, such as an electric guitar, a bass guitar and a drum set. The use of the electric organ also increased.


No fewer than twenty languages are spoken in Suriname. Most Surinamese are multilingual. Sranantongo is the lingua franca, besides the Sarnami Hindustani (Surinamese Hindustani), the Javanese different Maroon languages (especially Saramaccan and Aukan) Chinese (Hakka, Standard Mandarin and Standard Cantonese)

Here are 10 favorites from my personal collection

The first two recordings are pure Kawina, drums and chant. The following tracks are typical styles of Kaseko, most are sung in Sranantongo, and the track ‘Jimmy’s lazerus’ being sung in Dutch!

listen to the podcast Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 2 – Kaseko MIX

total time 52:32

1) Sopiang Kawina -Kolibrie
2) Sopiang Kawina -Opete Kwasi
3) Orchestra Tropical -Tata Vodoe
4) The King Stars -A Sina Maro
5) The Mighty Botai -Boesi Gado
6) The Mighty Botai -Boesi Jepi
7) The Action Stars -Fyamang
8) J. Jones & The Action Stars -Jong Boy Boyo
9) Sonora Paramarera con Lord Bamboo -El Yo Yo
10) Kaseko Masters -Aisa Vodoe
11) Ricky -Poeirie
12) Sonora Paramarera con Lord Bamboo -Jimmy’s Lazerus
13) Kaseko Masters -Veanti
14) The King Stars -Boto e Lolo

Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 1 – Billy Jones & The Twinkle Stars

summer 2019 is here! A perfect moment to highlight the rich music culture of Suriname in weekly episodes. After all, the South American country is a melting pot of many peoples including Creoles, the descendants of enslaved Africans.

First, some history….

Suriname has a little more than half a million inhabitants. In addition to the original Native Paleo Indian population, the country’s largest population groups are Hindustani, of Indian descent, often Hindu but also Muslim, Creoles, Marrons, descendants of liberated and escaped slaves and Javanese from Indonesia. There are also many Chinese, Lebanese, Jews and Boeroes, descendants of Dutch settlers.

The first successful European colonization took place from 1650 by the Englishman Francis Willoughby. Freedom of religion was arranged to attract planters. The English started planting plantations in Suriname, using slaves as workers. Initially, the colonizers tried to use the indigenous population as slaves. This failed due to high mortality and resistance. Then planters decided to import slaves from Africa and partly from other colonies. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, in 1667, the Dutch conquered Suriname from the English. The Dutch handed over the then newly discovered colony called New Netherlands to the English in 1674, who call it New York. In exchange for this, the Netherlands received Suriname from the English. Slavery in the Dutch colony Suriname was only abolished on July 1, 1863. The country became independent in 1975, known as the Republic of Suriname.


The Twinkle Stars

Funk and soul music are hugely popular styles in Surinam, widely known as Suri-Funk. The most famous and beloved band is undoubtedly The Twinkle Stars, also working under the name The Stars. This soul-pop group was formed in the 2nd half of the Sixties, made up of eight musicians plus soloist singer Oscar Harris. The group became very famous and appreciated in the Netherlands. Members were Alfred Ommen, band leader, Edmond Oosthuizen, rhythm guitarist & singer, Ricardo Wouden, drums and singer Oscar Harris as frontman. In the 70’s vocalists Billy Jones, Humphrey Campbell, Ruud Seedorf became members. Their music is a mix of Funk, Rhythm & Blues and Kaseko. The latter is a fusion of African, European and American styles, strongly influenced by Dixieland, Calypso, Rock & Roll and other styles, whose instruments include the use of drums, saxophone , trumpet and, sometimes, a trombone. The Twinkle Stars disbanded officially in 1973 but regrouped few times for live-shows and recording sessions until 1980.

Although The Twinkle Stars had many hits I would like to focus on a rather curious, even bizarre single that came out in 1971, Mr. Astronout. This song is loosely based on Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’, with plenty of spacey weirdness and Oscar Harris singing ‘if Mr. Astronout had seen my baby on the moon?’. Surely a cash-in on the Apollo 11 space travels from a few years earlier….

Oscar Harris And The Twinkle Stars ‎– Mr. Astronout / Wake Up With You
Blue Elephant ‎– BE 24.008-G.

One of the best recordings by The Twinkle Stars is with Billy Jones, an American singer. His real name is William Oran Willie Bill Jones and he was born in Denison, Texas USA on November 20,1945. Billy Jones started his career singing gospel in church. He also toured the USA as a member of the Army Air Defense Command Choral Group.

In late 1968 he settled in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He soon became a vocalist with Oscar Harris And The Twinkle Stars, where he stayed off and on until 1980.

Billy Jones & The Stars- Love Is Gonna Rain On You (Imperial LP, Album, RE (1977)

Featuring some superb funk cuts like “Funky monkey”, “Thank you” (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (Sly & Family Stone track), “All my brothers are clean” and “Message from a black man” !!!

Another rarity is this single ‘We Want Peace’ a Suri-funk gem that was released in Barbados on the obscure Merry DIsc label in 1973. Backed by ‘Jerusalem’, a typical example of that other most popular Surinamese dance style; Kaseko. More on that in the next episode of Soul Safari’s Caribbean Surinam Summer 2019….

source; Soul Safari archives/Wikipedia/Discogs

Brokers show on The Word Belgian Radio -guest dj Soul Safari

LISTEN….I was invited as guest dj for the 2nd hour of the program BROKERS on Belgian radio station The Word. These nice guys gave me carte blanche for a selection of personal favorite tunes….thanks Oswald Moris for the great introduction and your seamless selection of timeless disco/boogie/electro tunes. LOVE!!

All records in the 2nd hour of the BROKERS show from my own collection, vinyl only!! Listen to this mix filled with ultra rare South-African, Nigerian, Liberian & Brazilian grooves. Some really funky Disco rarities too. And to top it off the 2nd hour closes with a previously unreleased remix of one of my own productions; ‘Changes’ with Sylvia Kristel (RIP), a mellow sexy funky mix by Zuco 102. Yes, that is the Brazilian band Zuco103 minus 1. This remix is yet to be released. All vinyl, all good! Make sure to check my blog on Africa, ‘Soul Safari’: https://soulsafari.wordpress.com/

tracklist 2nd Hour The Word Brokers -EDDY DE CLERCQ

The Drive – Iphi Intombi Yam pts 1 + 2
The Jazz Clan – Oh Happy Day
Salah Ragab – Egypt Strut
Kindred Spirit & Corina Flamma Sherman – Inner Languages
Kindred Spirit & Corina Flamma Sherman – Put Your Spirit Up
Luisito Quintero feat. Francis Mbappe – Gbagada, Gbagada, Gbogodo, Gbogodo (Roots Mute Mix)
Ray Munnings – Funky Nassau
Freddi Hench & The Soulsetters – I Like Funky Music
Chocolate Milk – Who’s Getting It Now
Tom Scott and the L.A. Express – Jump Back
Jackie Moore – Heart Be Still
Patti & The Emblems – It’s The Little Things
Patrick Moraz – Rana Batucada
EDC & Friends feat. Sylvia Kristel – Changes (Zuco 102 Mix)

Listen here to the full 2 hours Brokers show with the first hour by resident dj Oswald Moris, followed by my own mix of ultra rare South-African, Nigerian, Liberian & Brazilian grooves. Some really funky Disco rarities too….enjoy!

with love from Utrecht ARC record fair -April 2019

well folks, happy to have survived another 3 days of unlimited digging and selling on the biggest record fair in the World; the Spring edition of the ARC record fair in Utrecht.

As ever, the bi-yearly pow wow of national and international dealers provided the finest selection of top-end collectible vinyl, as well as a huge amount of cheap vinyl and everything in between. Something for everybody.

I had brought quite a nice selection of original South African vinyl, ranging from electronic afro-synth, boogie, bubblegum, kwaito as well as rare jazz. And other African music too, next to soundtracks, disco, soul, reggae, latin and a small but intriguing selection of unusual and weird records. Thanks to all customers, new and regular, for visiting my stall and supporting this selection. Next autumn I will be back with lots of more goodies…. at my stall nr. 388

Soul Safari Radio -Soul Beat -podcast Nr 1 -11th August 2018

soul safari radio podcast 1 gecomp

hi World…here is a new initiative from Soul Safari. A podcast to highlight and celebrate some great unknown South African music!

For this very first show I selected 12 really cool and rare 45 singles by the best of South African Soul Jazz groups, all records from my own collection.  Different styles ranging from vocal to instrumental tunes, recorded and released between 1969 to 1982. Seldom heard on any radio-show…but exclusively now for your ears here on Soul Safari as a podcast.  35 minutes of great South African soul jazz.

I do hope you will enjoy this new initiative!

Here is the playlist and pics from all records played….

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Soul Safari Radio –Soul Beat -podcast Nr 1

-11th August 2018

The Pedlars -At The Club

The Family -Hear Say

The Pedlars -Right On

The Mechanics -Why Not?

The Bee Dees -Big Brother

The Movers -I Need Somebody

The Go-Aheads -Go Ahead Pt 1

The Blue Revues -Spook Mahala

The Flaming Souls -Oh Darling!

Ray Jazz Combo -The Golden Step

Soul Giants -Soul Prayer

The Jazz Clan -Oh Happy Day


see also

Funk Soul Brothers – part 2-The Flaming Souls ‘Soul Time’ 1969 South Africa

Basa Basa ‘Homowo’ aka Basa Basa Experience ‘Together We Win’ -Ghana

Basa Basa Homowo -1979 Nigerian Holy Grail. Now available as a 2018 reissue by Vintage Voudou, The Netherlands, with extensive liner notes and fold-out poster

Soul Safari

Originally released in 1979 in Nigeria this album remains one of the highly prized ‘holy grails’ of African music. Basa Basa Experience ‎– Together We Win Label: Take Your Choice Records (TYC) ‎– TYC 115-L


see also previous post Piliso -Thumela -rare Afrobeat from South Africa 1983

Both albums by Piliso and Basa Basa Experience ‎were produced by Themba Matebese, a member of Nigerian band T-Fire. Other members are Igo Chico, Kenneth Okulolo, Lekan Animashaun, Mike Collins, Tobahoun Abalo, Tunde Williams.  In T-Fire Themba Matebese was responsible for the vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards and percussion as well as for the composition of most of their songs. He also wrote  ‘African Soul Power’, the standout track on ‘Together We Win’. The album got repressed on Peach River Records in Holland in 1983 under a new title ‘Homowo’, the group name was shortened to Basa Basa.

Liner notes; Basa Basa is a highlife band, the nuclues being the Nyaka Twins from…

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Voom-Ba Voom -Rock ‘n Roll in South Africa


In the 1930’s African Jazz Music became an important feature in the lives of many urban Africans and some remarkable talent began to emerge in Johannesburg.

In 1952 the Union of Southern African Artists came into being with the dual function of promoting the talent that had already been shown to exist in the musical and dramatic field and to act as an Artist’s Equity. The union promoted Township Jazz concerts which were the first large scale African entertainments to be presented in the capital of South Africa, and arranged for white and non-European audiences to see and hear a wide range of entertainment by black and colored artists.

South African Institute for Race Relations presents African Jazz and Variety

The Woody Woodpeckers -Fanagalo 

Fanagalo is a pidgin or simplified language, based primarily on Zulu. It is used as a lingua franca, mainly by workers in the gold, diamond, coal and copper mines.

the-woody-woodpeckers   This rare 10″  includes two songs by The Woody Woodpeckers, a group around  songwriter and musician, Victor Ndlazilwane, who was awarded the Metro FM Lifetime Achievement award in 2006 in South Africa. During his early career, Ndlazilwane was part of the legendary Woody Woodpeckers group as well as the Jazz Ministers, both of which were signed to Gallo Record Company. The Jazz Ministers were the first African jazz band to perform at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival in New York.

King Jeff & His African Jazz Troupe -Rock Around The Clock 

At the end of the 40’s and mid-50’s when Rock ‘n Roll swept through the world like a tsunami, a bleached derivative of American Jazz and R&B music was popular in South Africa. Black and white musicians, singers and performers catered for the refined taste of the well heeled visitors and sophisticated dancers that frequented the big hotels and nightclubs of the big cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.  There existed a circuit of hip hangouts and palaces of nocturnal pleasures; theaters, nightclubs, bars and restaurants where live music was an extra attraction to the fine dining and luxurious surroundings. Valet parking included. But the jungle rhythms of the American originals  were a wee bit too adventurous to serve as a soundtrack for an exquisite night out at The Colony Hotel or The Beachcomber. So more musicians, singers and bands turned towards the then popular sound of the Mediterranean countries like Italy or Portugal. Many landed in Johannesburg , the city of gold & diamonds where riches and fame was to be found aplenty.

a night at Franco's watermarked    Such a nightclub/restaurant was Franco’s, located in downtown Johannesburg. The nightclub was a famous hangout for the city’s well-heeled crowd, musical entertainment consisted mainly of evergreens from around the world, sometimes local songs were included in the repertoire. A mixed bag really, something you can dance to or just listen to in the safety of a segregated environment.

The Beachcomber in Durban and The Grand Hotel Beira in Mozambique were similar hangouts, where well-to-do visitors from Portuguese Angola, the Belgian Congo or the Rhodesias could unwind on a dream holiday. Or they came to make a business deal, or simply to be entertained by the best of performers around.

Grande Hotel, a beautiful Art Deco resort in Beira, Mozambique opened in 1955.

The Three Petersen Brothers and Nico Carstens and his Orchestra

The Three Petersen Brothers, Mervyn, Basil and Andy, are really brothers who belong to one of the oldest theatrical families in South Africa. They are versatile and musically gifted, touring the country, appearing on stage, in variety and as cabaret artists in every nightclub in South Africa, in addition to regular radio performances. ‘On Safari’ is their first LP recording together with the famous Nico Carstens Orchestra.

from the original liner notes by Anton De Waal of ‘On Safari’ Columbia 33JS 11011 South Africa 

Three Petersen Brothers -Voom-Ba Voom 

Three Petersen Brothers -Pondoland

Three Petersen Brothers -Jo’burg Samba

Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers

“Gold Rock (You’ve Got to Dig, Dig, Dig for Gold)” is the title of a 78 rpm by Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers. The song explains why a small settlement in Gauteng could grow into the famed capital of ‘eGoli’, a Zulu word meaning “place of gold”. Johannesburg could not be bettered as an appropriate locale for the story of all those who came starry eyed to the big city, chasing a dream.

Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers -Gold Rock

Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers -Hamba Lala (African Calypso)

john massey and his warriors -fanagalo watermarked


John Massey and his Warriors -African Rock ‘n Roll 

John Massey and his Warriors -Fanagalo 




reform 2 dec 2017

6 decades of soul, rare groove, springbok radiohits, township jive & kwela jazz, northern soul, girl groups, vintage disco, indie, funk, hip hop, nigeria 70s, dancehall and other rarities heard nowhere else….

Saturday 2nd December 2017 from 2pm-12 am

dj’s Charles Leonard, Marc Latilla, Eddy De Clercq (Soul Safari, Amsterdam), Mxolisi Makhubo, dj Jun (aka Ninja 45, Japan)

Eclectic laid-back afternoon session & dancing under the Johannesburg Skyline Sunset

The Troyeville Hotel
1403 Albertina Sisulu Road (corner Wilhelmina)

entrance; 50 Rand

reform 2 dec 2017