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Monday, January 25, 2010

The Coolest Funkiest Site on the Internet

In case you were wondering--well, now I've found it.

Run, don't walk to and have yourself a ball. This guy named Frank, who now works as a DJ in various hotspots worldwide, spent a good many years living in Africa, notably Conakry, the capital of Guinea. Calling him "a record collector" would be like calling Imelda Marcos "a woman who liked shoes." His specialty was 1960s and '70s funk and soul from places like Ghana, Benin, Guinea and maybe Mali.

So what he does is, he collects tons of old, rare, out-of-print records, cleans them up, converts them to mp3s and makes playlists of roughly an hour apiece, then posts them on his blog, along with observations about where he's been and a few tales of the tight spots he occasionally finds himself in. The star of the show, however, is not Frank, but the music he unearths and posts for the rest of us. You can click on it to just listen, or right-click to download it and stash it in your PC, or burn a CD for the car, or play on your iPod or whatever.

Until the day comes when these rare and out-of-print records find their way to a legitimate release--a day that is unlikely to ever happen--this is the only way to hear this music, short of trundling off to Africa yourself and buying the records (if you can find them). The nice thing is that occasionally, some of these songs do get compiled onto legit collections, and then the artists involved do see some royalties. I'm all for that. But in the vast majority of cases, this simply isn't going to happen, so if you want to hear this music, this is the way to do it.

And maaaan, it's worth hearing... Some of the links are dead at the moment, but most of them work, so dig around a little. I believe Frank is in Africa as I write this, and we he returns, I'm sure the links will be fixed.

Time to rock.

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