Tala AM (or Tala Andre Marie to give him his full and proper name) was born in Bandjoun in Cameroun in 1950. Tala's life initially wasn't easy, he becomes blind at an early age and has lost both his mother and father by the age of 12. He then went on to make his first guitar by hand and form his first band "The Rock Boys" by the age of 17. Shortly after he meets the powerhouse of Camerounian music at the time Manu Dibango, a pivotal moment. With help, he re-locates to Paris and signs a contract with Fiesta Records. The first fruit of those labours is his debut album "Hot Koki".

Fast forward to 1974 and the famous "Rumble In The Jungle" fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The story goes a little something like this... At an accompanying musical event we find James Brown and Tala AM. JB Hears Hot Koki and creates a remarkably similar sounding track "The Hustle" (check it out side by side if you have the time). Tala sued... and won.

And so to the remixes... The package is spearheaded by the title track is "Hot Koki" ; a powerhouse of funk guitar, soul and infectious afro rhythms.

First up on the remix treatment we take a sly trip to the NYC where white-hot talent J Kriv is on the edit tip. J Kriv recently was voted number 7 Nu Disco talent by Resident Advisor. JKriv (aka Jason Kriveloff) strips back thing back to the groove for destination dancefloor, a real treat. Next up we set sail to London for hot new electronic and broken beat talent EVM128 and his quirky alternate version. Luke EVM adds left field stabs, jazzy percussion and his custom sound to the bombastic brass, swinging basslines and all out groove of Hot Koki of the original.

We stay in London for Ben Hauke who takes things on a house groove tip before heading to Leeds (UK) for Peza who beefs up the bass and groove to "Black Gold". Layers of picked and choppy guitar and bags of big swinging bass.

To round off the package we also (and quite rightly so) add the all important original from 1974.

Interested in finding some more about Tala AM... then check out the LP "African Funk Experimentals 1975 to 1978" out on Africa Seven.


© 2017 Africa Seven