Voodoo Funk™



  • tabiratabira 856 Posts
    rootlesscosmo said:

    you're the meth dude, right? I'm not taking a shot at your struggles -- nor anyone else's addictions -- but that is honest-to-gosh the only mental association I have with you;

    Dear Eggplant. I mean this in good faith. If you want folks to drop the meth thing then your incessant posting, haranguing and general disinclination to simply let anything drop isn't helping because it smacks of an addictive personality. It's as if you gave up meth to take up soul strutting. Your apology thread, though apparently sincere, also felt like part of the same drive to control everything. A new start could be to take a deep breath and, however much you may want to pick it apart, not replying to this post.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    Sorry to hear, Eggplant, that you got fired from your post as Rutgers Basketball Coach.

  • RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
    This dude was much more entertaining when he was doing meth.


    I don't believe this dude was ever doing meth.

  • El PrezEl Prez NE Ohio 1,141 Posts
    ^^^^ yup I agree w Rockadelic that meth story was some BULL.

  • buttonbutton 1,475 Posts
    Another promising thread tragically cut short by drugs...

  • I guess you didn't notice the new mix of previously unknown jams Frank posted earlier today.

    Or the dozens of other mixes like it he's posted here before.

    Or the fact that he's posted more unknown and amazing mixes than anybody else here, and has been doing it for years.

    Why bother dragging this out? You don't really have a point.


  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts

    A few weeks ago, while working on a new volume of my 3 part memoirs, I briefly touched on various episodes in my record related life. I had just run a some interviews with a few of my former digging partners in Nigeria and Benin when the stars and planets aligned to shine a clear enough light on an old riddle, the solution to which caused a ripple effect and triggered a succession of dominos.

    Not only did the motivation for this trademark violation of yesteryear become clear as day, one of the pieces that fell into place also revealed the identity of this "Sozzy" person who in the meantime deleted his account but thankfully abstained from deleting his comments which now are simply credited to "unknown".

    It itches me to lift the veil from this guy who is sort of well known... and also because the story as a whole, once ll players are introduced, fully explains the true context of the bbe Boogie Trip episode. All in all it's just too much of a hoot to not be shared with the participants of this thread who might still be around.

    What does the Strut think?

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 2,843 Posts
    I feel like Joe Biden (ew), having to choose between sowing unity or division on teh Strut...

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 1

    This person who back then chose to remain unknown gave himself away when he responded to a comment by Herbaciios Tweed and
    herbacios tweed said:
    haha Frank on god mode with the comebacks.

    I feel like Fed Exing you a 3G ipad so you can continue dropping knowledge jewels while on vacation next week.

    If you think this thread contains "knowledge jewels" than you need read some actual books. Also, this thread is a bad look for Frank as most people seem to disapprove of his provocation.

    I was out of line, but what with Frank did to ME years ago he deserves it. Frank is not nearly as honorable as people on here think he is. There are a lot of people in Africa that were burned by this man's greed. Despite what he says about his agents and paying them well....well that's just half of the story.

    Today I know that this was Miles Cleret of Soundway fame who once got really mad when I met his sole source for Nigerian vinyl; my friend Damian. So mad he called Damian yelling and crying and saying some things he better not have.

    Miles used to buy extremely valuable records from Damian which he had shipped directly to the uk and paid 10gbp a pop – for those who didn't have too many scratches according to him.

    On one of his rare visits to Lagos Miles brought Damian a new pair of shoes to do all the footwork with. Before he absconded with boxes of records, Miles subtracted the shoes from his purchase price.

    Ok, here we go. Get a good drink ready and enjoy the trip. It's going to be too long for the settings of this board so I'll split it up into multiple parts

    Oh my god, where do I start for the following 4 dimensional zinger to make sense to everybody.

    Just stay with me here from the beginning, I promise it will be worth it.

    Miles, if you still read this and I have a feeling you might, sooner or later. If your smelly, scrawny, chicken legged, limey, junky ass is still alive over on whatever ex-colony you last fucked off to then I give you this for starters:

    There is nothing that could possibly yell "ME" any louder than an anonymous post on Soulstrut. It took a while but damn was it worth it

    Now let me start from the beginning.

    When you once visited me in the apartment in Brooklyn some time in 2008 you had just made a tragic mis-investment by spending a fortune on a plane load of hot mess from Colombia you would never get back. I can still see that painful cringe on your face at my comment how Samy had just totally beat you to it by doing the same thing better first. Sort of turned things around for a change...

    We spoke a little more about Samy because this guy I never met had been threatening me, not only with lawyers but also to get the german embassy in Guinea on the scene to help find me. All for my refusal to take down some old mixes he claimed contained music he now owned.  I thought the embassy part was funny cause that was where my wife worked at the time and I laughed because I was too sure that Samy didn't know that. See, back then I was younger and wiser and not nearly as much of an exhibitionist when it came personal information about myself. What startled me most was Samy's gloating comment about a knife point street robbery committed on me by several paid thugs. He truthfully wrote in plural while on my musical adventure blog I had only mentioned one, singular robber.

    I told the guy to fuck off and that was that. Got his ass handed to himself a bit on the strut which must have hurt if he cared about a thing like that but I thought of him as a bigger man.

    In all reality I had no idea how much many people already knew about me and how much they all hated me just for driving around West Africa for a while buying old records. Back in 2005 this was something new and you even got press in the NY Times and shit, can't imagine this today but music blogs were new and facebook wasn't really a thing. Instead Myspace was a thing, ancient history... crazy.

    You Miles then mentioned the idea of joining forces and compiling a Poly Rythmo comp to get back at Samy for taking the limelight with music from Benin (his gift from god – according to the gospel of Samy every person receives one in their lifetime, never met him but generous fella that god, gotta give him that) after you, Miles, put out a Poly Rythmo comp FIRST in 2003, 5 years before the African Scream Contest (eeeehhh... what a title) that only the few real heads really ever knew about at the time

    That day I met you I learned that in the, to me yet brand spanking new world of reissuing African records it mostly all depends on who comes first. The first one gets to draw the lines on the map. You Miles had been first in Benin even without even speaking a word of French and then came Samy, that multi lingual nifty guy, years later (!)  and takes all the glory. You were mad as hell but tried too hard to not let it show. Cause you like to think you're clever and you had a complicated agenda. Too complicated for your own good...

    You tell me you would like to join hands and repay Samy by doing a comp with all super rare Poly 45s, stuff I found in Benin between 2005 to 2008, not to claim I was early, Miles had been there many years before Samy and me got there, the same very year of 2005; me not knowing anything about Samy but Samy already knowing about me because he also knew all the first, original, real collectors of African records because he worked as a flight attendant for Lufthansa and ran a bit of a side hustle with East African records since 2003 or so.

    I mention this all because the timeline is crucial here.

    So Samy and Miles both know all the real old heads, some doctor in Queens, NY, Miles himself of course and some Duncan, according to Miles a speed fueled, true "Legend of Afrobeat"... but me, I don't know or care anything about those people

    I'm bowing to Miles with respect and order some food from the Oaxacan restaurant around the corner. We retire onto the balcony to eat and for drink I break out a bottle of my finest Mezcal. The food shows up and Miles says "such hard workers these Mexicans". I order from the place every day and am well aware of that fact. I also think "eeehhhhh... what condescending Fresa talk" but I say nothing. I realize this as a part of Miles' well traveled personality.

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 2

    Because I just had been threatened by Samy a year or so earlier I wasn't at all interested in a Poly comp. Particularly not after hearing what I heard from El Rego about Samy's licensing practices. I wouldn't have touched that at the time already captured wild horse of Benin comps with a pair of gloves and pliers on a very long stick. Who needs trouble with lawyers?

    Mostly, at this time I was way too excited about all my Nigerian and Ghanaian projects and busy with all the fun things NYC has to offer and that I had missed since my last era there from '96 to 2000.

    On his enduring persistence I decided to humor Miles, recorded some hi-res sound files of all my rarest Poly 45s and send them to the UK. Along with a stack of photo scans. Stuff I had found at Albarika Store's head offices. I had no use for any of it so I figured why not share. Miles never got back to me and I already forgot all about it when the curious title of yet another AA Poly comp I otherwise wouldn't have even looked at struck my curiosity:

    "The Vodoun Efect" or something and figured the "Vodoun Effect" was a hidden nod in my direction like "hey, this is how the French spell Voodoo, the anglophone spelling of what the word sounds like pronounced in Fon, the language it originates from. The French colonialists decided to spell it "Vodoun", "Vaudun" or whatnot, the British (the same religion also practiced in parts of Nigeria and Ghana spell it Voodoo... I decided to go with the english spelling because that's what I thought most of the readers of my blog (... ancient history, I know) speak.

    Anyway, I had a glance at the titles and had to chuckle how that was already half the songs I had sent Miles for that comp I never really believed in anyway. Miles answered to my suggestion to bury the project with a brief "oh there's still enough great tracks you sent for another album" and I wondered, yet again after 2 more years who in the fuck could possibly care about a 10th or whatever Poly comp and why Miles still wouldn't give up about that silly, ill-conceived idea. I thought maybe he might have just done the right thing and passed all the material I sent him on to Samy but lacked the balls to tell me so.

    I just chalked it all up Samy showing me what's really real in Benin and authentic Vaudun and forgot all about it.

    Then some more years onward I was sitting in front of my, new at the time, residence up on a former coffee plantation in the cloud forests over Escazu in Costa Rica where I had discovered my new passion for wild orchids.

    I had just smoked a terrific blunt, drunk a quarter gallon of Chiliguaro and had a silly idea of my own. Probably inspired by my fun episode with the Boogie Trip licensing and a bunch of new Nigerian Boogie reissues I was working on. This was in 2012 or maybe '13. By then I had become the big mouthed cynic I still enjoy to be to some people for few and special occasions like this one here.

    Believe it or not but Nigerian Boogie was hot shit back then. I had in fact lit my blunt with a wad of cash I had been wired by my new friend Kiki, the lost prince of the Paris Boogie Mafia. Those guys are super legit gangsta by the way and I don't say that as a joke. They will cut off your dick and take you for a ride in the trunk of a stolen car if you only as much as think of crossing them. Everybody who's ever really been real in this game knows that's a fact. I'm dead fucking serious... scary people, one of them is a pro poker player, deep pockets, huge guy, very violent when fucked with but a sweet guy if he likes you. I met him at the wfmu fare in '08 and we liked each other right away. Even got a bit drunk together right at my fucking sales table hahaha. I'm bad at doing business but I like having fun with crazy people like me.

    So anyway... that day I did what came natural and I called up my ex-wife over at the german embassy in San José (Costa Rica by now, remember?) and asked her to please do the paperwork for me and register "Voodoo Funk" as a trade mark. Just for shit and giggles and to be safe I thought... I didn't want any other legal trouble with Samy. What if he had written "Vaudun Fonk" or something like that and people would have gotten confused, can't call the Boogie Mafia for small shit like this and I wanted to make sure nobody gets hurt with all this horsing around.

    Little did I know...

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 3

    If you are still with me, rest assured that every word about this is true expect that it was in fact just a large joint and that I lit it with a plastic lighter. I still enjoy the mental picture though.

    Now watch this. I swear the time line is on point and every word is true:

    About half a year passes and out from under a wet rock comes Samy with... yawn... yet another Poly comp. "Good on my friend Gustave that he makes some money", I thought by myself but then there's the "Vodoun" in the title, this time spelled the anglophone instead of the french colonial way: "Voodoo". – and it even says "Voodoo Funk" and something with skeletal.

    At first I just thought that was a little weird in a sort of cringe worthy, halloween kind of way. I hadn't heard from Miles in a long time and I knew he was traveling the tropics again someplace so I didn't even look at the titles or write to MIles and see if he still wants to do that comp because I really couldn't have cared any less...

    To be honest, while I still love the music to this day I really can't keep those long Poly song titles in my memory for too long and all that shit was on an old laptop I had that long ago retired. I was closing in on my 24th release or something and wasn't even all that in love with the reissue game anymore. If I would have checked, then I would have found that the content of Samy's voodoo funk poly comp were the remaining titles of what I had sent to Miles many years ago and still wouldn't have given a shit. It was him using my trademark in an obviously provocative way.

    What do you do when you look out across the central valley of Costa Rica on a beautiful day and a chance opens to kick some old and persistent menace in the balls for good?

    You send an email to that guy who keeps crawling out from under his rock trying to take a piss at your feet. I had to laugh because, I swear to god, I had just that same fucking week received the confirmation that the necessary "research", I think that's what the company handling the registration called it, was done and I owned the name. It had taken that long I had worried somebody crazy enough would have done the same thing. By then I would have paid for having had a much better idea for my record label name but there are worse names and you only get one pick.

    So what to do? Better call Samy...

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 4

    I tell him to take his hands off my name, feed all his, I don't know how many thousands of copies of Lps – I'm not here to tell any lies my friends, the market for West African funk comps was still not saturated yet back in 2013 – into the shredder and to start a big stinking dumpster fire with the CD edition. People were still buying CDs back in 2013, it doesn't get any crazier than this shit...

    So he almost starts crying and even tries to pull a "I don't know if that trade mark is valid if you just now registered it".

    "... clever..." I think and I'm glad that I was stupid paranoid enough half a year too early and let go a deep sigh of relief and a muffled laugh.

    I email him copies of the paper work and give him the friendly advice to better talk to a lawyer because that's what I would have done... maybe he thought of this as me being a cynic but while I often act like one I'm really not. Not everything you see on the internet is true.. surprise!

    This was right after manufacturing but still a month or so before the first shipment would have been sent off to distros. Promos were out and there were actual photographs of physical copies around so the timing could have not possibly been any worse for poor old Samy and his gift from god.

    Of course you could hear my laughs echo from the mountain my mansion sat on all across the central valley for a good week.

    Just because it really doesn't get much funnier in the dirty, stupid game of reissuing records I called up a bunch of old and new friends. Damian I think laughed the loudest but believe all of my few but select and great friends from NYC, Lagos, Accra, to Berlin and Cotonou, we all had a really good laugh at Samy's expense. Did I feel guilty about it... let me think about it for a little while longer and please stay with me.

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 5

    The man who hated me so much, just for loving the same thing as him had gone and done the impossible:

    Caused a very expensive pain in his own ass by shooting himself into both feet with a vintage, double barreled toy gun operated by two true geniuses and globally respected legends of the game.

    One hell of a tough circus act to follow. Even for a midget.

    No, I didn't feel guilty for laughing my ass off. Not a tiny bit and I still don't.

    Snozzy Miles didn't feel like laughing at all. I expected him to be taking it easy the chill way in some backpacker paradise but fuck was he mad. Mad enough to create a designated account on Soulstrut to vent his anger. He wants to cultivate his chill persona and even though by then most everybody on the Strut would have applauded him to his opinion about me he does this anonymously.

    Of course he realizes his pants are down, he still tries a semi limp "he deserves it" but maybe he was talking about Samy, the enemy of his enemy. Now I'm beginning to think there are chemicals in that pipe of his so all is possible I guess. Better watch out with the drugs of the devil chill dude.

    Please stay with me. I'm taking it all full circle now:

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 6

    Back when I first got into this stupid as shit game of reissuing old records in 2008 and sitting on the balcony wining and dining my new friend, chill Miles, I asked him to please give me some advice on how to license those records I was interested in reissuing but didn't know how to find the artists. That was what I was interested in and not in some Poly comp, especially not to anger Samy.

    Miles told me he could help. Miles was big shit in those early years and I felt very honored that he was so kind to  help out the new guy.

    Miles said but hey, this is kind of thin ice here but I know this guy in Lagos named Laolu. He could basically license most of the Nigerian stuff but it was a bit iffy, "You know, this is Lagos, it's a tuff place and people generally don't get too old, many of them probably don't even live anymore". Miles also said something about some other "clearing house" that would be able to license Afrodisia stuff.

    I was a little taken aback cause Miles obviously didn't know much more then my at the time also new friend Mike from Academy. Remember this was 2008. Mike and me were newbies to the Afro scene and here I was talking to Miles, "the" legend...

    Academy had just put out the Ofege album which the help of this same Laolu and already has the Mebusas in the pipeline.

    At around the same time I also found a new friend in Uchenna, a man who grew up in Lagos himself, knew a lot of artists personally and made it his mission to license stuff the direct way. True and honest guy for whom I'd put both my hands into a dumpster fire over at a company that starts with Anal.

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 7

    Mike and me are already working on our first project together, hold onto your horses; a Nigerian Boogie comp. We licensed the majority of the Lagos Disco Inferno with Laolu but during the production process Mike and me were both beginning to have our first honest doubts about how legit this Laolu really was and we began to move on to our new Nigerian friend who could actually get us in direct touch with the artists. Laolu always wanted to protect his sources and artist interviews had to be conducted through him. This just never felt fluid enough for us to get a real sense of authenticity.

    Still with me here? I know in 2020 nothing feels more stale than talking about Nigerian Boogie comps but hey, to some that's still sort of hot shit. At least over in Milano. Milano? You're listening? That nice, young pair of yours still hanging in there all balls out?

    Anyway, I keep going through my records to see what sounds like dope disco tracks to my unexperienced, formerly western mainstream disco hating, ears. I keep getting back to Dori Ebong's Boogie Trip. At all my dj parties the crowd got bonkers to this tune so I think.... gotta use this. My friend Uchenna knows the song writer and producer so it's possible to license this tune as well!

    I remember that I sold the record to Amir and send him an email explaining that I'll use this song on my comp and offer him to buy the record back and return him bbe's money so he can go shop for something else but he says it's all cool.

    However, soon enough and due to the almighty self-entitlement of legendary celebrities and their legendary labels, both of which don't take kindly to newbies, "Boogie Trip" would becomes a long trip, leaving quite some blood on it's trail. And as it says so apt in the intro: "this is an expensive trip"

    But what the fuck could be expensive when you're sitting on a mountain in Costa Rica lighting blunts with cash from the Paris Boogie Mafia. Sorry again but I'm beginning to feel sort of nostalgic right now. Once more that is the one detail here that is not true, I swear. I like spending money with good people but I would never burn it. For that I respect it too much. A lot of people need it dearly.

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 8

    Mike and me are real happy to get our cow off the thin ice but at the same time, pure coincidence we think, Miles moves in for the big splash and releases a gigantic firework display of luxurious box sets in highly unusual, rapid succession. You guessed it, all "licensed" through Laolu before Laolu begins to distance himself from ever having licensed anything to anybody and Miles, on his bermuda shorts covered chicken legs, disappears to some backpacker paradise in the tropics before the sun sets, cock tail in hand.

    See, the big surprise in hindsight is that Miles has a secret big pal, some dude named Digger Elias who is nothing but a genuine criminal who enjoys calling up artists and threaten them with lawyers. Miles never mentioned this Digger fella to me during our more than brief friendship but, fuck, am I in for a big surprise and so are many people more:

    Digger Elias also works with this big, untouchable company named barely breaking even which you would think doesn't really inspire artist's trust to begin with but who cares?

    One thing for sure though...   hey, if you're some big as shit company you need to have lawyers. Remember this is 2008 or maybe even 2009, I'm already 41 years old but people much younger than me call me a newbie because I just got into African music in 2005 by moving there as a diplomatic spouse with nothing else to do but do what I did since the early 80s, drive around and buy records.

    Back then I feel a bit weird about the newbie part but I shut up and eat grit. I still know my place and stay in my lane... at first. When I contact bbe and ask who they signed Boogie Trip from that's now just been announced to be on their new comp they don't I tell me shit and refuse to take the tune off their celebrity comp. Mike had paid good money and Uchenna had worked super hard to find the right guy to get it licensed from. I also know bbe pay less than half of what we paid so I figure why share and have Mike pay double? Mostly I'm still pissed about an experience I had with bbe back in 2006 when they made me beg them to get Gustave from Poly and Gnonnas Gill (the late Gnonnas Pedro's son) a whole $200 from originally offered $180 per track. If you're a celebrity you can make $400 or even more just selling a record back to the boutique you bought it from with big company money. Old Gustave still had to run to Western Union twice. If you're bbe you have to take care of the real celebrities out there doing the hard digging work what's a day more or less or adouble ride to the bank for an old man? Nothing.

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 9

    See bbe have these real celebrity DJs do comps for them. One of them, Amir just bought some stupid overpriced records from me but I knew his ways and that bbe were cheap fucks so I was shameless. Also I'm about to take my wife on a 10 week US/Canada road trip and want to have enough spending money. I like paying my own way. She always had her separate accounting cause I'm not to be trusted with money, I like giving it away to good people whenever I can or if I get robbed on the street at night. More on that in the upcoming book – sorry for the commercial break.

    Later I find out the legendary crate digger just assumed that the licensing came included with the price tag while I thought you want to reissue a song, gotta clear it first even though I helped bbe out with licensing a few tracks for his last comp doesn't mean I'm a wizard... back then I was still driving around Benin and doing a favor for some friends. I even told him about my comp first and offered to buy the record back at the same inflated price. He didn't want to. Next I wrote to bbe directly, see celebrity don't do any work or have any interest in finding the guy who made the music. That made me a bit mad too.

    But fuck me as I'm about to find out that if you're bbe and big shit you get to write the rules, too. They pay Digger Elias to pay the son of the owner of the old, shut down record label that once had a, by then for decades expired, 2 year lease on the Boogie Trip back when it was first released.

    Sorry for the rehash but as my friend Uchenna once said:

    "Context Is Every Thing."

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 10

    So now Digger Elias, the street tough gangster goes to Tony Essien who wrote, produced and all but sang the song and threatens the shit out of poor old Tony.

    Uchenna and me are worried now too.

    Tony is so scared his hands are shaking as he rummages through his old paperwork and a crazy race against time begins. Both are in Nigeria and there are cellphone problems and then there's the time difference. We all get real sweaty.

    Tony will be sued, the money we just paid him won't pay enough for all the legal expenses he'll have against the mighty bbe and their lawyers in the around West Africa still feared former colonial powers in the Royal Kingdom.

    bbe now also threaten me(!) with some tuff as shit lawyer talk "you can expect our cease and desist in the mail" Very sure and full of themselves.

    I got so scared... I still have diplomatic immunity but I don't live in Africa anymore. I'm in NY now and easy to find, fuck I'm scared. I shit my pants but the shit is about to soon end up in the fan for real

    In the end, Tony manages the impossible, he finds the original paperwork, signed with the owner of Phonodisk (a pure business venture owned by a man who also owned a newspaper or something). He's dead so bbe, via Digger Elias sign their paperwork with the dead man's son who was and is entirely clueless about Tony or Doris or any damned Boogie Trip. bbe never intended to pay in the first place and now happily and knowingly pay to the wrong guy.

    Then they shut up right as they receive the scans of the paper work. Pants are down and soaked with shit. We all laugh.

    Still with me?

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 11

    We all celebrate like crazy. Damn, we're all so relieved I even post about it on Soulstrut and enjoy a bit of glee and a big laugh with my buddies...

    After begging, bbe paid 200 $us for a tune in royalties. Much less that what they pay their celebrity to go and shop in Manhattan boutique record stores for African records I supply to said boutiques.

    Sometimes the legend buys a record for as much as $400 or – gasp! – even more. bbe pays for his shopping sprees or for a Boogie Trip over to Park Slope to buy from me directly or to Queens where he shops with a rich doctor who has a water flood alarm system in his basement stored West African record collection, he's best friends with Miles, rich, like I said, but still likes to get over on people in trades, or at least that's how he sees it from his perspective and later likes to deliver short stabs and gloat about it. Nothing is too crazy for rich people in this fucked up world. Same guy boasts about housewifes coming to his offers trading sexual favors for Oxy prescriptions, real class act.

    On the Strut I make a joke or two about the bbe celebrity scam and feelings get hurt

    After a while there's a bit of a controversy that becomes very tiresome when it even reaches into the 10 week road trip. My wife and I really want to enjoy our time together with the dogs so I'm glad the multi-page shit storm that even leads to micro storms on other boards finally gets retired and I don't have to go online every time we check into a Motel. Wat can I say, I always was a loose as fuck canon, I still am and god knows I'm all but fucked and too old now to change.

    Sorry, detours, low hanging fruit and all. No hard feelings Amir and especially you, Kon. I think I never even met you before all this craziness and when you came out with hey, don't fuck with us, we play our records in the hood with crack cocaine smoke in the back an the soft gleam of well oiled handguns... I almost shat my panties a little but bbe still had my bowels running on empty.

    Sending goons around to threaten old men with lawyers... some scary ass shit...  Fucking record game, I don't know if it made me crazy or the other way round or if both was crazy as fuck since way before. I even had some pony tailed ethno honkie (spell?) get tough on me and make a powerful remark abut me having a "dangerously" bad rep around Africa. Pony tail plaid with housewife neo fascist Xavier Naidoo or how that guy calls himself, real scary guy... fucking pony tail doesn't like djs or my super old funk night back before 2005 when he didn't even live in the city yet. He plays with a famously amazing West African guitar player back when this all goes down. I'm impressed and wowed.

    Miles once paid that Ghanaian legend real money, loads of it, to make a big splash with sensational new recordings but then in the studio it turned out the man had forgotten how to play his instrument. Sad story but then the Berlin based Afrobeat Academy came to the rescue and "snap" old man could play his instrument again, the miracle happened some time around the bbe shit storm, you should see the old clips on youtube amazing work and great guitar playing. When watching these videos, pay attention to the details and you will get an appropriate impression of Ebo's skills at the time and how rapidly they improve month to month and year after year.

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Part 12

    Around the same time Miles is done with his crazy box sets he tells me he's going to stay in backpacker paradise, the island fits his budget and he's retiring, says he's over with "owning things", real chill dude this Miles, says "take it easy" a lot too, in a calm trust inspiring, vintage Hawaii shirt wearing, cheap cocktail with chemical treated fruit and paper umbrella sort of way but hey, I take it the best way possible and think by myself, real chill dude this Miles. It seems he's found peace.

    In all reality though he thinks by himself "You'll see... I'll pay you back big time. I'm going to fuck with your name and trademark. Me and my short friend Samy, enemy of my enemy. (I just stole Miles sole source for Nigerian vinyl by outpaing him. Miles paid 10gbp for the rarest shit you could imagine. Miles thinks: I'll fuck you up for good, I'll pass all those files you gave me onto Samy. Honestly, I wouldn't even have cared back that same day.

    Nothing ever gets too crazy in the world of extreme and real so called "crate digging". What a stupid as shit name, if the records are in crates or bins then you're in a record store, shopping for records. If you're digging you have your hands in the dirt and not in your own legendary pocket, those of a record company or down someone else's pants. Most definitely not in a store or a boutique. Not even if it's in another street, borrow or city than your own. Also not in a store in some other country not even on another continent, seemingly rich or poor. Stupid ass digging shit.

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    You want more crazy?

    Part 13

    So how does you as a celebrity get real street cred?

    You go to the boutique and sell them a record your company first paid you to buy from the queen in Queens or from the crazy fucked up diplomatic spouse in the Slope and think you impress the boutique owner  – who's a thieving cunt, the old and one of the new or already also former owners. You know who you are, both of you. Worst of all is the hungry looking one with the meth mouth and the crazy rich missionary parents who still enjoys to steal a "scratched up Highlife" to brag about on waxi and in a sort of slimy way half-ask upwards of $500 for it). You want prove? I have all the screen shots on an old laptop that's in storage back in Berlin but Ian who owns the new NYC shop I work with in these more modern but no less uncivilized days has copies. I'm sure he won't mind sharing if you ask nicely. You and I both know what's up.

    But anyway... after that advanced digger move you turn your celebrity ass around and walk out of your favorite Manhattan East Village record boutique thinking: "damn... now I showed him what real crate digging is really all about, he'll never figure out my sources."

    Paycheck laughs softly into his homeless beard as he walks himself all the way to the bank. I laugh too cause I already got paid either way.

    Btw, Manzanilla fucker stole hundreds(!) of records from Damian but got caught cause we were keeping photos and lists. I thought it was paranoid but Damian knew better. Tooth fairy tried a few fishy moves with me too while I was recovering from an experiment with natural psychedelics administered not before but during an active psychosis. This had me chill in a Central American rubber room for a week or two. Not because I was aggressive but for, with a wide smile on my face, telling the head nurse that she looked like a fat, bespectacled toad on her way to hell for having tortured many a patient before me. Not a good idea even though I told the truth from my perspective. However, the ingested substances were enough to make the first week seem like a wild, psychedelic carnival ride that included two escape attempts, one of which got me all the way to the front door. My memory is a bit foggy but believe me, nobody would seriously want to experience such an institution from the inside under whatever circumstances. Amazing experience though. Maybe one day I'll write a book about it. Writing... my latest fad. Life never gets old.

    Endlessly classy Manzanilla knew all these details about me and takes full advantage. Dumb as Miles he also goes on and plays himself. Not without the help of the in this case very effective Boogie Mafia bidding shit up over the moon with fake accounts. To such an absurd degree that had manzanilla directly run to Waxi and show off how he practically owned a front page or two on collectorsfrenzy.com (all genres) one day. Then he experienced some trouble cashing in (thanks again to Paris) and had to run to daddy for help before flying the cash out to Mexico (I hate banks, fun song, too). I even paid for a plane ticket to Puerto Escondido plus a bungalow for a week for the inconvenience. For another 5 digit transaction I sprung for plane tickets, a fully catered day at the pool, a fun party and what was meant to be a Miami hotel room but then he booked a two bedroom suite, just for his sister and himself which more than eliminated my dj fee. No biggie, I'm a generous crazy person and 5 years later I still have some cash left to live which is all that counts.

    You couldn't make any of this shit up if you tried. Believe me, all true.

    Oh and Miles, why can't Soundway answer to any sub-licensing requests for your legendary box sets? People are beginning to talk...

    No problem, probably just because Laolu retired and stopped answering his mails.. no biggie, nobody got hurt, right? Take it easy, I know, vintage class.

    Everybody's famous, everybody's rich, everybody's happy except old men in Lagos who often have to go hungry and scared of lawyers in the Royal Kingdom or lately in Austria

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Still not enough?

    Part 14

    Turn back around and call the crazy fucked up diplomatic spouse a nazi, psycho and/or colonialist. Not only classy and funny, makes you look real smart and clever, too.

    This, ladies and gentlemen is the art of bridge burning, that's where you graduate to when you leave the street tuff real world of extreme celebrity crate digging behind.

    Only try this at home if you have nothing to be afraid of, which is easy enough to achieve:

    Outside in the real world there's only 3 things in life you ever need to worry about:

    1- Bad Neighbors

    2- False Friends

    3- Thinking there's nothing You need to be afraid of

    That fragile sense of safety could be lying to you. Just like your friends and neighbors.

    Still with me Miles?

    My neighborhoods have been amazing for 5 years now and my friends are even better and even seem to be improving which almost sounds unbelievable but if you really pay attention and are careful enough then every moment comes with new surprises. I still don't know much about anything but I learned that much so far.

    I'm still afraid of the False, the Bad and the truly Ugly though and I'll never lose that fear because I know how real shit can get. Offline of course, the internet is all funny games, just as it should be.

    Ps: Is it just me or doesn't sound "Sozzy" sort of creepy in a sex tourist paper umbrella kind of way?

    Better take it easy Miles and take good care of yourself. I hope you find peace. I know how great that can feel once you are truly there.

  • billbradleybillbradley You want BBQ sauce? Get the fuck out of my house. 2,757 Posts

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,538 Posts

    Strut 2020 fam, Strut 2020!

  • Digger dreamz

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,538 Posts

    BTW Frank, as mentioned previously in a PM many moons ago, I said that I thought you should re-issue some of the records from Voodoo Funk podcast numero 6. It was full of tracks that were kind of on the borderline between afrofunk and disco/boogie. Mainly disco 4x4 backbeats, but often with polyrhythmic percussion and spaced out instruments over the top. Brilliant shit. Think you said all of that was in storage in Berlin. If it has since been re-issued, point the way. Or even if you just re-hosted the DJ mix somewhere I'd be happy to hear that again.

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    I don't have many of those mixes still around but maybe you're talking about this one that someone else posted on Mixcloud? It was mostly funk with some of what I thought of as disco-ish at the time. I really never had any clue about real Disco.

    There are newer mixes and a few of the old to be found here:

    and here


  • Holy shit, I thought the African reissue beef had spoiled but we just got some fresh ground chuck slapped down on the paper 

    I just about followed all that, Frank, as somebody who's lurked the Strut since forever, but I hope you're not writing your memoirs in this style - or at least have a disciplinarian editor. This is extremely inside baseball. Entertaining as hell though, thanks for dropping the full story. I remember reading this thread when it went down and it's more fun as a rambling narrative by a "crazy diplomatic spouse"/"one-trick-pony-selector" (depending on who you ask) than it was as semi mystified internet back-and-forth boeuf.

    What's your business now, Frank? You still driving around buying records?

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,538 Posts
    Frank said:
    I don't have many of those mixes still around but maybe you're talking about this one that someone else posted on Mixcloud? It was mostly funk with some of what I thought of as disco-ish at the time. I really never had any clue about real Disco.

    Don't think that's the one but it's nice. I've got an early mp3 device called a Zen Creative in storage that I put a lot of your early blog mixes on, but I need to (a) get the player and (b) find and download drivers so I can access the files. If/when it ever happens I'll reach out to you via soundcloud. Think it's got the first 6 mixes you put on your blog, maybe more.

  • FrankFrank 2,437 Posts
    Holy shit, I thought the African reissue beef had spoiled but we just got some fresh ground chuck slapped down on the paper 

    I just about followed all that, Frank, as somebody who's lurked the Strut since forever, but I hope you're not writing your memoirs in this style - or at least have a disciplinarian editor. This is extremely inside baseball. Entertaining as hell though, thanks for dropping the full story. I remember reading this thread when it went down and it's more fun as a rambling narrative by a "crazy diplomatic spouse"/"one-trick-pony-selector" (depending on who you ask) than it was as semi mystified internet back-and-forth boeuf.

    What's your business now, Frank? You still driving around buying records?

    oh no... the above exposé is the result of one day's "work" with the support of two acid tabs and a bottle of Mezcal Coyote. Rambling madness and Strictly Soulstrut material.

    Vol. 1; "the Record High" about my years in West Africa mentions a series of encounters I had, (at the time unknowingly so), with a covert enemy agent who lead me into the orchestrated knife point robbery briefly mentioned above and a similar trap that I sensed early enough to get the fuck out before the shit hit the fan.

    In the manuscript these encounters are told in all their strange and scary detail but with just a few brief hints to what or who might be behind it. This attempt to scare me away from Benin obviously didn't work, mainly due to a true and, as it turned out, protective enough friend. For the book this is nothing but a short side note in a long string of West African road trips. I didn't aim at a tiny audience of music obsessed record heads and never mentioned any licensing drama at all – which only started once I moved from Conakry to NYC but that's where the book ends.

    There is no name calling or finger pointing in the manuscript. Why bore readers, alienate publishers or open up room for legal troubles?

    However, like I mentioned above, online forums are all fun and games and I thought it would be worth my while to expose the back story of the 2008-2015 Afro reissue game from a 2020 point of view. Today I'm just glad I got out of it at what in hindsight seems as just about the right time. 

    Currently I'm writing a coming of age novel and on the side collect notes for a 3rd volume, the account of a so far 5 year long psychonaut's journey through Mesoamerica. All of it record unrelated but with a bit of music being mentioned here and there since the soundtrack has always a big part of my life. The business side is handled by record hustling friends who keep up the minimal cash flow needed down here. If the writing gig doesn't work out financially it'll still be something to keep me busy and there are enough records left to live comfortably for some quite more years to come.

    I don't keep records where I live and don't handle direct sales. Anybody who feels like gripping some coastal West African records can contact my friend Ian at Record City BK who just received a new shipment or, even better, visit his store. Those who prefer the private hustle can contact he who is known as the Horrific Child. Once this pandemic blows over and sea cargo becomes more timely (and with it safer for records), I'll also stock some bins at Academy.

    Stay healthy out there!

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