quarta-feira, 5 de agosto de 2009

Pax Nicholas na Daptone

Em Outubro do ano passado publiquei no Público um artigo sobre o regresso de uma certa África e uma das entrevistas que conduzi foi com Pax Nicholas, que de acordo com Frank Gossner do blog Voodoo Funk produziu uma verdadeira obra prima que finalmente está prestes a ser reeditada na Daptone. Eis o que Frank tem a dizer sobre o álbum:

The Pax Nicholas LP was one of the first African records I ever found. It's also one of the rarest records in my posession as I don't know of anybody else who has ever seen or heard this. Which is a shame because this also is one of the best and most unique sounding Afrobeat records out there.
During my 3 year stay in West Africa, I managed to track down Nicholas over the internet and ironically, I found out that he lives in Berlin now. When I asked him if there were any master tapes left, he told me that years ago, he had a big fight with his brother during which they both ended up throwing the tapes at each other until they (the tapes) were totally mangled.
Thankfully, my copy of this record was in pristine and unplayed condition when I had found it so we were able to re-master from the original vinyl. This album is being released by my longtime fiends at Daptone Records and will be in stores worldwide by September.

Entretanto, deixo aqui ficar na íntegra a entrevista que realizei com Nicholas para recolher material para o já referido artigo. Penso que não vale a pena traduzir.

You are about to re-release a classic album on an american label. Were you surprised to find out that present generations are still interested in music produced 3 or 4 decades ago?
You know as matter of facts, the present generations are very open to good music and when they go to discos or to parties, they listen and dance to the mix down music of the 60`s and 70`s and they like it very much because it influenced them to know exactly what has been happening before and at present but my little surprise and proudness that this generation are going back, to their roots and there`s no doubt at all.

How would you describe Nigeria in the 70s terms of it's music scene? Was there a record industry? Lots of places to play? Record shops? Radio stations?
Nigeria in the 70`s got these recording studio`s: (E.M.I., DECCA) and ARK Studio which Ginger Baker the world`s greatest drummer bought at Lagos-Ikeja. There were some few clubs in Lagos where most of the Nigeria musicians used to play but not well known as Fela Kuti`s African shrine, at Surulere-Night Club Lagos.
Record shops are everywhere and you can hear people playing different kinds of music. Traditional, Juju music, Afrobeat, Funk, Soul and Reggae. There was a radio station but I think you have to give a bribe before your music will be played on air, often.

How were the studios back then?
I was a lucky young artist to have that opportunity, to record at the new Ginger Baker Studio at Lagos-Ikeja (Sponsored by Tabansi Agencies, Label). Ark studio is where I recorded and it´s about more than 32 recording tracks and a very good technology.

What kind of music was influencing you in the 70s? Were you listening to american funk and jazz?
Actually, I started my music career at the age of six during my elementary schooltimes as a traditional dancer and a singer. In the 70`s, I learned more how to drum and sing and always, listen to other music. Music like Otis Redding, James Brown, Sam Cook, Wilson Picket (Parliament with Boosty Collins) Stevie Wonder, Sly and the family stone, B.B.King, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Groover Washinton and at last the chief priest FELA RANSOME KUTI before I joined the African 70`s band.
I recorded all this my favourite artist music, by friends and listening to all at home. If not then, I must buy the records that I want to hear and enjoy them.

Was the Nigerian music from the 60s and 70s strickly for internal audiences or were you already being released in other countries?
Yes, from the 60`s and 70´s of Nigeria music some of them being released in other countries like France and England but most of them strickly, being released for internal audiences. But it depends on the Label, publisher or distributors.

There's a lot of reissues of music from Nigeria, Ghana, etc going around right now and there seems to be a renewed interest in african music from the 60s and 70s. Has the world finally caught on with what you were doing back then?
You are not wrong it was just like that with few exceptions on most of the African music. Fela kuti was better in the music business he was on E.M.I Label and later on changed, to local distribution due to his political fight with the Nigeria Government. He was very famous so he was doing good on the local distributions and through that he wide up, to France and other countries for the international deals.
Now after his death, a lot of old great records has been found and reissued. More international labels on african records and good publishers and distributors Dj`s searching for the good music of the 60`s and 70`s to make real for the present generation.
My music style funk afrobeat, with some piece of soul and a kind of a traditional style, of singing. When it released, Fela Kuti stop the Tabansi not continue with me because I am his musician and playing in his band. That was the reason why my Tabansi cannot continue with me but my music is powerful and today we can hear it again. Frank Grossner is the one, who got this record back life.

Are you still playing? What is your present occupation in Germany?
Yes, I have a 10piece band and we play live in Berlin. We play only compositions from me and we`re looking forward for a good management. My present compositions are also powerful and interesting.
Our next concert in Berlin will be on the 24th of Oct.2008 in Berlin at “Pfefferberg” and it will be a big party with my band ( RIDIMTAKSI ).
I will record most of my interesting songs live in the future. My music styles, ( Afrobeat Funk, Afrobeat Soul, Ghana hi-life Afrobeat, Afrobeat Reggae.) Traditional percussion music.

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