There’s an essential world-music compilation called Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump, which you’ve probably never heard of, but will make your life better by tracking it down. Need proof not everyone on planet Earth spent the ’70s drinking Long Island Iced Teas under disco balls while doing Studio 54 bathroom bumps in five-inch platform heels? Check out the compilation’s 16 wildly diverse tracks, all pulled from albums which made Nigeria one of the most funky places on the planet. Think fever-dream Afrobeat, swaggering funk, desert blues, uplifting highlife, spritual juju, and jazz-laced psychedelia.
Here’s the great thing about Polyrhythmics: the band isn’t on Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump, but sounds like it should have been. One possible reason for the oversight? That would be that Polyrhythmics might seem just beamed in from the world-music section of the ’70s, but the octet didn’t actually come together until 2012. And a second is, despite sounding like it was made for a bill at the Afro-Spot in the Empire Hotel, where the headliners might have included Dynamic Africana and Eric “Showboy” Akaeze & His Royal Ericos’, Polyrhythmics actually call Seattle home.
You’d never know it from the way that the group effortlessly combines, well, fever-dream Afrobeat, swaggering funk, desert blues, soaring highlife, and jazz-laced psychedelia. You can check out Polyrhythmics on old-school vinyl, including 2020’s Man From the Future, or the made-for-'70s-themed-dinner-soirees concept EP Fondue Party. Or, even better, catch the band at the fabulous Rickshaw on Saturday (November 20) with Vancouver’s own aptly named Raincity.
Buy your ticket in advance and you’ll also be entered in a draw to win a record at the show. And, no, that record isn’t a mint 180-gram-vinyl copy of Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump, even though it would go great with anything in the Polyrhythmics catalogue.More