The folks at Milan's Dig This Way Records have a reminder for us: all the crates will never completely be dug. The latest evidence is their reissue of Drunkard by the Central African Republic's Vibro Success Intercontinental Orchestra.
Vibro Success were the first band to use a drum kit in Congolese-style rumba. They were Bangui's biggest band in the 1970s, became the toast of Yaoundé and N'Djamena due to their constant touring of neighboring Cameroon and Chad, and recorded a series of albums in Aba, Nigeria for the Ben Limited record label, hence the "Intercontinental Orchestra" moniker.
I can't speak to all of their recorded output, but I can tell you that 1978's Drunkard is on par with the best music of Africa's post-independence era. And that's saying something, since they're a band I had literally never heard of under a few weeks ago. Hear them for yourself this week on Global A Go-Go.
Also this week (Sunday April 3, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards on the wrir.org archive player, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): a boatload of excellent new releases from artists who, like Vibro Success, you have probably never heard before -- Stephanie Santiago, Kiko Villamizar, The Bongo Hop, The Bogie Band featuring Joe Russo, Reggaesta and Congotronics International. And plenty of Global A Go-Go classics to balance the scales.