Oneness of Juju – Bush Brothers and Space Rangers [IMPORT] – New LP
Amazing set recorded 1977, going from didactic, sit-back reflective to jump-up funk, clearly going for the whole-body injection, speaking to your mind as they deliver some messages but also using the funk aimed right at the belt and below, at your toes and your hips, to get the feet shuffling and the hips moving, some going back to groove of the 1960s, Sly Stone, Funkadelic, and/or the message music of the Afrocentric music of the early 1970s but also foreshadowing some styles we'd see surface in hip hop in both the 1980s and 1990s, all of it cohesive but also quite a mix of sounds. This is clearly a set that needs to be experienced from start to finish, but also has plenty of highlights perfect for your DJ tables to get kick-start the block party or late-night basement outing...flick off the lights and give it a deep listen, and then haul those speakers out the door blast the messages to the street. -- winch (green noise)
, Bush Brothers & Space Rangers sees Oneness Of Juju at the peak of their powers in 1977. (this edition released May 13, 2022),
Oneness had enjoyed two fruitful years with Black Fire prior to these recordings, breaking through with the African Rhythms and Space Jungle Luv albums. “When we recorded African Rhythms we didn’t use a guitar,” explains bandleader Plunky Branch. “So, when vocalist Jackie Eka-Ete and guitarist Ras Mel Glover came in around ‘75, that moved our sound into a more soulful direction. The drummer on this album, Tony Green, was the drummer with Gil Scott Heron and he added a little more sophistication to our soulfulness. African percussionist Okyerema Asante was also fully incorporated into the band after joining in 1976. By 1977, we were in full production mode recording songs; one or two of the tracks here also feature Brian Jackson, known for his work with Gil.” Primarily recorded at Arrest Studios in Washington DC, the album is packed with landmark Oneness tracks including ‘Be About The Future’ (“possibly the first ecology-themed song that I know of”) the George Clinton-influenced ‘Plastic’, an acoustic alternative version of ‘African Rhythms’ and strong covers of Caiphus Semenya’s ‘West Wind’ and Bobby Womack’s ‘Breezin’’. Plunky continues, “The album is composed of several different sessions featuring different personnel and only first came out as an album in its own right when Black Fire MD Jimmy Gray started working with P-Vine Records in Japan during the ‘90s. For me, it’s one of the hottest periods for the band.” Remastered at The Carvery from the original tapes
Plunky & Oneness of Juju is the name of a rhythm & blues-African-jazz-funk band from Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A. The group, originally known as Juju, was founded in San Francisco in 1971 and has continued to evolve for over 30 years, performing and recording with changes in personnel and under different group names, but always led by J. Plunky Branch.