Mr Bongo started life in 1989 as a small record shop underneath Daddy Kool’s Reggae Store on Berwick Street in London. They were the first shop to sell vinyl releases from independent hip hop labels such as Def Jam, Rawkus, Nervous and Big Beat outside of the USA. They also became an established bearer for hard-to-find, classic Latin music, particularly Brazilian, outside of the Americas. Over the following years Bongo moved three times within Soho and opened in Shibuya, Japan. They moved their offices to Brighton in 1999.
25+ years on they now have a recording roster featuring some of the best Brazilian, Latin, reggae, African and Jazz music by artists including Terry Callier, Jorge Ben, Joyce, Seu Jorge, Prince Fatty, Incredible Bongo Band and Marcos Valle. At the end last year they opened up a new store in Brighton. Below are their 5 favourite records in store last September.
Click the album covers to listen and buy vinyl!
Joao Donato Quem É Quem – Vinyl LP
‘A Brazilian all time classic (which is on a lot of peoples wants lists) finally gets a repress on Polysom. Includes the mighty track ‘Cala Boca Menino’.’
Them Mushrooms – Them Mushrooms EP – 12” Vinyl
‘Fredrik continues to treat us unearthing yet more gems on his Afro- 7’s 12” series. This time around a tasty package from Them Mushrooms. A fully licensed EP of four catchy 80’s afro-synth tracks out of Kenya. Limited pressing.’
Jerry Washington / Timmy Thomas – Don’t Waste My Time / It’s What They Can’t See – 7” Vinyl
‘Another label on fire at the moment is Suncut. Releases number 4 will make a lot of Floating Points / Four Tet fans very happy. Jerry Washington’s ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ was included on their last night a Plastic People live DJ mix.’
Caravela – Caravela EP
‘An awesome debut EP from London based Afro-Brazilian quintet, Caravela. The EP blends Brazilian and Cape Verde communal,traditional and spiritual music with an improvisational jazz attitude. Limited to 300 vinyl copies.’
HNNY Ta Paus – EP
‘Great to have Swedish producer HNNY back. This fantastic downtempo journey has a lovely autumn feel. Limited single-sided vinyl EP/mini LP, a beautiful record with beautiful artwork to match.’