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 December, rounding up 2017.
Click the album covers to listen and buy vinyl!
Benita – Time For A Change – Vinyl 7”
‘Maybe the best re-issue of the year?? Such an awesome disco record, big thanks to Athens Of The North for unearthing this super rare gem.’
Penya – Super Liminal – Vinyl LP
‘Penya’s superb electronic afro/latin percussive debut album on the ever-excellent On The Corner Records, who continue to release unique and brilliant new music.’
Odia Coates – Chump Change – 7” Vinyl
‘Along with the Benita this ranks as another favourite of 2017. A previously unreleased beauty from the The Sisters Love member Odia Coates. Fantastic cross-over modern soul/disco, released by the amazing Family Groove label.’
Clive Zanda – Is Here With ’Dat Kinda Ting’ – Vinyl LP
‘Love this, a limited re-issue on Cree Records of the crazy deep Trinidad jazz album ‘Is Here With ’Dat Kinda Ting’ by Clive Zanda. Highly recommended!!!’
Mushi & Lakansyel – Koté Ou? – Vinyl LP
‘Wow December was a good month for music, this beautiful Haitian jazz/Balearic/ambient album from 1983 was another highlight.’