Cultures of Soul deliver another rare piece of history in the form of afrobeat group SJOB Movement’s 1977 release Friendship Train. The LP is the first in a series of Nigerian releases the label are pulling together with the help of producer Uchenna Ikonne. Uchenna describes SJOB’s founder and lead vocalist/drummer, Prince Bola Agbana, as “an early and respected exponent of funk. A catalyst in the retrofit of juju into a modern pop genre.”
As the title track to the group’s second LP, ‘Friendship Train’ contributed significantly to their rise in fame. When you consider Fela Kuti released ‘Colonial Mentality’ and ‘Sorrow, Tears and Blood’ in the same year, ‘Friendship Train takes afrobeat deeper into funkier territories, with undulating drums and spaced out Moog synthesizer sounds, combining with the infectiously upbeat vocals and layered trumpets.
So fleeting was the success of SJOB, that ‘Friendship Train’ still hasn’t caught the attention of the Youtube community. So, a full 40 years after its original release we can fully premiere the track online, just in time for you to pick up the record from the Cultures of Soul before release on 20th March.