1/  Shango Message                             (Material,Bambaataa)          7.44
  2/  Thank You                                  (Stewart)                     7.35
  3/  Soca Fever                                 (Material,Bambaataa)          2.27
  4/  Zulu Groove                                (Material,Bambaataa)          9.10
  5/  Let's Party Down                           (Material,Bambaataa)          11.20

          Recorded at OAO Studio, Brooklyn, New York and RPM Studio, New York City
          Produced by Material and Afrika Bambaataa
Bernard Fowler (1,2): vocals; Max Wells (1): vocals; Amad Henderson (2,3,4,5): vocals; Fred Fowler (2,3,4,5): vocals; Afrika Bambaataa (2,3,4,5): vocals; Jimmy Mac (4): vocals; Bill Laswell: bass, percussion, records; Michael Beinhorn: DMX, synth, Prophet 5, clavinet, percussion; Nicky Skopelitis (2,5): guitar; Robert Arron (2): horns; Nicky Marrero (3,5): timbales, bongos, percussion; Olu Dara (4): trumpet; Craig Harris (4): trombone.

          1983 - Celluloid (USA), CELL 6100 (Vinyl)
          1984 - Celluloid/Carrere (France), 66.148 (Vinyl)
          1984 - Celluloid/Carrere (UK), CAL 207 (Vinyl)
          198? - Celluloid (USA), CELLCD 6100 (CD)


Shango Funk Theology is another collaboration between hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa and the "1000 project man" Bill Laswell, featuring the usual suspects like Michael Beinhorn and Nicky Skopelitis. The music is a cross between the Material disco-funk from the time and Bambaataa's hip-hop workouts, with weird chants, rapping and (for the most part) programmed breakdance beats. There's a cover of Sly Stone's "Thank You," featuring ultra-groovy clavinet playing by Beinhorn; the other tracks are originals, including the short but catchy "Soca Fever," where Nicky Marrero's percussion blends extremely well with the DMX beats, and the irresistible "Let's Party Down," which has Laswell, Beinhorn and the rest of the crew at their funkiest. Deep bass, tasty synths, bold horn charts and clever grooves -- anyone who's into Laswell's similar '80s music might have to track this down immediately. Unfortunately, the album has never been reissued on CD; the vinyl pressing can still be found, however. Some of the tracks (though not all) are on various Celluloid compilations, e.g. Deconstruction or Materialism.

Chris Genzel (courtesy of the All Music Guide by way of the Get Music website)