In this third blog entry we want to talk about a pretty ignored record: Norberto de Noah’s Böhöbé Spirits Müsic. Read and listen, it won’t disappoint you!
GETTING TO KNOW A RECORD: DAILY ROUTINE
Looking for records is usually explained garnished with epic anecdotes. But finding new music is usually just a completely common part of our banal daily lives. It may sound boring, but this is not a problem to us, one must accept that looking for something nearly always means long unexceptional journeys. And here we have an example, just daily routine (but with a happy ending!):
Arnau is at the back office in Discos Paradiso working (or smoking, or both of them). Nothing new here, this happens nearly every day, when the shop is at full performance: Gerard in front attending to clients and –as already said– Arnau behind attending to virtual clients and other duties. He has in front of him a stack of records to be checked, which doesn’t appear especially interesting. He has to check them one by one (kind of music, shape of the cover, shape of the record, etc.) and price them. There are different kinds of records there:
(1) Lots of the records from the stack are old acquaintances, so the main point is just grading (possibly also cleaning most of them) and afterwards they can be priced easily.
(2) In the stack there is a second group of records, which are somehow new to him, so they have to be heard and checked in Internet.
(3) From this second bunch of records there are still some –not many– records without much information available.
And here, in the third group, is where FUN begins! Yes, being exposed to music without any additional information is t-h-e real fun! It’s only a Record and You, nothing else. It must be recognized that the curiosity usually brings to nothing; most of the records are finally crappy or average ones. But ones in a while there’s a surprise. And this afternoon is one of them: Arnau puts the needle onto a record –without expecting much of it, because he already knows the artist, but not the record!– and what comes out sounds surprisingly great! It is weird: a blend of African music, some Wave and Electronics, and even a Spanish touch. What a mixture!
Afterwards, Gerard hears the music coming from the back office and leaves the counter to ask for the record being played. Both of them love it! Magic done!
After a couple of days listening to the opinion of friends exposed to the record there’s no doubt, this is for sure a great record!
And this is how, without a great adventure, but doing the daily work with love and care, we could get to know about another great record. That time the record found was Böhöbé Spirits Müsic by Norberto de Noah, but it could be something else, completely different.
THE ARTIST: NORBERTO DE NOAH
After our uninteresting personal not-adventure with the record, a short explanation of who Norberto de Noah is.
Norberto Echuaca Noah-James, better known as Norberto de Noah, native of Equatorial Guinea, is composer, show-man, actor, record producer, etc. Although Böhöbé Spirits Müsic has been pretty ignored for a long time, Norberto is not a hidden artist, as other projects by him had relative success.
Come to Spain to study acting and dance in the eighties, he issued his first record in Spain as part of Nokhis (Lollipop, 1984). It took him four years to release as a solo artist under the name of Norberto de Noah. It was 1988 when Norberto created his own record label Kilimandjaro Productions to issue his own work. It’s interesting to point out that the option of producing the record by himself was quite unusual back then in Spain. There were independent record labels, but private pressing wasn’t a common decision back then in the country. That same year Norberto issued two records: a single –Tarzán wuawuancko in Plaza Castilla– and a mini-LP –Böhöbé Spirits Müsic–, the reason of this blog entry.
Afterwards, in 1989, the artist issued in the same label a couple more singles and a second album, The Spanish Black Boy. According to some biographical details found in Internet, this album was very successful and did even appear in the charts of Los cuarenta principales –a Spanish radio station well-known for its chart music lists–, but no evidence about this point could be found.
In 1990 Norberto would put out a maxi single/single release, Kunta Kinte: profesión semental under another label, possibly also his own, called Bananas Podridas.
Thereafter, as far as we know, he didn’t issue any other release. According to some information also found in Internet, he would continue having a link with the music world as DJ and producer, but we have also found no evidence about it.
Musically speaking, this is what we can explain for now about Norberto’s career. We tried to contact Norberto some time ago without success. What a shame… We hope he’s doing fine! If he ever sees this post, contact us, please!
SPREAD THE WORD: FINDING OTHER COPIES
Since the day Arnau and Gerard got to know Norberto’s mini-LP, this record has been a not very well-kept secret. And since then, we all have come to know that the record was not only a good one, but also a very difficult to find one!
Nevertheless, after some effort we could find another copy of it in Madrid. We were there to deal with an artist, and we could find some spare time to look for records here and there. And this was one of our best finds of the trip.
Finally, last month we could find a spare copy, so we are really happy to offer it for sale! If you like what you hear, take into account that this one doesn’t come out very often!
Thanks to Norberto de Noah for his music, to the blog no80s-gruposnacionales for the information found there –especially interesting taking into account the contribution there of Norberto de Noah’s own personal old website, nowadays unfortunately unavailable.
In this text some information has been given and at the same time questioned, because some facts don’t fit in with the dates.
Text by Ignasi Molina i Montasell. Double check by Narcís Molina i Montasell. Arnau Farrés Vázquez getting everything ready.