on 1 February 2013
These 15 songs were recorded in 1970 - 76, and I'm almost glad the sound quality isn't better, because
some of phattest afro-beat numbers, like "Abakpe" and " Hanoubian Gabou", are grooving so hard that
improved sound quality could , under special circumstances, blow your head clean off. I'm willing to
give up food for funk and afro-beat, but not necessarily my life. Insane songs!
"Abakpe" has a kick-ass rhythm section, and the guitar parts on it owe more to rock n roll and blues than
the funky chug-chug-a-lug, and "Hanoubian Gabou" is a strutting, streetwalking son of a bootyshaking mum!
For me, these two songs are the definite highlites. You will also find other strange and wonderful moments
on it, like the organ solos on songs like "Wegne Nda M'Banda" and "A Nan Gan Garo", the slow groove of
"Ko Guere", "Dadon Gabou" and the breaks on "Gandigui" and "Guessi-Guere-Guessi".
Here are a few excerpts from the liner notes by the always reliable Samy Ben Redjeb, who nails it better
than anyone: "Word of mouth and the internet are some of the reasons for the rise in popularity of African
music in recent years. People are looking for something different - music with a twisted intonation, sounds
that make you travel by the simple fact that they are played in a bizarre, remarkable, surprising and
unconventional manner...The change of speed, rhythm and patterns within the individual songs are nothing short
of asthonishing...The first song on the tape was Dadon Gabou Yo Sa Be. I was hooked. The music was different,
very raw and a more psychedelic kind of afro-beat with loud organ solos and an amazing drummer going loose."
3.5 stars. A bit uneven, but if you dig "African Scream Contest" and other Analog Africa releases, you should
at least check out "Abakpe" and Hanoubian Gabou".