Ghana Soundz: Afrobeat, Funk and Fusion in the 70's
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The first in the series of highly acclaimed compilations from the Soundway team forming a unique window on a music scene previously unknown outside of Ghana. Seriously danceable from start to finish **** - MOJO Intoxicating deserves a place in your collection THE WIRE Unique Ghanaian Vibes STRAIGHT NO CHASER A West African Funk explosion NEW YORK TIMES Tracks: The 3rd Generation Band- Because Of Money / Oscar Sulley & The Uhuru Dance Bands Bukom Mashie / Marijata Mother Africa / Ebo Taylor Heaven / Gyedu Blay Ambolley & The Steneboofs Simigwa-Do / The Sweet Talks Eyi Su Ngaangaa / The Ogyatanaa Show Band Ageisheka / Honny & The Bees Band Psychedelic Woman / K. Frimpong & His Cubano Fiestas Hwehwe Mu Ya Yi Wo Mpena / The Apagya Show Band Kwaku Ananse / The African Brothers Self Reliance / Rob Make It Fast, Make It Slow / Alex Konadu Wawu Do Ho No / The Black Star Sound Nite Safarie.
A true historical landmark, Ghana Soundz: Afrobeat Funk & Fusion in 70's was produced by an Englishman named Miles Cleret who spent two years in Ghana hunting for rare master tapes and information about a sparsely documented and under-appreciated genre. He not only has fabulous ears, but also wrote the exhaustively detailed, infectiously enthusiastic liner notes.
During the 1960s, Highlife was the reigning musical craze in Ghana, but Western-derived rock and R & B influences were seeping in, creating a daringly experimental jazz-funk scene. Big bands combined home-grown drumming and chanting with cheeky, slapping bass lines, motel-bar organs, and guitars that wah-wahed their way from Muscle Shoals to Haight-shbury. These elements were typically, but not universally, augmented by braying horn sections whose soloists seemed to be channeling Miles and Bird. The closest African equivalent was Fela Anikulapo Kuti's huge, James Brownsian travelling mayhem machine, but even that priapic Nigerian icon's antics seem tame next to some of these tracks. --Christina Roden, Amazon.com
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There is a second volume called Ghana Soundz Volume II. It compliments Volume I perfectly and that also comes highly recommended.