Tag Archives: Ghana

Basa Basa Soundz – Dr Solutsu

Various Artists – Ghana Special - Modern Highlife, Afro Sounds, Ghanaian Blues 1968 - 1981

Various Artists – Ghana Special – Modern Highlife, Afro Sounds, Ghanaian Blues 1968 – 1981

My blogging habit with double albums is to post a track from each CD and so this week, a little late – apologies, is a track from the second CD of the Soundway compilation Ghana Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Ghanaian Blues 1968-81. The track I have chosen is Dr Solutsu by Basa Basa Soundz featuring a sax solo by the pioneer of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti.

One of the joys of this compilation is as an introduction to so many bands that you could probably not find in Ghana today never mind outside the country. And the excellent notes and photos in the packaging draw you into the music and lives of the musicians.

From the notes about this track, you learn how the band travelled to Nigeria to record the album which was then sold, without much success, in Nigeria and back in Ghana. Fela Kuti was recording at the Decca studios in Nigeria at the same time as Basa Basa Soundz and liking the music he heard, he asked to sit in on this track and provided the distinctive sax solo.

More background can be found in this article about John Oko Nyaku, a former member of Basa Basa Soundz who is now working as a photographer in the USA.

Basa Basa Soundz – Dr Solutsu

The Mercury Dance Band – Kai Wawa

Various Artists – Ghana Special - Modern Highlife, Afro Sounds, Ghanaian Blues 1968 - 1981

Various Artists – Ghana Special – Modern Highlife, Afro Sounds, Ghanaian Blues 1968 – 1981

A short post today as I’m off on holiday for a few days.

Today’s post is from a compilation from Soundway Records, the descriptivley titled Ghana Special – Modern Highlife, Afro Sounds, Ghanaian Blues 1968 – 1981. This double album set was a Christmas present to me from my children. So thanks again to “tutti e due”, the collection is a delight.

Soundway Records is a UK-based label, “dedicated to re-releasing lost and forgotten recordings from the world’s most vibrant musical cultures”. They have certainly lived up to their billing here. No-one would argue with “vibrant” to describe these tracks and they are probably “lost and forgotten” in Ghana and rarely discovered in most of the world.

Todays track is the opener on disc 1, The Mercury Dance Band – Kai Wawa. I’m off now to pack my Wellington boots, sou’wester, balaclava etc. See you next week.

The Mercury Dance Band – Kai Wawa

Black Beats – Anokwa Edomi

Various Artists – Telephone Lobi

Various Artists – Telephone Lobi

Onto the second of the three Original Music albums in my collection; Telephone Lobi (Telephone Lover) – More Giants of Danceband Highlife. This album follows Giants of Danceband Highlife, a previous Original Music release. Whereas Giants of Danceband Highlife concentrates on just three bands, Telephone Lobi a has 23 tracks from a total of 13 bands.

In his sleeve notes of 1995, John Storm Roberts wrote that ; “Ghanaian and Nigerian horn band highlife gave us one of the great sounds of the past half-century. It had all the optimism and bounce of a time when political independence or the prospect of it was energizing everybody and everything.” The tracks presented on Telephone Lobi have “optimism and bounce” by the bucket load. If you are not energised by highlife music then surely nothing will move you!

As a nice coda to this post, Santa Claus (bearing a remarkable resemblance to my dear children), delivered another highlife compilation this week. Ghana Special – Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds and Ghanaian Blues 1968-81. It’s a double album too, so by the rules of the game I can post two tracks, one from each CD. Expect more goodies from Ghana soon!

Black Beats – Anokwa Edomi