Dec 20, 2012

Federator N°1

Federator N°1 brings together afrobeat and afro-dance music in an exceptional live experience. Originals and arrangments of familiar tunes are at once both deeply traditional and unapologetically modern - maintaining the power of music to speak to today's situation - culturallly, politically, and musically. Federator N°1 will free both your body and your mind.

Based in Boston, where there is a vibrant african music scene, Federator N°1's name is inspired by a piece about Fela Kuti. One of the guys who worked on Radio Shrine furthering Fela's musical message spoke about the role of the station as the primary Federator of Afrobeat. In that vein, our role is to be the Federator of the first order of afrobeat and afro-centric dance music in Boston. The name also references Konono N°1, and the fantastic work they are doing playing music that is at once traditional and modern.

Check out some information

Federator N°1



Dec 18, 2012

GET IT: Kumapim Royal's Band ‎– Mani Agyina Wo


A1. Adee A Owo Aye
A2. Mani Agyina 
A3. Ohoho Batani 
B1. Asamando
B2. Mene Wo Ara 
B3. Me Mbo Tuo 
B4. Me Su Me Fre Wo 

Dec 17, 2012

Femi Kuti announces new album "No Place for My Dream" for 2013!

Femi Kuti Returns to Afrobeat Roots on New Album

Unlike his 2010 Grammy-winning album, Africa for Africa, Femi Kuti opted to record its forthcoming follow-up, No Place for My Dream, in Paris instead of Nigeria. Why remove himself from his native country? As the 50-year-old singer and son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela tells Rolling Stone when he calls from Nigeria, he wanted to take advantage of the technological advances abroad to fully energize his highly politicized music. "I live this experience. I'm in Nigeria right now," he explains. "We have no electricity in my house. There was a bomb blast in Kano today. So I'm experiencing it."

Kuti sees No Place for My Dream as the inevitable return to the Afrobeat music which helped launch his career in the late Eighties and culminated with the release of 1998's critically acclaimed Shoki Shoki. In the years since, Kuti says he found himself with the opportunity to expand his musical repertoire, most notably by working with American hip-hop artists such as Mos Def, Common and Jaguar Wright for 2001's Fight to Win. "It was my going off what I wanted to do, what I had to do," he says. "Now it's going back on track where I really want to be with No Place for My Dream. It's like going back to where I started off."

The album also breaks new topical grounds. "I think this album is probably more political than any of the songs I've done," he says. For the album's highly emotional bent, the singer drew upon his experiences touring abroad, as well as his constant ingestion of news reports of global suffering. "I'm feeling the pain of the people that love my music," he says. "I'm watching the news and seeing all the riots, so many people out of work, the global recession. This is very disheartening news. The songs are not really for Nigeria or Africa anymore. They are for people I love. I'm just voicing their pain with my music."

To that effect, the singer doesn't mince words in his new tunes. On "No Work No Job No Money," over a slinky guitar groove and reggae-tinged synths, he ruminates on behalf of the 99 percent: "See the suffering of the people/ They no getting nothing/ Then they hungry," he laments. On "Politic Na Big Business" his aim shifts to the greed of our world's lawmakers: "As I rack my brain/ Trying to understand politics/ Again and again/ Politicians use the same tactics," he bellows atop a foreboding, minor-key melody with a stabbing horn section.

Kuti is aware that returning to his Afrobeat roots– and loading his songs with political undercurrents – will likely draw comparisons to his late father. However, he insists he's keen on carving his own path. "I think it's very important for me to give tribute to who it's due," he says. "So that's very important to my father's creation. I must respect that all the time. But I don't want to be my father's replica. I want to find my own spirit, my own soul and my own voice."

The singer plans to release No Place for My Dream in early 2013 and will hit the road just after the New Year, kicking off a string of U.S. tour dates on January 13th in Miami. Having recently turned 50, Kuti says he now feels better equipped to balance his touring life with his role as a father to his 10 children. "I think I'm a better person now," he says. "I'm calmer. I think when I was younger, I was very overprotective to a lot of personal issues. I was too hard on people around me. People probably think I'm too sensitive now and too emotional, blah, blah, blah, blah. I like me where I am now."

Dec 14, 2012

Ifang Bondi - Saraba

Ifang Bondi, meaning "be yourself" in Mandinka language, grew out of the former Gambian band called the Super Eagles. Founded in the 60's the Super Eagles was the undisputed top group in the Gambia and Senegal. In 1968 they toured Ghana, making an enormous impact with their very African sound in a country which was shortly to produce Osibisa.

In 1970 Super Eagles was disbanded only to rise up again in 1973, as Ifang Bondi. The name was new as the sound, featuring for the first time indigenous Senegambian rhythms, melodies and instruments. They integrated traditional instruments as kora, balafon, sabar, talking drum, bugarabu and djembe with mordern instruments as the electric guitar, base and keyboards.

As such they have been credited to be the true originators of the current "Afro-Manding" sound as extemporised by stars such as Yousou N'dure, Salif Keïta and Mory Kante.

With the latest CD "Gis Gis" Ifang Bondi celebrates their 25 years of existence with the leader bassist Badou Jobe who is the only original member remaining in the band. Badou Jobe has been with the Super Eagles from the beginning and has been the driving force in 1973 when the big change in style happened. The group lives in The Gambia and makes tours to Europe every year with a base in the Netherlands.


A1. Atis-A-Tis
A2. Xaleli Africa
A3. Saraba
A4. Yolele
B1. Zalel Dey Magg
B2. Sutukun
B3. Xam Xam

Dec 7, 2012

From Senegal: Royal Band De Thiès

TERANGA BEAT proudly presents the ROYAL BAND de THIÈS in their first ever and entirely unreleased 1979 recording. Singers and composers JAMES GADIAGA & SECKA will guide you through the sweet melodies, wicked rhythms and vocal traditions of Senegalese music, in a fabulous performance that combines MBALAX with AFRO-JAZZ. While many bands in the world claimed the title of “Pacesetters” none can stand next to ROYAL BAND de THIÈS. The 9-member band with its dynamite percussion and horn sections will twist you like tornado! Tracks like "HOMMAGE À MBAYE FALL" will take you on a musical journey to the cultural crossroads of Senegal, West Africa’s meeting point of European, Latin American and African musical traditions. This real-time, two-microphone recording gives the impression that the group is playing live in front of you, making it hard to believe it dates back 33 years ago! The liner notes of the double gatefold LP and CD booklet include more interesting details, outlining JAMES's & SECKA's musical careers along with the past and present of the band. We hope you will enjoy!


The Royal Band de Thiès was formed by Mapathé 'James' Gadiaga in 1972, after he had left a school band Cayor Rhythm de Thiès. He soon called upon singer Adama Seck 'Secka' to join him. In their hometown Thiès, the second city of the country with more than 300,000 inhabitants, located around 70 kms East of Dakar, the Royal Band frequently performed in various clubs and venues, and recorded in Club Sangomar. Only occasionally they performed in Dakar.

They released a few cassettes and made it to reasonable fame in Senegal but never made it to international audience nor to an international release. Only a small incrowd of Senegalese music fans was familiar with them until small Dutch label Dakar Sound released a number of their songs on their compilations. Their music is loved for the expressive, soulful vocals and the raw and funky rhythms. The Royal Band's style of mbalax can be seen as quite recognisable.

Another niche label for Senegambian music, Teranga Beat, uncovered their first recordings from 1979, thusfar unreleased. The album « Kadior Demb » is the first full-length album available after so many years.

In 1984, Mapathé 'James' Gadiaga left to join Super Diamono before engaging in other musical adventures (Johnny Clegg, followed by a period in France), before creating Super Cayor de Dakar back in Senegal.


In August 2004, Greek DJ Adamantios Kafetzis was traveling West Africa and found himself in Thiès, a quiet city 40 miles east of the port city of Dakar, the capital of Senegal. In a derelict nightclub he was smitten with the band, The Royal Band de Thiès, and particularly their singer, Adam Seck dit Secka, whose powerful voice summoned the authority of the ancient griots amidst the contemporary dance rhythms. Scouring the city for recordings by the Royal Band yielded only a handful of dodgy cassettes, but the search inspired Kafetzsis to start his own label, Teranga Beat, in order to unearth previously lost documents of Senegal’s rich musical landscape. The discovery of a stash of archival tapes recorded by local impresario Moussa Diallo “Sangomar” Thiès has yielded a handful of releases, all of them excellent, but none quite as revelatory as Kadior Demb, the previously unreleased first album by The Royal Band recorded live in the studio in 1979.

The Royal Band de Thiès was formed by Secka and Mapathe Gadiaga dit James in 1972 and they were one of the progenitors of a style of music that would become known as Mbalax. Now the national popular dance music of Senegal and Gambia, Mbalax was initially developed in response to the perceived decadence of the post-colonial period and the rise of African nationalism. A fusion of Western dance styles like jazz, funk and Latin American salsa, Mbalax distinguishes itself from more Europeanized African music by singing in Wolof, the regional lingua franca, and the integration of indigenous sabar tribal drumming with the conventional rhythm section. James was instrumental in leading this charge and eventually left for greener pastures in Dakar, Pretoria (where he briefly played with Johnny Clegg) and Marseille before returning to Senegal to form Super Cayor de Dakar. James can be heard on Kadior Demb, his keening tenor providing a delightful contrast with Secka’s silky baritone and the nine-piece band typical of the era, complete with dual electric guitars and a stabbing horn section.

What makes The Royal Band’s version of Mbalax unique is their distinctive approach to rhythm. Accents and downbeats are subtly displaced, making an even number of beats sound uneven—all the while remaining imminently danceable—and this rhythmic device can be found all over Kadior Demb. On songs like “Cherie Coco,” “Korolober” and “Righie Righie,” a six-beat meter is made to sound like a measure of four plus an extra two beats, while on “Dagath,” an eight-beat meter feels like a measure of three beats plus five. These asymmetrical metrical schemes contrast starkly with the up-and-down rhythms of Western music and provide an off-kilter yet strongly propulsive drive. Elsewhere, as on dreamy ballads like “Ma Kodou Deguene,” “Doudhane” and “Sama Yaye Boye,” the duple rhythms are more straightforward and flowing but with the voices and instruments weaving intertwined melodies of complex syncopation. Meanwhile, “Hommage à Mbaye Fall” is the most Westernized sounding track, a long Afro-jazz jam session with moody saxophone soloing over a bed of two-chord, modal vamping. Nevertheless, it is as beguiling as everything else on the album.

Recorded with just two microphones at the Sangomar Night Club in Thiès, Kadior Demb, boasts astonishingly vivid sound quality, bringing The Royal Band right into your living room. Every guitar curlicue, horn riff and vocal line is crystal clear and extraordinarily detailed while the bass and drums pack a solid punch—proof of the efficacy of a simple stereo recording technique. The CD sounds great but I’d be willing to bet the limited edition two-LP vinyl edition sounds even better and would be well worth seeking out. While Kadior Demb is a glorious discovery, Kafetzis claims two more unreleased recordings are forthcoming. The resurrection of these long-lost documents should bring The Royal Band de Thiès the international recognition which is so obviously long overdue.


01. Cherie Coco
02. Kouye Magana
03. Ma Kodou Deguene
04. Dagath
05. Doudhane
06. Mariama
07. Gossar
08. Korolober
09. Sama Yaye Boye
10. Hommage à Mbaye Fall
11. Righie Righie

Dec 5, 2012

C.K. Mann & His Carousel 7 - Funky Highlife

C.K. Mann made his name as a virtuous guitar player in Ghana when he played with Moses Kweku Oppong in the Kakaikus Guitar Band in the early 60s. He then became the leader of the band Ocean’s Strings until 1966. In 1968, he enjoyed a hit with the single ‘Edina Benya’.

Mann was known for blending authentic African music with European influences. He was inspired by Latin American music and created a style all of his own. He became known as the ‘King of Highlife‘ in Ghana in the 70's, when he released the record ‘Nimpa Rebre’ featuring vocals from Pat Thomas and Kofi Yankwon.

Funky Highlife came out of the Essiebons label run by Dick Essilfe Bondzie. According to Dick, this album could have been a massive hit in Ghana but the vinyl factories ran out of stock because of Ghana’s economic downturn, so the demand for the record could not be met.  The album is a fusion of highlife and soul. The best-known track ‘Asafo beesuon’ is a multi-layered, drum heavy, funk medley and is over 13 minutes long.

In the late 90s hip hop producers started hearing about Afrobeat through the sounds of Fela Kuti. Steinski, one of the most influential early producers in hip hop, sampled Asafo Beesoun and suddenly all the hip hop collectors wanted a copy. Hence, the original LP is a hard-to-find and sought-after collectors item.

Mr.Bongo Records


C.K. Mann first rose to fame I'm the early 60s playing guitars in Ghana with Moses Kweku Oppong I'm the Kakaikus Guitar Band before moving to lead the band Ocean's Strings until 1966. Funky Highlife is the latest re-release in Mr Bongo's never ending pursuit of gems from the past, coming as part of the Classic African Recordings Series.

Funky Highlife was originally released through the Essiebons label but according to the manager of that label, Dick Essilfe Bondzie, the album never reached the audience it could have due to an economic downturn in Ghana which subsequently lead to a lack of vinyl for vinyl factories. Bad times.

African music has often influence mainstream music, with regular growths in popularity and influence over the past few decades. Whether the post punk experimentations of the early 80s or the influence on hip-hop and soul in the late 90s or the subsequent re-influence on noughties indie via post punks revival. Funky Highlife is a fusion of African sounds, Latin American music & style and soul.

This re-release comes in two flavours - the original on vinyl, which features two extended medleys, and an extended CD with and extra 40-minutes of music across eight songs. It's hard to deny that this sounds richer, more authentic and ultimately better on LP, and since the vinyl release also includes a download code it is clearly the version to get.

The actual music is hard not to love - laid back Highlife fused to Latin-jazz elements and soul. The 'Asafo Beesuon' medley is gently strummed and hummed, an infectious and joyful patter. Melodies are plucked out in a relaxed way and the music and vocals create a laid-back mood. 'Beebi A Odo Wo' is a little less horizontal, a snappy and soulful track with sharper rhythms, jazz-influenced guitar and some well timed brass.
Highlife is a style of music originating in Ghana influenced by jazz, with horns and layered guitars commonly featuring. These days it's perhaps a little less common to hear it called out than Afrobeat, Nigeria's equivalent - and it lacks the kind of attention that Fela Kuti's success brought to the latter. It has still had periods of larger success as a genre though, rising to popularity in the in the 60s.

Funky Highlife, either in its original or extended forms, is music to embrace and cherish, to chase the blues and cloud away. It comes together to make something bigger than any individual moment - instead its a record to leave to unfurl whilst business of life goes on around you.


Trawling through the Urban Essence promos mailbox can, at times, be a tedious task. While we’re blessed with receiving a lot of exciting new music that’s fresh off the press, one sometimes feels bombarded by the deluge of uninteresting, formulaic and imitatory sounds that come hand-in-hand with it.

But every now and then, you stumble across something that’s a little bit different, something that makes your ears prick up in refreshment. And when the Funky Highlife from C.K. Mann & His Carousel 7 landed in our inbox the other day, that’s exactly what happened.

The first of a new series of re-releases from London-based-globally-faced world music label Mr Bongo, Funky Highlife is a collection of tracks dating back to the ‘70s from one of the foremost purveyors of the timeless Ghanaian style of Highlife – C.K. Mann. 

For those unfamiliar, Highlife is the jazzy, funk-infused sound that originated in Ghana in the early 20th Century, later developing into a global phenomenon in the ‘60s when US funk and soul records made their way onto the shores of the Gold Coast and found themselves assimilated into the local styles. Highlife put Ghana on the musical map in much the same way as Afrobeat did for neighbouring Nigeria. 

As one of Ghana’s most highly lauded guitarists, C.K. Mann collaborated with numerous luminaries of the Highlife scene, like Moses Kweku Oppong in the Kakaikus Guitar Band, Pat Thomas and Kofi Yankwon, which lead to him later being dubbed the ‘King of Highlife’. 

The most notable track on the album is without doubt the epic and fantastical 13-minute jam, Asafo Beesuon Medley; an effortless melange of laidback African drums, flirting accordions, cheerful guitar riffs, and the glorious vocal musings of Mann that kick off the record in magnificent style.

The Beebi a odo wo medley continues in blissfully sun-kissed fashion, its organ and big band backing track gelling seamlessly with Mann’s crooning, exhibiting that most classically appealing feature of Highlife music; the ability to be so powerfully emotive despite remaining so nonchalantly easygoing.

While the original LP was centered mainly around these two tracks, this newly re-issued CD features an additional eight songs, all in the same vein as their original predecessors, making for a thoroughly enjoyable and extended listening experience.

With much of the genre’s back catalogue obscured by the often extremely limited number of pressings in their native setting, Mr Bongo has with this album launched a major restoration project that aims to bring these and other wonderfully undiscovered African sounds into the 21st Century. And if the rest of the series is anything like this magnificent first offering, we’ve a lot to look forward to.



  1. Asafo beesuon Medley 
  2. Beebi a odo wo Medley 
  3. Yebeyi wo aye(Ebibrim Blues) 
  4. Do me ma mondo wo bi 
  5. Matow aboa 
  6. Araba Lucy 
  7. Fawakoma ma me 
  8. Se menya wo a 
  9. Efi na matase 
  10. Ye wo abo awokanka 
  11. Medzi makoma ma wo 
  12. Nyama mna wo nkoso nyimpa rebre

Nov 30, 2012

New album: Bukky Leo & Black Egypt - Anarchy

Bukky Leo, one of the most prolific UK jazz innovators, returns with a strong musical and intellectual statement. His new album “Anarchy” is not only a convincing, fresh translation of afro-beat for the 21st century, but these thirteen new songs also close a very personal circle for Bukky Leo, spanning nearly 30 years.

Imagine yourself in London in the late Eighties. When you walked up Camden High Street, it wasn’t the smell of fast food but the sound of jazz in the air. Enter Dingwalls and you were in a different world. Pulsating rhythms, inspiring dancers, a truly fascinating, global spirit, it felt something like a revolution at that time. Bukky Leo was at the heart of this creative explosion, which DJs like Gilles Peterson or Russ Dewbury created a soundtrack for. Remember: There was no internet at the time, it was by word of mouth to be in the right place and the right time. As much as the jazz dance community was about showing off and being cool, essentially it was about the freedom of expression. This was a rare era when hiphop met bebop, Northern Soul got into jazz and funk rediscovered its African roots. It seemed like music could actually be the catalyst for diversity and democracy, peacefully pro-active in nature. Yes, it seemed to be possible at last to overcome the stigma of the Thatcher era, the re-active dilemma and creative implosion of the Cool Britannia aftermath was not yet in sight.

To see Bukky Leo enter the stage at that time was a revelation. Growing up in Lagos Nigeria, he was the saxophonist in Tony Allen’s band and went on to play with the great Fela Kuti. Coming to London In 1982 he found himself in the midst of post-punk experimenting with world music. His debut „Rejoice in Righteousness“ (released on Eddie Piller’s Acid Jazz label in 1988) was the first encounter with afro-beat for many young, aspiring DJs and music lovers. The follow up „River Nile“, nominated for the US African Music
Awards in 1990, put Leo firmly on the jazz map. When acid jazz decided to take a break, Bukky Leo embarked on the definitive pilgrimage to Egypt where he laid down the intellectual foundation for Black Egypt. The trip to Nile was an eye opener for him. After some years of developing their sound, Black Egypt emerged as one of the most acclaimed afro-beat groups outside Nigeria, releasing the album “Afrobeat Visions” on Mr. Bongo in 2005, preceded by Leo’s guest appearance on Ben Mitchell & Russ Dewbury’s album “Rapping With The Gods” in 2003.

Both releases arrived in a time shortly before the digital age took over the music business, the DJ was the tastemaker and clubs were the places to discover exciting new music. Still, in the outside world, the social consensus seemed to disappear and made way for entrepreneurship and the emergence of the finance sector: „But people are not content with the outcome of privatisation, the new enterprises are not for their benefit. This may sound like a political discussion, to me it has more of a spiritual dimension though,“ he explains. “In times where things are not in the place where you think they actually should be it is essential to identify what really matters. Africa is the focal point for me.“

Musically „Anarchy“ digs deep in afro-beat’s foundations, expertly laid down by Dennis Bovell at the controls: „When I toured with Fela and then with Roy Ayers I met Dennis. I am very honoured to have him as a producer.“ Apart from being one of the originators in modern British reggae with Matumbi, Bovell worked with everybody from The Slits to Bananarama, from Sade to Edwyn Collins. With Gilles Peterson and DJ Simbad on remix duties for the first single „Skeleton“, “Anarchy” features two other protagonists of highly innovative music. „It was a long process though. I recorded the first demos with my keyboard player Kishon Khan (a key figure in the British Bangla-Afro-Cuban-Jazz circle), we tried various studios and ended up in this great place in Battersea.“ The result is a refreshingly flowing, instantly accessible but still tight and edgy album with a no-nonsense, highly musical approach.

The topics Bukky Leo touches on “Anarchy” are universal. While “Fella Fella” is an observation of everyday street life in Britain with a parodique twist, ''Man’s Dilemma'' touches a common theme in gender relationships. Bukky explains with a big smile on his face: “Sometimes you have to be a mind reader to know what your partner is up to. Funnily, I think women play this game more often than men.” “Rhythemic” and “Don’t Gag Me” drop as powerful pleas for the freedom of body and mind. ‚Jahfrobeat’ (recorded with London DJ Koichi Sakai, known for his unique style between jazz, reggae, house and afro) actually is about African and Japanese cuisine, a plea for a more life sustaining, nourishing diet. “We tend to forget the importance of these things,” Bukky puts the message of “Anarchy” in a nutshell and adds a simple truth impossible to ignore: “The power of music can’t be ignored".


01. Afrobeat Jam
02. Anarchy
03. Don't Gag Me
04. Fella Fella
05. Hard Times
06. Interlude
07. Jahfrobeat
08. Mansa Dialema
09. Rythmatic
10. Skeleton
11. Time Scale
12. Hard Times(Saxophone Version)
13. Time Scale(Saxophone Version)
14. Skeleton(Gilles P Beach Mix)
15. Skeleton(Gilles P Winter Dub)

Nov 28, 2012

Music Is the Weapon - Moving Foundations and Outer Space

The eleven-piece afrobeat machine Music Is The Weapon is due to release their second album.

"Moving Foundations and Outer Space" journeys through galaxies made up of sound, occasionally trespassing obscure sealed off areas therein where hidden bea(s)ts are to be discovered by the brave listener.

 The new set of songs is a melting pot of ecstatic percussion, wild horn adventures and psychadelic organ lines.
Music Is The Weapon is constantly challenging concepts and whatever you expect of this new release expect something else.

"Moving Foundations and Outer Space" challenges you to let go, shake that body of yours and awaken the
spirit of rhythm within, and above all, love afrobeat.


01. The Elk and the Vault
02. Upside Down
03. Vredens Duvor
04. Space Is Yellow
05. We Will Never Stop
06. Words
07. Horn of Africa
08. Do You, Be You
09. Riva ett fa¦èr
10. The Gauntlet

Music is the weapon from Damien Priest on Vimeo.

Nov 23, 2012

Amazing highlife remix: "Larry Achiampong - More Mogya" ... name the price!! !

Larry Achiampong (born 1984) is a British Ghanian artist living and working in London. Larry studied a BA in Mixed Media Art at the University of Westminster, London (2002-2005) followed by MA in Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (2006-2008). He has worked as an Adobe Youth Voices Educator at Kids Company for two years and has now started collaborating with a group of young people at the Peckham Settlement in south London.


In 2011′s excellent Meh Mogya (My Blood), London-based producer Larry Achiampong sampled vintage Ghanaian records that his parents would play during his youth, focusing on the golden era of highlife. Stems from the tracks were usually flipped, looped and masterfully thrown on top of hip-hop beats to create alluring, cross-genre experimental compositions. More Mogya follows in that vein and is dedicated to the Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation (BABMAF), the extensive music archive from which all the samples for the project were found.  Stream the album and grab it as a name-your-price from Look Mama! Records.


Nov 20, 2012

Ghana-only published: Ebo Taylor - Abenkwan Puchaa

Ace guitarist and composer Ebo Taylor and his Bonze Konkoma Band. Original release EBCD 710, 2009 (available in Ghana only). Its the most ideal musical group on the stage now, exploiting the strength of the Fante-Akan Culture. Also striving on Jazz, the group, led by Ghana's Ace guitarist, composer, arranger, and singer, Ebo Taylor, has added a new dimension to the High-life, exposing the immense deposit of the music gold mine of Asafo, Adenkum, and Adzewa songs, as the basics of the music. "Abenkwan" provides humour and recipe for the palm soup, a favourite dish of the Akans... "Egya Edu". the second track is an ancestral Asafo song that sings praises to the war hero of the Ntsen Asafo of Cape Coast...

(Yaw Andoh, Music Department, University of Ghana)


01. Abenkwan
02. Egya Edu
03. Gyae Nas Nom
04. Amoa Ose
05. Beye Bu
06. Papa Kwame
07. Agyenkwan Christ 
08. Wombra 
09. Feel It 
10. Okusi Na Sebo 
11. Love and Death(feat. Pat Thomas on Vocals)
12. Ahorba

Nov 19, 2012

Inspired by Fela Kuti: "Ministry of Corruption" by Kahli Abdu

J-Town rapper, Kahli Abdu, has finally put out his Fela-inspired “Ministry of Corruption” mixtape, and you can download it for free.

If you haven’t heard of Kahli Abdu then you must’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years. Kahli Abdu is one of the finest MCs in Naija, and is a real representer of J-Town, the unofficial home of Hip-Hop in Nigeria.

He is one of the few MCs left that still have major messages behind their bars. Real hip-hop if you will, and he shows this on his Ministry Of Corruption Mixtape, which is a somewhat politically driven mixtape with samples from the legend, Fela.

The intro of the mixtape, Presidential Address sets off the mixtape with an address that gets ur ears tuned and awakens ur senses to listen to some deep politically driven bars.

Kahli drives messages home while getting solid beats and samples from some of Fela’s masterpieces.
Tracks like Demo Crazy a sample from Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense, addresses the state of our anemic Democracy which is marred by electoral fraud and violence. Another sample of Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense, is Miseducation which highlights the “miseducation” of our young peoples, and our education system or lack there of along with other issues that continually plague our african society.

My personal favorite is the first track after the intro, VIP. Call it a complete package song that tells you, Kahli is “not playing with his music.” Contains samples from Fela’s “International Thief Thief (ITT)”, and drives home the message.

Other tracks to look out for VIP, Categori, Kpako, and actually the whole mixtape really. The package contains snippets of speeches from interviews with Fela including a significant portion from the documentary “Music Is The Weapon.”

Guest appearances, Endia, Yung El, J-Milla (all from the GRIP Boiz), Bezalel, Guru, Eve Urrah, Geniuz and Chopsticks.

Overall it’s a very solid effort from Kahli Abdu, and if you’re into music as a weapon, music with a message, real hip-hop that stays significant indefinitely, then this a definite must-listen.

Nov 16, 2012

The Brand New Life

The Brand New Life, an eight piece “Afrobeat/Free Jazz” group from North Carolina, is fusing world music traditions with jazz and modern techniques as well as any group today. A rare collaboration between a group of young jazz enthusiast from North Carolina, and a Senegalese griot from West Africa, has created a special sound and an impressive repertoire of completely original music. “The Brand New Life’s jazzy chassis rides on West African power grooves, like Mbalax and Afrobeat, featuring Senegalese talking drummer Mamadou Mbengue,” says The Independent Weekly. The Brand New Life have convincingly become one of the Southeast’s frontrunners on the world-beat scene, recently getting the call to open for Afrobeat heir to the throne Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 and American Afrobeat collective Antibalas (Daptone Records).

The founding members of The Brand New Life are Seth Barden (upright and electric basses), Walter Fancourt (tenor sax/flute/clarinets), Casey Cranford (alto sax/baritone sax), Daniel Yount (drum set/percussion) and Evan Frierson (congas/percussion). Their current roster includes recent additions Mamadou Mbenge (tama), Sean Smith (trumpet) and Will Darity (guitar). Mamadou Mbenge is a Wolof griot from Senegal, West Africa, who comes from a long line of tama (talking drum) masters in his family. For years Mamadou has toured internationally with African pop stars like Abdou Guite Seck and Abou Thioubalo. Sean Smith was one of the lead horns for the nationally touring afrobeat group “The Afromotive” from 2006-2010. Sean has been touring with The Brand New Life since September of 2011.

The Brand New Life have shared the stage with some of the top acts in the world including Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, Antibalas, Orgone, Zechs Marquise, Jeff Sipe, Gregg Ginn and Diali Cissokho. The band has performed at major music festivals including Floyd Fest, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival,  Lake Eden Arts Fetsival (LEAF) and more.

The Brand New Life


01. Time Warp
02. We Made Dogs
03. Basically Skipping
04. Zack Is Back
05. Songo Joe
06. Hini
07. This Lady's Trouble
08. The Ailry Lift
09. Ra!

Nov 14, 2012

Get it: "The Beaters" (Pt.2 ) !! ... Thanx to "" for the amazing post!

The summer of '69 in Soweto sure had its own Memphis Soul Corner. This early gem from The Beaters is ample evidence of the popularity in South Africa of Booker T and the MG's, Wilson Pickett, and bluesy, sinuous organ mixed with rock-oriented guitar and beats.

Performing bare-foot in mandarin-collared white jackets, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse Selby Ntuli, Alec Khaoli and Monty Ndimande became a hit with the urban hip black crowds in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Their first album “Soul-A-Go-Go” was released in 1969. American Soul and Jazz was assimilated into what became known as Soweto Soul. I am assuming that today's offering was their second release, in the same year.

If you have not given their later album "Harari" a listen, do yourself a favour, download it here and also read a little more on the band that became Harari, and formed the foundation for Sipho Hotstix Mabuse's distinctive contribution to South Africa's music tapestry. 

Nov 9, 2012

New album: Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra - Towards Other Worlds

Press release

Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra are back with their second album ‘Towards Other Worlds’. The UK based 9 piece have built on the success of their debut album, described by BBC Radio 2’s Jamie Cullum as one of his ‘sounds and albums of 2010’. Afrobeat’s inimitable rhythm and language is evident and the band also owes part of their sound to the space jazz pioneers of the 70s and the free jazz trailblazers of the 60s.

The band emerged from the fertile Leeds music scene that has produced some of the most exciting music in the UK including Submotion Orchestra, Corinne Bailey Rae, kidkanevil, Andreya Triana and The New Mastersounds. Born out of late-night jam sessions at legendary jazz club Sela Bar, a group of musicians were naturally drawn together, guided by band-leader (and lead-writer) Pete Williams. Taking the rhythms of Fela and adding the improvisation of Sun-Ra and the funk of James Brown the band were soon forging their own sound.

Towards Other Worlds explores this diverse blueprint, taking in driving afro-funk, spiritual jazz, and Mulatu-esque Ethio-jazz. Built around a quote of the Sun-Ra film ‘Space Is The Place’ the album is split into two halves – the first represents Earth and it’s ‘sounds of guns, anger, frustration’ whilst the second is couched in the cosmos, where ‘the vibrations are different’, leading to a more progressive, peaceful sound.

  1.   Old ground 
  2.   Blood in the water 
  3.   March of the idiots 
  4.   Turncoat 
  5.   Ministers of aggression 
  6.   Towards other worlds 
  7.   Future ancestors
  8.   New frontiers

Nov 8, 2012

For Free: London Afrobeat Collective - Occupy

London Afrobeat Collective (LAC) is a dance music explosion that has been winning new fans across the UK scene, from funk n’ soul DJ Craig Charles, to afrobeat legend Dele Sosimi, to UK indie darlings Bombay Bicycle Club.

In 2011, Michael Eavis was so impressed by the band’s live show he personally invited the London 12-piece to perform on Glastonbury’s West Holts Stage.

It was to prove the centre-piece of a blazing summer season for LAC, as they rocked crowds from Green Man, to Secret Garden Party to Shambala and many more besides.

They even found time to hook up with North London neighbours Bombay Bicycle Club, lending their percussive beats and soaring horns to the rising indie stars’ celebrated performances at Latitude, Reading and the Other Stage at Glastonbury.

LAC’s debut album recorded with respected producer Sonny Simpson (Tony Allen, Polar Bear, Portico Quartet) showcases their potent blend of funk, roots afrobeat and psychedelic rock. The seven original tracks feature vocals from Inemo Samiama, as well as celebrated afrobeat ambassador and Egypt 80 member, Dele Sosimi.

The record has been championed by BBC6’s own Craig Charles who teamed up with LAC for an extraordinary sold out London show earlier in the year.

LAC are now working on new material and looking to break new ground and markets across the UK and beyond.

Band History

The LAC began in 2008 as a loose affiliation of more than 30 musicians from all corners of the globe who found themselves sharing nothing more than a London postcode and a love of Fela Kuti. ‘London Afrobeat Collective’ was exactly what it said on the tin.

In the months that followed, LAC rocked clubs across the capital to the songs of Cedric Im Brooks, Mongo Santamaria, Mulatu Astatke and of course Fela Kuti, winning friends and critical acclaim for the authenticity of their sound.

As gig followed gig, the LAC began to take shape as it is today. A new sound began to emerge; a groove that was unashamedly afrobeat but not afraid to embrace new influences, funk, latin, dubstep, even psychedelia. The line-up shifted until only 12 on the most ugly and battle-hardened remained.

In 2010, under the direction of band leader and rhythm guitar king Alex Farrell, LAC delivered their debut album of original material. Recorded at Livingston Studios with respected producer Sonny Simpson (Tony Allen, Polar Bear, Portico Quartet), the album (simply called ‘LAC’) was a showcase for the band’s original sound, crafted song-writing and skilled musicianship. Calling in favours from some new friends, it also featured guest vocals from Inemo Samiama, as well as celebrated afrobeat ambassador and Egypt 80 member, Dele Sosimi.

Self-financed and the result of many, many hours of hard graft, ‘LAC’ started to pay dividends when it began to reach the ears of some of most influential players on the UK music scene. Funk n’ soul DJ Craig Charles featured the record on his BBC6 radio show and teamed up with the LAC for a sold out club night in February 2011.

By April, the band found themselves in the unfamiliar surrounds of Pilton Working Men’s club, having been hand-picked from thousands of new bands to play a personal audition for Michael Eavis and friends to appear at Glastonbury. LAC rocked the club, won the day and were rewarded with a slot on the West Holts stage alongside acts such as Aloe Blacc, Cee lo Green, Big Boi and Kool and the Gang (they couldn’t do anything about the rain though).

Throughout the summer LAC were in great demand, criss-crossing the UK to delight festival audiences at Green Man, Secret Garden Party, Glastonbury, Shambala and many more. They even found time to hook up with North London neighbours Bombay Bicycle Club, lending their percussive beats and soaring horns to the rising indie stars’ celebrated performances at Latitude, Reading and the Other Stage at Glastonbury.

As summer drew to a close, LAC returned to their home town to start work on their second album. The band spend the winter writing and recording but recently found time to play sell out shows at Passing Clouds and the Hideaway to give audiences a sneak peek at the new material.

As a group, LAC are committed to the ideal that well-written, positive music can enrich society. They believe that by playing sets that get a crowd jumping, dancing and smiling, they can help to create an atmosphere where people feel good and positive about themselves and others. In a society where people so often feel alienated and unsatisfied, they feel that music is a key uniting factor.

By approaching their performances from this standpoint, LAC hope to convey a sense of unity and positivity in all their shows.

Nov 6, 2012

De Frank & The Diggit Ways of Ghana - Dig This Way

This band is probably the same as The Professionals but this album wasn't ever released in Ghana. De Frank was from Cote D'Ivoire but based in Ghana hence the very Ghanaian sound on his recordings. 

A1. Dig this Way
A2. Wonya Asem
A3. Ayee Menko
B1. Let's Go On Tonite
B2. Mye Amawo
B3. Ogya Onyame