Friday, November 8, 2013

Ghana ingests funk and soul, inspires Fela

So, just to follow up on what has become my all-time most clicked blog post, I recently wrote a full review of Afrobeat Airwaves 2: REturn Flight to Ghana, the Analog Africa compilation of 1960s and 1970s Ghanaian funk-soul-highlife music. I close with the observation:

This is a wonderful survey of a fascinating era when Ghanaian highlife opened up to incorporate a wide range of new influences, funk, soul, reggae, the desert blues of Nigeria. Later, the liner notes say, Ghanaian bands began using more electronics and synthesizers, a development that subtracted and watered down the music, rather than adding to it. But here, pan-global curiosity pays off in complex celebrations of syncopated groove, as raw as they are brave, as emotionally resonant as they are adventurous.


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