Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Afrobeat Airways 2: Return Flight to Ghana 1974-1983

We were jamming on this one pretty hard during the trip to and from Chicago...a collection of cassette recordings from Ghana and Togo made during the 1970s and 1980s that most likely would have been forgotten if not for Analog Africa.

There's a very extensive description at the Analog Africa blog (though not as extensive as the package itself, which apparently includes a bunch of essays, interviews with key players and photos...can't tell you much about it, since all I got was the DL.)

Anyway, here's a bit. Read the rest if that's what you do.
"Organ-driven Afro-beat, cosmic Afro-funk and raw, psychedelic boogie… just some of the flavours to be found on this highly danceable compilation by Samy Ben Redjeb, founder of Analog Africa.

To document these 14 irresistible tracks and the music scene from the’70s, Samy crisscrossed the lengths of Ghana and Togo in search of the producers and artists – or their relatives. In the process he recorded a dozen interviews, scanned 90 pictures and transferred 120 master tapes.

All the evidence can be seen in the 44-page full colour booklet (see pictures below) accompanying these 73 minutes of heavy West African sounds. Afro-Beat Airways showcases an amazing diversity of local rhythms spiced with Afro-American funk, soul and jazz."

The web is very short on sound samples, but I found a player at Juno Records. Check it out.

In other news, we went to see Much Ado About Nothing last night and it was completely wonderful...I was particularly taken with Amy Acker's Beatrice but really, there was hardly a wrong or self-indulgent or sloppy note in the whole thing. Go see it if you like Shakespeare at all and maybe even if you don't.

And finally, I'm in a really good mood because I got to talk to my son today, who seems to be doing very well at CCPA. They are working hard, but he says he is going to the gym every day with one of his friends and enjoying life and he is not out of money yet. He is also really amped about his acting classes...says the faculty and students are extremely "high powered." So, of course, I miss him, but it makes me happy to think of him spending his time in such a challenging, satisfying way.

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