Ojo Balingo–Afrotunes –Best of Juju Vol. II–Oba Mimo Olorun Ayo.

Label: BBE Music.

Release Date: ‘28th’ June 2019

Each week, record companies in America, Britain and Europe tempt and tantalise collectors with reissue of rarities that have never been released before. This includes everything from Acid House to zydeco and everything in between, including a compilation of juju music from the mysterious and multitalented Ojo Balingo. The new compilation Afrotunes–Best of Juju Vol. II–Oba Mimo Olorun Ayo which will be released on the ‘28th’ June 2019 by BBE Music, and showcases the multitalented juju music master Ojo Balingo.

The first time many people heard of juju music was when it was popularised by King Sunny Ade during the eighties. Suddenly, juju music was exposed to a much wider audience and people all over the world were enjoying and embracing what was until then, essentially,  a traditional type of African music which was mostly played by Yoruba musicians for audiences consisting of Yoruba people. 

Juju music’s origins can be traced back to the twenties, when it was first heard in south west Nigeria. Over the next sixty years, it was popularised by  several generations of Yoruba musicians. They played juju music to audiences that mainly consisted of the Yoruba people. This was their music, and music which is similar to Highlife. However, what had up until the eighties had been the Yoruba people’s music was discovered by a global audience.

Many music fans across the globe were keen to discover more about the juju music that had been popularised by King Sunny Ade, wanted to hear it played by some of its finest exponents. This included Ojo Balingo who although he was a juju master, is something of mysterious figure who it seems, preferred to let job music do the talking.

A reminder of juju master Ojo Balingo’s music can be found on Afrotunes –Best of Juju Vol. II–Oba Mimo Olorun Ayo. Looking at the artwork to the original album which is  a rarity pressed by Nigeria’s Tabansi label, it initially looks like a various artists album, but it’s not. However, what’s clear it’s the same band that feature on each of the eight tracks on Afrotunes –Best of Juju Vol. II–Oba Mimo Olorun Ayo, which is an album of two very different sides.

On the first side, which features  Oba Mimo Olorun Ayom, Ayo Igbala Ni Mofe, Gbede Lonro Koko Lagbala and Mrs Titilayo Martins the music is best described as featuring traditional juju music. Flip over the the second side, which includes Igbe Eiye Oloburo, Jide Babalola and Bayo Babalola, Soji Oyebade and Sola Kolawole and Ile Aiye Ile Ese Ile Aiye Ogun. Here, the music is darker and funkier with breaks aplenty which will please sample hungry producers. There’s also talking drums and psychedelic rock Hawaiian guitars which are part of teh backdrop to lyrics that are full of social comments and deeply political. The result is an eclectic and captivating album from the enigmatic and mysterious juju master Ojo Balingo whose talent is indisputable.

For anyone with even a passing interest in Africa music,  Afrotunes –Best of Juju Vol. II–Oba Mimo Olorun Ayo which showcased the considerable talents of Ojo Balingo is captivating and breathtaking album from a juju master whose music deserves to be heard by a much wider audience.

Ojo Balingo–Afrotunes –Best of Juju Vol. II–Oba Mimo Olorun Ayo.

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