Category Archives: Highlife

VICTOR CHUKWU-AKALAKA-/UNCLE VICTOR CHUKS AND THE BLACK IROKOS-THE POWER.

Victor Chukwu–Akalaka /Uncle Victor Chuks and The Black Irokos–The Power. Label: BBE Africa. Format: CD. Release Date: ‘6th’ November 2020. By 1977, Victor Chukwu was regarded as one of masters of Igbo highlife and over the next two years recorded two of his most important and rarest albums. The first was a solo album Akalaka, …

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CULT CLASSICS: SIDIKU BUARI-FEELINGS AND SIDIKU BUARI AND HIS JAM BUSTERS.

Cult Classics: Sidiku Buari-Feelings and Sidiku Buari His Jam Busters. There aren’t many people who forge a career in sport and music, but Ghanian-born Sidiku Buari managed to do just this. He was a silver medallist in the 400 metres at the 1963 All-Africa Games held in Dakar, Senegal. Two years later, in 1965, he …

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CULT CLASSIC FOUND: EBO TAYLOR-PALAVER.

Cult Classic Found: Ebo Taylor-Palaver. In the history of Ghanian music one man looms large, Ebo Taylor. He’s a colossus of Ghanian music who deserves to be described as an innovator and  as someone who went on to influence future generations of Ghanian musicians. Nearly forty years later, and Ebo Taylor’s influence is still being …

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CULT CLASSIC: NKONO TELES-PARTY BEATS.

Cult Classic: Nkono Teles–Party Beats. During Tabansi Records’ long and illustrious history, few people made the same impact as Nkono Teles, who was born in  Cameroun, but grew up in Nigeria. That was where in 1952, Chief Tabansi founded the label he lent his name to, Tabansi Records. Three decades later, groundbreaking composer, engineer,  multi-instrumentalist …

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CULT CLASSIC: EJI OYEWOLE-CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.

Cult Classic: Eji Oyewole-Charity Begins At Home. During the sixties and seventies, the Nigerian music scene was thriving and new bands were  being formed on a  daily basis. Similarly, many new artists were making an impression on Nigerian music during this period. This included  flautist, saxophonist and future bandleader Eji Oyewole. He was born in Ibadan, the city …

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NKEM NJOKU AND OZZOBIA BROTHERS-OZABIA SPECIAL. 

Nkem Njoku and Ozzobia Brothers–Ozobia Special. Label: BBE Africa. Tabansi Records was founded in Nigeria in 1952, and filled a void when major labels like Decca and later, Philips closed the doors on their Nigerian operations. Chief Tabansi, who lent his name to what would become Nigeria’s most important label, recorded artists and then pressed …

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DANIEL HAAKSMAN-BLACK ATLANTICA EDITS.

Daniel Haaksman-Black Atlantica Edits. Label: BBE Music. Release Date: ’24th’ of April 2020. Over the last few years, Berlin-based DJ, producer and record label owner Daniel Haaksman has been reworking tracks by everyone from CK Mann + Carousel 7 and Soul Brothers to Francis Bebey, Bonde Do Rôlé and Kaba Blon and these edits have become favourites …

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SIDIKU BUARI-FEELINGS AND SIDIKU BUARI AND HIS JAM BUSTERS.

Sidiku Buari-Feelings and Sidiku Buari and His Jam Busters. Label: BBE Africa. There aren’t many people who forge a career in sport and music, but Ghanian born Sidiku Buari managed to do just this. He was a silver medallist in the 400 metres at the 1963 All-Africa Games held in Dakar, Senegal. Two years later, …

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EBO TAYLOR-PALAVER.

Ebo Taylor-Palaver. Label: BBE Africa. In the history of Ghanian music one man looms large, Ebo Taylor. He’s a colossus of Ghanian music who is best described as an innovator who went on to influence future generations of Ghanian musicians. Nearly forty years later, Ebo Taylor’s influence is still being felt not just in Ghanian …

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TABANSI SAMPLER.

Tabansi Sampler. Label: BBE Africa. Release Date: ‘30th’ August 2019. Over the next two years, BBE Africa, an imprint of BBE Music, will release around sixty albums from the Tabansi Records vaults. This is part of their Tabansi Gold reissue series, which got underway recently, and is a reminder of what’s the most important, influential …

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NKONO TELES-PARTY BEATS.

Nkono Teles–Party Beats. BBE Africa.  During Tabansi Records’ long and illustrious history, few people made the same impact as Nkono Teles, who was born in  Cameroun, but grew up in Nigeria. That was where in 1952, Chief Tabansi founded the label he lent his name to, Tabansi Records. Three decades later, groundbreaking composer, engineer,  multi-instrumentalist …

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DYTOMOTE STARLITE BAND OF GHANA-DYTOMOTE STARLITE BAND OF GHANA

Dytomite Starlite Band Of Ghana-Dytomite Starlite Band Of Ghana. Label: BBE Africa. During the seventies and eighties, the Tabansi label was, without doubt, the most important and influential Nigerian record label, and consistently released groundbreaking music. Tabansi also discovered and nurtured many of Nigeria’s most successful artists. However, Tabansi also released albums by artists and bands …

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ZEAL ONYIA-TRUMPET KING ZEAL ONYIA RETURNS. 

Zeal Onyia-Trumpet King Zeal Onyia Returns. Label: BBE Music. It was none other than Louis Armstrong who upon hearing  Zeal Onyia  for the first time described him as: “the highlife hep cat of Nigerian jazz trumpet’. Like so  many others before him, Louis Armstrong  was captivated by the combination  of Zeal Onyia’s unique tone, rhythm …

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PAT THOMAS- “THE GOLDEN VOICE OF AFRICA AND “GHANIAN HIGHLIFE MASTER.”

Pat Thomas- “The Golden Voice Of Africa”  and Ghanaian Highlife Master. All Pat Thomas ever wanted to do was sing highlife, and he’s been doing that since his career began in 1966. Since then, Pat Thomas has reinvented himself musically several times. He’s recorded everything from big band highlife in the late sixties, right through to the burger …

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BITTESCHON PHILOPON! VOLUME 1.

Bitteschon Philophon! Volume 1. Label: Philophon. Release Date: ‘7th’ December 2018. The Berlin based Philophon label will release their first ever label compilation Bitteschon Philophon!Volume 1 on the ‘7th’ December 2018. Bitteschon Philophon!Volume 1  is essentially a best of compilation, that features  ten tracks from the first fifteen seven-inch singles released on Philophon. These fifteen …

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THE ORIGINAL SOUNDS OF MALI.

The Original Sounds Of Mali. Label: Mr. Bongo Although Mali only gained independence from France on the ’22nd’ of September 1960, this relatively new country, already has a rich musical heritage. The golden age of Malian music began after Mali’s first president Modibo Keïta was overthrown in a bloodless coup d’état on the ’19th’ of November 1968, …

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ORCHESTRE LES MANGELEPA-LAST BAND STANDING.

Orchestre Les Mangelepa-Last Band Standing. Label: Strut. It was a search for a better quality of musical instruments that brought the Congolese band Orchestre Baba National to Kenya in 1975. By then, the band was dominated by older musicians, who had the biggest say in the running of the Orchestre Baba National. This was frustrating …

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PAA KOW-COOKPOT.

Paa Kow-Cookpot. Label-Self-Released. Recently, Colorado-based drummer Paa Kow released his third album Cookpot, which features his trademark Afro-fusion sound. This is something the Ghanaian drummer has been honing since he arrived at the University of Colorado as a guest artist and teacher in 2007. Not long after that, Paa Kow formed his own band. That …

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SONIA AIMY-NIGERIAN SPIRIT.

Sonia Aimy-Nigerian Spirit. Label: Self-Released. Forty years ago, the only way most artists could release an album was if they were fortunate enough to be signed to a record label.  As a result, a lot of talented artists and bands slipped under the musical radar, and their music never found the audience it deserved. However, …

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RHYTHM ON THE RADIO: OVAL RECORDS-SINGLES 1974-1987.

RHYTHM ON THE RADIO: OVAL RECORDS-SINGLES 1974-1987.  By 1972, Charlie Gillette was a successful journalist, based in London. He wrote for various publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including Creem, NME and Let It Rock. Occasionally, Charlie presented the BBC TV music program The Old Grey Whistle Test. It was a program  that suited Charlie’s …

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