Return Flight to Ghana 1974-1983 – Afrobeat Airways 2 (Analog Africa, 2013)
Although many associate afrobeat primarily with Nigeria, Ghana was another afrobeat powerhouse in the 1970s and 80s. The Analog Africa label, known for unearthing dozens of African music gems from past decades, presents Afrobeat Airways 2, another engaging set of vibrant Afrobeat from Ghana.
This second installment of Ghanaian afro-roots music introduces the listener to galvanizing bands from throughout Ghana, from southern coastal Accra and Cape Coast, to the northern cities of Tamalé and Bolgatanga. These musicians combined elements such as highlife, funk, soul and pop into a dynamic mix.
Artists featured include popular singer K. Frimpong; Nana Ampedu (leader of the African Brothers Band); Gyedu-Blay Ambolley with The Complex Sounds; afrobeat star Ebo Taylor, backing his son in an unreleased track called ‘Children Don’t Cry’; the artist named Rob; drummer De Frank; Uppers International, Los Issufu and his Moslems, Waza Afrika 76, and Tony Sarfo and the Funky Afrosibi.
In addition to great music, Analog Africa also provides extensive liner notes with fascinating details about the music scene of that period and the musicians involved. The 44-page booklet contains an introductory essay written by Afropop Worldwide editor Banning Eyre, where he examines the growth of soul, funk and afrobeat during the 1960s and 1970s in Ghana. The rest of the booklet features interviews and biographies of the artists and producers involved as well as a handpicked selection of 50 photographs.
Afrobeat Airways 2 is a splendid Afrobeat collection with a significant historical value.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.