Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tirogo - 1977 - Float



01. Float   
02. Devil´s Gonna Get You   
03. Ajufo   
04. Tirogo   
05. Gypsy Girl   
06. Let´s Feed The Nation

Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals, Percussion – Wilfred Ekanem
Congas, Percussion, Vocals – Godwin Debogte
Drums, Vocals, Percussion – Wilfred Twang
Keyboards, Percussion – Fumi Onabolu
Lead Guitar, Percussion – Elvy Akhionbare

Originally released in Nigeria, 1977. "Tirogo is another great sample of lost African psychedelic music. It was recorded in Nigeria in 1977 and originally released on EMI, same as the great album BLO - Chapter One. This Nigerian rock-psych band Tirogo is similar to bands such as Ofege, BLO, Founders 15, Doves, and Aktion. Great African songs covered with wild guitar solos, spooky organ, great beats and strong vocals. 4 guys on the cover / 6 were actually in the band looking pretty young. It is getting harder and harder to find lost African bands since there is a big rave in the International music scene to hunt for good material. With the massive help of collectors and Now Again Records in the USA, who actually went to Nigeria to sign the boys, we are able to present this amazing album to you. It will suit the same music lovers who like Amanaz, The Witch, Question Mark and BLO."

 Tirogo were labelmates with the band Blo, and ought to appeal to folks into Blo, Ofege, Sjob, and others from the Nigerian scene, as well as "Zam Rockers" like Witch, Amanaz, and the Ngozi Family from down in Zambia. Originally released in 1977, Tirogo's Float, their debut, is a stoned masterpiece of psychedelic garage groove with authentic African vibes. Seriously, at this point, can't we just say, if you like those others, you'll like this? 'Cause you will. Stinging fuzz guitar leads swirl and sizzle over seriously funky, energetic rhythms, as the vocalists chant about girls and the devil... yeah! The sort of thing that when you're listening to it, you can't help but think, "this is the best shit ever!"... and it's kinda true!!
Dunno how many more records like this they can dig up, it's hard to imagine, but we're grateful for what's been reissued thus far, winners like Tirogo and Witch, wow. And they do it right, the cd booklet includes an extensive, interesting interview with original Tirogo lead vocalist and bassist Wilfred Ekanem, conducted by African music collector and Now-Again head honcho Egon, who coordinated these reissues.

Pazy & the Black Hippies - 1978 - Wa Ho Ha

Pazy & the Black Hippies
Wa Ho Ha

01. Johojah Comfort Me 4:44
02. My Home 3:50
03. Come Back Again 4:25
04. Elizabeth 2:49
05. Wa Ho Ha 5:00
06. Papa's Black Dog 3:12
07. Lahila 5:56

Bass Guitar – Makos
Drums – Colins Osokpor
Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar – Pazy Etina
Organ – Jack Stone
Rhythm Guitar – James Etina
Tenor Saxophone – Fuzzy
Trumpet – Richard

The Black Hippies were a Nigerian rock band in the mid-1970s led by songwriter Joseph Etinagbedia, a.k.a. Pazy. In their earliest incarnations, the band played a distinct style of harder rock, one that bore many of the trademarks of Nigerian music; from a visceral vocal style to the psychedelic funk that touches every corner of the songs. Their debut self-titled album was recorded in '76 by producer Odion Iruoje and features five of the band's tunes from their earliest days, finding funky pre-disco rhythms playfully co-existing with light-headed fuzz guitar in Pazy's celebratory, somewhat psychedelic tunes. The band would shift gears with subsequent releases, going more in the direction of reggae than hard rock, but their debut represents the band at an inspired beginning point where their take on hard rock was something truly unique.

While Reggae music had its prominence in 70s Nigeria, it was highlife and Fela Kuti's afrobeat that gave the country its own musical national identity. Originally from Southern Nigeria’s Benin City, Edire “Pazy” Etinagbedia and his band The Black Hippies released their second LP, Wa Ho Ha on EMI Nigeria in 1978 building on a body of work that effectively glides between these styles creating an incredibly unique record that has become a cult classic. Wa Ho Ha features Pazy and his Black Hippies engaged in call and response vocal anthems all backed by incredibly deep rock steady grooves and afrobeat rhythms filled with funky horns and psychedelic guitar accents. Recorded in the legendary EMI Nigeria studios, Wa Ho Ha typifies the 70s Nigerian sound enthusiasts the world over have come to know and love, but puts an inimitable twist on it.

This is not Afrobeat music and sounds nothing like Fela or his fellow Afrobeat artists. The first two songs are reggae inspired, the rest disco inspired. The harmonies and singing are based on Nigerian modalities not Western modalities so they sound a little strange to the Western ear. Pazy lays down a lot of call and response with the Black Hippies. Also, at particularly intense moments, they all launch into collective animal cries. The rhythm section seems to be trying very very hard to play reggae and disco style and failing. Again and again a unique rhythmatic sound is created as native African rhythms creep into the sound. Don't misunderstand--the music is not quite reggae and not quite disco, but Pazy and the Hippies definitely know how to groove.

Since so much of American music is derived from African traditions (though not from the traditions prevalent in Nigeria), the contemporary musical fusion of American and African music (Highlife--jazz + Nigerian or Afrobeat funk + Nigerian) can be very dynamic. Pazy seems to actually be trying to play American music not fuse it with Nigerian. In their failure, they created some absolutely wonderful and eccentric music.

You cannot help but dance to this wonderful music.

Ofege - 1973 - Try And Love

Try And Love

01. Nobody Fails   
02. Whizzy Ilabo   
03. Gbe Mi Lo
04. Try And Love
05. It's Not Easy
06. Ofege   
07. You Say No
08. Lead Me On   

Bass: Paul Alade
Drums: M-Ike Meme
Rhythm Guitar: Felix Inneh
Lead Guitar: Berkley Jones
Lead Vocals: Melvin Ukachi
Vocals: Felix Inneh, M-Ike Meme, Paul Alade

Recorded while the band members were still in high school (average age of 16), Ofege’s debut album Try And Love was originally recorded and released in 1973. Due to their vibrant combo of sweet harmonies, hooks & fuzz, they would become one of the most legendary Nigerian groups of all time, with expressive sales and national stardom.

However, with only four albums released until 1978 and no recognition outside Nigeria, Ofege’s short career would only be rediscovered with the turn of the century.

"Try and Love" is a very intriguing Nigerian psychedelic album. The music sounds as if it's from an earlier era - say around 1968 - and perhaps more like a US band than UK (the influence you might expect from Nigeria). The songs themselves have a light and breezy song style, complete with a Vox Continental sounding organ, and very distinctive African English vocals. So at this point they sound like some sort of African Afterglow (the Oregon psych band). But what makes this album so good is the delicious fuzz guitar leads, cranked at maximum volume, and played in a soulful manner. Well worth checking out

Keith Mlevhu - 1976 - Love And Freedom

Keith Mlevhu 
Love And Freedom

01. Love And Freedom 3:27
02. Bwelelenimo Kumushi 2:48
03. I Am Your Warrior 2:44
04. Fwebana Ba Nomba 3:23
05. Repenting My Sins 2:37
06. My Gun 2:46
07. Ubungtungwa 3:59
08. Inkongole Tashawama 3:00
09. I Am Your Star 4:16
10. Adam And Eve 2:23

All Vocals, Electric Bass, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards & Drums by Keith Mlevhu

Keith Shem Michael Mlevhu  was born September 14, 1950 in the town of Chingola and was one of the great "Zam Rock" names during the 70s, when he released 5 albums, but interrupted his career in music in the 80s and died not long after on March 5, 1988.

In 1976, Keith travelled to Nairobi under the sponsorship of Teal Record Company to record his second album Love And Freedom. Recorded at Sapra Studios, the album was still on the Mac Bullet label and set new record production standards. This was the first Zambian album to be presented in a full colour cover sleeve jacket. On the cover design, Keith, with plaited locks, is depicted adorned in military camouflage breaking the chains strapped around the globe, his axe deliberately aimed at Southern Africa, where Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and South Africa were still struggling for their freedom. The album design was accredited to the artiste himself.

Kapingbdi - 1980 - Hey Brother

Kapingbdi - 1980 - Hey Brother

01. Hey Brother
02. Human Rights   
03. Take The Guitar Out   
04. Why I Can't Get No Pay   
05. Our Heritage   
06. Kapingbdi   

Bass, Drums [Bamboo], Vocals – Mamadee Kamera
Congas, Vocals, Percussion – Ciaffa Barclay
Drums, Drums [Sangba] – Thomas Mensah
Guitar, Cowbell – Jean-Claude Nanga
Saxophone, Flute, Balafon [Ballaphon], Shekere, Vocals – Kojo Samuels

More of the same cool afro beat , jazz, rock fusion of the first album, I love it and can not have enough of it... If anyone out there has their third album from 1981 please send us a copy!

Kapingbdi - 1978 - African Rhythm Rock-Jazz

African Rhythm Rock-Jazz


01. Dadadada 6:08
02. Mali Feeling 6:56
03. Now Is The Time To Cry For Love 6:59
04. Soko Jazz 3:33
05. Montserrado 11:47
06. Deadea 4:41
07. Don't Mess With My Music 5:34

Bass, Drums [Bamboo], Vocals – Mamadee Kamera
Congas, Vocals, Percussion – Ciaffa Barclay
Drums, Drums [Sangba] – Thomas Mensah
Guitar, Cowbell – Jean-Claude Nanga
Saxophone, Flute, Balafon [Ballaphon], Shekere, Vocals – Kojo Samuels

Kapingbdi was formed in 1976 by musician Kojo Samuels in Monrovia, capital of Liberia, a small country in west of the continent. They released 3 albums between 1978-81, all in Germany, until break up in 1985.
Post here the 1978 debut, titled "African Rhythm Rock Jazz From Liberia - West Africa", summarizing the group's sound, which combines local rhythms with jazz rock and funk touches, in a very dynamic and trip atmosphere. This "mix" is clear in instrumental, prevalent in most of the 7 tracks, with various types of percussion, sangba, balafon and shekere and eletric guitar, saxophone, flute and drums. The lyrics appear sporadically in English or local dialects.
No main highlight because we hear a good sample of afro rock / jazz from beginning to end. Highly recommended for fans of the style!

You could wrap a king cobra around these bass lines and still have a pocketful of silver left from a crisp green Andrew Jackson. Innovations may not their bag, west African funk drifting across man made borders from Nigeria and Ghana tempting routes to obey and personally replicate - 'Now Is The Time to Cry for Love' like a extended b-side remix that fisherman's hat wearing stubble faced DJs snort up their asses until their faces go purple, but when knuckle twisting fills swim back upstream to converge on the loose definitions of a main melody, it's like a stick of dynamite on its wick's end rolling down the aisle of a hand grenade factory. Their singer needs more support from his producer, their live studio sound muddled in some post-production extras, but all critiques aside, Kapingbdi's first time shoe shuffles are seriously worth snooping through downstairs vinyl vaults for.

Edzayawa - 1973 - Projection One

Projection One

01. Darkness    
02. Gondzin
03. Edzayawa
04. Naa Korle
05. Amanehun
06. Abonsan
07. Obuebee
08. Adesa

Bass, Vocals – Nana Sutherland
Drums, Vocals – Roland Doe
Lead Vocals – Ayi Kweifio
Organ, Flute, Leader, Arranged By – Nana Danso
Percussion, Vocals – Kwasi Asamoah


One of the best psychedelic rock albums i've ever heard, the african percussion makes it more enjoyable, lots of tempo changing and different rhythms match very well with the acid improvisations and the traditional african chanting makes it feel very ritualistic. Picturing the africa of the 70's and looking at this album only makes you think what talent and will power can do when you just want to achieve something great and these guys sound secure and totally determined to make their country rock hard, black people have had an undeniable and positive mark in rock music's history.

The quintet Edzayawa was formed in the late 60s by young Ghanaians, and launched a unique and rare album in 1973 in Nigeria, before discarding a few years later. It was re-released only in 2012, by Soundway.
The album One Projection brings a typical mix of funk rock with traces of West African music (afro rock), is composed of 8 tracks, with amazing organ and good touches of flute and percussion. Differs from most rock albums of the region at that time by not having fuzz guitar and many influences of psychedelic rock, plus some further elaborated songs and experimental/ instrumental compositions. Emphasis on the tracks  "Darkness", "Godzin", "Amanehun" and "Obuebee". Highly recommended for fans of african rock.

Colomach - 1974 - Colomach


01. Enoviyin    
02. Ottoto Shamoleda    
03. Cotocun Gba Gounke    
04. Bernadetta    
05. (Flute) Sweet Sounds From Colomachi    
06. K Assa Kpa Sama Kpa    
07. Kpanlongo (Folklore)    
08. Pipan    
09. Yebo Blues    
10. (Acoustic Guitar) Sonorites Sahelienne

An inspired cultural rock outing with Northern Togo musician Gneni Mamadou at the helm. With bristling bolts of fuzz streaking over beds of crunchy percussion accompanied by an epiphany of chants, Colomach helps map the Sahel soundscape of the 1970s. A top-drawer recording made at EMI Nigeria in 1974.

Pearl coming from Nigeria. The group Colomach was formed in the mid-70s in Lagos and launched a unique and rare album in 1974, with a very low number of copies and was only reissued in 2013, by Soundaway.
The eponymous album features 10 short tracks and quite similar to the rock that was in Africa 70s, garage rock with heavy influences from psychedelic, zam rock and afrobeat beyond traditional music made in the region. The fuzz guitar dominates, along with good passages of traditional percussion and drums. The lyrics are all in the local language, giving even more uniqueness to this record.

Bob Ohiri & His Uhuru Sound - 1976 - Uhuru Aiye

Bob Ohiri & His Uhuru Sound 
Uhuru Aiye

01 Ariwo Yaa
02 Obhiha
03 Aiye
04 Nigeria London na Lagos
05 Imo State Express
06 Africa is Free for Us
07 I Like to Be Free

Occupying a location somewhere near the intersection of Afrobeat, Juju and garage rock, the album Uhuru Aiye by Bob Ohiri and his Uhuru Sounds (Ashiko Records AR 001, ca. 1976) is often rumored but seldom heard. A track from it appears on the new collection Nigeria Afrobeat Special (Soundway SNWCD021), so it's worth taking a closer look.

Bob Ohiri was a guitarist with Sunny Adé's African Beats and is said to have briefly played with Fela's Africa '70, although I can't confirm that. The "Uhuru Sounds" were apparently a one-off - basically just some guys jamming in the recording studio. The only members credited on the sleeve are "Prince," "Bob" and "Shegun."

So what to make of the music? Uhuru Aiye is truly an odd and idiosyncratic amalgam - like no "World Music™" or "Afrobeat" or "Afrofunk" you've ever heard. It doesn't always succeed, but when it does it works very well.