Wednesday, May 10, 2017
For the next selection on the highlifeturntable I have selected the tracks You get money help your brother and Iro Owa off a Sinco release Igbule Nwenne Gi Nu Nye Yowu by Garden City Band led by Prince Amadi
The record is from 1982 and the band was based in Port Harcourt. Port Harcourt was known for its gardens and recreational areas and was sometimes called the Garden City. There appears to have been a thriving music scene and there is mention of an Ambassador hotel that hosted many bands.
The style of music is called Ikwere highlife. The tunes are pretty straightforward but the crisp vocals and the trance sound of the bassline provide a relaxing contrast. Simple, but substantial. I got the record a few days ago and have been listening to it alot.
I decided to post two tracks because I think they go well together and showcase what I find appealing about the music. Check out the way the synthesizers bend the guitar notes on both tracks. Very psychedelic.
I hope you like the music.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Sir Lucky Ken K and his Sico International Band of Nigeria - Medley (Keme-Don Baikiye Otuo, SeiYeovio barasin, igbasolo okpo)
For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have chosen a medley by Sir Lucky Ken K and his Sico International Band of Nigeria off an Adeoti records release titled: Keme Don Baikiye Otuo
One of the greatest pleasures of collecting is when you discover something unexpected. I almost passed on this record, but decided to buy to try something new. I was not disappointed! The three songs in the Medley (Keme-Don Baikiye Otuo, SeiYeovio barasin, igbasolo okpo) mesh together seamlessly propelled by the pulsating lyrics of Sir Lucky Ken K on a bed of cosmic fuzzy african psych. It is hard to describe all the beautiful parts of the song, but listen to the energetic cadence and flow. In my opinion it is as fluid and free a song as you will ever hear as far Izon highlife goes. A true exposition. No information on the liner notes but style points for the cover design.
I hope you like it.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
For the next selection on the highlife turntable, I have selected the track Late Madam Kofi Feborke of Peretoru by the singer Pereama Freetown off an Egos record release.
Pereama was an Ijaw musician and a contemporary of King Ebizimor's and appears to have had a long career. Most of the music I have been able to find has been from the late 80's to the mid 90's. The liner notes on these LP's revealed nothing. He has a Facebook page, but there have been no postings since late 2014. There were also a few links to a news article dated Nov 2015 that detail the fact he was kidnapped from a wake he was performing at, but no word on what happened after that.
For me the cadence and pacing of the vocals and way the song conveys a sense of lament and introspection about the passing of the late madam Feborke stands out. The tight percussion and fuzzy guitar lines add to the down tempo ambiance. As far as praise songs go it is a laid back tune that is very soothing and soulful. The conventional wisdom has always been that golden age of highlife passed by the 90's, but Izon highlife like this proves there was still quality music being produced.
See what you think.
I hope you like it
Friday, July 1, 2016
For the next selection on the highlifeturntable I have selected the tracks Ofurogha Part II, by Bestman Doupere and his Coastal Pioneers off an Odec release of the same name.
Bestman Doupere passed away recently and I have been listening to a lot of his music lately. This tune does a nice job of highlighting the warmth and urgency of his vocals and how down tempo Izon Highlife could be. The song is an 15 minute jam focusing on his vocals and the rhythm guitar playing of A.S Eseduwo.
The rest of the band is listed: Headman Kingdom on Lead tenor guitar, Jonathan Dickson on Bass and Maracass, Torogbene Gbode on Drums, Oviyaibo Ombu on Congas, and Sunny F on Bass drum programming, A.S. Eseduwo and Torogbene Gbode are also listed as being in the chorus
Its a very downtempo song, but I found the pace and the guitar playing very hypnotic and reflective. Its good music to kick back and relax to. I hope you like it.
Saturday, June 11, 2016
For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have selected the track Asonio Ere by Newman Zinck and his Menesougha Dance band of Angalabiri.
I did not know anything about the band when I saw the record, but I recognized Anthony Cockson's face underneath the tattered cover and knew that Angalabiri was a town somewhere in the Ijaw region of Nigeria. Angalabiri is one of a cluster of towns close to the Tarakiri-Ogbesu shrine on the banks of the Forcados river, the deity itself being integral to the culture of the Tarakiri peoples. It turns out King Ebizimor was also from Angalabiri.
I believe the song is a praise song to a woman named Madam Esomo-Ere. On the back cover the song is listed as Late Madam Esomo Ere while on the record the track is listed as Asonio Ere. For me the languid vocals stand out and the way the fuzzy guitar lines complement the flow of the song is flawless. It is a very nice example of the beauty of Izon music and I thought I'd share it.
I hope you like it
Monday, May 23, 2016
For the next selection on the Highlife Turntable I have selected the track Ezifinite Special by the band Igwilo Igwilo and the Rainbow off a Foss Sound release from the early 80's.
There was no information on the band, but Aguata is a local government area in the Anambra state and Ezifinite is a town in the district.
The song is simple, but I found it relaxing. The vocals are unhurried and the lead singer creates a nice dialogue as he moves through the song cajoling and singing to the audience. The guitar work and muted horn playing add to the laid back ambiance of the whole song. Not usually my style but this track caught my ear.
I hope you like it.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
For the next selection on the highlife turntable, I have selected the track Okubo Izom Ke Emi by Anthony Cockson off a Julie Records release dated 1988.
John Beadle has written about this artist before, but he did not have a lot of information other than he was an Ijaw musician from Tarakiri in the Bayelsa State who had an oddly poetic voice and a hypnotic bass line.
His name came across my musical radar when I asked Peres Bestman Doupere, the son of the singer Bestman Doupere, who the people were in some pictures I found on the back cover of a King Ebizimor LP.
He identified one as his father and the other one as Antony Cockson. He told me that Ebizimor, his father and Cockson were all from the Angalabiri Community in Sagbama. Both men were backup singers in Ebizimor's band before going off on their own solo careers. It also appears that Cockson had his own record label called Cockson records.
It took me a while to find this LP, but it was worth the wait. The song is a 16 minutes long and the vocals and bass line are complimented by some nice percussion work. John was right about the vocals and the bass line.
There are several points in the song where Cockson just goes off and does some really pretty cool singing. You'll know what I am talking about when you hear it.
I've been listening to this a lot lately and it has peaked my interest in Izon highlife.
I hope you like.