Afro-Beat Airways: West African Shock Waves, Ghana & Togo 1972–1978 (4 stars)

Afro-Beat Airways: West African Shock Waves, Ghana & Togo 1972–1978

Analog Africa's latest compilation is a testament to 1970s Africa

Drawing from the archives of Ghanian label Essiebons and PolyGram West Africa, Analog Africa’s latest compilation is testament to the cosmopolitan culture of 1970s Africa. Tracks by Ebo Taylor and Orchestre Abass offer intricate polyrhythmic grooves and wild organ and brass parts recorded in the red, while Marijata’s ‘Break Through’ riffs on Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Superfly’ with the brassy exuberance of Chris McGregor’s radical jazz big band the Brotherhood of Breath.

Most remarkable is ‘Me Yee Owu Den’ by K. Frimpong & His Cubano Fiestas, which blends snake charmer saxophone, haunting Cuban folk melodies, and a gloopy analogue synth solo to stunning effect.

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