Afro-Beat Airways 2 - Return Flight to Ghana 1974-1983 (3 stars)

Second outing of Ghanaian afrobeat compilation from Analog Africa label

Afro-Beat Airways 2- Return Flight to Ghana 1974-1983

(Analog Africa)

The rhythms on this Ghanaian afrobeat compilation are infectious, with a selection of some of the biggest names who shaped an entire movement of 70s funk, and rocked the West African nation. The album is a refreshing blast from the past that trawls sounds from forty years ago but sounds unquestionably current and listenable. After the success of the first installation of Afrobeat Airways, the dedicated team at German-based world music label, Analog Africa have searched high and low to bring together some of the rarest tracks from such legends in their genre as K. Frimpong, Nana Ampendu (leader of the African Brothers Band) and Islamic funk group from Bolgatanga, Uppers International.

If this all sounds too far-out and unknown never fear, accompanying the double CD is a 44 page booklet featuring an introductory essay by editor of the online magazine and radio podcast, Afropop Worldwide, Banning Eyre, helping you navigate through the development of Ghanaian funk, soul, and Afrobeat in the 60s and 70s. With bright guitars and confident bass on tracks as ‘Gbei Kpakpa Hife Sika’ by Waza-Afriko 76, and saxophone interludes and harmonica melodies overlayed on top of Doors-esque keyboards, Return Flight to Ghana is both an interesting exploration into some pretty authentic afro-funk and a groove-filled cultural insight.

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