King Ayisoba - Wicked Leaders (4 stars)

Vibrant merging of traditional north Ghanian styles with the energy of modern hip-life

King Ayisoba - Wicked Leaders

(Makkum Records)

You might have caught King Ayisoba on his spring tour, resplendent in traditional Ghanian robes and sandals, whipping Glasgow's Platform into a frenzy with his intense chants and relentless kologo rhythms and riffs. He's a magnificent performer, charging traditional north Ghanian styles with the energy of modern hip-life. Wicked Leaders captures King Ayisoba with the band he was unable to bring the UK. Less stark than his solo performances, the full acoustic band sound is still plenty fierce, adding colour and weight, without sacrificing vitality. Singing in English, Frafra and Twi, Ayisoba is a compelling vocalist, switching from reflective tones to angry nasal chatter, rising to a full-throated roar as he accompanies himself on the kologo, a traditional stringed instrument with powerful percussive properties. Arnold De Boer of Zea and The Ex appears on 'Akolbire', adding punky vocals and guitar jabs to a burning groove.

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