Aha! Treasure-hungers Soundway Records have unearthed another thirty-something forgotten gems- this time from 1970s Ghana. The two-disc compilation showcases the vibrant musical culture that emerged a decade after Ghana achieved independence. A new take on African and Caribbean styles challenged the colonial music of big dance bands and orchestras. Ghana Special showcases the vibrant hybrid of standard rock instrumentation and traditional vocal harmonies and rhythms that emerged.
Highlights include: wahwah-guitar + war-chant opening track by Mercury Dance Band, the pleading, honeyed vocals of City Boys Band’s “Nya asem hwe,” and the final track: a traditional fishermans song interrupted by organ solo/trance-enducing psychadelia.
Despite its lengthy track list, I promise this album will keep not only your attention, but at the very least keep your body grooving…if not erupting in the occasional spasm.
-DJ Space Cadet (listen to my multicultural show Gachan Gachan every Thursday from 4-6 PM)