. issue XIII : vi .

by barathron

. artist : various artists .
. album : afrobeat airways 2: return flight to ghana 1974-1983 .
. year : 2013 .
. label : analog africa .
. grade : a .


It’s another gem of a compilation from Samy Ben Redjeb’s Analog Africa, a label that can seemingly do no wrong. This time the focus is on Ghana – there are off-the-run tracks from better-known artists like The African Brothers and K. Frimpong, and highlights from some of the more obscure acts in Ghana’s deep Afro-funk scene. One peak is “I Beg,” an instrumental that has the funky push-and-pull of New Orleans’ The Meters. Or try “Waiting for my Baby,” a successful merger of funk and boogaloo, or “Aja Wondo,” one of the best tracks I’ve heard by Northern Ghana powerhouse Uppers International. Analog Africa has long championed one-of-a-kind front man Rob, and his track here, “Loose Up Yourself,” is also one of his best. And make sure to leave room for “God Is Love,” a classic vocal performance by still-active Ghanaian legend Gyedu-Blay Ambolley. There’s also a 44-page booklet with nine artist interviews and some of the finest African music photographs this side of Malick Sidibe. (Samy promises more of these photos, from Accra’s Modern Photo, in future volumes.) Highly recommended for your listening and dancing pleasure.

by Bill Lupoletti