Welcome to the Highlifeturntable. The purpose of this blog is to provide a way for people to listen to rare highlife music from Ghana and Nigeria. I plan to post tracks from my private collection along with a little commentary on what I know about the artist and what I like about the LP.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Pere Tony Ombolo and the night rockers international band of Kabeama - Wanle Wanle Akpo

For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have selected the track Wanle Wanle Akpo by Pere Tony Ombolo and the night rockers international band of Kabeama.

Intimate and Hypnotic, the Izon song meanders over 14 minutes.  The languid vocals are accompanied by a steady percussion section that paces the song with an occasional synth flourish provided by the keyboards and guitars.  It may not have flourish or pace of an Ebizimor or Belemu song, but the drumming and vocals create a intimate spacey dialogue that I find soothing.

I hope you like it


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Golipat and His Dynamites Band of Ayakoromo

For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have selected the track Dau Gbanagha Tubou by Golipat and his Dynamites Band of Ayakoromo.

The song comes off a Golipat Records release from 1991.  I do not know much about the band, but Ayakoromo is a town in the Delta States and the track is an Owigiri Ijaw tune.  Peres Bestman Doupere did provide this information on the lead singer of the group:

Patrick Egoli is a well known musician among the Ijaws in Delta and Bayelsa States.In his active or hay days in the 80s and early 90s,he was the main back up or duet singer to late Professor I K Belemu.He is still much alive.His younger brother,Eniye Egoli is the main bass guitarist with the late King Robert Ebizimor's band.

The sound is reminiscent of I.K. Belumu soun.  The song is free flowing and open with an extended dialogue being created by the interplay between the vocals and a propulsive rhythm section.

Relaxing, philosophical and introspective the song is a really nice of example of what an Izon song done right sounds like.  I hope you like it.


Monday, October 8, 2018

President Rufus Ayafor - Emele-Ogbo

For the next selection of the highlifeturntable I have selected the track Emele-Ogbo by President Rufus Ayafor off his release Rufus A.

I do not know much about about the perfomer except his is an Ijaw performer from the town of Norgbene in the Baylesa State.  I have always liked his sound and have tried to collect anything I could find by him.

The way his ethereal vocals float along the spacey guitar lines are what stand out for me in the song. Their is a warmth and ease to his singing that I really groove on.  I find myself drawn in and relaxed during the course of the song as his vocals interweaves with the chorus and you just feel like whatever he is saying really speaks to the soul

Please let me know if you know anything more about this performer.

I hope you like the music


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Obiajulum Sound Power of Africa led by Pat Enebeli - Iwe Adimma

For the next selection on the highlifeturntable I have selected the track Iwe Adimma by Obiajulum Sound Power led by Pat Enebeli.

 I have written about Obiajulum before.  He was active in the late 70's through mid 80's. I have seen his name translated to be contented heart or more descriptively by Ikon Afrik as my heart is at peace and joyful.  The liner notes announce on this LP that they are changing their name from Ikwete Super to Obiajulum.

I first heard a track from this Yamson release on the blog hosted by Superfly Records in Paris in 2016 and have been looking for the LP ever since.  It was worth the effort to find it.

Its really hard to describe how good this music is.  The guitar playing and vocals are impeccable from a Ukwauni point of view.   Check out the riffs at the 2 minute mark and around the 4.45 mark.  Just beautiful.  I have also included a link to the link at Superfly.

I hope you like it.



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ugbo and his philosophers band - Udianorakhara

For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have selected the track Udianorakhara by Ugbo and his philosophers dance band.

I am not a big Edo music fan, but the first great African song I remember listening to when I first started collecting was Iyesogie by the great Edo performer Ugbo.  The cadence of the vocals and the downtempo effect of the music just killed me and showed me there could be a complexity and depth to African music that I never imagined.

 As I moved onto to other forms of highlife I still collected music by Ugbo, but nothing rivaled Iyesogie until I came across this song.  It is a slow ballad.  The pace/cadence of the vocals and the way they play against the stripped down music really give this song its heart and soul.  One can really hear the sense of introspection and lament in the song.  I think it is quite beautiful and reminds me of what attracted me to Edo music in the first place.  I hope you like it


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Gentleman IkeChukwu Izuegbu and his Rhythm Masters of Nigeria - Sali Egwu Ye

For the next selection on the highlife truntable, I have selected the track Sali Egwu Ye by Gentleman Ikechukwu Izuegbu and His Rhythm Masters of Nigeria off the Isabros release River Adolfi Ossissa

The lead singer is an interesting guy.  I first came across him as the lead singer and composer for the band Mmadu Osa.  Called the Spokesman he was said to be the voice of millions.  They did several releases on the Izuson label.  He also did a series of records with the Rhythm brothers under his real name Ike Izuegu.

While there are some Mmadu Osa songs I could not live without, I have found his LP's with the Rhythm Brothers to be a more complete expression of his music and the beauty and simplicity of his vocals.  Chronologically I am not sure if the Rhythm Brothers came before, after or during his time with Mmadu Osa.  But there is an authenticity in the way he sings that is captivating at a spiritual level.

I posted one of the best Mmadu Osa tracks on this blog earlier.  The other good thing about both groups is they published the full text of their lyrics in their native language on the back cover of their LP's.  Immensely useful.

The song showcases his vocals.  Starting out with a little guitar riff, his vocals come in and guide the music through the rest of the song as the percussion and sparkling guitar solos play off the soft cadence of his vocal.  I find it truly beautiful.  Simple yet meaningful.

If anyone wants to take a crack and translating the song into English I'd be glad to send the song.  I am not sure what language it is in but the first sentence is Ewo biko Oke nkem, Ikechukwu bia o ebele m mer bia nwam.

I hope you like the music


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Bob Fred - KeKaji Okwu Me

For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have selected the track Kekaji Okwu Me by Bob Fred off the 1989 Muzivision release Ezi-Oyo Special

I have posted other tracks by Bob Fred.  One of the stalwarts of the Ukwauni highlife scene he played guitar on the seminal Rogana Ottah recording Ukwauni Special released in 1976 and had a long and prolific career as a sideman and leader. 

Laid back but poignant, the song opens with a nice muted horn solo and then the interplay between the drowsy vocals and down tempo guitar lines propel the song forward as it meanders over 8 1/2 minutes.  There are several nice stretches. Listen to the cadence of Bob Fred's voice and the way the horns really accentuate the flow of the song.

What makes this recording interesting to me is the rhythm and warmth of Ukwauni music is still fresh and emotive even 13 years down the line.  Its a tribute to Bob Fred's mastery of the form

I hope you like it