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.


Friday, July 24, 2015

O.P.K and F.K. - Abraham Medley























For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have selected the track Abraham by O.P.K off a Pan American release O.P.K is back again.

Recorded at Ambassador records in Ghana there is no information on the liner notes about the performers except a note that all tunes were written by O.P.K and F.K.  Part of me wants to believe that F.K. is F. Kenya, but I have no way of knowing although the lead vocalist does sound like him.

The medley takes up all of side 1.  The vocals are sharp and are carried along by a guitar rhythm has that laid back psychedelic Ghanaian back beat that was the hallmark of all the great Ghanaian bands of the late 70's. I was also grooving on the nice percussion work in the background.   I've been playing it alot lately.  I hope you like it.

Let me know if you can identify who F.K. and O.P.K.




Thursday, July 23, 2015

Osita and his Seven Brothers Band





















For the next selection on the highlife turntable. I have selected the track Ezi Okwu Di Nnua by Osita and his Seven Brothers Band from their 1979 Jicco release Ofu Osisi Adi Eme Ofia.

There was no information on the liner notes about the band, but they sing in Igbo.  The rough translation of the song title is truth is the husband/father. The two things that really stood out for me were the vocals and the horn playing. Check out the horn riffs at the beginning, at the 4:30 mark and towards the end. Classic stuff.  I hope you like.

Ubulujaja




Monday, April 27, 2015

Akashiada International Band led by Pat Enebeli





















For the next selection on the Highlife Turntable I have selected the track Odindo Kua Enwe by the Akashiada International Band led by Pat Enebeli off a 1982 release entitled Charity Special.

I do not know much about the Akashiada International Band but the Umu-Akashiada is a sub group of the Ukwauni people in the Ndokwa land.  Akashiada records appears to be a label that was active in the early 80's.  Pat Enebeli went on to become the lead singer for one of my favorite Ukwauni bands Obiajulu and his Sound Power of Africa.

The Ukwauni song is minimalist in structure and focuses on the thready guitar rhythms supporting the lilting vocals of  Pat Enebeli.   I really like the way the guitarist bends the notes and the chorus hovers in the background occasionally joining the lead vocalist.  I think the simplicity of the song is what I find most attractive.  I have been listening to it a lot lately and thought I'd share it to see what you think.

I hope you like it.

Ubulujaja




Saturday, February 21, 2015

amaica brothers band led by john okpor













For the next selection on the highlife turntable, I have selected the track Oh Chukwu Nna by the Amaica Brothers Band led by John Okpor off an O.E.I. Records release.

I've written about John Okpor before.  John Okpor was one of the great Ukwauni vocalists and appears to have had a long and varied career.   I've never heard of the Amaica Brothers Band or this label before I came across this record.

This song appears to be a reworking of the Igbo gospel song Chukwa Nna Mu.  Chukwu in Igbo culture is the source of all the other Igbo gods and controls everything on earth and the spiritual world.  Nna is another word for Fathers.  The song sounds like a praise song to the creator and father: Chukwu.  The label says the song is a Ukwauni Continental Highlife.

The three things that stand out for me are the beauty of the vocals, the simplicity of the guitar lines and the way the percussion instruments keep the tempo moving.  A beautiful little song.

I hope you like it

Ubulujaja

Friday, February 13, 2015

Chukwuemeka Madukwem and the Big Seven






















For the next selection on the Highlife Turntable I have selected the track Onwu Egbuchula Nnem by Chukwuemeka Madukwem and the Big Seven.

I do not know anything about the performer, but the song is off a 1979 Jicco Records Release.  The tune is pretty simple, but the vocals and horn solos give the song a nice laid back quality.  Nothing fancy, but clean and straightforward.  I've been listening to the song the last couple of weeks and thought I'd share it.    I hope you like it.

Let me know if you know anything about the performer or the style of music.

Thanks.

Ubulujaja

Sunday, November 23, 2014

George L.W. Pepple and his Formby Band - Cyrid Ohonuka






















For the next selection on the highlife turntable, I have selected the track Cyrid Ohonuka by the George L.W. Pepple and his Formby Band.

This is an Ibo highlife tune from 1977.  There was no information about the performer or the members of the band, but I believe the word Ohonuka means Thank God.  Craig Taylor and Uchenna Ikonne raised the possibility that the Formby band name maybe a tribute to an English Ukelele player George Formby, who was extremely popular in the 30's and 40's in England and Nigeria.

Lately, I have been coming across a lot of this type of music and really enjoying it.  I like the way the drums open up the song and the languid pace of the interplay between the ethereal vocals and guitar playing throughout the song.  Also check out the two great horn breaks at the 4.10 and 8.40 mark.   I found it a very enjoyable piece.  I hope you like it.

Please let me know if anyone knows anything more about this band or the style of music.

Ubulujaja

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Obidike international band led by Vincent Okoroego























For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have selected the track Iwe Nwanne by the Obidike International Band led by Vincent Okoroego.  Vincent Okoroego was a lead guitarist for the Ikenga Superstars and one of the drummers, Godwin Dike, was also a member of that band.  Okoroego played with Chief Osita Osadebe before that.  (thanks to Uchenna Ikonne and Zim Bida for this information)

I do not know anything else about the band except the LP was released in 1982, they play Igbo highlife music and there is a dedication to William Onyeabor in the liner notes.   The vocals and guitar playing are interesting, but the drumming is what sets this song apart from your average Igbo tune for me.  There is a great 2 1/2 minute stretch starting at the 3:20 mark where the drummer, conga player and native drummer show you what they can do.  The drummer is listed as Godwin Dike, The native drummer is Jelious Ogueri. and the conga player is Bob Agi.  Very enjoyable.

See what you think

Ubulujaja