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, May 2, 2020

Kelly Udeji and his Okpilla Group - onoeshimegba omuvue

For the next selection on the highlife turntable,  I have selected the song onoeshimegba omuvue by Kelly Udeji and his Okpilla Group.

There was no information about the band, but the Iroube label was one of the smaller labels operating in the Etaskor region in the 80's.  I really like the deep hypnotic repetitive energy of the music and vocals, especially the interplay between the lead singer and the chorus.  The chorus really stands out as it answers the call and response of the lead vocalist.  Simple, elegant, meaningful, urgent the music conveys everything that makes Etaskor music so beautiful. Check out the flute playing towards the middle of the song.  Reminds me a little of the sound of the Hon. Vincent Ugabi.

I hope you like it


Friday, May 1, 2020

Prince A.E. Amgbaduba And His Benrivs band Of Nigeria - Seikirilemor

For the next selection on the highlife turntable, I have selected the track Seikirimelemor by Prince.  A.E. Amgbaduba and his Benrivs Dance Band off a Gabea record release.

I have never heard of the label and I believe its probably one of his rarest recordings.   I got this LP from Chris Meserve during one of my visits to his house in New York.  He gave it to me as a parting gift after one of our music listening sessions.

I received a message from Bestman Peres Doupere that this is actually an Ijaw song!  He told me IK Belemu and many others used the term Seikinlade and the word itself means "Here comes dance" or dancing time.  

He went on to say: The artist name is Emmanuel Amgbaduba.  Amgbaduba is an Ijaw name that means big cheeks or literally big mouth.  He also said he thinks Amgbaduba may have passed away in the 80's and that he was into music in the 60's before King Robert Ebizimor, Bestman Doupere, IK Belemu and many others.  He started out playing native songs with african native drums before crossing to using english instruments for highlife music.  

This makes sense as I have a 45 of his music from the mid 70's and another Ijaw player Lord Adusa played Asiko music back in the 60's before switching over to highlife. 

I'd rank the beauty of his vocals and originality of his music along side other greats like Obiajulum and Mmadu Osa.

 This song is one of my all time favorites.  Check out the dreamy opening with its pulsating rhythms and the easy going introspective, almost philosophical, cadence of the vocals and the languid way they fades in and out of  the song along side the chorus.

I tease my friends this is the song I want them to play at my wake because it says everything I ever wanted to say to them and everything they needed to know.

I hope you like it


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