Last friday I was invited by Radio Troptopia / Cashmere Radio to do a highlife special.
It´s mainly focused on 1980´s highlife from Ghana and Izon / Ijaw highlife from Nigeria. You will find some special tracks there. The show was made in a relaxed atmosphere with berlin based DJ´s Edna Martinez and Radio Hobo.
I like photos that are printed in one colour using a halftone screen. It gives a nice effect of gentle alienation, reminding me of some silk screen arts or duo tone prints. Although in this case I am quite sure that these sleeves are printed using an offset technique because of the fine and feint screen they have.
Anyway I like these two simple and great compositions:
Mr. Oyakhese Ogwogho in the 45 ° checked pattern is still retaining his dandie like confidence. A very beautiful colorway using this special blue and brown.
And the legendary Kyeremateng Atwede encountering a beautifuly designed shape alongside a great font style.
Enjoy “Hwe Dee Akosie” from JNA14 on Obuoba records:
To continue the story about spheres and surroundings here are two sleeves from Professor I. K. Belemu arranged in his own orbit. Both records are from beginning to end extremly beautiful, so it was hard for me to decide which song I would play here. The Owigiri King was released on Supremedisk and the other one on Akpolla Records. Deep and funky 80´s highlife from Nigeria!
“The Osuopele Union of Ojobo”
“Boeye Laye Fa”
More information about I. K. Belemu can be found here
Both sleeves use the artists image to create ornamental structures in a fine way. The orbiting ornaments have a delightful and mesmerising effect on me. The repetition used on both images generates a certain movement around the center image (the heart and the shape of nigeria) which amplify the importance of the performers. The arrow from the Great Ojo sleeve is targeting Benin City, the capital of edo-funk and hometown of Akpolla Records.
listen to funky “Uwa-Bu-Afia” from Juana-Tina, Akpolla Records, AGB 012
and “Oriovbe” from Great Ojo, Akpolla Records, AGB 128
Both records are from one of my favourite nigerian highlife labels: Akpolla Records.
This label released about 250 records in the 70´s and 80´s from famous artists like Rex Lawson, Ali Chukwuma, Rogana Ottah, I.K. Belemu plus many more amazing deep highlife and edo-funk recordings from other less known artists.
Highlife star Popular Cooper and his all beats band of Nigeria on a sociocritical soul excursion.
Simple and sad story which is repeated permanently all over the world.
I am not sure if the content from the backsleeve is meant ironic. If somebody has some information about the political circumstances of that time in Nigeria I would be happy if you let me know!
“If You Never Know Me” from Car Studio – CLP 06, 1978
A perfect correspondence between the traces of water-damage and the environment of Félix Gnoka Groguhet. I am not certain about the type of environment – maybe a salt-lake, a sacred place? If anybody has more information about it, please let me know!
For me also a perfect musical correspondence among Ivory Coast roots and latin vibes. Listen to the complete first side of this very very beautiful record:
To continue the story of the great Waziri Oshomah, here is one of my favourite songs from him. Turn up your speakers and get ready to take off with Zonuze Oluemoebe !
I prefer the back of the sleeve – a fine combination between the black and white images, the light blue and black background areas and the red spot in the bottom right corner. I like the way how both musicians in the right image fade together in their white spaces.
The guy on the front cover is not Waziri Oshomah himself but I guess it´s Chief J. A. Aigbokhade, who might have helped finance the production of the record.