Two tough guys orbited by symmetric dots and rays geared up to play strong soukous influenced music.
The mysterious expression of the Micky-Micky Bandumba Orchestra sleeve is based on a certain contrast between the modest, rough inside and the gay, jazzy orbit. Small breach of symmetry caused by missing out the fourth Micky.
Stanley is looking very determined out of his octagonal window whilst sending out impressive rays. They want be seen and heared!
Akafé from Stanley Murphy, Dans Afé Onin Che, Alabi Records AR 003, Ivory Coast
At the next Afrofunk Special I will lay together with Bestmate? some very danceable music from Africa and abroad. Currently I´m preparing a slide show based on sleeve snippets from my collection – it will be shown during the night.
The main act “Onom Agemo And The Disco Jumpers” will celebrate the release of their first LP “Cranes And Carpets” on agogo records. The musicians of this young, Berlin based band are also playing in better known projects as Woima Collective or Mop Mop.
Their music is a unique conjunction of jazz, african music, hypnotic minimalism and fuzzy grooves – get an impression here.
Two of the best highlife dancing tracks ever are released on these LP´s. When I play them on dancing venues they always burn the floor.
“Si No Pi” was posted by GlobalGroove 5 days ago, you can enjoy it on this great blog. There is also some information about the lyrics/music in the comments. “W´adaadaa Me” as far as I know is not listenable on the net until today. From this record I will play for you “Dabi Wo Bekae Me”.
Both record covers also have a great graphic design. I like the clear style in which this proud woman was designed, it reminds me on intaglio printmaking techniques. This sharpness is supported by the plain-colored background and together with the simple graphic elements it produces in either cases a deep space behind the woman.
To “show what you have” is a fundamental human behaviour which leads sometimes to strange expressions. In it´s exaggerated styles it shapes the skeleton of capitalism.
Sometimes even musicians uses their presentation surfaces to show what they are proud of. In the case of Waziri Oshomah Vol. 4, released 1982, a white Mercedes Benz and four talented boys. In my opinion unfortunately not his best record but surely his best record cover.
Because I like his other recordings much more I will play for you a tune from the four year earlier released Shanu Olu Vol.1, which is certainly influenced by Mr. Oshomahs muslim belief.
“Iyuchele Opomumhe” from Sir Waziri Oshomah And His Traditional Sound Makers – Vol.1, Shanu Olu Records SOS 037, 1978
The bird as the primary musician is pictured also on labels of west-african records. In my perception they are used more often than other animals (dogs, lions, elephants). Here are some fine examples from what I found until today.
Owoh Records – Orlando Owoh´s personal label, an nigerian JuJu / Highlife musician.
Mari Josh Records, nigerian juju music
Femco Recods from Nigeria with a reggae record from Bassey Black
Another small local nigerian label
Frank International Records from Nigeria, I guess it´s a personal label from “Frank International and his Band Group”
Fela Kuti on skylark / Nigeria
Humming Bird Productions, UK, synth highlife from 1991
Famous Happy Bird released some essential ghanian highlife records, mostly from the African Brothers. Like a lot of records from small ghanian labels it was made by Ambassador Records, who did run the first ghanian owned record plant in Kumasi.
Mali Kunkan, eminent label who released a series of classic recordings from Mali’s best regional orchestras. Some of them were reissued during the last years by Kindred Spirits.
Jibros Records, another small nigerian label who released a record from an ghanian highlife artist
Franco Records, small nigerian label with 1980´s highlife music
Awoko Records, small nigerian label, released also some very very rare Afrofunk records.
Tabansi, famous nigerian highlife, juju, afrobeat, funk & boogie label
DES Records, small nigerian label, active in the 1970s and 80s
Stanley Murphy on Disco 2000, Ivory Coast
Feathers, released highlife and funk from Nigeria.
BOB international records / fancy was located in Nigeria and released music from ghanaian artists
Highlife from Ghana, small label based in London in the 1980`s
I.K. Bros Records, fine nigerian highlife from Franco Lee Ezute and his Harmony Kings International
Ebohon Records, one more nigerian label with a Waziri Oshomah release
Odec, nigerian highlife, I think mostly from the 1980´s.
Emelu Records, nigerian label with some music in Igbo language
The musically mighty Prince A.E. Amgbaduba on the only release
I know from this label
I will play for you “Flash Special” from Rogana Ottah and his Black Heroes International. He is singing for us something about the black flamingos…
Above a very unusual Okukuseku Cover, it reminds me on some Fela Kuti Covers – a dense kind of storytelling.
Most of the Okukuseku Covers I know are based on a portrait (painted of photographed) of it´s bandleader Kofi Sammy – like the record below. It´s one of their first LP´s and produced in Ghana. I like the way how Kofi Sammy in his cool dress is moving, turning and melting together with the background. His expression is an exciting mixture of being very aware and scared at the same time.
B2 “Papa Ye Asa” from LPEX 001, Executive / Ambassador Records