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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

highlife



Nigeria Special is a new collection of old songs that focuses on many of the hybrid styles (afrobeat, soul, highlife, psych, funk, etc.) that emerged in Nigeria during the early/mid-70s. Wire mag says the comp is full of "rare and exhilarating treasures," but I can't vouch for that because I haven't been able to stop listening to track #2, this absolute gem by Celestine Ukwu. Ukwu was the key figure in the Nigerian highlife movement before his premature death in a 1977 car accident, and his stuff is apparently largely out of print here or anywhere else. If anyone can suggest more that sounds like this, that would be greatly appreciated (first one of you jerks that says "Vampire Weekend" gets banned):

mp3:
Celestine Ukwu & His Philosophers National Okwukwe Na Nchekwube

Buy Nigeria Special here

************************************

elsewhere:

Friday's the last day to win those Liars/No Age tix. Get on it.

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34 comments:

Blogger The RIpple Effect said...

Chris,

I hear where you're coming from. I love the 70's Nigerian sound. Check out the review I wrote on King Sunny Ade (with video) on the Ripple Effect.

Peace

Todd (Racer)
The Ripple Effect
www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com

10:38 PM  
Anonymous tommy said...

Check out the London is the Place for Me series on Honest Jons maybe. I like Vol. 2 the best.

10:39 PM  
Blogger tommy said...

Oh, ya, the first King Sunny Ade album too.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, I hate Vampire Weekend. Just another band following that "indie" formula.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

60's and 70's Highlife is the best. So glad you like it. There's lots of great music from not only Nigeria, but Ghana, Uganda and Senegal from that era.

TWO MUST HAVE COMP. ALBUMS -

"Money Be No Sand" on Original Music.
&
"Kampala Sound: 60's Ugandan Dance Music" also on Original Music

MBNS has some stellar standouts by Charles Iwegbue. The Les Ross Orch. track is a godsend and lastly Charlotte Dada covering "Dont Let Me Down" will knock you out.

Kampala Sound is flat out amazing especially for the Mbowa tracks with the AGS Boys.

Also, you can crack the surface of Syliphone too while you explore this kind of music.

I too recommend Tommy's suggestion about the Honest Jon's comp. b/c they're great though they are not African, they are Trinidadian Calypso.

Also check out the great blog http://awesometapesfromafrica.blogspot.com/. He puts up some amazing stuff that you wont ever find anywhere else.

And then you have to try to hear The Mac Group or A.K.Frimpong too.

Sorry if this is a lot of disjointed info, I just got very excited when you mentioned it.

If you want I can send you some copies of the stuff.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

almost bought this at amoeba last week. looks dope

2:38 AM  
Blogger parallelliott said...

celestine is great. i caught liars/no age in boston last weekend for a killer show, so all should go.

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Hey you would really love this band called Vampire Weekend...just kidding....

Thanks for posting about this. It sounds really interesting. I know nothing about Nigerian music...

9:14 AM  
Anonymous sofiblu said...

Thanks for the heads up about this record, very cool
Ghanaian highlife is where it's at, too!

9:48 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

thanks for all the recommendations, guys. i look forward to checking those out.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous superlotado said...

maybe check out the comp "ghana soundz" as well--afrobeat, funk, and fusion from the 70s--good stuff!

10:34 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

i concur with michael s., awesome tapes from africa opened and continues to open my eyes to so much amazing african music. benn loxo du taccu is similarly great.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did junior year abroad in Nigeria so acquired a taste for the music there.

My favorite (other than Fela) was Ebenezer Obey- he's been around forever, and his albums scan several distinct styles.

An excellent comp (as mentioned before) is Honest John's (EMI) "Lagos All Routes" - - which begins with a mind numbing 11 min Ebenezer Obey afro-psych(?) song.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss Oink. I'm dying to hear some of these picks and I have no idea where to find them.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amazon.com

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

grab them on soulseek.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what an easy death

12:30 PM  
Blogger joe said...

i will also vouch the king sunny ade and his juju music. he puts on a great, high energy concert. i saw him in a small club here in milwaukee a few years ago, and there were no less then 15 people on the tiny stage. probably one of my favorite concerts i have had the pleasure of attending.
I might also recommend orchestre baobab, not sure how well known they are. specialist in all styles, and pirates choice both fantastic.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous NateDuvalDotCom said...

I really appreciate you taste in compilations.

1:46 PM  
Blogger William said...

my favorite nigerian funk comp is
Nigeria '70: The Definitive Sound of Funky Lagos. Been obsessed with it for years, all the songs are jewels. anyone wants an upload email me at my blog

acknowledgedclassic.blogspot.com

W

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that link to Celestine Ukwu & His Philosophers National crashes my browser every time!

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

likembe.blogspot.com is another good spot for random downloads

Likembe posted a track a few months ago called "The Late Celestine Ukwu Special" by The Ikenga Super-Stars of Africa, which is simply amazing. I'm not sure where the track came from, but its 18 minutes long and its phenomenal.

If you send me an email at ryancduncan@gmail.com I can try to hit you up with an upload.

Cheers,
Ryan

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um, i would try vamp....

kidding (even though i like them..yeah i admitted it. im not ashamed)

i love extra golden
http://www.myspace.com/extragolden
theyre kenyan.....

12:52 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Lipa Kodi Ya City Council: Nigerian High Life.

various artists. beautiful comp, especially the closer by S.E. Rogie, which i play over and over and over again, no tire.

10:41 PM  
Blogger lofibuttfolk said...

fadhili williams mdwawida

i've only been able to find him on emusic.

absolutely the right medicine.

the ylow.blogspot has a lot of this vein.

thanks for your taste

ian

www.thecopiedcopied.com

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a cool new Afrobeat EP by Lightning Head on Lion Head Recordings.

It's nothing like VW either....

10:41 AM  
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