Edikanfo Super African Band —
Pace Setters ... CD EG/Glitterbeat (Germany), 1981. New Copy ...
A classic album from this great group from Ghana – one that probably got more exposure than usual, thanks to the fact that they were taken under the wing of Brian Eno, who produced the album, in a tradition that would stretch back to Ginger Baker's work with Fela! The group have a great sound here – bold, fast-moving rhythms – with elements in Eno's production that almost recall his work with the Talking Heads – especially his way of bringing out the most robust elements in the basslines and percussion! The whole thing is done with a great balance – nicely respectful, but also with a slight updating of the sonic quality – yet never in a way that's got the more commercial inclinations of the world music boom to come. There's some cool moogy moments at time – almost bursting out of the mix in the way that Eno's electronics would pepper some of his early work with Roxy Music – and titles include "Gbenta", "Something Lefeh-O", "Blinking Eyes", and "Moonlight Africa". CD
Incredible sounds from trumpeter Jon Hassell – a really genre-defining record, and the start of a great run of music for years to come! The album's part of Brian Eno's "fourth world" series – explorations in mixing his own inventive modes with other global styles – but the overall sound really belongs to Hassell, as it draws heavily from the processed sounds of his trumpet – pushing forth in dark waves of sound that are really compelling at an electric level, but very much organic overall. Eno adds in some great ambient touches – and the use of percussion from Nana Vasconcelos and Ayibe Deng give the whole thing a really rich, natural vibe – maybe even more so than any of Hassel's later records! Titles include "Chemistry", "Delta Rain Dream", "Griot (Over Contagious Magic)", "Ba-Benzele", "Rising Thermal 14 16' N 32 38' E" and "Charm (Over Burundi Cloud)". CD