Gyedu Blay Ambolley and the Steneboofs – Simigwa Soca

There are manymany reasons to visit the Awesome Tapes From Africa blog, and after some more recent browsing I can’t help but put this forward as my new (and no doubt temporary) favourite. 

Gyedu Blay Ambolley is infamous in Ghanaian highlife/hiplife music circles in general, and for very good reason. This album is a supposedly rare version of a ‘late-era’ release, but I am slowly becoming obsessed with the variety of sounds on it and the way they are presented.

The quality of the files is inevitably average (as is almost always the case with AFTA, for obvious reasons) but this shouldn’t let you be deterred from enjoying the sheer joy on offer. The title track ‘Simigwa Soca’, whilst being perhaps the lowest quality recording, is one of the hits on an album that maintains such high standards. It shares the same soca/funk tempo and horn-led chorus as other tracks, notably ‘Bend Down Low’ and’Ehuruw A Whewhe Beebi Koto’. However there are other genres creeping in all over the place, with the eventual reggae tinged ‘Atwer’ and unadulterated funk monster that is ‘Burkina Faso’ (a slightly different – and not quite as enthralling – version of this below).

Get over to the ATFA site to download a copy right now, and give it some time. Whilst it may be easy for this style of electronic African music to be dismissed as indulgent, there are moments that will have you on your feet in no time.

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