eMusic Review 0
In the middle of the hot organ breakdown that occupies the center of the Super Sweet Talks' "Akampanye," the group's leader, A.B. Crentsil, notes, "It's a nice beat, man." He's telling us. There are a lot of them on this 33-song extravaganza-cum-overview of Ghanaian highlife-and-beyond, mostly from the '70s and all of it worth getting to know.
Soundway Records head Miles Cleret's previous three-part Nigeria Special extravaganza was the crate-digger roll of a lifetime, but Ghana Special may be even richer. It bounces between heady, raw percussion jams like Hedzolleh Sound's Jew's-harp-driven "Omusus Da Fe M'musu," smooth pop tunes such as the Ogyatanaa Show Band's "You Monopolise Me," and a jumpy near-hoedown from the Bokoor Band, whose "You Can Go" is driven by stick percussion, acoustic guitar, and the harmonica blasts of white Brit ex-pat bandleader John Collins. Honny & the Bees Band flirts with psychedelia.
Beyond Cleret's flawless selection, Ghana Special contains his canniest programming: each song moves into the next with thoughtful precision. Take the way Houghas Sorowonko's "Enuanom Adofo," which features horn interplay so hot-and-sour they make the smoking rhythms feel like an afterthought, rubs against "Bukom" by Oscar Sulley's Nzele Soundz: not only is the… read more »