ROB was an enigmatic recording artist from Ghana who cut two albums for the legendary Essiebons label in 1977. Neither of these were big domestic hits at the time and have since become prized amongst collectors in recent years. The title track from this LP was always one of the most popular on the first Soundway release Ghana Soundz and over the years we have been asked many times to re-issue the LP in it’s entirety. A stranger, slower offering than his more dancefloor funk-laden and Spartan first LP, this record sees ROB in similar territory but with the tempo switched down and the introspection turned up.
ROB’s trademark horns dominate and are supplied by the Mag-2, an army band founded by leader Amponsah Rockson, who named it after the army unit the band played for the “magnificent” second battalion. In 1977, Rob traveled to the coastal town of Takoradi in search of Mag-2, which had an entire section of its line-up dedicated to horns, with the intension of laying out his proposal to them. Luckily for Rob, the band took him up on it.
With religious overtones and a broody, slightly off-key atmosphere at points it’s certainly one of the stranger afro-funk records to come out of West Africa but with tracks like Loose up Yourself and Make it Fast, Make it Slow he nails it for sure.
Soundway present 3 hot new African edits. Kicking off the A side is a bass-heavy slice of dancefloor highlife from 1975, boiled down from over thirty minutes to a dancefloor-friendly five minute edit by Hide & Smile aka Frankie Francis (Sofrito) and label founder Miles Cleret. The flip starts off with a thunderous un-released, un-finished, un-named track from Ghana’s dance band kings of the 60s and 70s, The Uhuru Dance Band before we cross the continent to Uganda with Quantic again applying the edit treatment to a 1974 mid-tempo offering from one of the top bands of the day, The Cranes.
The 12″ vinyl is limited to 1000 copies and comes with a free MP3 download of the release.
This extraordinary, dark, moody and experimental offering from teenage Ghanaian afro rock outfit Edzayawa (Pronounced Ed – Zye – Ow – Ahh) is one of the more obscure and unique releases that Soundway have brought back to life over the past ten years. Arriving in Lagos from Togo in the spring of 1973 the band were taken under the wing of Fela Kuti. After a run of appearances on the bill at his Shrine club they were signed by EMI Nigeria’s visionary in-house producer Odion Iruoje. Over two days in May 1973 they recorded Projection One, which was their one and only release before disbanding two years later.