Thursday 26 October 2023

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , , ,

Jewel Ackrah was already a star of the Hi-Life when he recorded this album, 'Electric Hi-Life' in the 'new' style of Electric Hi-Life but this guys is band wagon jumper. 

Release on Asona in London, this is another in BBE's re-issue series that have so far included Sam Yeboah's 'Meba Fie - I'll Be Back Home' (see review HERE) and Nana Budjei's 'Afrikaman' and this joins them in a celebration of Ghanain Hi-Life.

And perhaps it was recorded in Accra (the capital and largest city in Ghana) perhaps Jewel thought it was more 'electric' than his previous recordings as they had some synth keyboards in the studio (paricular 'Maame') which were particularly hard to come by at the time due to the import duties imposed by a near finanially backrupt regime being in power.

Jewel has a great voice and there's some great electric guitar here (perhaps, the effects peddels were in short supply too?), particularly on the openers 'Onipa Dasa Ni' and 'Eko Awar A Bisa' with some US. cop show theme sounding horns; "Rev" Jewel certianly had a 80s Hip-Hop/James Brown dress sense judging by the cover photo.  But is that a bit of Joe Walsh in the guitar on 'Awar So' and Kenny G on sax as they slip in a few chords of the wedding march theme? One for Saturday morning radio that one I thinks.

'Maame' is the longest of the five tracks on the album but it's a fitting climax to yet another joyful release in this series.  Even though there's no 'reggae' track on this album, it's the most electric for me and a must have to prolong this late summer / welcome Halloween season.

Artist: Jewel Ackrah 

Title:  Electric Hi-Life 

Release date: 27th October, 2023

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE751 LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 


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