Friday 27 October 2023

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

Thomas Frempong was already a star of the Ghanaian Hi-Life/Dance Band scene  when he recorded Anansi 'Shuttle' in 'new' style of Electric Hi-Life but was he first on the bus? 

Well, if he wasn't first, he clearly on board with the 'new' sounds of the 70s when the likes of Tina Turner, Wilson Pickett and Carlos Santana were invited to Acca for a concert with local musicans.  

By the time this album was released in the mid 80s on Anthony Roberts-Frempong's London label Asona, (any releation?), the influence absorsian had the more electric elements of the european studios and on here, a strong dub presence that LSP/Peech Boys NYC would be proud of; there's 'Okesi' original version and an 'Okesi (Real Dutch Mix) and the opener 'Wobre' gets a Real Dutch mix to close he album.

'Ama' is more of a fusion with some great wandering sax and even more dub with some 80s Paul 'South Africa" Simon/Shalamar going on too.  That sax comes back on 'Kweku Anansi' but these days, the sound of the Linndrum sounds as new as it did in 80s on this track and 'Ajojoo'.

The cover artwork looks a bit like a "Hallmark" card of the time but the music is the star here; recommend you listen to 'Me Nyame' again.   All tracks were recorded in Wardour Street (London, W1) of all places and we're endebted to the wife of Anthony Roberts-Frempong's son (Ed. that's a 'daughter in law' then!) who found a stack of Asona album in a bad when they were clearing out a shed at the bottom of garden!  Roberts-Frempong passed away in 2011 but his DJ son Jerry knew that BBE would know what to do with this treasure trove and this is one of the re-issue series that so far has included Sam Yeboah's 'Meba Fie - I'll Be Back Home' (see review HERE) and Nana Budjei's 'Afrikaman' (see review HERE) Jewel Ackrah's ;Electric Hi-Life' (see review HERE).

Long may these re-issues keep coming as each one is excellent in it's own right; love to know what the local reaction is in Accra club is when Pete BBE is out DJing at the moment.

Artist: Thomas Frempong 

Title:  Anansi Shuttle 

Release date: 27th October, 2023

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE752 LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 


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