Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ghana Hilife Music - some samples

I just uploaded a sampling of Ghana music - they are MP3s converted from tape that I recorded onto my computer. Quite a time-consuming process. I'm also not sure how long they will be up, since I don't own the server. In order to download the songs, click the link connected to each title. If you want a physical copy, just get in touch with me and I can burn you a CD.
Feel free to take a listen, and refer to this list for more information on the tracks, the album info and performers. Please note that this is by no means a comprehensive overview of Ghanaian music, nor is it particularly representative. These are simply songs from tapes that I happen to own and enjoy. And there's more where this came from:

01 - Manor Nye Mawu, by Efo Senyo on 'Ametor Woyorna'. We start with an excellent example of Ghanaian traditional music - leader with a choir and drum section, the cow-bell keeping time (but not western time). Check out how the drums all come in together!

02 - Afe Aso, by Nakorex on 'Kpanlogo Fever'.   This second track is more 'pop' style - notice the similar rhythm, but combined with Ghanaian english, much less traditional here with the guitars, but with the Hilife rhythm and feel that incorporates brass.

03 - Woyoo Woyoe, by Nana Tuffour on 'Hilife Tropicana'. The third track is a combination of older Hilife rhythm and horns with the newer electric guitar from French West Africa - although with a Ghanaian twist. Nana Tuffour is the most Hilife oriented of the artists represented here, in my opinion.

04 - Near The Cross, by CYB Tamale on 'Yehowa'. With this track we go back to traditional choir songs. CYB is a youth organization in Tamale (youth refers to a younger generation - you can have 30-year-olds as part of the organization), in this case specifically a church youth association and they sing their favorite songs on this album. Listen to how they fit a western tune into their traditional style (slightly different from Efo Senyo, you might notice).

05 - Ahintabea, by Daughters of Glorious Jesus on 'Aseda'. Daughters of Glorious Jesus is probably the most popular female gospel trio in Ghanaian pop music. Their sound is a combination of Hilife and tight harmonies.

06 - Odofopa Hu Yena, by Kojo Antwi on 'Groovy'.   Kojo Antwi is one of the 'heavy hitters' of Ghanaian pop, and this is a classic track where he combines Hilife with R&B influences (think Barry White)

07 - Odo Mmra Fie, by Daddy Lumba on 'Woho Kyere'.   Another easy grooving track, you can hear the similarity that Hi-life has to reggae and island music (each of these distinct styles has its roots in Ghanaian traditional music).

08 - Adi Nye Wo, by Dada KD on 'Adi Nye Wo'. I just love this track - the way it builds in the beginning with a grooving piano. Check out the bassline too - I love Ghanaian basslines.

09 - Oo Nye Mawu, by CYB Tamale on 'Yehowa'. Back to a more traditional song by the youth choir. You may notice that their songs have no instrumentation. This is partly traditional, and partly practical - you make music with what you have around you. Drums are key, but tone instruments are optional. Check out how tight the singers and drummers are though - everyone is on the same groove.

10 - Fofo Nye Feme, by Efo Senyo on 'Etsome Manya'. Another traditional track, this one highlights the use of horns in a traditional manner. This trumpet player doesn't have a lot to say, but he is on with the rhythm and adds some interesting texture to the song. Listen also to the drums changing their emphasis. Keep in mind that this group, led by Efo Senyo, plays this same drum pattern (with slight variations) continuously for more than 30 minutes, and the only way you know that they've changed songs is because the leader comes in with different words and a slightly different melody, which the choir then follows. No hymnals or sheet music necessary

11 - Odo Esisi Me, by Akatakyie on 'Ghana Mmaa'.   Here is a swingin Hilife song with the more traditional French West-African guitar, as opposed to the western soloing found in Track 3. I love the sampling of the kid's song that happens a minute into the track, without losing the rhythm. You can hear the cow bell counting the 3/4 in the background. You can also hear the influence of rap beginning to come in.

12 - Ebeye Wo Ya, by Nana Ampadu on 'Double-Do'. Nana Ampadu is one of the favorite guitarists in Ghana - this is classic West African electric guitar playing - find a groove and vamp. You can also hear the Hilife brass on this track.

13 - Ehye Wo Bo, by Akatakyie on 'Ghana Mmaa'. I had to include this track because it grooves so well, and you can hear the cow bell keeping time - this is one of the favorite rhythms of Ghana, and most synonymous with Hilife.

14 - Yen Ka No Bokoo, by Godfred Darko on 'Ebedwo Dabi'. Godfred Darko is another staple of Ghanaian Hilife, though a more modern sound - going to town on the keyboard, which brings together the west african electric guitar sounds with the rhythms of Hilife and the backing choir.

15 - M' Endwoodwoo Me, by Nana Tuffour on 'Daasebre'. And to close out, a classic Hilife tune with the horns coming in right at the beginning.


4 comments:

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Lloyd Selom said...

Hi I just want to know if you stiil get this song from Efo Senyo Ghanaian artist : Fofo nye feme .
Because the link is no longer
available .

Ring Records said...

unfortunately they're not available online anymore, but get in touch with me if you want a copy. ringrecords AT gmail D Ot,com

Lloyd Selom said...

I sended you an email at ringrecords@gmail.com
I'm just waiting for your answer .
Thank you .