Highlife meets afro-funk. Spirited, horn driven & trailblazing. Almost four decades after a coup d’ tat in Ghana prematurely halted their career, Edikanfo’s surviving band members are at last gearing up to reissue and tour “The Pace Setters.”The LP & CD feature. Exclusive liner notes from Brian Eno and an extensive interview with Edikanfo band leader Gilbert Amartey Amar.
In 1981, London-based E.G. Records released the debut album from a young Ghanaian group called Edikanfo. Edikanfo quickly rose to international notoriety following the release of “The Pace Setters” because of the infectious, forward-looking highlife meets afro-funk synthesis the band committed to tape. But the album also caught an additional wind of publicity due to its producer, the already legendary British musician and sound conceptualist Brian Eno.
During that time, Eno was researching and openly propagating West African musics. He often mentioned his love of Fela Kuti and called his own rhythm driven experiments the search for a “vision of a psychedelic Africa.” He had recently been collaborating with The Talking Heads on their Avant-funk masterpiece “Remain in Light” and with The Talking Heads frontman David Byrne on “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts,” an album which foretold the sort of cross-pollination and global music interconnectivity that today we take for granted. Eno and Edikanfo’s work together at Studio One in Accra (Ghana) was yet another inspired morphing of soundworlds and processes and a significant touchstone for both artists.
As Brian Eno recently noted: “the actual recording sessions were joyful - the band played with such verve that you couldn’t resist.” But just when the sky seemed the limit for Edikanfo, the coup d’ tat in Ghana on the last day of 1981, tragically put the brakes on the band’s quickly developing fortunes. For years after that, the country endured enforced curfews at night, which of course ultimately gutted the live music scene in Accra and elsewhere. Because of this and other financial setbacks, the band ceased activity and its members spread out in exile, all over the world. It clearly seemed as though the story of Edikanfo, one of Ghana’s greatest bands of that era, had come to a premature end.
Now, almost four decades later, Edikanfo has returned. And with its surviving members gearing up to reissue and tour their classic 1981 album, “The Pace Setters,” the band is once again excitedly pointed towards the future.
- Additional Information
Artist Edikanfo Label Glitterbeat Music Format General Vinyl Music Format Specific 12" Genre African / Afrobeat, Funk, Soul Release Date 8 May 2020 Track 1 Position No Track 1 Title No Track 1 Preview URL No Track 2 Position No Track 2 Title No Track 2 Preview URL No Track 3 Position No Track 3 Title No Track 3 Preview URL No Track 4 Position No Track 4 Title No Track 4 Preview URL No Track 5 Position No Track 5 Title No Track 5 Preview URL No Track 6 Position No Track 6 Title No Track 6 Preview URL No Track 7 Position No Track 7 Title No Track 7 Preview URL No Track 8 Position No Track 8 Title No Track 8 Preview URL No Track 9 Position No Track 9 Title No Track 9 Preview URL No Track 10 Position No Track 10 Title No Track 10 Preview URL No Track 11 Position No Track 11 Title No Track 11 Preview URL No Track 12 Position No Track12 Title No Track 12 Preview URL No