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 Se ers” because of the infec ous, 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 Bri sh musician and sound conceptualist Brian Eno. During that me, 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.
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