March 06, 2010


If you look at my posts so far, you won't be surprised when I tell you I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to Ghanian highlife. But in this case I guess I am in good company. Because even Akwaboa in his great Highlife Haven blog describes the Kyerematen(g) Stars as "quite unknown".

I gather from other blogs that there may be some religion involved, of the Christian variety. I haven't been able to detect traces of any religion in this album, but this may be due to my complete and utter ignorance of any of the (highly complicated, - so I am told) languages of Ghana.
So my opinion of the lp is solely based on what I can hear. And that is usually a very good measure when evaluating music.

Listening to this lp I am not disappointed. This is - in my opinion - a classic highlife album, and one with a distinct Ghanian touch. I am constantly reminded of John Collin's studies into circular rhythms*. If anyone is looking for examples: this album is full of those!
My favourites of these examples are "Masere M'Ano" and the combined tracks "A.K. Badu" / "D.K. Nyarko". Especially in the last track the effect is almost like cycling with the tailwind pushing you along. The guitars are like the effortless strokes of the feet turning the pedals....

Ambassador LPAM 026

*I will see if I can digitise parts of the 1994 documentary 'African Cross Rhythms' of which you can find an excerpt here at some time in the near future.


gilhodges said...

Thanks for this one (and every other gem you serve up). Your mention of John Collins's analysis of circular rhythms remindes me of a wonderful book I read thirty years ago, which, shockingly, appears to still be in print. I highly recommend John Miller Chernoff's African Rhythms and African Sensibilities.

Akwaboa said...

Great album, one of my favs.
By the way, Afenhyiapa seems to mean Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Akan, one of the major Ghanaian languages

Akwaboa said...

About the religious nature of at least some of the Kyerematen albums: one is called Nkrabea (faith), another one Gye Nyame (supremacy of God) and the sleeve of Mesu Mefre Nyame ( ? God) shows someone praying. Some of the other albums ( i go die for you) seem to be more secular.