Gyedu-Blay Ambolley - The Message LP
Label: Analog Africa
Prepare yourself for new directions in Afro-funk: Analog Africa presents the ninth release of their Limited Edition Serie. During the 1980s, Ghanaian bandleader Gyedu-Blay Ambolley began to experiment with electronic instruments, and the result was a potent mix of highlife, funk, exploratory synths and righteous vocals, the sound of a restless genius intent on pushing the traditional sounds of highlife into a brave new future. By the end of the 1970s, Ambolley was already a legendary figure on the Ghanaian music scene. He rose to prominence during the late 1960s, serving with countryman Ebo Taylor in the Stargazers and the Uhuru Dance Band before launching his own career with "Simigwa-do," the 1972 hit that propelled him to West African stardom. As a founding member of the Apagya Show Band and the Complex Soundz, he stretched the boundaries of highlife with electric instruments, funky rhythms and socially charged lyrics in Fante and English. With a new band, Zantoda Mak III, he recorded "The Message," a seven minute funk workout built on a highlife foundation, and decorated with shimmering synths. Recorded in 1980, the song became a hit that would change the direction of Ambolley's music: over the next decade, electronic instruments played a much larger role in his sonic experiments. The Message receives a long overdue re-release on this 12" along with three other peaks from Ambolley's eighties output. Difficult, if not impossible to find for decades, Analog Africa is proud to make Gyedu-Blay Ambolley's extraordinary eighties recordings available to a wider audience.