Various Afro Baby: The Evolution Of The Afro-Sound In Nigeria 1970-1979

Afro Baby investigates the influence of soul, rock and funk on Nigerian music in the ’70s, proving that Fela wasn't the only one who had come up with an Afrobeat. This should not be regarded as a funk collection, as were Ghana Soundz Vol 1 and 2. These are all highlife tracks, the dominant popular form in Nigeria and Ghana from the ’60s until the ’80s. Break beats don’t hit you over the head, but there is no denying the funk factor within this form is persuasive enough to move any audience in the world. With an early Fela track, "Fogo Fogo" in the mix, one can compare the master’s groove circa 1972 with the likes of local heroes Orlando Julius and Tunji Oleyana and other less famous ensembles. Each of these tracks balances American musical and ideological influences with Nigerian ones. An interesting catalyst seems to have been EMI studios in Lagos, which made it possible to create big sounding, well recorded yet experimental tracks in the highest fidelity studio in West Africa. Additional liner notes are contributed by a veteran Nigerian DJ who provides a home-grown perspective. Hopefully this compilation will spark interest in more traditional highlife and other pop forms in Africa that don't jibe so easily with break beat culture, but still groove like hell. (Soundway)