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4 Sep 2016

Edzayawa “Projection One” 1973 Ghana Afro Rock,Afro beat Dark Psych








Edzayawa  “Projection One” 1973 Ghana Afro Rock,Afro beat Dark Psych recommended…!
full
Reissue of the incredibly rare 1973 EMI Nigeria release. Full of dark psychedelic grooves, this album proves to be one of the most original releases from 1970s West African scene. …..
This extraordinary, dark, moody and experimental offering from teenage Ghanaian afro rock outfit Edzayawa (Pronounced Ed – Zye – Ow – Ahh) is one of the more obscure and unique releases that Soundway have brought back to life over the past ten years. Arriving in Lagos from Togo in the spring of 1973 the band were taken under the wing of Fela Kuti. After a run of appearances on the bill at his Shrine club they were signed by EMI Nigeria’s visionary in-house producer Odion Iruoje. Over two days in May 1973 they recorded Projection One, which was their one and only release before disbanding two years later.
The majority of their songs were based around a 6/8 rhythm influenced by the music of the Ewe people from the South East of Ghana and Western Togo. With themes that draw heavily on traditional folklore and deep philosophy the album has a heavy feel that sets itself well apart from the much of the lighter happier highlife of the previous decade. Alongside Fela’s first few albums, Blo’s Chapter One and Mono Mono’s Give The Beggar A Chance this was one of the very earliest Afro – Rock LPs released in West Africa and has remained out of print for nearly forty years.

Projection One never got a release in the band’s home country of Ghana and apparently sailed way over most peoples heads at the time. Very much like the debut Hedzoleh Soundz album that Soundway re-issued in 2010 (another Ghanaian band that were recorded in Lagos, produced by Iruoje on the recommendation of Fela Kuti) the only copies that made it back to Ghana were the few that the band took back themselves.
Soundway release Projection One here in it’s full original format on gatefold vinyl as well as on CD for the first time: remastered and accompanied by liner notes that contain the reminiscences of band leader Nana Danso (who subsequently founded and now runs the Accra-based Pan African Orchestra)….by sound way……
One of the best psychedelic rock albums i’ve ever heard, the african percussion makes it more enjoyable, lots of tempo changing and different rhythms match very well with the acid improvisations and the traditional african chanting makes it feel very ritualistic. Picturing the africa of the 70’s and looking at this album only makes you think what talent and will power can do when you just want to achieve something great and these guys sound secure and totally determined to make their country rock hard, black people have had an undeniable and positive mark in rock music’s history.

The quintet Edzayawa was formed in the late 60s by young Ghanaians, and launched a unique and rare album in 1973 in Nigeria, before discarding a few years later. It was re-released only in 2012, by Soundway.
The album One Projection brings a typical mix of funk rock with traces of West African music (afro rock), is composed of 8 tracks, with amazing organ and good touches of flute and percussion. Differs from most rock albums of the region at that time by not having fuzz guitar and many influences of psychedelic rock, plus some further elaborated songs and experimental/ instrumental compositions. Emphasis on the tracks  "Darkness", “Godzin”, “Amanehun” and “Obuebee”. Highly recommended for fans of african rock. 
This extraordinary, dark, moody and experimental offering from teenage Ghanaian afro rock outfit Edzayawa (Pronounced Ed – Zye – Ow – Ahh) is one of the more obscure and unique releases that Soundway have brought back to life over the past ten years. Arriving in Lagos from Togo in the spring of 1973 the band were taken under the wing of Fela Kuti. After a run of appearances on the bill at his Shrine club they were signed by EMI Nigeria’s visionary in-house producer Odion Iruoje. Over two days in May 1973 they recorded Projection One, which was their one and only release before disbanding two years later.

The majority of their songs were based around a 6/8 rhythm influenced by the music of the Ewe people from the South East of Ghana and Western Togo. With themes that draw heavily on traditional folklore and deep philosophy the album has a heavy feel that sets itself well apart from the much of the lighter happier highlife of the previous decade. Alongside Fela’s first few albums, Blo’s Chapter One and Mono Mono’s Give The Beggar A Chance this was one of the very earliest Afro – Rock LPs released in West Africa and has remained out of print for nearly forty years. …….
Ghana’s 1970s funksters Edzayawa recorded a single album, 1973’sProjection One, released at the time by EMI Nigeria. Now, world music label Soundway re-releases this previously lost album to a wider audience—and it seems a safe bet that this new audience will appreciate the gift.
The album features eight tracks of vintage Afro-funk, all wailing guitars and burbling keyboards and polyrhythmic percussion—and especially, bass. Bass dominates album in a way that is rarely heard, the heavy tones serving to draw all the other sounds into its murky grasp. Horns are altogether absent, which only serves to heighten the effect. Opening track “Darkness” kicks things off nicely with its off-kilter rhythms, but the groove really surfaces in follow-up tune “Gondzin”, which brings the bass to the fore and features unison playing from the keys. After a spirited but disciplined start, the tune heats up in the second half, both sonically and rhythmically (cool flute solo, guys!), which is the band’s m.o.: start deliberately, then melt down later. Among other songs, “Naa Korle” and “Amanehun” follow the same pattern.
With most tracks hovering around the 4-to-5-minute mark, this album doesn’t stretch its wings quite as much some, but for fans of the era and genre, this is a lost gem well worth (re)discovering….by pop matters….
Digging deeper into the 1970s Nigerian rock scene, Soundway are excited to announce the release of Edzayawa’s first and only LP Projection One. Originally released in 1973 by EMI Nigeria, Projection One came out at a time when Osibisa and Fela’s influence was being felt across West Africa, and was the young Ghanaians’ band attempt at creating something unique and distinctly African. Re-issued here on CD for the first time outside of Nigeria, the album sounds as exciting and unrivaled today as it did 35 years ago. Writing songs with a heavy rock influence but also a distinctly African feel, Edzayawa wrote dark and deeply philosophical tracks with strong traditional themes far removed from the sweet love songs many of their contemporaries were writing. The majority of their songs were based around a 6/8 rhythm, influenced by the Ewe people originating in the South East of Ghana. With their new repertoire, they headed off to Lagos, Nigeria with hardly any money in their pockets and no instruments. They headed straight to Tommy Benson’s club, son of the legendary Nigerian entertainer and musician Bobby Benson, and got a gig playing at The Caban Bamboo in return for one hotel room between the four of them. Constantly searching for an adventure, they headed to Fela Kuti’s Kalakuta Republic. After waiting two hours for an audience with Fela, they were led through to meet him. There they had a long talk with Fela and eventually got asked to play at The Shrine. At the time Joni Haastrup’s MonoMono were playing at The Shrine, too, coming on after Edzayawa and before Fela’s Africa 70. It was during this time the band recorded Projection One in EMI Studio Lagos. Recorded over two days, the album was to be their only release. Projection One never got a release in their home country of Ghana – the only copies that made it into the country were the few that the band took back themselves. Soundway release Projection One remastered and accompanied by liner notes that contain the reminiscences of band leader Nana Danso (who subsequently founded and now runs the Accra-based Pan African Orchestra)….by forced explosure….. 
An album from a genuine Ghana band is not what I am used to. Osibisa were from Ghana, you say. Yes and no…. Osibisa was a band formed in London by some guys from both Ghana and America. Edzayawa on the other hand is from Ghana and did this album in Nigeria. The album was also released through a Nigerian record label.

Edzayawa’s music is pretty similar to Osibisa and fans of the latter band will like this album. Their only album before the band broke up. You get African rhythms and a jazz. You also get some symphonic prog here in the ELP vein. There is also some funk here. Most of all; this is an album in the world music genre, filled as it is with African music. The music is performed with percussions of all sorts, Hammond organ, guitars, bass and a lot of vocals. The Hammond organ is great. The sound and music is a lot darker than on the Osibisa albums. I get the feeling this album is the real deal which there is not the compromises Osibisa made on their albums. This is an African popular music album.

The result is a decent album which fans of African popular music and world music will like more than I do. It is an interesting album though for those more into adventure than normality. Check it out from the link below. …….
Bass, Vocals – Nana Sutherland
Drums, Vocals – Roland Doe
Lead Vocals – Ayi Kweifio
Organ, Flute, Leader, Arranged By – Nana Danso
Percussion, Vocals – Kwasi Asamoah 
01. Darkness  
02. Gondzin
03. Edzayawa
04. Naa Korle
05. Amanehun
06. Abonsan
07. Obuebee
08. Adesa 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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