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11 Jun 2017

Sweet Talks "The Kusum Beat" 1976 Ghana Afrobeat

Sweet Talks "The Kusum Beat" 1976  excellent Ghana Afrobeat  recommended..!


Sweet Talks were amongst the top five most popular bands in Ghana during the 1970s having recorded a string of hit albums. ‘The Kusum Beat’ was originally released in 1974 and became a household favourite with heavy emphasis on the ‘Afro’ through its traditional rhythms and motifs, blended together into a modern mix that combined highlife, funk and Afrobeat.
Like a small handful of seminal Ghanaian albums, The Kusum Beat has stood the test of time and sounds as original and unique today as it did back in 1974. Original pressings are in high demand and can be found on record exchanges for significant prices. This was the second album from the band formerly known as ‘El Dorados’, later to change their name to ‘Medican Lantcis’ before settling on ‘Sweet Talks’ – they were live residents at the legendary ‘Talk of the Town’ nightclub in the port town of Tema near Accra. It is here they established a name for themselves as one of the most exciting young bands in the country.
Due to the popularity and commercial success of their first three albums – Adam & Eve, Kusum Beat and Spiritual Ghana – the band began touring on a regular basis and made it as far as Los Angeles. They went on to record what was to be their biggest selling record, the Hollywood Highlife Party LP, as well as some straight disco recordings aimed squarely at the burgeoning American market.
The Kusum Beat is far from typical of their trademark sound but shows just how versatile an outfit they were able to turn their hands to any one of a number of styles. It’s a great reminder of how open-minded, experimental and curious the music scene in Ghana was in the first half of the 1970s.
“A heavy funk beat that could compete with Fela Kuti, Geraldo Pinto or Moussa Doumbia”...............

Picked up for reissue in 2010 but first released in 1974, 'The Kusum Beat' was a very popular album in The Sweet Talks' native Ghana. An original copy will now cost you approxiamtely the GDP of a small African nation, but thankfully we can all savour the fusion of highlife, funk and Afrobeat for a far more reasonable price....Highly Recommended!....................

The musical revolution in Ghana took an effective new turn around early 70’s. In this period Ghanaian musicians rediscovered their roots and started exploiting their very resourceful musical heritage. The Sweet Talks was formed in December 15th, 1973, by Jonathan Abraham, proprietor of The Talk of the Town Hotel in Tema. The group was under the leadership of Smart Nkansah and included the vocalists A.B.Crentsil and P.S. Flyne, the trumpet player Tommy King.

The Sweet Talks carved a niche for itself as the crowd pulling band of Ghana. The "Kusum Beat" album was their second LP and perfectly in line with the aspirations of the new era. The Beat was an evolution of indigenous rhythms from the Upper, Central and Western Regions of Ghana adopted, polished and put into the modern dance context, the Kusum Beat....................

A strong distillation of the best kind of West African, early 70s afro-funk. Retaining african roots (sung in native language) and also exploring the endless, early 70s possibilities. The politics, the economics, the native culture, the music scene; it all translates into a positive funky statement. Then, just like that, it's over 28 minutes later. They have done it up in a mini-lp format, so it has the feel of a sweet little find. Like you just dug it out of a crate covered with scorpians in the hot Ghanian countryside. Sweet Talks were a large, horn heavy outfit, relatively poplular in early, 70s Ghana. This is their most african rooted effort. Scorpians not included. Funky, danceble Kusum Beats included......ByScott McWade..............

The sweet palm wine ductility of 1970s Ghanaian dancefloor highlife mingles here with the Afro-Americana rolling in from next-door Nigeria. “Kyekye Per Aware” is Sweet-Talks-does-Fela. The other tracks are not. “Oburumankoma” toys with a fanfare trumpet, grins, changes direction, laughs, changes direction again. The highlife keeps things light and fast, the trumpets keep it earthed and funky, and the lead singer has his own version of the funk uh-huh—somewhere between a come-on and an asthmatic cough. Kusum means native, local, in other words, Ghanaian—these men were patriots, and coastal Ghana pervades the album. Everything on The Kusum Beat is superb: sparking, tight, playful, fresh. It should have been reissued years ago. Thank you Soundway for doing the needful.....................

The 12-member strong Sweet Talks were one of Ghana's biggest bands of the '70s. That popularity allowed them the opportunity to tour worldwide and record in Los Angeles. Western influences of funk, jazz and salsa mix seamlessly with highlife and Afrobeat on their second album, 1974's The Kusum Beat. Opener "Akampanye" sets everything up just right with an effervescent, simmering traditional highlife groove that soon boils over into a full-out jam thanks to an outburst of horns and syncopated percussion. The rest of this too short EP is just as charming and dance floor-friendly. Particularly noteworthy is the barnstorming "Eyi Su Ngaangaa," which marries an entrancing Fela-like repetitiveness with the power of an elastic funk groove, and the quirky "Oburumankoma," with its military-style horn motif and sweet Farfisa organ touches. As lead singer AC Crentsil testifies on one of the few English lyrics here: "It's a nice beat, man." (Soundway) .....................

A1 Akampanye
Composed By – B. D. Sangari*
Vocals – A. B. Crentsil*, P. S. Flyne*
A2 Mampam Sukuruwe
Composed By, Vocals – A. B. Crentsil*
Vocals – P. S. Flyne*
A3 Eyi Su Ngaangaa
Composed By – Arthur Kennedy
Vocals – P. S. Flyne*
B1 Oburumankoma
Composed By – J. Y. Thorty*
Vocals – A. B. Crentsil*, P. S. Flyne*
B2 Sasa Obonsam
Composed By – J. Y. Thorty*
Vocals – A. B. Crentsil*, P. S. Flyne*
B3 Kyekye Pe Aware
Composed By – Arthur Kennedy
Vocals – P. S. Flyne*

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