Bokoor Beats: Vintage Afro-Beat, Afro-Rock & Electric Highlife from Ghana

Bokoor Beats: Vintage Afro-Beat, Afro-Rock & Electric Highlife from Ghana | Otrabanda
By BANNING EYRE  |  June 5, 2007
4.0 4.0 Stars

Pop music in 1970s Ghana was a collision of lilting highlife — long the preferred local fare — with tougher sounds encroaching from abroad: funky Afrobeat from Nigeria, soukous pumping out of the Congo, and of course the worldwide wave of Western rock and roll. A local Accra band called the Bokoor Band did it all. Its young British co-founder, John Collins, was destined to become an important Ghanaian music producer in the ’80s and ’90s; that’s one reason these piquant tracks survive to be presented with such meaty and evocative sleeve notes. Bokoor means “cool,” and this outfit is never cooler than when tearing up the emerging Afrobeat sound, as on “Yeah Yeah Ku Yeah” and “Onukpa Shwarpo (Bigman’s Shop),” both of them spiked with chicken-scratch guitar vamps, call-and-response vocals, and Collins on searing harmonica that takes the place of the genre’s characteristic brass section. Laced with snapping Ghanaian percussion, the Bokoor Band’s soukous is raggedy but eminently enjoyable. Four tracks by contemporary bands better versed in the sweet, sunny art of highlife round out this collection, which is indispensable for the connoisseur of golden-age Afropop.
Related: Elvis, Electronic Van Dyk, New rave, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Pop and Rock Music,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious

 See all articles by: BANNING EYRE