An hour of (mostly new) music from Ghana. Starts with some new stuff in the Kologo Griot tradition, then there's a load of new hiplife - dancehall, hip hop and gqom flavoured. Finishes with some beautiful Seperewa music.

Broadcast on Dublin Digital Radio at 7pm on February 17th 2019

Link to downloadable high quality version at bottom of page
Artist Title Time
Stevo Atambire Kologo (feat. Wanlov The Kubolor) 00:00
Mabiisi Awine 05:40
King Ayisoba Africa Needs Africa (feat Wanlov da Kubolor) 10:03
Aby Ngana Diop Dieuleul-Dieuleul 14:51
Flowking Stone Nana 19:45
Sarkodie ft Akan Ware All Die Be Die (Produced by Ware) 23:24
Akiti Wrowro/GuiltyBeatz/DJ Kess Kokoti 27:08
Guru Sofo 30:26
Kontihene Obi 32:49
Dahlin Gage Big Cassava 36:52
Bryte 1, 2, 3, 4 40:09
Kawoula Ft. Patapaa Daavi Ne Ba 42:24
Kirani Ayat Guda 45:40
Juls Oshey 49:21
Osei Korankye Kesewa 51:56

Even by African standards Ghana is a whirlwind of musical creativity. It's kind of like Korea - musically far more influential on giant neighbours than its size would lead you to expect. This week is about some of what's going on there at the moment.

To start, old traditions very much alive and engaged with the 21st century..

"Kologo" is the name that Stevo Atambire and King Ayisoba use for the instrument they both play - an instrument with many names in many languages, one of a family of instruments found all over a vast area of West Africa. It is strongly associated with the Griot tradition. We open with a trio of Kologo tunes - one by Stevo ATambire, one by the Stevo Atambire and Art Melody collaboration Mabiisi and one by King Ayisoba. Art Melody has featured in the show many times before, and will many times again. One of the best rappers in West Africa - he has an utterly unique, harsh but emotional voice, incredible vocal power, vocal dexterity in several languages, is very political and has a great choice of beats.

One of the striking aspects of the the kologo tunes is how the integrity of the tradition comes through - the tunes here have varying degress of European admixture - electronic beats, production, instrumentation. The raw power of the vocal delivery and the simplicity and urgency of the percussive string melody seem to enable the music to absorb much outside influence without loosing its character. I'm guessing these performers are accustomed to playing in the open air, unamplified, to a whole village - maybe that explains the strength of delivery.

Just for contrast we take a brief detour to Senegal, a tune recorded in the 90's by the Griot Aby Ngana Diop - this one is from the album Littal  on the Awesome Tapes from Africa label.

Then we have a slew of brand new tunes - most of them were found on the site. There is a lot of autotune dross there, but the occasional gem. In particular there is a new tune from Bryte - another collaboration with Mina.

Finally Osei Kornakye - from the album Seperewa of Ghana. Of the same family as the Kora, the seperewa is found in Southern Ghana, and is rarely heard these days, having been supplanted by the guitar. Listening to these tunes you can immediately here the origins of much of the distinctive elements of highlife - for example this.