The only thing to satiate my musical desires as of late seems to be of the afrobeat/funk persuasion, so here’s another cracker for you!
Alhaji Kwabena Frimpong was a Ghanaian highlife singer, possibly best known for his hit song Kyenkyen Bi Adi M’awu, which appeared on his 1976 debut album (with the Cubano Fiestas). Active from the mid 70’s he performed/recorded with two different bands, from which the members often overlapped. One of these bands was the Vis-A-Vis band, based in Kumasi and led by Isaac Yeboah, whilst the other was the Cubano Fiestas (with whom he recorded today’s song). He released at least three albums with the Cubano Fiestas and, alongside his eponymous debut record, these included Me Yee Owu Den (1980), and K Frimpong, both released in Ghana on the Polydor label.
Before I knew when today’s offering was released, I did a little test to see if I could guess… I was way out! I had anticipated that this track was older than 40 years, but I guess now I know, I can hear tell tale signs, like the lengthy “cosmic laser beam” synth bit about 10 seconds in!! Me Yee Owu Den featured on Me Da A Ɔnnda, K. Frimpong’s second album which was released on Polydor in 1980. True to many afrobeat songs, it’s 8 minute duration is intricately woven with threads of golden horns and luxurious bass, whilst the rhythmic seam keeps things hypnotically ticking along. Over three minutes passes before the vocals even come in, but each component develops perfectly as waves of anticipation and groove laps at the ears! It’s a beauty! Listen above.