With an extensive back catalogue that reaches back to the end of the 1960’s, Osibisa are still going to this day! Albeit with a few line-up changes (the original band featured on the first three albums). This very experimental and innovative British Afro-pop band were originally founded in London in 1969 by four expatriate African and three Caribbean musicians.
Known and credited for pioneering what we now know as Afro-Rock, their fusion of African and Western music styles encompasses elements of rock, progressive rock, acid rock, Latin, jazz, afro-funk, jazz fusion, soul, highlife, reggae, calypso and pop! It may have easier to just name what they don’t include in their creations!!! I’ve just stumbled upon this band, so I’ve no idea what awaits if I explore more, though I have just read that by the time the 1980’s came around, they had shifted from their trademark sound into the realms of R&B, dance-pop and disco!! That is probably EVERY genre covered now, eh!!
I can’t profess to liking all of the other songs that I’ve heard so far, but today’s song is a rather cool instrumental taken from their self-titled debut album. Released in 1971 on MCA Records, you may be thinking that the record cover looks just like a Yes album? That’s because it was designed by Roger Dean!! He actually designed their first two album covers – though he may have made more of an effort to not make them so much like Yes’s LP’s??? At just over seven minutes long, The Dawn encapsulates their experimental side perfectly. The fusion of Afrobeat, funk and prog rock blend seamlessly into this journey of bright, rhythmic sound. I like how it gathers and builds, giving and taking as the flavours of each tasty sonic ingredient spills out into this diverse tapestry of textures. There’s a lot going on,but it works! Enjoy!