Album: Various Artists, Afro-Beat Airways (Analog Africa)

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The Independent Culture

Much of our early knowledge of African musical heritage was due to the work of EMI in places such as Nigeria and South Africa, and that of the French labels operating in territories such as Senegal and Algeria.

The Ghanaian bands featured on Afro-Beat Airways were not so fortunate; these recordings were left uncollected in Accra for more than three decades by PolyGram West Africa until Analog Africa discovered them. It's a treasure trove of 1970s Afro-rock, from the itchy, guitar-driven James Brown-style funk grooves of the African Brothers Band and K Frimpong & His Cubano Fiestas, to the infectious organ-driven dance-pop of Uppers International, which has some of the rolling, cyclical appeal of Fela Kuti, but administered in a less overpowering manner.

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