Saturday, August 5, 2017

I'm Glad to Be Back!




Unbelievably, my last post here on Likembe was on April 23, 2013 - more than four years ago! There's no one explanation for the hiatus - I've had other interests, other things going on. Thankfully, there have been no personal crises, no major medical issues (and thanks to the many who've inquired over the years for your thoughtful concerns). But I'm back now, and I'm going to try to post on a more consistent basis - at least once a week from now on.

The African music blogosphere has changed a lot in the last four years, mostly not for the better. Old friends - With Comb & RazorOroWorld Service and Electric Jive among others, have gone dormant or post infrequently. Others have disappeared altogether. I see Moos over at Global Groove is still hanging in there, and newer outlets like Mangue MusicMy Passion for Ethiopian Music and Ndiakass have stepped into the breach. Needless to say, none of us is making any money doing this - it's all for the love. Maybe together we can bring about a revival of the African music scene online!
For Likembe's relaunching I'm posting King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal 1's Consolidation (The Ultimate Music TUMLP 001, 1994)  which was pretty ubiquitous in Lagos, Nigeria during my first visit there in '94 - blaring, it seemed, from every other market stall and taxi. To me, the opening bars of  "Show Colour" will always epitomize that wild, frustrating and fascinating city. I picked up the cassette back then, but the sound quality left a lot to be desired. What should I find, though, during a visit to Dusty Groove in Chicago a couple of months ago, but an almost-new copy of the LP version. Of course I had to share!

The style of music here is fújì, which had its heyday in the Yoruba areas of Nigeria in the 1980s, when it overtook the better-known (in the West) jùjú music popularized by King Sunny Adé and Ebenezer Obey. Fújì derives from earlier Yoruba Muslim styles like àpàlà and like them eschews most non-percussion instruments (although more recent recordings utilize synthesizers and the like). Think of it this way: jùjú musicians are mainly Christian and the music is often influenced by church hyms, while f'újì is performed mainly by Muslims and hearkens back to the sort of music performed at Yoruba Islamic religious festivals. The vocal styles as much as anything else set the two genres apart. But I don't want to create an unnecessary dichotomy here - fújì and jùjú are popular in both communities!

For those interested in further exploring Yoruba Muslim music, I've written two previous posts, "The Alasa of Ibadanland" and "Yoruba Muslim Women's Music."

King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal 1 (b. Wasiu Ayinde Adewale Omogbolahan Anifowsha, 1957) got his start in the Supreme Fuji Commanders of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, one of the founders of the modern f'újì style in the '70s, and broke out on his own in the early '80s with the confusing moniker Wasiu Ayinde Barrister and a number of smash hit LPs. By the nineties he'd changed his stage name to King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal 1 (later to KWAM I and later still to K1 De Ultimate) and was at the top of his game. He's continued to innovate within the fújì genre, adding new instruments and drawing upon influences like rock and hip-hop. Check out this medley of recent tunes that mostly can barely be described as fújì at all - the percussion section is almost overpowered by saxophone, guitar and synth!



For those interested in exploring further online, the Nigerian media is rife with tales of KWAM 1's acheivements, his controversies with other musicians, and descriptions of his opulent palace in Ijebu Ode, complete with snakes and crocodiles. But for now, let the music speak for itself!

King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal 1 - Show Colour

King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal 1 - Ayinde No Go Die/Consolidation/Cruise Control/Hip-Hop

King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal 1 - Orin Eyo

King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal 1 - Power to the People/Ayinde Lagbade Fun/Late Prince Tunde Ojurongbe/Tulampa/Bosun Olaku of London/Kunle Fayemi/Ade Bendel/Alhaji Rasaq Okoya/Eleganza

Download Consolidation as a zipped file, complete with cover and label art, here.



19 comments:

Henk Madrotter said...

Welcome back John!!! And thanks, dancing to this right now :)

Apurva Bahadur said...

Welcome back. You were missed! Apurva from Pune, India.

David said...

Welcome back, John. I've missed your blog.

dailyleftover said...

yo! that's some surprise, blogland was bleak of infotainment. I am so glad your good, keep them comin', educate us!

Rico Le Schwartz said...

So nice to see you back John. We've been missing you, yet we could still point LIkembe as one of the best reference and address to find all blogs publishing african music

Doug said...

Welcome Back!

Doug S. said...

So glad you're back. Thanks in advance for generous gems!

Sanaag said...

Glad to see you posting again, John!

Dedé said...

Really nice to see the blog is back! Greetings from Brazil!

Sun Ira said...

So excited to see this!

Feilimid O'Broin said...

Welcome back! Yours was the first African music blog that I discovered on the web and
was also my favorite. I have always appreciated the time and effort expended in providing the information and music that you offered and look forward to your future posts.

John B. said...

Thanks all for your support and encouragement!

Quadzo said...

Welcome Back! You were sorely missed - glad all was well!

Steven said...

Welcome back!

Dennis said...

Great to hear from you again, music of the kind you post has been sparse of late.

Reggie said...

Good to have you back sir, you've been GREATLY missed!!!!

glinka21 said...

Wow. First African music blog I ever tried, and was delighted by the useful content. I even got from you a suggestion or two on Ethiopian markets and restaurants to hit when we took a trip to Chicago. (Incidentally, there are 7 Ethiopian restaurants in Columbus, Ohio. And at least one, Lalibela, has its own separate food ingredients and cheap tourism shop next door. They hosted Mahmoud Ahmed for this past New Year's Eve.)

It's great you're back. Found out up on Global Groove.

mangue said...

Happy to see you posting again, John!!
Added you to my bloglist and just posted (after summerbreak) something new: Nigerians making music in Hungary (of all places), curious what you think of it...

Paul Becquart said...

So good to read you again while in Tanzania. So good to appreciate again musics of your choice enlighted by your comments. Many 'Thank you'John