Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pumped-Up Makossa



As the title would have it, Turbo-Hits '89 (Editions Haïssam-Records MH 112, 1989) is a collection of remixed makossa (and a couple not-so-makossa) tracks from the house of Gabonese producer Moussa Haïssam.

Hilarion Nguema from Gabon leads off this set with an instrumental version of his tune "SIDA." Nguema is one of the biggest stars Gabon has produced, starting out with Orchestre Afro-Succès in the '70s before becoming a solo artist in the '80s.

Ben Decca from Cameroun has been on the music scene for 40 years and has recorded 25 albums and numerous singles. He is considered a paragon of the makossa sound and is the oldest of a musical family, including Grace Decca, who has also made quite a career for herself.

Dina Bell was a leading light of the Camerounian makossa scene in the '80s, scoring his first hit, "Yoma Yoma," in 1979. In the '90s his output slowed and he hasn't been heard from recently.

Moussa Haïssam was a leading producer of Camerounian music in the '80s and contributes the instrumental "Ipanema" here. His native country, Gabon, is not well known for its musical output, but wields an outsize influence across the continent and around the world through the pan-African radio station Africa No. 1. It can be heard on shortwave and online here.

Hilarion Nguema - SIDA (Instrumental)

Ben Decca - Amour a Sens Unique


Ben Decca - Tumba Longo

Moussa Haïssam - Ipanema

Dina Bell - Dilango Longo

Hilarion Nguema - Okone Yanem

Dina Bell - Muendi Mu

Download Turbo-Hits '89 as a zipped file here. The track listings on the album sleeve are inaccurate. I've followed the track listing on the label.


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