Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Fast-paced Anioma Highlife From King Ubulu



A while back I made a few posts devoted to to music from Anioma, or the Igbo-speaking region of Delta State in Nigeria, immediately to the west of the Niger River. This style is generally faster-paced and harder hitting than mainstream Igbo sounds. I don't want to claim too much credit, but those write-ups may have spurred some interest in the genre, including recent reissues. One of the musicians I highlighted was King Ubulu. If I may be allowed to plagiarize myself, here is something I wrote about him for Toshiya Endo's African music discography:

Chief Augustine Ojinji, better known to Nigerian music fans as "King Ubulu" and "Love A.U.," breathed his last in late 2004. 
King Ubulu was born in 1949 in Amorji-Onicha in present-day Ndokwa Local Government Area, Delta State. Along with his fellow Ndokwa indigenes Charles Iwegbue and Rogana Ottah, he did much to advance the cause of Anioma (Western Igbo) highlife in the Nigerian music scene.His generosity was such that he was given the honorifics Ochiligwe ("Majority Leader"), Elishi Egwu ("Music Leader") and Ofodile ("Mighty"). 
Ubulu trained as a shoemaker, but soon opened a record store in Amorji. Because of his skill with the traditional repertoire, he was often asked to sing at funerals, naming ceremonies and other important occasions. Together with Agu Risky and a number of other musicians, he formed the Ubulu International Band in the early 1970s. The group's first LP, Ukwuani Special, was released in 1976 to wide acclaim, followed by a number of other releases. 
In 1983 the Ubulu International Band of Nigeria recruited the late Charlie Boogie of Cameroun, who brought much animation to the group's stage show with his penchant for playing guitar and keyboards with his teeth. 
In the 1986 album Onyebu Uwa Nishi, Ubulu warned against those who would try to copy his musical technique, as it came from water (presumably it was as transparent, flowing and natural as that substance).
Here is a 1992 album by King Ubulu, Ichonionun, SI 022 on the Super International label:


Download Ichonionum as a zipped file here.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

John,

Thanks for this. I have a copy on cassette, but was never able to get a clean rip.

Ken

LolaRadio said...

Great stuff! Thanks a lot! Your Nigerian connection is hot!!

moos said...

enjoying this a lot,
nice clean copy,
thank you very much ..

Jass said...

Nice, enjoy your contents

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