Thanks to many record labels and record collectors, there have been a lot of great funky African reissues released as of late. Generally I'm not a huge fan of reissues, however when it comes to most of the recent African reissues, I have a great appreciation for them because I believe they serve a major purpose in exposing very rare and almost "impossible-to-find" African gems to new generations of music-seekers. This month, another superb African reissue in Gyedu Blay Ambolley's 1975 classic album Simigwa made it's way to many record shops. This record which was originally released by the Ghanaian label Essiebons and now reissued by New York's Academy LPs record shop, has been one of the most sought after Afro Funk/Ghana Highlife records, usually going for a large chunk of change (with it recently being spotted at Paris' Superfly Records for a few hundred euros). The album is solid from start to finish with funky cuts like "Kwaakwaa", "Akoko Ba", and "Fa No Dem Ara" to name just a few. I highly recommend snatching up this reissue as I believe it will move off shelves fast, and eventually gain worth in it's own right (ie. the reissue of The Har-You Percussion Group's self-titled LP). Sometimes I feel like labels reissue records for purely profitable reasons. In this instance however, the reissue of Simigwa is genuine and one which serves an important purpose that has to be truly valued. Enjoy!
Gyedu Blay Ambolley - Akoko Ba