William Onyeabor has emerged as one of the most important people in electronic music, making records reputedly as good as the ones coming out of New York at the same time in the mid seventies to early eighties, the golden age of dance music.
William is singular in exciting both musicians and the general public alike. One really does feel quite fortunate to live at a time when music like this has been found, documented and shared using the wonders of modern technology as in the following “cannot recommend highly enough” mini-documentary.
The brilliant news about the album release, is that it contains all his albums in one package.
I know the album has been out for a little over a year, but it seems a lot of articles in blogs and news websites seem to have “obtained” their information from the video in this post.
Without a doubt, the biggest release last year was William Onyeabor’s “Who Is William Onyeabor?” album, which was received rapturously by fans and musicians alike. There is a real sense of wonder at just how advanced the use of electronics in the music are, a link to an excellent video telling the William Onyearbor story is available here.
There is only one statement one can pass on Nana Love’s “Disco Documentary” and that is you need this!
One really thought that history had been made with William Onyearbor, but this is Ghanaian disco of the Highest Order. It is better than most of the dance and disco music you have ever heard and singular is its delivery and makes you think, that’s what this person used here or that was the sample used there.
The roots of most disco music always ends up at David Mancuso’s Loft parties, Patrick Adams, Leroy Burgess, Tom Moulton and clubs like the Warehouse with Frankie Knuckles, The Music Box with Ron Hardy or The Paradise Garage with Larry Levan. Africa, for the most part gets side-lined, as there was too much great music coming out of the United States and the UK throughout the seventies for it to ever gain any commercial visibility, a few official and unofficial releases in the last year or so are beginning to show the kind of music people listened to in Shebeens and other illicit bars and clubs across the continent, licencing alcohol sales back then was not what it is today, this is underground African music, that went hand in hand with the way people partied back then.
Original copies of this cost £1000 in mint condition on Vinyl so thank goodness BBE have rereleased this. You can download it from here. If you prefer a Vinyl copy (that comes with the album free on CD) go to your nearest record store.