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You Need This Mixtape Of Ebo Taylor's Afrobeat & Highlife In Your Life

The legendary Ghanaian highlife and afrobeat musician gets a mix from Chris Read.

Ghanaian music legend Ebo Taylor has just released his latest record, Yen Araan album that he's calling his finest to date.

The 81-year-old veteran has been a key figure in the evolving afrobeat and highlife sound since his arrival in the late 1950s, when he played with his group the Black Star Highlife Band and collaborated with the likes of Fela Kuti.

He later went on to lead the Ghana Black Star Band and the Uhuru Dance Band back in Ghana, and also worked with groups like Apagya Show Band, CK Mann and Pat Thomas in the '70s.

Now, to pair with the release of Yen Ara on Mr Bongo, UK producer and DJ Chris Read has put together an incredible mix of Ebo Taylor classics that we're premiering here.

"I was thrilled when I was asked to put together this mix of material from the wonderful Ebo Taylor in support of his new album," Read mentions.

"Like most music from his generation, my first point of discovery was through samples, so this mix includes tracks like 'Come Along' (as sampled by Ghetto Concept, whose track 'Certified' I also included) alongside a selection of favourite cuts from his back catalogue. A couple of years back I had the pleasure of DJing in support of one Ebo's live shows in London—it was an education in Afrobeat and Highlife, and I can only hope that I might have the same energy and enthusiasm for music that his live performances and his new album exhibit after 8 decades."

Yen Ara, which is available now, features nine tracks that push Ebo Taylo's energetic highlife and afrobeat into modern times with the aid of pulsating beats and hard-hitting percussion.

Listen to Chris Read's mixtape and check out the track list below. It'll make your week—or even your year.

TRACKLIST

1. Ghetto Concept - Certifed (Instrumental) [Samples Ebo Taylor - Come Along]

2. Chris Read - Theme #1 (Scratchapella)

3. My Love and Music

4. Maye Omama

5. Gyae Su Na Nkomo

6. Bra

7. Enye Nyame Niko

8. Will You Promise

9, Aba Yaa

10. Efi Na Matase

11. Ankoma'm

12. Ohye Atar Gyan

13. Come Along

14. No Condition is Permanent

15. Egya Edu

16. Victory

17. Atwer Abroba

18. What Is Life

19. Peace on Earth

20. Mind Your Own Business

21. Mumudey Mumudey

22. Break Through

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(From left to right) Stéphane Bak and Marc Zinga in 'The Mercy of the Jungle.' Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Congolese Actor Stéphane Bak on His Intense Experience Shooting 'The Mercy of the Jungle' In Uganda

We catch up with the actor after the film made its North American premiere at TIFF.

When actor Stéphane Bak first got the script for The Mercy of the Jungle (La Miséricorde de la Jungle), he knew there was one person he had to consult: his father. "My dad did school me about this," he says. While Bak was born and raised in France, his parents had emigrated from what was then Zaire in the 1980s—before the events of the movie, and not exactly in the same area, but close enough to be able to pass on firsthand knowledge of the simmering ethnic tensions that underpin the action.

The story takes place in 1998, just after the outbreak of the Second Congo War—which came hot on the heels of the First Congo War. Two Rwandan soldiers find themselves separated from their company and have to make a harrowing trek through the jungle to link back up with their regiment. Bak plays Private Faustin, the young recruit hunting Hutu rebels to avenge his murdered family, a foil to Marc Zinga's seasoned Sergeant Xavier. As a Congolese militia swarms the area, and it becomes increasingly difficult to tell enemies from friends, the two are forced off the road and into the thick vegetation.

Their journey is physically difficult, but the jungle also nurtures them, providing food, water, and shelter. "The title is very explicit in a way," says Bak. It is the human beings they encounter, from rival soldiers and militiamen to the hostile security forces guarding illegal gold mining operations, who bring sudden danger and violence. The challenges are conveyed as much through the actors' physicality as through the minimal dialogue. As for the strain on his face, Bak says it was all real. "To be honest, it was very difficult," he says of the shoot, which took him 25 days. "I had to learn my accent in two weeks." Prior to commencing, there was training with the Ugandan army for realism. Due to the ongoing conflicts in the DRC, the movie itself was shot in Uganda.

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Brazil Has Made Yoruba an Official Language

The language will also be incorporated into primary and secondary school curriculum in the country, says the Minister of Culture.

Yoruba history and culture has an undeniably strong presence in Brazilian society, due of course, to the Transatlantic slave trade which brought millions of enslaved West Africans to the Americas. Despite the inhumanity they faced, many managed to keep their ancestral culture and traditions alive.

Centuries have passed, and Yoruba influences still continue to thrive in various regions of the country, as many Brazilians maintain a strong relationship with the language and religion. Its influence can be seen through the music, food and spiritual practices of various communities. Last month the Ooni of Ife—the spiritual leader of the Yoruba people—visited the country, where he was met by crowds of Black Brazilians who turned up to pay their respects.

This connection will likely remain strong for future generations, as the language has now become an official foreign language in the country.

WATCH: How Ilê Aiyê Brought Blackness Back to Carnival

Brazil's Minister of Culture, Dr. Sérgio Sá Leitão, has said that the language will now be incorporated into primary and secondary school curriculum, reports the Nigerian Voice.

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This EP Blends the Afro-Brazilian Rhythms of Bahia With Bass Music

Get into Telefunksoul and Felipe Pomar's Ré_Con Ba$$ EP.

Brazilian producers Felipe Pomar (of TrapFunk & Alivio) and Telefunksoul come through with a dizzyingly energetic EP in the form of Ré_Con Ba$$.

Telefunksoul, who happens to be one of the main promoters of Bahia Bass music, came up with the concept of exploring the rhythms coming out of Recôncavo of Bahia and showing how they can fit into bass music.

Through the 7-track Ré_Con Ba$$ EP, him and Pomar mold and transform the diverse music of Bahia, fusing its rhythms with afrobeat, future house, deep house and much more.

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