Africa In Your Earbuds

AFRICA IN YOUR EARBUDS #45: LARRY ACHIAMPONG

Download an African music Africa In Your Earbuds mixtape from Larry Achiampong.


London-based producer Larry Achiampong stumbled onto our radar through his stellar More Mogya LP, in which he flipped vintage Ghanaian highlife records and placed them on top of alluring hip-hop beats. Larry wrote extensively on the creation, history and meaning of his Africa In Your Earbuds mixtape, so we'll let his words do the talking:

With this mixtape, I intended to... amalgamate moments from both my audible heritage and musical-related experiences of my upbringing. African music, especially highlife, were a strong part of my childhood. My parents did a good job in retaining... their collection of highlife jams that they brought from Ghana in the early 80s and would play such classics as Alhaji K. Frimpong’s KyenKyen Bi Adi M’awu. To hear that unmistakable crackle from the vinyl always gave me joy and for some reason I have since that moment continued to associate the vinyl crackle with the sound of something cooking in the kitchen. I think that is why I love playing vinyl, because of its strong connection to memory and ritual.

To... see my uncle crafting mixtapes by mixing highlife classics with American Disco and R&B was a sight in itself. I watched him like football fans might their favourite player – I could see how much he was in love with the sound and how it made him happy... I wanted to feel what he was feeling, to be in on the secret that had his spirit so sprung... My father also played in a band at a church that my family attended for many years in south London. One of the strangest things I found about this band was that they never really had rehearsals, all of the guys were family men and had to hold down their responsibilities with their full time jobs, but they sure didn’t sound like a band that never had time. They were always tight, they had that unique ability to jam and work into each other’s contour in a way that made you believe a higher spirit was with you.

Moments like the ones that I’ve described above as well as experiences like hearing my first hip-hop album in NaSIllmatic, listening to makeshift pirate radio stations… these pockets of experience are connected to [a] second thing that I wanted to do with this mixtape: to re-present some of those elements of nostalgia via my music production efforts.

Stream and download Larry Achiampong's Africa In Your Earbuds #45 mixtape below, which features Larry's original productions, a good amount of Madlib beats and plenty of vintage highlife. Big thanks to Underdog for the cover artwork [original photo of Larry Achiampong by Kate Keara Pelen]. Hear more gems from Larry Achiampong over at his bandcamp / facebook /website

TRACKLIST

1. "Hunting Theme" By Madlib

2. "Yafeu" By Madlib

3. "Twelve" By Mo' Kolours

4. "SlumBop" By FreshNerd & Tommy Rickard

5. "Osu A Meresu" By Atakora Manu

6. "Obiaa Ne Mre Bebe" By City Boys Band

7. "Bullwalk" By The Comrades

8. "Community" By Larry Achiampong

9. "Some Jokes Are Expensive" By Larry Achiampong

10. "Problematic" By OH NO

11. "Tuff N Smooth" By Al Quetz

12. "Harbour Song/ Asantehene Ceremonial Drums" (BBC field recording)

13. "Kyenkyen Bi Adi M'awu By Alhaji K. Frimpong

14. "Tamfo Nyi Ekyir" By Apagya Showband

15. "Hustler" By Tony Allen.

16. "Kulunmanqueleshi" By Mulatu Astatke

17. "Funeral Parlor" By OH NO

18. "Mandingo Swing" By Madlib

19. "Sew N' Reap" By Larry Achiampong

20. "WO BE KU ME" By Larry Achiampong

Like African music? Previously on Africa In Your Earbuds: KYLA-ROSE SMITH OF FRESHLYGROUNDTHE GTWRADIO TANZANIAJON THEODOREDESMOND & THE TUTUSMATHIEU SCHREYER IIYOUNG FATHERSBBRAVE OF AKWAABAOLD MONEYDJ NEPTUNESAHEL SOUNDSBEATENBERGM1 [DEAD PREZ]BODDHI SATVAL’AFRIQUE SOM SYSTEMENOMADIC WAXTHE BROTHER MOVES ONLVBEN ASSITER [JAMES BLAKE'S DRUMMER]JAKOBSNAKECHRISTIAN TIGER SCHOOLSAUL WILLIAMSTUNE-YARDSMATHIEU SCHREYERBLK JKSALEC LOMAMIDJ MOMAAWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICAPETITE NOIROLUGBENGARICH MEDINA, VOICES OF BLACK, LAMIN FOFANA, CHICO MANNDJ UNDERDOGDJ OBAHSABINEBROTHA ONACIDJ AQBTJUST A BANDSTIMULUSQOOL DJ MARVSINKANECHIEF BOIMA

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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