Audio

New Album from Appietus, Ghana’s Most Prolific Beat Maker


Spend five minutes on this site and chances are that you’ll have already learned a new name or artist to keep a watch on. Hopefully, you’ve been making room on your hard drive because here’s another artist to check out. You may already be familiar with Appietus, who's been producing hit after hit of contemporary highlife music for more than a decade. The Ghanaian producer recently chose 14 tracks that he's done with some of the biggest names in highlife music (our favorite songs feature the likes of Reggie Zippy, Mike Essabel, Old Sodja and more) for a compilation that makes a great soundtrack for those backyard grill-outs and rooftop drink-ups that make summer the best season of all. Props to our friends over at Akwaaba music for hipping us to this one.

The album is available on bandcamp and iTunes, but they’re giving this track away for free, entitled "Ghana Lady" by Appietus featuring Mframa. Listen below, and then download free.

Ghana Lady

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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