Kiki Gyan's Vintage Ghanian Disco

Soundway Records releases a collection hits by 1970s/80s Ghanian disco musician Kiki Gyan.

Last month we hit you with the lead single off Soundway Records’ upcoming compilation of Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist Kiki Gyan’s work. Gyan’s rise to fame as one of the world’s leading keyboardist came early in the musician’s life, by the time he was in his early 20’s he was already a sought-after session musician in the then African-expatriate-haven music scene of London. While he played with a number of bands, it is his work with London based Osibisa and his own solo work as an artist and bandleader that is most memorable. Soundway’s release of Gyan hits, 24 Hours In A Disco [1978-82], is a collection of seven (long) songs released by Gyan and his associated bands The Twins and The K G Band.

African or otherwise, disco music is all too often lumped into the same category of infamous cheesiness that characterizes the genre for many. Gyan’s work, as showcased here, is a testament to the music’s most redeeming qualities: great musicianship, funky basslines and killer drum breaks. As a keyboardist in the leading role throughout, Gyan lends a wonderfully balanced approach to the arrangements. The result is a set of tracks that are positioned carefully at the forward thinking crossroads of disco, boogie and electro-funk. If the arrangements and tasteful use of synth-sounds are ambitious in their execution, the lyrical content is expectedly grounded in the simplicity of having a good, dance-filled time (of the seven tracks featured five contain the word ‘dance’ or ‘disco’ in the title). The songs all clock in at least six minutes apiece and the infectious grooves that drive them make them all perfectly suited for parties and any space with a dance-floor.

Soundway is releasing 24 Hours In A Disco in both CD and 2xLP formats and both feature extensive liner notes written by Nigerian-reared contemporary producer Uchenna Ikonne. The release will drop in North America on December 4th and European heads can order away at the Soundway site right now. Check out the single again below and try not to nod your head... we dare you.


Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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