Audio on vinyl record/audio download, 2011
"This is special…itches identity, family and culture via a raw, Madlibbed, fucked-up re-jigging of classic, scratchy Ghanaian highlife, lit up by sampled fighting talk from the great Kwame Nkrumah..."
- Honest Jon’s
MEH MOGYA or MY BLOOD (when translated from Twi, a Ghanaian language, to English) is a concept 'beat tape' like no other; it’s rich palette traces the sounds of my Ghanaian heritage via records that my mother and father once owned, in particularly Highlife music created during the genre’s Golden Era (the 1960s and the 1980s).
A heart-warming, harmonic, rhythmic sound of the sun that predates Jazz music, the Highlife sound peaked in popularity between the 50s and 60s in its association of musical legends such as Alhaji K. Frimpong, African Brothers International, Ebo Taylor as well as Fela Ransome Kuti who pioneered the Afrobeat sound by merging Highlife and Jazz.
This exciting, funky, fresh project represents my interest in navigating, sampling and re-presenting the musical legacy that connects my African origins.
The historical, cultural and political sentiments that surrounded Ghana are brought to life and made relevant today via remixed vocals taken from a speech made by former (and the first) Prime Minister of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah.
In 1957 Nkrumah oversaw Ghana’s independence from British Colonial rule, shortly after he made a legendary speech to not only Ghanaians, but Africans across the globe in the spirit of freedom.
The amalgamation of History and contemporary flavour creates a new, fresh, dynamic sound that is both raw and catchy.
Overwhelming championing of the project has been received from the likes of Gilles Peterson via BBC Radio 1 and respected producer and DJ Mr Scruff.
An LP containing the EP version of MEH MOGYA (as well as a collaboration project with students from Edgware Road, London) on a limited vinyl run of 200 including silkscreened sleeves has sold out. The project can be streamed or downloaded for free/name your own price HERE.
© Larry Achiampong