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William Onyeabor - Who is William Onyeabor?

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 14 / 11 / 2013

William Onyeabor - Who is William Onyeabor?
Label: Luaka Bop
Format: LP


Excellent compilation from obscure but influential 70’s and 80’s Nigerian funk musician, William Onyeabor

Unshelved as they say until very recently, the William Onyeabor cassette tapes that have exchanged zillions of hands in West-Africa over the past twenty to thirty years have finally been made available in a proper manner. A second coming, like Orchestre Baobab's 'Pirates' Choice', this features at least two tracks prone to crowd dance floors around the globe with the broadly-minded. The synthesiser extravaganza of 'Atomic Bomb' and 'Good Name' melts like magic with popsicle Afro-funk; one moment you feel like you are disco dancing to 'Funky Town' from the 1970s, the next moment memories of Shuggy Otis spring to mind. Sugar sweet like mango lassi, 'Good Name' is addictive as hell. Merging slide guitar riffs with a West-African flavour, this track alone makes ‘Who is William Onyeabor?’ a compulsory purchase. 'Good Name' is most probably the blueprint for such big hits from the 1970s, rather than the other way around. William Onyeabor's music for ages was the most copied Afro-cassette in history. 'Good Name' explains why. This being very early age Nigerian funk, Mr. Onyeabor retreated to the North of Nigeria soon after these recordings, and it stands testament to a time in history when , as ‘Body and Soul’ reveals, even George Clinton's P-Funk from hip America left a mark on William Onyeabor's. in hindsight it proves to have been the beginning of Nigeria's Golden Age. “Dance your troubles away” the rhyme on 'Body and Soul' goes, and as of today it counts as pure Afro-funkadelic! Assembled from all corners of the world, the album is abundant with surface noise, record table rumble and cassette tape hiss. Still it is a phenomenal document.

Track Listing:-
1 Body and Soul
2 Atomic Bomb
3 Good Name
4 Something You Will Never Forg
5 Why Go to War
6 Love Is Blind
7 Heaven and Hell
8 Let's Fall in Love
9 Fantastic Man

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