Friday, August 27, 2010
Anyone who thinks highlife music is dead and gone need only listen to the latest gospel music coming out of Ghana. It seems to me more and more that these gospel musicians have created a style that is at once fresh and contemporary, while rooted in the tradition of classic highlife. Chord progressions, structures, and melodic/vocal elements of the latest gospel song may very well appear in anything by the African Brothers, City Boys, C.K. Mann, etc. Some might disagree with me, but I really believe in this close connection.
"Wala Aboloo" by the Soul Winners comes from a few years back. This "traditional gospel" group (as they describe themselves) is somewhat unique, as they depart from the usual synthesizer driver sound, combing atenteben flutes, trumpets and guitar with clapping and a more traditional set of percussion instruments (rather than a kit drum). The song is sung in Ga, and several specifically Ga instruments appear, including Kpanlogo drums, Gome (a box-like frame drum played while sat upon), and Osrama (a long, high pitched type of talking drum that is played with sticks).
Really, it's a nice song.