Saturday, October 8, 2011

Atakora Manu - Pim No Bi (1981)

Composer, guitarist and sound engineer Atakora Manu released a large catalog of albums through the 1970s and 80s characterized by a sound that's best described as smooth, groovy, and certainly unique within the context of Ghanaian highlife. Manu's 1981 Pim No Bi is no exception. Here we have two medleys (each over 10 minutes in length) which feature interlocking guitar lines, playful synthesizers, and the distinctive singing of lead vocalist S.K. Amoako Agyeman. Below you'll find Atakora Manu's bio. Enjoy!  Download

Atakora Manu - Sunkwa (excerpt)

Mr. Atakora Manu was born at Toase in Ashanti in 1940. He had his Elementary School Education at both Toase Roman Catholic and Amoako Local Authority Middle Schools. After leaving school in 1956 he joined the Ministry of Agriculture as a Motorblow Machine Operator stationed at Brofoyedru in Adansi. The Gang Leader of his group was a good guitarist and the music instinct in him was roused and so became an ardent follower.

The Spraying Surerintendnt at the station, the late Mr. B.D. Prempeh who was also a brother, encouraged him with a promise that souuld he become perfect he would purchase a set of musical instrumnets for him. Before the promise could be realised, Mr. Prempeh died suddenly in a mortor accident in 1961 and his heart's desire was dashed.

Mr. Atakora Manu resigned and came back home where Mr. B.K. Amankwah of Toase bought a set of musical instruments for him to be based at Toase as resident band. He formed a Concert Party known as the Princess Trio and toured the whole country with a big bang. Between 1963 and 1966, he was a guitarist of the United Ghana Farmers Council Drama Troupe and with the staging of the 1966 Coup, the Troupe was disbanded and he came back home again.

In 1967, he together with Kakaiku formed KAKAIKU No.2 Band with him as the Lead guitarist. Some of their hits are: OHOHO BATANI, KOOKROKOO, AKWANTU MU NSEM, AKYINKYINA AKYINKYIN etc.

In 1970, he resigned from KAKAIKU No.2 Band and did not join any band until 1973 when he was employed as Studio Attendant by Ambassador Records. With the goodwill of Mr. A.K. Badu, Managing Director, he was encouraged to use the studio to enhance his ability with the hope of recording in the future. As a result of this good gesture, he regrouped his Princess Trio. The other members of the Trio are C.K. Mensah, S.K. Amoako Agyeman, Agyei Kyeremanteng and Atta Fofie. They are all from Toase with the same family base.     - by D.F. Boateng

Some great lps by Atakora Manu are already available online at Globalgroove and Afroslabs:

Afro Highlife
Disko Hi-Life
Bre Bre Na Eye