Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Ignace De Souza: West African Genius (1963)

Before we share some more South African gems with you, we could not resist departing from our “normal programming” to bring you one or two fine examples of African musical “cross-poly-nation”. A working visit to Ghana last week enabled a quick dig in Accra – thanks Frank, Amansan Komtour (right) came through with a pile of classic Ghanaian records.

The sixties was certainly a period in which African musicians increasingly explored and crossed boundaries. The twist took hold as much in West Africa as in Southern Africa. If you have enjoyed the kwela and phata phata offerings, then you will not be sorry for trying out the Ghanaian records coming up. Or perhaps, a mix selected from the pile?

Originally from Benin, Ignace De Souza absorbed, adapted, blended and developed multiple musical styles – from his much-loved twist hit “Asaw Fofor”; through cha cha, afrobeat, but particularly Ghanaian highlife. De Souza not only introduced Ghana to what eventually became known as Soukous, it is said he also wrote the first afro-beat song.

If you want more of Ignace De Souza, be sure to pay a visit to the the fantastic blog Oro.

If you are interested in purchasing these collectors’ items, EJ will be shipping the LPs from Durban over to our friend Matt at Matsuli (beginning of May) who will make them available. Interim enquiries to recordforthe at gmail dot com.
RS link
MF link
For the diggers: Amansan Komtour runs a small tourist-oriented stall outside Accra's main post office - he sells drums and clothes. His record collection is kept elsewhere. He also spends a lot of time visiting villages and collecting records. Amansan has a good idea of the value of his finds on the internet, but you will find those hard-to-find gems, and you can always make a fair offer.


  1. Hello "Electric-link" and thank very much for your fantastic post and for this LP that I didn't know before.
    Best regards,

  2. What a treat! Excellent album, filling out very nicely the portrait of De Souza on the old Original Music CD, long out of print I think. many thanks.

  3. Thank you very much for that link. I was trying to chase this album up having heard about it on Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone on 6Music. Definitely enjoyed listening to Asaw Fofor so interested in seeing the other work there. May try and chase the cd up as well.


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