Here’s an essential reissue of the cult album by Ghana’s Vis-A-Vis, a bona fide psychedelic highlife masterpiece. Recorded in 1977 at the height of the golden era of Ghana’s record industry, a time when highlife rhythms were mixed with jazz and Afrobeat, Obi Agye Me Dofo is known as Vis-A-Vis’ masterpiece album out of a deep discography filled with many a diamonds. In terms of Afro cosmic interstellar sounds, this hardly gets any better than this.
Vis-A-Vis were the band behind K Frimpong’, who became one of Ghana's most popular stars of the 1970s thanks notably to the iconic, all time classic 'Kyenkyen Bi Adi M’awu' (recorded with Cubano Fiestas but featuring mostly members of Vis-A-Vis) - a staple with Abdul Forsyth at Plastic People’s Balance night in the early 00s, and arguably one of the best track ever recorded in history (!). On Obi Agye Me Dofo Isaac Yeboah takes K Frimpong’s place on lead vocals, but everything else is pretty much the same, with Sammy Cropper on guitar, Slim Manu on bass, Gybson 'Shaolin Kung-Fu' Papra on drums, Kofi Abrokwa on saxophone and Tommy Doziz on synths.
The title track Obi Agye Me Dofo, is very much in the same mould of K Frimpong’s hits, with its hypnotic Afrobeat groove, haunting vocals, killer horns, cosmic synth keys and a wandering guitar solo. Nothing short of a masterclass of Afro psychedelia.
Any album would be a must have on the strength of this track alone, but here we have another four tracks hovering along similar height. Check the crazy synth work on the Afro funk cut ‘Kankyema’ for instance, as well as on the driving groove of ‘Gyae Su’.
Both the title track and the album have been reissued already on Soundway (on the cult box set Ghana Special ) and Continental respectively, but these are long out of prints and this new reissue is the best way to own this slice of pure gold from the golden age of Ghanaian music!