Amazing compilation put together by Akwaaba Records of Ghana. This collection focuses on two under-the-radar styles: Coupé Décalé (the jangly dancey pop of Ivory Coast) and Hiplife (a recent Ghanan dance craze which fuses elements of hip hop, dancehall and calypso with highlife). All tracks are super-upbeat and danceable—you can’t really go wrong. Highly recommended.
FCC CLEAN (none in English)
*1. Upbeat groove. Gentle tinkly guitar riffs, rap with female backup vocals. Jangly percussion. *2. Percussion heavy with layers of stuttersteps and excellent autotuned male vocals. Nice loose guitar solos. 3. Mildly aggressive rap over a great slithering electronic beat. Stand-out female backup vox and nice horn elements. 4. Great bouncy highlife. *5. Lightning-speed beat with tongue twisting rap lyrics over crazed percussion and twanging guitar. Awesome! 6. Gruff lyrics and a tropical highlife beat. 7. A snarled introduction with smooth backup vox and a gently strumming guitar to slowly builds tension—later unfolds into a driving rap song, but never with much effort. 8. Syncopated and soulful. Smooth male vocals with pitter patter percussion. 9. Rap with a jangly dancehall beat—there is a glaring lack of bass or low-end sounds. Instead, the production focuses on guitar plucking and other tinkling sounds, rainsticks, etc. 10. Midtempo rap with highlife samples. *11. Another awesome groover. Definite highlife influence, but with great driving calypso elements and suave male vocals. The silky smooth fem. vocals are the icing on the cake. My favorite of the lot. 12. A great sunny upbeat dance track. Rapid with lots of gourd percussion and steady guitar riffs, but the stand-out is definitely the blistering vocals. *13. Upbeat with thumping percussion and ferocious vocals. Great drum solos too! 14. More of that classic highlife sound. This time with emotional female vocals. Great groovy stuff. 15. Blazes forward at a near-lightspeed tempo with soulful female vocals that barely keep up with the wild percussion. Great churning beats that make it impossible to sit still.