IndigeDisc is a new label dedicated to reissuing classic West African
music, and this terrific, uncompromising release from one of Nigerian
highlife's biggest stars promises great things ahead. Highlife is an
especially difficult genre for Western ears, partially because the
name gets attached to a wider range of styles than any other
sub-Saharan music. These seven tracks from 197085, ridiculously
omitting Osadebe's huge 1984 hit "Osondi Owendi," are a later variant
that sounds like a more intricate, less repetitive Fela. If you're
the one person reading this who owns (and maybe even loves) Chief's
1996 shot-in-the-dark Kedu America on Xenophile, you
definitely won't be put off or disappointed by this if
anything, the flow is more succulent. The 18:57 "Ana Masi Ife Uwa"
certainly flirts with the irritating. But a minute later, it'll flirt
with the transcendent, which offers a clue as to how Osadebe earned
the title The Doctor of Hypertension. Sheesh how come
post-rock types never gush about this stuff?