Tuesday, June 28, 2011
O.J. Ekemode - Sisi Shade (1987)
This great record was one of a handful in my Nigerian collection that suffered moisture damage. Through successive vacuum cleanings I was able to reclaim the vinyl, and that made it possible to hear how worn the record was from heavy rotation in the years just after I purchased it. I therefore used the tool ClickRepair to remove some pops and cracks, and the result sounds pretty decent, but not perfect. The record sleeve was trashed, too, and I delayed posting this recording as I contacted a few friends to see if anyone had another, better copy. Nobody did, so I did some work on mine and was able to clean it up quite a bit. If anyone wants to send me good artwork for this album, I would appreciate it and repost it here.
That is a long preamble to consideration of this rare album. O.J. put together a dynamite band of 17 to record a very strong afro-beat set in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The two songs sung in English, "Selma to Soweto" and "Be Counted," are both overtly political and directed at his audience during his long stay in the U.S. Both are excellent. The talking drum provided by Sikiru Adepoju is simply awesome throughout the album, and he is given plenty of room to strut. The rhythms rock. Yet O.J. is in top form on sax, too, and his singing is emblematic. This is an album you should not miss.