Some records just grab you as they are so unique, sounding like nothing you’ve heard before. They really shouldn’t work but somehow come together and produce something wonderful that could have easily come from another planet.
William Onyeabor, a multi-talented Nigerian who set up a music and film studio in Enugu in the South East of the country, after returning from studying cinematography in Russia, produced a plethora of out of this world sounds. Onyeabor worked in film and television production for several years but in the late 70s turned his hand to music, releasing on his own Wilfilms label. He used a variety of synthesizers like Moog and Elka, as well as drum machines, to produce an Electro tinged Funk (he had clearly heard bands like Kraftwerk and Ultravox) that was so ahead of its time that today it still sounds fresh.
Today’s track is a 12 minute masterpiece that comes from his last album Anything You Sow and showcases his totally unique style and interpretation of music. The synths on this are like something from a Sci-Fi film and the backing vocals calling Higher Higher Higher… Higher threaten to launch into orbit. This is one interplanetary trip I want to take, and with Captain Onyeabor driving the ship through a galaxy of line dancing aliens, it is never going to be dull.
William Onyeabor – Anything You Sow (1985) – Wilfilms (WLP 033)