How about some funky highlife today!? When C.K. Mann’s seminal album ‘Funky Highlife’ was released in the 70’s, the downturn of the Ghanaian economy meant many factories (including the vinyl ones) were closed down and failed to met the huge demand for the record. Instead of being a huge hit, ‘Funky Highlife’ was quickly a forgotten gem like so many others.
C.K. Mann, a virtuoso guitar player in the 60’s became known for blending authentic African music with European and Latin American influences, creating is own unique style. After releasing ‘Nimpa Rebre’ in 1971 he became the ‘King of Highlife’.
The birth of sampling and hip hop in the early 90’s gave C.K. Mann’s legacy a a whole new lease of life. As all things Afrobeat became popular (and soon enough the more obscure records) producers picked up on ‘Funky Highlife’ eventually making original copies a hard-to-find and much sought after collectors item.
‘Asafo Beesuon’ became the most sampled track, used most recently on The Pussycat Dolls ‘I Don’t Need A Man’. Earlier this month, Mr Bongo Records did the right thing in re-releasing this highlife classic in all it’s glory on Vinyl, CD and download as part of it’s Classic African Recordings series.
‘Asafo Beesuon’ is a sprawling 13 min track which mixes highlife with soul and builds around hand claps, foot stomps, organs, guitars and choirs into the most uplifting and joyous funk medley: