named after the tenor saxophone, actually, jimi tenor is not just jimi tenor - he s as well jimi keys, jimi flute, jimi vox and jimi composer. yeah, he is, as a multi-instrumentalist and music master in general, all of this! but wait: active since the mid-80 s he s also jimi legend. and if you overlook his whole oeuvre then finally you will find out that on top of all of this he s jimi genius.
as the lead singer of george darko s legendary burger-highlife hit-band, lee dodou became the number one voice of 80 s highlife. born in kumasi, the epicenter of ghanaian highlife, he came to berlin in the late 70 s - by then the uprising epicenter of burger-highlife - to work as a back-up-singer for pat thomas. after joining and leaving georg darko and running his own band -kantata-, he stopped releasing music in the early 90 s. now, philophon is proud to present new recordings of his soulful genius to the world of 2018. basa basa is a song in the classic -concert party- style, as it was played in the glorious 60 s. after a firey horn introduction lee takes over in that funny and entertaining manner typical for -concert party- music. buzz duncker joins lee s phrases with some gentle clarinet. highlife at its best! sahara akwantuo is anything but a classic: it s the start of a kind of philophonic highlife, labeled as kraut-life. ghanaian love of life meets german romantic melancholy. happy rhythms meet mysterious synth landscapes. eternal summertime and mangos are meeting a wet winter world and roast apples. kraut-life at its best!
releasing an album into the world is a special moment for any artist but when you re an artist who grew up in remote northern ghana with no schooling, spending a life herding cows and goats, building your own instruments and teaching yourself to sing, then there s a particular sense of occasion and celebration in finding recognition and an audience for that music. this is the case for guy one, an utterly unique artist who is writing and performing frafra music, a style that originates from a small area in the north of ghana. whilst guy one is already loved and adored locally by now - building up a fervent following in local villages in which no funeral or wedding would take place without his soaring voice and deeply rhythmic playing, before then transforming into an award-winning, tv appearing artist in ghana - his music is now to find a much wider audience through max weissenfeldt s philophon label (jimi tenor, hailu mergia, alemayehu eshete) on this berlin meets bolgatanga release.
this time y-bayani has support from the great voice of baby naa. baby naa was just hanging out at the studio in accra/ghana when the recordings of rehwe mie enyim took place. the crew was waiting desperately for a singer to back up y-bayani. after an hour of waiting the producer, knowing that she sings at church every sunday, asked baby naa to do the missing part. then something occurred that nobody was expecting and finally everybody was happy that the original singer hadn t made it. rehwe mie enyim is a unique example of how roots-reggae can sound today. maybe it will be the very last recorded real roots-reggae song in human history? on mi sumolo the band of enlightment, reason and love gives us a light and cheerful instrumental every dj must have for his late night wedding set or any other high-class party.
alemayehu eshete is considered the golden voice of ethopia. since his first hit single seul in 1961 he has become the father figure of the soulful stream of ethopian music. in ethiopia no other musician adapted the newest trends from the us soul scene as consequently as alemayehu did. with this new 7- he continues his soulful approach on ethopian music. his funky classic alteleyeshegnem is here re-interpretated by the philophon house band in an even funkier way than the original. a tough beat is crisscrossed by mystic harmonies and a pumping bassline. temar ledje points out the sweet side of master alemayehu. this is another classic tune that comes dosed with a rejuvenating cure by the philophon production team. just listen! the cooperation between alemayehu eshete and philophon was initiated by listros e.v. berlin with support by the federal cultural foundation of germany.
alogte oho is the number one frafra gospel artist from within the explosive music scene of bolgatanga in northern ghana. his international debut was the 2014 single zota yinne (philophon ph45002), which has already become a collectors item. alogte oho is, as always, accompanied by his powerful female choir, the sounds of joy, comprised of lizy, patricia and florence - all fantastic gospel performers in their own rights. the a-side, mam yinne wa, is pure future gospel: a swinging rhythm with pumping synth bass and playful horns that weave around the eulogising choir of the group. as a highlight, the chasing flute solo of free jazz great sabir mateen (cecile taylor, sunny murray, hamid drake) catapults you into another dimension! on the b-side, yu ya yumma, the rhythm section is driven by reggae master josie coppola on drums and gives a solid foundation for the brilliant performance of the singers. the title means: let s sing a song. and that is exactly what the group is doing.
bajka - the world/invisible joy (philophon ph45008) bajka and max weissenfeldt first met each other when they both attended the same school in munich, germany. their first recordings under the name goldenes zeitalter took place in 1998 and have proven to be a homage to the nowadays beloved spiritual-jazz-vibe in the manner of alice coltrane and co. and were released in 2005 by jazzman records. now, bajka has found her way back to her musical family and joined philophon the right environment for such a unique voice, joining a growing roster of talented artists including: the polyversal souls, roy x, guy one, alogte oho jonas, hailu mergia, idris ackamoor and the pyramids, jimi tenor and y-bayani. the world is driven by the heavyweight drumming of max, counterpointed by the iridescent voice of bajka. she reflects the glory of our world by showing the listener through her talent that she in person is for sure part of that glory. on the flip side, invisible joy, bajka gives her own interpretation of philophons own label anthem, which was already the title track of the polyversal souls celebrated debut album.
y-bayani is ghana s uprising fanti-reggae artist. he was discovered by philophon in ebo taylor s hometown saltpond, where he survived as a clock doctor. with his song asembi ara amba he was featured on the highly acclaimed debut invisible joy by the polyversal souls. the success of that song opened the door for his first release under his sonorous own name: y-bayani. get away is a swinging up-tempo beat with a bouncy bass and a haunting vocal performance on top. obar no ni on the other hand brings you down with a slowly driving rub-a-dub beat. both tunes have been produced by max weissenfeldt and stibbo spitzmüller at berlins joy sound studios.