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Weekly Spectator 1986/04/05


By Enimil Ashon:

"DEM" be sitting in the palanquins
On the shoulders of others
And claiming applauses and ovations
What a joyful moment of his .....
While the people under are suffering....
They are mooing in the mute
But they´re never to complain
`Cause "dem" claim it a tradition....
Oh what a tradition of oppression
An inveterate type of opression"

He chose the rythm recognized universally as the opium that fires the rebellious nature of the deprived and opressed and makes them demand equal rights and opportunities.

Steady roots rock reggae is the medium, if you don´t recognize the Ghanaian in the composer of the three songs that make up Side B of this six-song collection on cassette generally titled "HI-LIF AGO-GO", it is as well, indeed, listening to the SIDE B, you could be excused for mistaking this composer to be any of those Jamaican giants.

And it´s not only the music. The lyrics are the type one associates with Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Burning Spear etc.

Too many nice excuses are adduced by the sweet tongued oppressors in this world to keep the opressed down forever.

And Mcgod identifies one of them as this claim to "tradition". He rejects it and urges a mass awakening of the masses in the consciousness, to "break these poles of this palanquin" to establish a just society in which big and small, Professor and illeterate the labourer and the man in top position will all dance the rythm "in one joy and happiness."

For the Third World, in particular, he has a word of caution in the track titled "A BRAND NEW CHAIN".
He points out:
"You´re no more in the physical chains, where the brains are connected".

But now you´re in the political chains. Where the brains are connected.

Side A is where you catch the Ghanaian in the artiste. He shifts to the rythms of his root and uses to condemn the super-power quest to spread their various ideologies, resulting in wars.

The two earlier tracks on Side A are what GBC has been giving considerable air play. They are what music fans are describing as "the LATEST OF THE BURGER HI-LIFE".

Listen to the title track - "HI-LIFE AGOG-GO", it´s got something that kicks. And it´s not only the danceable fusion. Listen to the powerful horns; the ever presant basic Yaa Amponsah lead guitar line, particulary in "FIRE", and the flawless vocals.