Mabiisi: new remix album reintroduces the world to one of Ghana’s best hip-hop duos.
Mabiisi is Art Melody and Stevo Atambire, an African hip-hop duo that first met in Accra, Ghana. The name means “brothers from a same mother” in the Frafra language and conveys the bond between these two acclaimed hip-hop artists who look to their heritage for inspiration for their music, which blends traditional country instrumentation with urban lyrical styles.
Their debut LP from last year rightfully earned much praise, and now there’s a new remix album in which top African DJs reinterpret each track.
“Mabiisi’s debut album has made its way into some of the most inspiring and respected radio shows and playlists around the world: the raw energy of the kologo and both Art Melody and Stevo Atambire’s powerful vocals have paved the way for shows and international tours in Europe and Africa. It only made sense to take the sound further and let a group of talented producers re-interpret the duo’s opus, and intersect it with their own sounds and aesthetics.
The result is a very creative and diverse set of remixes, a large half of them particularly suited for peak hour dance floor action, others more appropriate for – dare I say it – meditation!”
This is Kologo Power: the kologo lute and the sound of Northern Ghana
‘This is Kologo Power!,’ another winning compilation from sahelsounds, takes us to Bolgatanga, Ghana. Here the instrument of choice is the kologo, a type of lute from Northern Ghana that’s most popular in Bolgatanga. The instrument is small – two strings played on a thin neck – yet it holds a sort of tension that’s capable of a fierceness and blueness comparable to the banjo.
You can read more about the album via sahelsounds – the compilation still holds up almost a year after its release.
From the Bandcamp bio:
“A BOLGATANGA GHANA COMPILATION’. This compilation is an African initiative. King Ayisoba once told Makkum Records: ‘I want to make the world love kologo music like Bob Marley made the world love reggae music.’ Most of the tracks on this album were recorded in studios in Ghana. Some are sung in Frafra, others in pidgin English. Some are with a live band and some feature just solo kologo and voice. But all the songs represent a force and unveil a very strong musical power. The connection between kologo music and (delta) blues has been made more than once and that resemblance is not written on ice; the personal and the social messages, the strong rhythms, the push that this instrument -with only two strings spanned over a goatskin on a calabash- can give to people to make sure they don’t ignore the dance floor, all that makes it worth the effort of putting together at least one kologo compilation.”