Tuesday, August 26, 2008

(Part of) Today's Haul


I fear I shall never get the grime out from under my fingernails but I'm still pretty pleased with the day's take.

I haven't gone through them all, but so far I am most excited about finding a heretofore unknown William Onyeabor LP called Good Name, from 1981. My bad... Did I say 1981? It's actually from 1983. 1981 is the release year of Great Lover, the other rare Onyeabor LP I found. Take my word when I tell you Good Name is easily the most INSANE of all his records. Pure psychedelic synth madness!



And then there is this album by Ken Eme/First Flight:



I feel pretty sure that me and my friend Enyi are the only two human beings on earth who remember this record and I've been looking for it for... twenty-four years maybe?

First Flight never really made much impact outside of Calabar (or even within it), but we loved to watch their music videos on TV after school because they wore fly-looking space boots and had some really cool elctric boogie dancers (including a midget in Raphael Cameron pants).

There are a lot of records from my childhood that I remember being really hot and funky, but turn out to be disappointing when I listen to them today (I still love them for sentimental reasons, of course). I half expected this to be one of those records, but NOPE! it's full of that lean, glossy Jake Sollo boogie sound and I'm pretty sure heads are gonna dig the hell out of it, so stay tuned, true believers!

Ah well... It's started raining and that always messes with this server, so I better publish this while I can. More to come later...

(Sorry about the crappy pics, yo... NEPA is on half current so I couldn't get any good light on them.)

25 comments:

John B. said...

Ha, good old NEPA. When I first went to Nigeria with my family in 1994, my daughter Aku learned to say, whenever the power went off suddenly, "The neppers took the lights."

I remember once when we were getting maybe half a watt from NEPA. You could look up at the ceiling and barely make out a dully glowing thing that was the light bulb.

Good times, good times!

Neu Mejican said...

Never Expect Power Always ;^)

Looks like some great stuff...

Moni said...

Yes o, that William Onyeabor is a good one.

I don't recognize much else from the photo (save for the Fela)

Enjoy Calabar. Are you back just for a visit or does this involve some TMBW? :)

Comb & Razor said...

Moni: nah... there's no Fela in there. i usually don't pick up Fela records since they're already so widely available (and i think i pretty much have them all) but i do have a big stash of Fela joints here i'm contemplating bringing back...

i'm actually in Aba now, not Calabar... i am hoping to at least touch Cal before i leave, though.

i'm essentially here for a visit, though of course i am trying to get TMBW-related business done while i'm here, too.

Neu Mejican: NEPA has changed its name to PHCN, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria... so it's now "Problem Has Changed Name"!

JB: i don't know whether NEPA is getting better or worse... on one hand, they are providing less power than ever before--when i was growing up, only "rich" people had generators, but now everybody's got one... students, people in boy's quarters, in face-me-i-face-yous, in little tin shacks... they are de rigeur if you are interested in using electricity on anything approaching a regular basis.

on the other hand, NEPA is becoming more consistent about the hours at which they take light (in Lagos, at least). like, where i stay, they tend to always cut the power at 12 pm exactly and bring it back at 12 am on the dot. once you get used to that, it becomes easier to organize your life around the power schedule.

it's really bad back east, though... especially in Abia State. here, it's like you have to keep your gen on all the time.

Anonymous said...

i dey miss lag-o
no dey miss nepa, tho ...
g

zim said...

can't wait to hear your selections from these - some good looking Lps (of those I can make out) One World -Victory, Black Children Sledge Funk . . .

Moni said...

good to hear.

You're right - I mistakenly thought the record in the back was Mr. Big Mouth... instead it pretty clearly states One World.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Old Pro said...

LOL

"and had some really cool elctric boogie dancers (including a midget in Raphael Cameron pants)"

temi said...

nice..lol @ the terazzo floor

Comb & Razor said...

OP: i cannot overstate how tremendously huge Cameron was over here back in the day... basically, anything produced by Randy Muller was big, but Cameron was on a whole 'nuther level...

i've actually been reminded of that in my recent digging, as i've found literally hundreds of copies of Cameron, Cameron All The Way and Cameron's in Love. (you might notice Steve Arrington's HOF Vol. I in the left-hand corner of the photo, too)

Temi: hardwood floors are cool, but terazzo is still where it's at!

Comb & Razor said...

oh yeah, zim... good eyes there!

tubeworms said...

Welcome back! Really interesting finds you got there, cant wait to hear some of them!!
And Onyeabor, his discography just grows and grows..how many LP's did that man put out anyway!?
Looking forward to future posts, for sure!

Comb & Razor said...

tubeworms,

at this point, i know of 7 Onyeabor LPs, and i've also found some Wilfilms releases by other artists, too...

Anonymous said...

Hey Takestyle, please take pics of Aba before you leave o....

Anonymous said...

Hey Takestyle, please take pics of Aba before you leave o....

Comb & Razor said...

pictures of Aba?

now what would you want with that, TM?

Anonymous said...

never been home in many years but grew up there...so want to have memories

rumba-kali said...

hey! good to witness the fruitful continuation of your digging spree.
cant wait to hear the Lexy, Skiddo etc... and of course the Onyeabor LP if you decide to rip it.
over here i solved 2 mystery records that i'd been looking for - one is a fantastic south african boogie tune.
and hey that steve arrington record is pretty good eh?

Mike Davis said...

Hi - Just discovered your blog, some really interesting stuff here.

I am in the process of licensing the first Ofege Lp for reissue and noticed you had an interview with their bassist Paul Alande. Do you think you could put me in touch with him? I'd like to do an interview for the liner notes. You can reach me at
academylps@academylps.com.
Thanks - Mike Davis

Comb & Razor said...

at this point, i know of 7 Onyeabor LPs, and i've also found some Wilfilms releases by other artists, too...

my bad... i actually meant "i know of 8 Onyeabor LPs..."

Anonymous said...

8 Onyeabor's still leaves a lot of gaps in the cat# of Wilfilms;
William Onyeabor - Crashes In Love (Wilfilms WRLP 1001 1977)
William Onyeabor - Atomic Bomb (Wilfilms RecordsWRLP 1002 1978) also as 10"
William Onyeabor - Tomorrow (Wilfilms Records WRLP 1003)1979
1004 /1005/ 1006 ?
William Onyeabor - Body And Soul (Wilfilms Records WRLP 1007)
1008 to 017 ?
William Onyeabor - Hypertension (Wilfilms WLP 018)1982 (Robe 3 LP 10300)
019 to 029 ?
William Onyeabor - Good Name (Wilfilms WLP 30 1983)
032?
William Onyeabor -Anything You Sow (Wilfilms WLP 033 )1985

i have by now, so if William Onyeabor - Good Home
fits inhere (cat#?) then theres some nice goodies to find. What are the other artists/ productions on Wilfilms you found by now ..really appreciate

Comb & Razor said...

that's some impressive cataloging work there, Anonymous!

alright... first off, i have to apologize: i just realized that i accidentally wrote "Good Home" in the post (twice!) when in fact i meant Great Lover (Wilfilms WLP1010, 1981).

as for the other Wilfilms releases i found... we-ell... what had happened was...

i really could not afford to purchase all of the records i found, so i had to return a bunch of them... with the intention of coming back to claim them once i could raise some more dough, of course.

unfortunately, time was in even shorter supply than cash, and i didn't get the chance to return to that particular outlet. and owing to the hasty circumstances under which i had to return the vinyl, i wasn't able to even record all the titles and artists.

one that does stick in my mind, though: an artist named (i think) Okey Nwatu. i didn't actually get a chance to listen to the record (it was badly broken) but i still wanted to pick it up for journalistic reasons, i guess (i should have just asked them to throw it in free... but nothing is free in Aba!).

i think it was some kind of "cultural" record, though... and while it is on his label, Onyeabor is not credited with production.

oh yeah... if i remember correctly, the catalog number for the Okey Nwatu LP was somewhere in the 30s... (don't hold me to that, though!)

i might be able to ask an associate to return to that spot to get those records, though... we'll see.

hmmm... let me think about it... i think there is at least one record that i DID pick up that is listed as a Wilfilms joint production or some such... i just have to search and find out which one it is...

actually, i was hoping to get to Enugu to try to get the Wilfilms story from the man himself... i figure it could be a nice feature for Wax Poetics or something. but... time, man!

Comb & Razor said...

i think i remember another "cultural" record... or maybe it was gospel. it was some sort of women's choral group, though. damn name is escaping me...

Tony said...

Woow ! Ken Eme pouahhh Please Don't Goooo !!!!!!!! A M A Z I N G

Good job U. ;-)

delarue said...

can you give me the link plaese
thank you