Monday, September 22, 2008

WA HO HA!!!


As I have stated a few times before, I have something of a love-hate relationship with Nigerian reggae. I mean, I've actually warmed up to it considerably over the past year or so (mostly for scholarly reasons) but as I have precious little space in my personal collection (and even preciouser little money to spend on vinyl in this wintry economic climate), when I'm shopping I usually veto the Naija natty riddims right off the bat.

Thankfully, they're usually easy to identify too, since 1980s album designers took to stenciling jagged lettering and red-gold-green hues on every goddamn sleeve. Or my other rule of thumb is: "When in doubt, just avoid any LP that depicting persons with dreadlocks."

Pity me; for my prejudice almost made me pass on Pazy.*

In fact, I did pass on the record twice before I finally picked it up on a whim... Well, actually, it was a bit more of an educated process than just a "whim"; after all, my aversion is chiefly to reggae from the mid-1980s onwards and the orange-and-black EMI label on this disc suggested that it was from the 1970s... 1982 tops. And while I didn't recognize any of the musicians listed on the back (Pazy Etina? Makos? Colins Osokpor? James Etina?), none of them were credited with "Linn drum programming" or "synbass"--Jack Stone was even given as playing the organ and not "keyboards"! So yeah, I figured that if nothing else, at least this reggae record would be rootsier than the tinny Casio skank that scored much of the Babangida and Abacha eras.

Sure enough, the album does start off with a couple of decidedly tasty reggae cuts--one minute into the inaugural track, the lovely Carlton & the Shoes-esque "Comfort Me JahoJah" (never mind how it's spelled on the back cover), I already knew this was to become one of my favorite records--but soon veers off into some heavy psychfunkrock of the brain-frying variety.

Pazy and the Black Hippies - "Comfort Me JahoJah"
Pazy and the Black Hippies - "Elizabeth"
Pazy and the Black Hippies - "Wa Ho Ha"


Apart from Fuzzy (who I have assumed is the Fuzzy Gbagbi credited on the Sunny White LP) I haven't seen these guys names anywhere else. Wonder if they have any other albums.

*Ditto Muddy Ibe

15 comments:

Frank said...

Nice one!
The guitar on Elizabeth certainly is a brainmelter...

Comb & Razor said...

yep... always a joy when you find gems like that in unexpected places!

xensma said...

hi from france!
this one is simply one of the nicest piece of african reggae i never heard...please could you upload the entire lp and send me the link??i would like to share it with friends on a reggae sharing site where you could find many gemms into reggae music.here is the adress: http://worldwide.forum-livre.com/.
you just have to register.all styles from ska to early dancehall and digital roots. no slackness and bad minded lyrics.
let me know what you think!
bye.

Comb & Razor said...

thanks, xensma!

email me directly at combrazor (at) yahoo dot com, ok?

unoqueopina said...

Hi,

I just wanted to ask if you could please re-upload these tunes because the links aren't working. I can't find them elsewhere! Please.

Thank you for your time!
Greetings from Mexico

Comb & Razor said...

Hi unoqueopina -

Sorry all the links are dead right now... I'm I'm working on getting them back up.

Thanks for checking out the blog!

U.

unoqueopina said...

Thank you so much. Can't wait!

unoqueopina said...

Hey man, you left me waiting for those links! :p

Hope now is a better time for you to do it.

Thanks!

Comb & Razor said...

just email me.

SAM said...

If I remember right, the guy on the left is James Etina. He was the band leader of Joseph Osayomore's group, the Ulele Power Sound in Benin in the 80s. He was a producer on the side and cut demos too. He did a demo for me in 1982 and you could tell he was very influential to the success Osayomore Joseph enjoyed in the Benin music scene in the 80s.
The gist then was that he was Ghanaian.
The guy in the middle if my memory serves me right used to come in from Warri to perform on NTA Benin's Music Panorama. And if there is anything I remember about him, it is that he was one hell of a guitarist.

Comb & Razor said...

Thanks so much for your comment, SAM! I didn't know that James Etina had played with Osayomore Joseph! However, I had since learned of Pazy Etina's work as a producer, though... I believe he still does production somewhere around Ughelli, and his son Bob Pazy is a popular local artist.

I don't think the Etinas are of Ghanaian origin, though; Pazy's full name seems to be Edire Etinagbedia, which sounds Urhobo to me (unless of course James is not actually Pazy's brother).

Any further information you can come up with is much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

yo whatsup! please tell me you have this album:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/THE-BLACK-HIPPIES-PAZY-ULTRA-RARE-METEORITE-AFRO-FUNK-RIOT-AFRO-PSYCH-Nigeria-/290682520148?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item43ae074254

I would love to hear the complete songs.

Comb & Razor said...

Yeah, I have it... Surprised to see it on eBay actually! I won't post any tracks from it, though, because there might be plans to reissue it in the works and I don't want to step on anybody's toes. So stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

ok U, are there any tracks with fuzz that will never be reissued and have not been reissued that you CAN post?

Comb & Razor said...

Haha... Yeah, I think I can manage that! I'm still working on reactivating the blog and hopefully I'll have that sorted out soon.