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Borga Revolution! a second volume dedicated to the burger‑highlife phenomenon

8 months after the 1st volume, Kalita records sends a new salvo of burger-highlife, an invention from Ghanaian musicians who emigrated at the end of the 80s.

As we detailed in our article dedicated to the first part of the compilation, burger-highlife emerged in the 80s in Europe and America as Ghanaian musicians fled the political and economic turmoil of the country, hoping to find a better life. By the end of the 1970s, Western influence was increasingly felt in West African music, which was then infused with funk, soul and disco. The arrival to new lands made new technologies accessible and affordable for these artists, who quickly took advantage of it and jumped into the digital era with both feet. Soon enough, from the beginning of the 80s and until the middle of the 90s, a furious mixture of highlife melodies, synthesizers and boogie took the Ghanaian airwaves by storm, under the impulse of leaders like Pat Thomas, Georges Darko or Lee Dodou. History will recall that many artists went to live in Germany, thanks to a visa policy more flexible than its neighbors, hence the name “Burger” – “citizen” in German – that was given to them once back home. 

In addition to sounding contemporary, almost futuristic, the genre had other virtues that immediately appealed to the country’s young artists: it was cheaper to produce, easy for DJs to play in clubs, and it was possible to pre-programme certain instruments without the need for an additional musician. Between unknown soldiers and extremely sought-after tracks like the one by Atta Frimpong, this second volume explores an essential part of the evolution of Ghanaian dance music, from 1983 to 1996. Note that among these 11 tracks, we find three tracks by Alan Cosmos from the 1985 album Sunshine Music For Your Pleasure, certified by its author as the first West African record entirely made with electronic instruments!

The compilation will be available on March 10th, pre-order it here.