WillIam Onyeabor sees release of psychedelic classics +Free Daphni Download
LUAKA BOP are set to release William Onyeabor’s WORLD PSYCHEDELIC CLASSICS I.
In a brief recording career that lasted from 1978 to 1985, the Nigerian artist WILLIAM ONYEABOR made utterly unique music ranging from synth-heavy electronic tracks to Afrosoul with saxophones and female backup singers, to psychedelic funk with wah-wah guitar and fuzzy keyboards. Although virtually unknown in the West, and having long turned his back on music, Onyeabor’s fans number the likes of CARL CRAIG, FOUR TET, DAMON ALBARN and DEVENDRA BANHART amongst many other.
LUAKA BOP is the first label to successfully license Onyeabors music and has undertaken an enormous, multi-dimensional project to introduce it to a wider audience. It has scheduled the centerpiece collection, _WORLD PSYCHEDELIC CLASSICS 5: WHO IS WILLIAM ONYEABOR?__, for release on October 29.
View the trailer here:
DAN SNAITH aka CARIBOU’s only interview this year was a 90-minute conversation with the label about Onyeabor. In it, Snaith said, You never forget hearing his music for the first time. All the genre tags, they miss the point, they miss the magic.
Snaith further said, The cover of [Onyeabors album] _Anything You Sow_ really resonates with me, Im in this tiny little basement, and every square inch is full of equipment and gear, and its the same with him. Hes got like three tape machines lined up there, a mixing desk just kind of crammed in the corner, two more tape machines, two or three Moogs, and an organ of some kind. Hes surrounded by stuff. He chose to put this on the cover of his album. Its definitely a statement, like Look at all this stuff Ive got. Its a pretty impressive array of things for that time.
Luaka Bop have offered up a free download of Ye Ye, (2011)
in which Snaith, as DAPHNI, samples and builds upon Onyeabors When the Going Is Smooth & Good.
The vinyl release of _WORLD PSYCHEDELIC CLASSICS 5: WHO IS WILLIAM ONYEABOR?__ _comprises 13 tracks spanning Onyeabors body of work, and includes artwork by JOHN AKOMFRAH, NJIDEKA AKUNYILI, HARRISON HAYNES, DAVE MULLER, ODILI DONALD ODITA and XAVIERA SIMMONS. The CD and digital releases will include nine tracks.
_Who Is William Onyeabor?_ may be the most complicated, if also one of the richest, undertakings in Luaka Bops (rarely straightforward) 25-year history. Following the eight albums Onyeabor self-released between 1978 and 1985, he became a Born-Again Christian, refusing ever to speak about himself or his music again. Various biographies can be found online. Some say he studied cinematography in the Soviet Union and returned to Nigeria in the mid-70s to start his own film company, Wilfilms. Some say he was a lawyer with a degree from a university in Great Britain. Others portray him as a businessman who for years worked on government contracts in Enugu, Nigeria.
By attempting to speak with Onyeabor himself, and by talking to people who seem to have firsthand knowledge, Luaka Bop has been trying to construct an accurate biography of him for the past 18 monthswithout success.