New Lightning Head Afrobeat EP and Album
- Words: Tomas Palermo
Recording throughout the mid-'90s as a part of groundbreaking ambient dub group Rockers Hi-Fi (Different Drummer, Island, Warners), Glyn "Bigga" Bush didn’t let up after the group disbanded at the end of the decade. Instead, Bush evolved his sound, keeping dub as the foundation and adding other eclectic musical structures on top. The results have included solo albums for Sonar Kollektiv (Studio Don as Lightning Head) and Stereo Deluxe (Biggabush Free, Sound Sensation as Bigga Bush).
“Bigga” Bush got his nickname from his tall (6’7”) frame and reggae-themed downtempo electronic productions, but recently he’s debuted a new alias: Lightning Head. Lightning Head’s 1999 single, “Me & Me Princess,” on Germany’s Best Seven, took many by surprise with its confident, bubbling dancehall groove. From there, LH released a split EP with Cutty Ranks in 2001, as well as the aforementioned Sonar Kollektiv album.
So, what’s next for this towering dub traveler? Lion Head Recordings is this veteran’s new label, and has a new EP scheduled for May and album soon.
The new, mostly instrumental 12” single explores West African styles, including High Life, Nigerian Funk, and Afrobeat, with a funky fusion approach similar to recent releases by Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen or France’s Comet Recordings.
Lightning Head’s take on Africa is strictly deep, groovy tracks that will inspire complacent dancers. Bush gives us a run-down on the EP’s tracks: “'N.P.G.' stands for the ‘Nigerian Policeforce Groove,’ and that’s exactly what it is! ‘Bokoor Sound Special’ features Ghanaian vocals and highlife guitar with balafon over a heavy rhythm. ‘Afro Spot’ is named after the famous nightclub in Lagos [Nigeria]–big bad horns vie with James Brown-style guitars. Finally, ‘Ilu Baje (Sick State)’ is a 6/8 gidamba rhythm with swirling electric organ and filthy flute lines."
Look out for the forthcoming 13 Faces of Lightning Head album on Lion Head.
Afrobeat EP Tracklisting
B1. Afro Spot.mp3
A2. Bokoor Sound Special.mp3
B2. Ilu Baje.mp3
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