There's no specific album title associated with this review, because, let's face it, to the uninitiated all forty or so of his albums sound about the same, but damn, what a sound it is.
King Sunny Ade is a legend in his home continent of
King Sunny is the undisputed king of Juju music, a near psychedelic blend of weaving African guitar, talking drum, congas, synthesizers and harmonious vocals. His music doesn't pound or thunder like the Afrobeat of his countryman Fela, rather it ungulates and purrs. It is rhythm in its purest sense, constant and unwavering in its gracefulness. His gentle guitar tones, duck and weave around the talking drums, lilting through the spaces in the polyrhythm, dancing across the bass. Sunny's voice adds texture, never overpowering, but soothing in its call-and-response. His vocals are repetitive like a mantra, encouraging you to leave your seat and worries behind, jump to your feet and move that thing you call an ass.
The first time I ever heard his creation was on the beach, at in
King Sunny has put out tons of albums on many different labels over his 40 year career, many of which are available in the states. Check out Synchro System or Juju Music, probably his greatest masterpieces, but Aura on the Mango label is also excellent. These three Mango albums were the ones that first introduced America to the mesmerizing infectiousness of Juju in the early eighties. If you can't find these, any of his more recent recordings such as Odu will fill the bill.
Put it on, turn the lights down low, relax and prepare to become one with the music. --Racer
Buy here: Synchro System
Buy here: Juju Music