June 18th 2008
Once the city of Conakry had calmed down after the army mutiny, I left on my last digging trip to Accra where I got to look through two private record collections. I only stayed for 6 days but amazingly enough, this turned out to be not only my shortest but also most successful single digging trip ever. I'm only posting records that I didn't have before, otherwise it would simply be too much. Not only did I find doubles of all Marijata LPs, Kelenkye Band, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, Star Time Aziza, SJOB Movement, Kusum Beat, Ebo Taylor and various K. Frimpong LPs, almost everything was in excellent condition. Except the Monomono Vol.2, this one plays with a bit of noise so if anyone out there has a clean copy for trade, let me now.
I'm super excited about some of these records as they are either ones I've been trying to find for a long time or (even better) stuff I didn't know existed. I promise to make new mixes as soon as I'm reunited with my turntables in NYC next month. One thing is for sure, I'll be back before long. I'm already looking into flights from NYC to Lagos and Accra.
Click on image for better view
The most exciting part were the 45s. Most notably the 3 (!) by Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, some really nice Ebo Taylor stuff, a couple of very rare Fela Kuti singles and the two Segun Bucknor 45s. Also the four very heavy tracks by the Cutlass Band and some super funky stuff on the obscure Sole label. Every 45 pictured here is Funk or Afrobeat. I also found some really deep Highlife records but we'll get to those later.
In the end I had to stuff my entire luggage with vinyl. There was no room for anything else, I had to leave behind my all my toiletry and wear three pair of socks, three pairs of boxers, two pairs of pants and three shirts all at once. I looked pretty damn stupid and sweated like a pig.
When I arrived back in Conakry, the country was in the middle of an unanounced police strike and immediately after my arrival, the airport was shut down. What followed was a day of heavy shooting between the police and the military. Right now, everything seems quiet again but it's still too dangerous to go out after dark. Come evening time, I just sit on the terrace in front of the now empty house, listen to records on the portable turntable and get drunk on the last remaining bottles of cuban rum. Only 8 days left until my departure. The airport has re-opened but most airlines have changed their schedule to arrival and departure during the day instead of like before at night because there is still some sporadic shooting after dark. More and more foreigners are leaving the country and there is widespread fear and resignation that the situation can only further deteriorate from here, the only question remaining is at what speed. It is also very strange that since a few days now, none of the three internet cafes in my area can manage to connect to the web. The employees at all three places claim that there is some weird interference. I'll try the big internet cafe downtown tomorrow to get this post online. New York will seem like such a calm and quiet place after all this craziness.
On the other hand, I won't be able to grow pineapples in front of my porch.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
June 18th 2008