..."What is a-happening? What is going on?" Well, I'll tell you, Blay, it's you! and as soon as my vinyl copy of Ketan arrives I'll be doing your music full justice by playing it on my faithfull Bang and Olufsen, circa 1968, which is still going strong, and which, for warmth of sound, makes this digital android experience I'm having with you right now seem like the band's very cool rehersal to the forth coming better heated gig!
This album is more hynotically Fela Kuti in beat than, say, the looser, Simigwa or Blay Ambolley's super DJ friendly EP, The Message, which is so wonderfully heavy on bass you feel, on listening to it that you've been rung like a bell.
If Blay Ambolley hadn't been a singer (and thank goodness he is) he could easily have lent that deep, authoritative voice of his - reminiscent at times of Barry White - to the BBC's World Service, becoming, perhaps, the coolest news reader of them all! But it's the music for him which spreads the news, and the first track on Ketan is Blay Ambolley at his most political, drawing a further comparison to the, generally, more combative Fela Kuti, whose lyrics appear on the track Teacher.
A bigger, jazzier, band sound than the other albums I have of his, but thankfully no change in the superb quality of the music.
I would talk about the technicalities of the music, but I know little of that, as I'm one of those who can write a song, but haven't the foggiest notion about theory, notation, or actually much beyond the chords I play and I can't always give a name to them! I can tell you this music is infectious, and that the drumming makes this album something of an an Afrobeat incantation.There are some lovely instrumental interludes too, especially from the sparkling keys of Isaak Karikari.
There are amusing cat-like noises, cackling, and scatting, for those who enjoy the playful side of Blay Ambolley.
But my comments are, in the end, simply mood-music on how to spent twenty quid, wisely; and If that means a bit more loose change for Blay Ambolley, I'd say, on the strength of this, he more than deserves it.
* UPDATE: The album sounds awesome on vinyl!.I rate this as equaling the best of Fela Kuti! A classic!
Favorite track: Afrika Yie.