Edikanfo – The Pace Setters

Album Review | Glitterbeat | Review by Allan Wilkinson

The Pace Setters is a reissue of an album originally released almost forty years ago by the Ghanaian band Edikanfo, a name that translates as ‘leader’ or indeed ‘pace setter’.  At the invitation of the eight-piece band’s manager Faisal Helwani, Brian Eno produced the album in Accra.  Eno claims that the project was an early Graceland idea and recalls the sessions as “joyful”.  Some of that joy can be felt once again almost forty years on, notably in the highly infectious rhythms of George Williams’ “Something Lafeh-O”.

History has told us that Edikanfo’s big moment in the spotlight was scuppered by Ghana’s coup d’état on the eve of what could have been a successful touring and recording career for the band.  Ironically, just as the band reforms, somewhat renewed and re-energised, another tragedy strikes in the form of COVID-19, effectively silencing the band once again.  Hopefully, we will soon see this band on our stages, but for now, the six tracks on The Pace Setters will just have to do. Have on your dancing shoes.

Choice Track: Nka Bom (NSV 503)