Etuk Ubong – Africa Today

Album Review | Night Dreamer | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Essentially an album created with the specific intention of capturing Etuk Ubong’s vibrant live sound and recorded direct to disc in just one sitting on the final day of a week long session.  Africa Today features the dual trumpet sparring of Ubong and fellow Lagos musician Michael Awosogo, which dominates the sound throughout, delivering both energy and spirituality with their immediately familiar Afrobeat rhythms, albeit with some slightly wobbly vocals in places, especially on the title cut.  Nevertheless, the highly percussive driving sound keeps the performances alive and focused throughout.  Using vintage recording equipment, the production team at Artone Studios in Haarlem in the Netherlands have managed to capture a warts and all live performance, which appears to keep the spirit of Nigerian music alive.

Choice Track: Etuk’s Ritual (NSV 507)