On this rare pressing from Nigeria’s Tabansi label, reissued by BBE Music, we have the mystery man Ojo Balingo, juju music master.
Popularised all over the globe by King Sunny Ade in the 1980s, juju music had actually been around for decades before. Resembling highlife music in many ways, juju could be described as a more traditionally African form, mainly played by Yoruba people for Yoruba audiences.
Although the original sleeve artwork implies that this is a ‘various artists’ album, it’s pretty clear that it’s the same unnamed juju band throughout, performing two long tracks, one on each side. Side 1 calls forth more traditional juju sounds, whilst the darker Side 2 adds funk breaks galore. Psych-rock Hawaiian guitars, talking drums and political lyrics rub shoulders in this almost-unknown 70s juju rarity.
Ojo Balingo, in Yoruba, means ‘rain comes’, or ‘a breeze comes’. And so it does, with this never-before reissued obscure collectors’ vinyl from the vaults of Tabansi Records.
Note: As is very often the way with old-school Juju, this album consists of eight songs as two medleys, without actual musical breaks. On the CD and digital download, therefore, single ‘tracks’ may start and finish somewhat abruptly.