Johnny! - Ago/Ago InstrumentalLabel: Now-Again
7" Single, Ltd. 1000, #2 of 3, Download card for entire series included.
Limited to 1000. Introducing: Johnny! Ghanaian Afro-Rock from German producer/composer JJ Whitefield and an international cast of top-shelf musicians.
Whitefield, who in the early 1990s revived the gritty, analogue Funk sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s with his Poets of Rhythm, has been working with Now-Again Records for almost a decade, releasing a flock of acclaimed projects with Karl Hector & The Malcouns, Whitefield Brothers, Rodinia and the Original Raw Soul anthology.
He first started exploring African rhythms with the Whitefield Brothers in the late ‘90s, continuing in the ‘00s with Karl Hector & The Malcouns. He’s been instrumental in launching Ghanaian Afro Beat/Funk legend Ebo Taylor´s international career, decades after the maestro recorded the landmark albums that have inspired thousands. Whitefield recorded two new studio albums with Taylor and toured in his band between 2009 and 2013, where he met Taylor’s son Henry and percussionist/Singer Eric Owusu.
The trio now front the Johnny! band and find inspiration not only in Ghana’s hypnotic grooves, but also the full-frontal fuzz guitar assault heard on the legion of 70s Zambian Zamrock albums recently reissued by Now-Again. Indeed, Whitefield credits his tours with Zamrock godfathers Rikki Ililonga and WITCH’s Jagari Chanda as instrumental in creating the Johnny’s sonic backdrop. The band is rounded out by Turkish drummer Bernd Oezsevim (Woima Collective, Rodinia) and Indonesian bassist/multi-instrumentalist Tomi Simatupang (Whitefield Brothers).
This is Dance Rock at the core with the possibilities to stretch out and go into psychedelic realms. The results, spread out over three 7” singles and pressed in a run of 1000 units each, speak for themselves. Every record comes with a download card for WAV files of all six tracks (vocals and instrumentals from each release) and point at a new direction for the music inspired by the Great Continent. One that takes a direction once mocked as derivative and asserts its importance on the globe’s current musical stage.