The modern-day leaders of Ghanaian highlife music are back!
Strut is proud to announce Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band’s sophomore release ‘Obiaa!’, released on 4 th October 2019. The album, produced again by Kwame Yeboah and Ben Abarbanel-Wolff at Lovelite Studio’s analogue HQ in Berlin, is a deep and soulful journey into the heart of Ghana’s indigenous highlife music celebrating the timeless and iconic voice of Pat Thomas, the 72 year-old “Golden Voice of Africa”.
After producing Ebo Taylor’s seminal albums ‘Love and Death’ and ‘Appia Kwa Bridge’ for Strut Records, in 2014 Ben Abarbanel-Wolff approached Kwame Yeboah, Ghana’s top contemporary instrumentalist and bandleader, to work on a new project: “We initially wanted to invite Pat back into the studio with Ebo Taylor and Tony Allen to recreate and expand on some of the vibes they had recorded together during a lost session in 1977,” Ben explains. Recorded in Accra, the result was the critically acclaimed self-titled debut album ‘Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band’ in 2015.
The new album is called ‘Obiaa!’ which means ‘Everybody!’. Tracks include the modern parables ‘Onfa Nkosi Hwee’ warning against arrogance and ‘Odo Ankasa’ about the value of real love and trust as well as a great new cover of Thomas’ Afro-disco favourite ‘Yamona’. “Playing highlife around the world taught us what we had to do to move our sound forward,” continues Ben. While simultaneously looking back towards the classic days of highlife and forward to a fresh revival of the guitar band sound, this album cements Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band’s position at the pinnacle of modern African music.
‘Obiaa!’ is released on all formats on 4th October. The album features exclusive cover artwork by Lewis Heriz with photos by Marie Weikopf and Michelle Chiu and is mastered by Édouard Bonan at Ed-Room Studio in Paris.
The European tour during October / November 2019
21.09.2019 Cross Culture Festival, Warsaw, PL
22.09.2019 La Coursive, La Rochelle, FR
24.09.2019 Headrow House, Leeds, UK
26.09.2019 Newcastle, UK
27.09.2019 Band on the Wall, Manchester, UK
28.09.2019 Isis Farmhouse, Oxford, UK
02.10.2019 Norwich Arts Center, Norwich UK
10.10.2019 YAAM, Berlin, DE
12.10.2019 Alice, Copenhagen, DK
13.10.2019 Atlas, Aarhus, DK
16.10.2019 0osterport, Groningen, NL
18.10.2019 Grounds, Rotterdam, NL
20.10.2019 Doornrosje, Nijmegen, NL
25.10.2019 Biko, Milan, IT