Friday, June 13, 2008

Ofo The Black Company - Allah Wakbarr

This track is baaaaaaaaad. Apparently Ofo took the band to the United Kingdom in the 1970s and they fused their afrobeat leanings with a heavy dose of funk and psych for a sound that is as raw as it is uncompromising. This came out as a tidy 7" on a label called Decca and costs a pretty penny to get your mitts on it but thankfully it has been re-issued on various compilations such as World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love Is A Real Thing and Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of Funky Lagos both of which would make fine additions to your collections if you haven't already got them. The b-side Beautiful Daddy is just as out there and equally as good and it's just a pity that my copy has a ton of surface noise or I'd have it up here before you could whip out a hand-drum.

I don't know anything else about them and if anyone can point me in the right direction I'd be truly grateful as the dealers that I use only know of this gem - a feast for your ears and your feet. Play it louder than a bomb.

Ofo The Black Company - Allah Wakbarr


matt said...

you're right..its a killer. None of the other tracks meets the intensity of this. There's a track from them on the new Sounday Rock LP and some over at comb and razor.
nice blog btw...

neil said...

Ofo The Black Company
You may already have this info... but from the booklet with "Nigeria 70" comes the following information.
Discovered by Decca's A&R man in Nigeria, David Bennett, they were one of countless student band's playing in Lagos during the 70's. This "crunching rock jam" recorded in 1972 was their earliest hit and became their best known track. Due to it's release in the UK they were invited to play in Berlin before travelling on to the UK. They were based there before undergoing a name change to Ofo The Rock Company and returning to Lagos in 1975. The personnel includes:
Guitar: Toks Shotade
Drums/Percussion/Vocals; Larry (Lari?) Ifedioranma
Keyboards: Dele Olaseinde (ex "Clusters" & "Ofege")
Congas: Kingsley Obiche

It appears they also recorded under the name "Ofo" - releasing "The Book" and "Let's Go Where The Action Is" in 1974 on Decca. The former is fairly lame and the latter a slight improvement which to me sounds almost Cymande-like. Although, sadly no where near as viciously funky as "Allah Wakbarr" and "Beautiful Daddy"... and that's as much as I know about them.

Marc Kets said...

Thanks for all that, much appreciated. I'm interested to know who the 'Larry' is that has been given production credit on both sides of the 7" is. If all the other tracks aren't quite as good as these then the goldmine may just take root from the tracks that Larry had a hand in.