Track of the Day: 'Aseni'

Past TracksDJ Frank has one of those illustrious occupations available only to a few adventurous souls with enough curiosity for deep jungle funk. He hunts down obscure West African Hi-Life tracks from Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, and other locations in the hopes of releasing them to the larger world. This might mean taking a motorcycle ride to the middle of nowhere to rummage through piles of trash for a single unsullied 45, but his expeditions have proved fruitful.

So far there's been the release of "Psycho African Beat" by The Psychedelic Aliens, a lost classic of acid-drenched Ghanaian disco, and coming soon is a documentary of his efforts called Take Me Away Fast. On top of all that, he has just released some new high-energy rhythms from Orlando Julius and the Afro Sounders. This particular track swings with an unrelenting beat as the horns blast in like they're announcing the return of the triumphant king. How a classic example of prime hi-life music could be buried from the world is a question best left for somebody with a better knowledge of how record labels (don't) work. Tragically there are plenty more like it--hidden gems and lost classics, secret hits and unknown pop hits--still waiting to be revealed.



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Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones is a Washington, D.C.-based writer whose work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, Morning News, Washington City Paper, and the Awl.

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