Todays Ghanamixtapes Highlife Friday pick is Tony Sarfo & his Afrosibi Gang. Little Angel is what he calls this track. The trumpets and purcurssion is on point. Nowadays, when we hear the word ‘afrobeat’ we can all pretty much conjure up what the rhythm sounds like. However, What is often overlooked, is the various African bands in the 1970s who were looking to make their own sound a household name as well. In Ghana you had The African brothers banging out their afrobeat/highlife hybrid entitled afrohilli, Bob Pinodo with his disco-esque sonobete rhythm, and in Nigeria Victor Uwaifo was modernizing his ancestral Eskassa rhythm by adding a funky backbone to it. But if you ask me, one of the dopest rhythms to come out of this period was the one created by mr. B-boy himself – Tony Sarfo.
Sarfo’s afrosibi rhythm had the distinctive quality of bringing his signature funky drums to the forefront of what what would otherwise be a standard Ghanaian highlife tune. As a result, the songs are given a certain upswing and could easily fall into step with any number of b-boy uprocking tunes from American 70s funk bands. One prime example is ‘Nyame Nni Wo Akyi’ from his first album, which features an open drum drum break in the beginning and then works its way into a frantic drum frenzy towards the last two minutes of the song.