08/05/2018: “Ifetayo” by Black Truth Rhythm Band


The Black Truth Rhythm Band are an interesting band because, despite the general African aesthetic, such the obvious influences from Afro-beats and the fact that the band members used African names and dress, the band were from Trinidad.

At the time it was much more common for Caribbean bands of their type to look to the U.S for inspiration. The Black Truth Rhythm Band, then, had more in common with the reggae musicians who took inspiration from Africa due to the belief in Africa as an ancestral homeland.

They only released one LP, in 1976, called Ifetayo (Love Excels All), and this song is the title track and lead single from that album.

The percussion is quite varied, with shakers and congas creating a constant jungle of sound. African instruments such as the kalimba mingle with more recognisable fare such as the bass and the flute to create a distinctively African soundscape with undeniable funk and calypso influences. It’s certainly an unusual sort of record, but the musicianship is excellent.

Oluka Imo, the lead singer of the band, later played with Fela Kuti, showing a genuine commitment to championing African sounds.

Supremely funky stuff.

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