16/03/2019: “Asa-Sa” by Fred Fisher

Sometimes it seems like Nigeria has produced an extraordinarily high proportion of excellent musicians and groovy sounds.

This is more 70s brilliance, this time from Fred Fisher Atalobhor, or just Fred Fisher.

“Asa-Sa” is an 8 minute long constant groove. There’s no peaks, no troughs, just a majestic plain, rolling on forever and ever…

The sound is distinctly afrobeat, but there’s clear influences from funk and reggae. The bassline plays a short 2 bar loop, the drums shimmy and shake, the guitar lick rises and falls like a breath. There’s a certain easy going rhythmical mastery to the whole thing, which means that the song is almost ritualistic.

The vocals are of the typical call and response pattern of much African popular music at this time.

The song was originally released in 1979 on the album Say The Truth, but was re-released on a Soundway compilation in 2004, called Afrobaby: The Evolution of the Afro​-​Sound in Nigeria 1970​-​79.

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