I think the rain makes you sleep. Your brain hears it and says, no, I don’t want to get wet. Eventually, you have to ignore your brain’s interests and get up for work, for food, the loo, or whatever responsibility you may have to the planet. Today I had to listen through mixes from Andreas for NJ Brian’s Valley of Salt project, write notes, and get this record to its final stage of mastering. I only just realised that I didn’t go out today because there was this and lots of other things to do in The Archive – although it was Olivia who put the office chair together because I couldn’t figure it out. Still, there was the second stereo set up, and the clearing of the desk so that the Anna Calvi single isn’t leaning against the left speaker and the Led Zep single leaning against the right speaker. Talking of right speakers…
I discovered that a medium-sized paintbrush is the most perfect implement for cleaning the dust of the computer keyboard, the music keyboard, and the tricky spots under the strings on the headstock and behind the bridge on some guitars. I always knew this, but never actually did anything about it, until today. It was so satisfying to see that layer of dust disappear, but where does it all go? Eventually, it will be back, but for now, I can fight it off and pretend it has gone forever.
Olivia was off to Portuguese lessons and yoga and in the early evening I had a sesh with Ahad for the Afridi/Willson-Piper project – new songs to look at for the future. Newcastle/Dortmund were playing in the Champions League. Dortmund is one of Olivia’s dad’s teams and they won away 0-1. It was a great game and for me, that’s the point, even if my team loses, not that Newcastle is my team, but they are great to watch, quality at work is always worthy wherever it may be. Having said that, music is a weird one, great skills aren’t always the answer for great music, great ideas on the other hand…
Music today has been Osibisa, the first album (1971), classic Ghanaian/British Afro-Rock with classic Roger Dean cover art and produced by Tony Visconti. This is the kind of record The Archive loves. Interestingly, the engineers on the album all went on to become successful in their own right, John Punter, Roy Baker (later known as Roy Thomas Baker), and Martin Rushent. I’ll let you press their Wikipedia links to see their impressive work.
The Osibisa debut went to no.11 in the UK charts in 1971 and was followed up with the critically acclaimed Woyaya, released in the same year and also reaching No.11. It had another Roger Dean cover with the classic flying dragonfly elephant. The third album Heads (1972) had more classic artwork by Mati Klarwein, famous for Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew (1970) and Live-Evil (1971) as well as the classic Santana album art for Abraxas (1970).
This from Wikipedia:
Osibisa were the most successful and longest-lived of the African-heritage bands in London, alongside such contemporaries as Assagai, Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, Demon Fuzz, Black Velvet and Noir, and were largely responsible for the establishment of world music and Afro-Rock as a marketable genre.
The original band which featured on the first three studio albums were universally known as the Beautiful Seven.
What happened to Osibisa? Well, the original line-up existed for those first three albums. Teddy Osei, sax player/singer, is still making records with the band. I’m not sure what happened to respected guitar player/singer Wendell Richardson and of course, some band members have passed away. Teddy Osei is 85 years old.