Ayo Manuel


Soundway • 2023

Boogie, homemade: Nigerian DIY producer Ayo Manuel was a composer, vocalist, keyboardist and percussionist who dedicated his skills to keeping the groove going. His music, compiled here in a selection from his two albums »Love Candiate« (1983) and »Party Time« (1990), from which the title derives, owes a great deal to the discofied American-style funk of the time. The instrumental »Song of Love« is particularly beautiful, with its slowly dragging drums, bubbling synth and slightly angular horns. 

Early rap is definitely present on other numbers, such as »Fun Time« with its refrain-like »Let’s rock!« shout out and also the version of »Don’t Stop«, which can be seen as an extension in every respect, here again with horns. Less American inspired and more committed to their own traditions are the later tracks »Sojourn (Ajo)« and »Gboro Mi Ro«, which are no longer performed in English. On the closing track »Do Good«, of all songs, he sings quite consistently over the sounds of the other instruments, including a wonderfully brassy horn synth. Which also has its charm.