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Party Beats


Artist: Nkono Teles
Label: BBE
Release Date: 28 June 2019

Cameroon-born and Nigeria-bred, the late Nkono Teles was an innovative multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and engineer and one of a select handful of backroom boffins that West African artists and producers would habitually call upon when they wanted a ‘modernist’ Afro-pop sound that would appeal across borders. A pioneer of electronics in African music, Nkono Teles was equally at home with synthesisers, drum machines, guitar effects and computer programming as traditional instruments. One of West Africa’s most prolific producers during the 1980s, Teles is credited with more than 150 productions, spanning the work of more than 100 artists and groups...

Nkono Teles's Party Beats was originally released on the Tabansi label in 1985. Listening to it now it's incredibly cheesy - a complaint that can be levelled at a lot of long forgotten '80s music. This is African pop with a European slant, something I'm sure would have been warmly embraced in its time... but today it's a curiosity to be put on for a laugh to highlight how much music production has evolved in the ensuing decades.

A novel, if somewhat dated release that will transport you back to the fashion crimes of the '80s.


Nick Smithson

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