MELVIN UKACHI "EVOLUTION-BRING BACK THE OFEGE BEAT"
April 16, 2021
180g vinyl edition
Melvin Ukachi needs little introduction, the Lagos (Nigeria) based vocalist and bandleader is a living legend. Melvin is known for his fantastic solo albums, his vocals for the afrobeat star-groups M.F.B. and Ozzobia…but his biggest legacy is without a doubt him being the singer and bandleader of Ofege.
Melvin formed Ofege in the early 1970s (when he and the other band members were all still a bunch of teenagers). Due to their vibrant combo of sweet harmonies, hooks & fuzz, Ofege would become one of the most legendary Nigerian groups of all time, with expressive sales and national stardom to follow. At the turn of the century (and because of tracks appearing on various compilations) Ofege would receive international acknowledgment for being the first of their kind and THE ultimate West-African psychedelic funk band!
Melvin Ukachi recorded four milestone albums with Ofege: ‘Try and Love’ (1973) ‘The Last of The Origins’ (1976), ‘Higher Plane Breeze’ (1977) and ‘How Do You Feel’ (1978). When the Ofege story came to an end, Melvin recorded two astonishing solo albums: ‘Evolution-Bring Back The Ofege Beat’ (1981) and ‘I am Ok’ (1985). Both of his solo recordings have now become much sought-after holy grails for collectors and fans alike.
On the album, we are presenting you today (Evolution-Bring Back The Ofege Beat) the listener is treated to the trademark Ofege sound (as the title of the record obviously suggests). Next to the rootsy and raw Ofege sound, we’re shown a perfect glimpse of the late ’70s afrobeat works combining soul, jazzy rhythms, William Onyeabor style synths & fluid boogie-danceability.
Expect some serious ‘all-star’ guest musicians as well…featured on the album are Chyke Madu (The Funkees) on drums, Berkley Jones (Ofege) on guitar…and many other local legends. To top things off the tracks were recorded and mixed at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London…all slickly engineered by Rafiu Ayoade (The Apostles) and produced by the president of sound himself Odion Iruoje (known for his work with Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti…and many others).
‘Evolution-Bring Back The Ofege Beat’ was released on EMI Nigeria in 1981 and is a total Afro-psych-funk classic that begs for a special place in your record collection. It’s tight, funky and Melvin’s soulful vocals are to die for. This record is a monster!
Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the first-ever reissue (supervised by Melvin Ukachi himself) of this amazing Nigerian Afrobeat album. This RARE classic (original copies tend to go for large amounts on the secondary market) is now finally back available as a limited 180g vinyl edition complete with the original artwork made at Grafikad (who were responsible for designing landmark sleeves for renowned artists such as Fela Kuti)