The spread of this psychedelic wave over the United States had such an impact on how the rest of music would function as a conglomerate forever. But then as the listener is able to step outside the confines of America and being able to witness some of the strongest displays of musician craftsmanship from West Africa where Itadi was able to record his self-titled Itadi record is breathtaking.
It follows the foundation of Itadi Bonney who was able to sculpt these percussive progressions that follow a jungle-esque style that conflicts with the electric instruments and create something mesmerizing. Release in 2013, the record was recorded in 1977 in Ghana and then remixed for a final recording in Togo. Some of the whereabouts are unknown as the publishing dates are mostly passed down by word of mouth, but Itadi holds a fairy tale setting that is a bright and shining example of 70’s influence on Africa.
The opening track, “Watch Your Life” is a funk fusion that works into a smooth ride through easy-going strings and keys. Itadi plays as if it was recorded in one-take through a late-night after-hours club with dim lighting and cigarette smoke filling the room. As the bright red overalls shine through on the cover, Itadi takes a bold stance as if he was some superhero of the trees.
Itadi plays as one continuous piece incredibly well and almost takes the listener through these transitional periods without ever seeming as if the tracks change. The 38-minute long record is eight tracks and more of an adventure over understanding. With “Peace and Freedom,” one of the more pushing tracks, the shouts that are heard throughout the piece are exhilarating and instill hope as the aged guitar whirls along. This is definitely recognizable as a record from the 1970s where the vinyl crack is nearly present in the recording.
Through each passing on Itadi, the journey of soft, velvet touches comes to a final closing with “Ayala.” It is a sand-filled dune that coincides with the crashing waves against the beach. Incredibly relaxing, and entirely necessary for closing, Itadi uses the instruments as narrators to then suddenly shift into the final silence that is abrupt, but solid.
When looking back over Itadi and seeing some of the inner strengths that the record holds, the true beauty comes from uncovering this hidden gem of African proportions. Somewhere that would be almost impossible to hear without the internet, Itadi is a shining beacon that breaks through to hold the listener tight as the record begins to spin again.