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by Reefwalker

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4:28

Akpesse (aka High Life)

“High Life” is a musical genre that originated in Ghana in the 1900s and spread to Sierra Leone, Nigeria and other West African countries by 1920. My friends from that part of the world consider this be the “go-to” rhythm for just about anything in 4/4. In my opinion, this is likely the rhythmic ancestor of “funk” patterns.

4/4 220bpm

Uploaded .
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Latest Comments

Keith Landry's avatar
Keith Landry said

Love this track, Norm! Would you mind if I messed around with a little acoustic rhythm guitar alongside your outstanding drums? I’ve got the capo up on the second fret and this beat has me playing in a way I never have before!

launched's avatar
launched said

Deeeeeeeelish, bro! I love it!!

igor's avatar
igor said

Yes you, seemingly, the master of a rhythm! I like this.

Guest said

Not sure if I should be wiggling about like this, hey why not!

Wildgeas Music's avatar
Wildgeas Music said

Slick-ster deluxe. Very colorful.

Reefwalker's avatar
Reefwalker said

the recording on this one is exceptionally good. I think you may have perfected the perc mic up over this last year. is there a hint of reverb? Nice one, really warm malaria-like sound

Norm's avatar
Norm said

@ Kirk& Kamachi: excellent observation, and you are correct. As most of my patterns are built around clave, and as clave is structured upon so many off-beats, to get my metronome to “click” on some key clave beats, I set my metronome at double time- so my bpm notation reflects what my metronome setting was dialed to. Here is a clave link that graphically shows how many times clave percussion scores are transcribed in 2/2 (cut time) to make it easier to read… but if one is counting 8th notes instead of quarter notes, the bpm will be doubled. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clave_(rhythm)?wasRedirected=true

Guest said

Excellent playing. But +1 here for the 110 BPM perception :-)

kirklynch's avatar
kirklynch said

Excellent! I find it interesting that in almost every one of these that you list the BPM I feel them in half time, so I would think of this as 110 BPM

Guest said

glad to be back. good stuff here.

Norm's avatar
Norm said

@ Richard: many thanks- recording accoustical percussion is sometimes tricky and I’m still learning the skill sets required for that. I mount my own skins from bulk rawhide (so not actually tanned) but I don’t actually make the rawhide from animal skins… that’s a lot of work on a non-industrial level and there are some health concerns when it comes to working with (especially imported) fresh animal skins. Many of the (nonterrorist) cases of anthrax reported involve folks making their own drum heads, so I just use commercially cured cow skin from the USA for the latin drums and buy pre-made drum heads for the African drums, which are usually water buffalo, goat or some sort of deer.

richardlaceves's avatar
richardlaceves said

the sound quality is great,,, i can almost see/feel the bending/vibrating of the skin,, do you make,, tan etc your own skins?,,, this has a wonderful warm quality,, great piece

Guest said

I heard the style somewhere but you perfected it. Thanks for uploading.

Guest said

Phenomenal - almost, pheromonal!!

angie fights crime's avatar
angie fights crime said

i played this in college. fun.

Norm's avatar
Norm said

@ Dave: thanks for listening! This recording is 8 tracks, consisting of 2 (stereo) bass drum, cowbell, clave, chinese blocks, and 3 tracks of various sized conga drums playing their parts. Traditionally it is performed by a group of percussionists, which I would love to assemble- but that rarely is possible for me to do where I live. Perhaps I should move to Africa.

Dave Berry's avatar
Dave Berry said

Thanks Norm, I posted the lyrics. Now then on to this great groove, Yeah baby thats really moving isn’t it. Is this one track or a few tracks overdubbed together? I am moving every part of my body to this groove.

Johnny Stone's avatar
Johnny Stone said

Absolutely brilliant.

Movement To Contact's avatar
Movement To Contact said

Yet another good one. I love how you always post the style and a bit of history with each track. It always helps me understand the song better.

vaisvil's avatar
vaisvil said

excellent! I like the way the congas answer each other.

Saved!