African Head Charge

AFRICAN HEART CHARGE was originally conceived as a studio recording project. It was started in 1981 by Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah’s percussion skills and the studio wizardry Adrian Sherwood. Brian Eno was the inspiration for the first recordings. He had read an interview about David Byrne’s album “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts”, and stated that he had the vision of a Psychedelic Africa. Sherwood was working in a basement in London at night, producing music. Bonjo had worked with him before, in late 1979 when he was involved with Creation Rebel and Prince Far I performing live shows. Bonjo also had worked with Desmond Dekker and Freedom Fighters. Freedom Fighters supported legendary Jamaican artistes such as Dillinger, Trinity, and many others. Bonjo was born in Clarendon, Jamaica to a Rasta family. He was a percussionist from the earliest days of his life. He learned not only Rasta/Nyabinghi drums, but also African rhythms and Afro Cuban. He loved to experiment which made working with Sherwood so enjoyable Bonjo and Sherwood made Eno’s vision a reality. Tape loops were used to manipulate and speed up 1/4-inch tape. This tape was then re-recorded back onto the multi-track tape. Reverbs and delays were then applied to the musicians’ performances. The result was the iconic and well-named “MY LIFEIN A HOLE IN THE GROUND”, which is now a classic. This album was released by the newly established ON-U SOUND label. Three more largely experimental studio albums followed throughout the 80’s…”ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES”, “DRASTIC SEASON” and the more accessible “OFF THE BEATEN TRACK”. AFRICAN HEART CHARGE’s first live appearance was in the 1980s. It was held at the University of London (ULU), and it was a huge success. The next few years saw them attain semi-legendary status. They performed at Glastonbury, the amazing Essential music festival, and visited Australia, New Zealand, and Japan to great acclaim. 1991 saw the release “SONGS OF PRAISE”, an album recorded at Manor Studio in Oxford. It featured religious chants to African dub percussion and great musicianship. It was a landmark recording for both ON-U SOUND and AFRICAN HEAD CHARGE. Their 1993 album, “IN PURSUIT of SHASHAMANELAND”, was to be their last recording. Bonjo moved to Ghana in 1995 to fulfill “The dream of all Rastamans to return to Africa”. He made his first return to London in 2003, and plans were made to record another album. {The following year saw the creation of “VISION OF A PSYCHEDELIC AFRICA”…full circle you may think, well almost…nBonjo and Sherwood are both fiercely proud of this work, but after its initial release in Japan in 2005, it’s release in the rest of the world on ON-U SOUND via E.M.I.|”VISION OF A PSYCHEDELIC AFRICA ” was created the following year. Bonjo and Sherwood were both proud of the work. However, the album’s initial release in Japan in 2005 saw it being released in other countries via ON-U SOUND via E.M.I.} The album was delayed by the close collapse of the organization. It became widely available only in 2010. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of ON-U SOUND, they released “VOODOO FOR THE GODSENT” in 2011. This album is the result of a long process in which both creative powerhouses have expanded and transformed the contemporary reggae landscape into new and exciting forms. The album contains all the elements of an African Head Charge classic album. It is a triumphant mixture of dub and psychedelia as well as trance, trance and afro rhythms that has given them their unique place in contemporary music. The next phase of AFRICAN CHARGES’ dub evolution will be led by Bonjo Iyabhinghi Noah, a master percussionist. It will take place at Unit 8 Studios in Hackney. Stay tuned for its release in 2013 as AFRICAN HEAD CHARGE plan to grace the stage again… from

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