cult ghanaian club tune finally gets proper release
Word of mouth afro-grime-acid-pop banger finally sees light of day thanks to Ransom Note, and you can listen to it here first.
Azonto's been bubbling under in cult dance music circles for a couple of years now. The genre came out of Ghana, at the start of the 2010s. Famed for absurdist/surreal dance moves that mimicked everyday activities like ironing, driving, washing up. Azonto tracks are usually pieced together in makeshift studios, shared by word of mouth, on smartphones, or circulated as backing music in YouTube video dance tutorials and displays.
Azonto first went massive in Ghana. A report at the time stated that ministers couldn't stop kids dancing in church. It was popularised and name checked by Fuse ODG and Wizkid, and spread through the diaspora. Togolese footballer Emmanuel Adebayor used to do a little Azonto jig when he scored a goal, and Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan even danced his way into the video for Castro's African Girls.
After almost crossing over Azonto kind of retreated back underground though. It found a sister though in the Uk Afrobeats scene. which took grime's energy and infused it with the rhythms of London's West African diaspora. It's been picking up steam recently, with J Hus getting a nomination for this year's Mercury Prize, and artists like Naira Marley and Belly Squad have been racking up massive underground successes.
Like many Azonto tunes, I Like Your Girlfriend, by Bryte and Gafacci, originally surfaced as the backing track in dance vids. It soon overshadowed the dance moves though, gaining cult status, and could be out to get massive in the UK, with Bok Bok, Mixpak and Gang Fatale all dropping the tune in sets.
I Like Your Girlfriend sounds primed for London clubs, like it could've been plucked from the streets of Peckham as easily as Accra with its hypnotically modulating beats, steely melody and absurd lyrics. An actual release has never surfaced for the tune though, till now, courtesy of Ransom Note and i-D contributor Ian McQuaid.
"After months of searching, several Western Union transfers, hundreds of WhatsApp messages and no lack of determination," they explain, "Ransom Note have finally managed to legitimately sign the track, and are all set to give a modern classic the 12" release it deserves -- making history with what is quite possibly the first Azonto track to be released on vinyl."
So there you go. Listen below to the track for the first time. If you buy the 12" you get a cappella and instrumental versions, and three remixes. All of which are bangers.