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The Lijadu Sisters – “Orere-Elejigbo”
The fourth album by the Lijadu Sisters, Horizon Unlimited, is now available on LP/CD thanks to Knitting Factory Records. Originally released in 1979, this was the Lijadu Sisters’ final album for Decca imprint Afrodisia. With a great blend of talking drums, electric bass and gorgeous harmonies, Horizon Unlimited is a remarkable disc. Biddy Wright’s excellent guitar and synthesizer work allows Kehinde and Taiwo’s rich voices to shine on this well produced record.
Horizon Unlimited starts with “Orere-Elejigbo,” a slow, infectious Afrobeat groove with a message about the trouble in the streets of urban Nigerian life brought on by the law. It urges the government to nurture the people rather than destroying them, their environment and their culture. Listen to “Orere-Elejigbo” above or at soundcloud. The hypnotic “Erora” follows and asks the industrial elite to take it easy, warning them to change their ways before they destroy the world. “Gbowo Mi” is a delicious piano romp dedicated to Oshun, the river goddess. “Gbalo-Alogbalo” is the phonetic spelling of words the twins’ mother heard as a youngster, on a record a Cameroonian friend played for her. The upbeat, sweetly repetitive “Come on Home” and the clavinet infused “Not Any Longer” funk ballads close the album. Danger, Mother Africa, Sunshine and Unlimited Horizon are essential recordings by one of Nigeria’s best groups. There is talk of the Lijadu sisters performing again, so let’s hope they return to the stage soon.