Dododo (Ekassa No. 1) – Sir Victor Uwaifo & His Melody Maestroes
It is the never changing repeated two notes throughout, which both constrain and liberate the piece, that fascinates and delights. As it builds to a crescendo, as though it might be heading somewhere, there they are again pulling it back. At the start of this sample I faded the other instruments for emphasis…
Victor Uwaifo was born in Benin City, in the Edo State of Nigeria in 1941. He studied graphics at college and, having played guitar since childhood, would sit in with Victor Olaiya‘s band at weekend in the early sixties. He developed a technique of seeing colours in sound and sound in colours. He used this technique to utilise the traditional patterns of Akwete cloth in his music. This Akwete sound was used to create his song Joromi in 1965 which became a hit across east African countries and eventually earned him the first African gold disc.
By 1968 he had outgrown the strict limitations of Akwete so he developed other forms which eventually evolved into Ekassa itself evolving from the traditional Benin Ekassa dance.
By the 1970’s with the growing influence of American soul and Jamaican reggae his music had once again evolved into what came to be marketed as Edo Funk.