Etuk Ubong - Africa Today

 (Direct-To-Disc Sessions)


Night Dreamer



Product No.:
ANDR 002
UPC: 745125277981
EAN: 745125277981
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D2D Vinyl Record


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Recorded Direct-To -Disc for LP!

Hailed by none other than Seun Kuti as "one of the best things to come out of Lagos," Nigerian trumpeter, composer and bandleader Etuk Ubong has developed an original style he calls "Earth Music."

Weaving together a unique combination of not only afrobeat, highlife and jazz, but also the ritualistic drumming of Ekombi, the result is urgent and highly energetic, yet spiritual; his compositions reflecting his heritage and life philosophy of goodwill, peace and love for humanity. Ubong's music is so vibrant and propulsive that one can easily make comparisons with leading lights of the UK scene, such as the Shabaka Hutchings-led Sons of Kemet, but at the same time it is distinctly Nigerian.

Ubong was invited by Night Dreamer to record at Haarlem's Artone Studio, home to an enviable collection of vintage mastering and recording equipment and situated right above a pressing plant. He assembled an international ensemble of the highest calibre to record his compositions direct-to-disc, avoiding the interference created by widely adopted recording techniques and capturing his enigmatic live performance in its most natural and explosive form. Ubong is joined by another Lagos-based musician, Michael Awosogo, also on trumpet, and a hand-picked group of UK and Netherlands-based musicians who finally after an impromptu show the night before, recorded the whole album in just one sitting on the last day of the five-day session.

Much of the music is incredibly fast-paced, and politically charged, particularly on titles such as "African Struggle" and "Mass Corruption," with Ubong featuring on both trumpet and lead vocal, leading a five-piece brass section over the percussion-heavy rhythm section and soulful keys supplied by Vels Trio's Jack Stephenson-Oliver. Etuk uses music to address not only injustice but also humanity and spirituality, most notably on "Spiritual Change," a deep cut on which Etuk reflects on Africans need for internal change before they can address the problems around them, stands out among the rest of the album.

Night Dreamer has captured Etuk Ubong, live-and-uncut, at a pivotal point: a highly accomplished musician who has absorbed his home's musical heritage, created his own sound and already made an impact not only in Lagos but also within the exciting U.K. and South African jazz scenes. An essential record that transcends the labels of jazz or afrobeat. Let's call it earth music.

Released June 19, 2020

All songs written and produced by Etuk Ubong

Recorded live and cut direct-to-disc on June 13-June 14, 2019 at Artone Studio, Haarlem, The Netherlands.

Trumpet & Vocals: Etuk Ubong
Drums: Robin van Rhijn
Keys: Jack Stephens Oliver
Bass: Benson Itoe
Percussion: Mamour Seek
Percussion: Dra Diarra
Trumpet: Michael Awosogo
Trombone: Alba Pujals
Tenor Saxophone : Giovanni Cigui
Baritone Saxophone: Nicolò Ricci
Vocals: Bahghi Yemane




Side A
1. Ekpo Mmommom
2. African Struggle
3. Africa Today

Side B
1. Mass Corruption
2. Spiritual Change
3. Purpose of Creation

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