Looking to travel through modern Igbo highlife down a cave of rooted message with deft guitars and a masterful rhythm selection? Here’s The Cavemen with their debut album – ROOTS. The bands ‘Afrocentric influenced’ 16-track album conveys a refined feeling of rhythmic movement and balance popularly tagged as ‘Oyorima’ of Igbo culture.
The brothers and band founders Kingsley Okorie and Benjamin James stand as the present torch-bearers for Nigerian highlife music with the aim of bridging past, present and future generations through a distinct combination of Afrobeats, Soul, Jazz and lastly – Highlife.
With a large chunk of Igbo lyrics, our stand-off records from the tape are; the future-centric ‘Akaraka’ coated with reassuring lyrics down to the flash-tempo ‘Bolo-Bolo’, then there are the romantic songs – ‘Bena’, ‘Fall’, ‘Ifeoma Odoo’ and ‘Me You I’ to mention a few. The band appears to be budding lovers and romantics at their core, exemplified with several women serving as muses for their songs.
We can assert that traditional musical ancestors would be pleased with the beauty ROOTS carries with Nigerian culture in full display. A thorough exploration of peak highlife, there is something fresh in every track and as disclaimer, you may need an Igbo translator to get a full grip of this album.
Listen to ROOTS here: