Work does not stop for Michael Gafatchi. One might have thought the music producer would take a break to promote his brilliantly executed album, TASH BNM released in July, 2019, like many within his field often do. It appears Gafacci, a pseudo outlier within the music sphere does his business differently. Promoting an album or not, work should not cease. In the true meaning of the Ghanaian phrase ”Time No Dey”, Gafacci’s modus operandi seems to be informed by it.
“Face The Wall“, a 5 track EP with a running time of 13 minutes, 50 seconds is an invitation into the sonic universe of the coastal people of Ga, the original natives of Accra. It is also the ethnic group that Gafacci belongs. For first time listeners, this EP would be an experience for them. And for fans of Gafacci, “Face The Wall” would be greeted with excitement for the simple reason that this pioneering figure in the whole azonto craze has returned to his roots, once again.
There are certain exciting elements about the EP that is distinctively Ghanaian, starting with the title of the EP: “Face The Wall”. The title is also the fancy name for Konkonte, a local Ghanaian dish made from cassava. The phrase is said to have come about because the food is said to be enjoyed while facing a wall.
With “Face The Wall”, the rhythmic fervour of the EP is a fusion of traditional Ga music enchantments and contemporary European house or dance music aesthetics. This fusion makes sense considering Gafacci’s desire to help propel the asokpor sound into Europe. His European gigs have made him aware of such truths.
From the first song “Trotro” to the closing track “Ibe Simple”, this blend is conspicuous on the EP. Adopting a minimal production approach, Gafacci crafted songs that bring exposure to the energy and pulsating rhythms of his culture without sounding excessive or extremely heavy on the ear. Instead, the potency of the beats seduces your inner dancing moves to the surface.
Except for the features and performances by Chiefbanku, Bryte, Jahkal and ace producer Guiltybeatz, “Face The Wall” EP sounds more like a beat tape. The features, however contributed to the strength of the EP. For instance, on the opening album “Trotro”, Chiefbanku’s “From Accra to Labadi/We dey ride for trotro” is the only line you’ll hear across the song. To make it more organic, Gafacci sticks a live recording of the chaos at lorry stations as effects.
Bryte, a working companion of Gafacci features on “Chale”. Bryte has had an amazing run stretching to almost two years thanks to his alluring asokpor brand of music. “Chale” sounds like the perfect song purposely made for an European audience. The beat breaks, the stirring buildup before the beat drops – which was too long in my view- is atypical to what the Diplos, Major Lazers of the world are known for. The closing track “Ibe Simple” sees Gafacci and Guiltybeatz bringing on board their different production perspective. The outcome: the most commercial track on the EP. That is, “Ibe Simple” is a radio formatted record.
With two EPs in less than a year, Gafacci is not only exhibiting his crazy work ethic but a glimpse into his wide range stretch of production skills as his two projects reflect. “Face The Wall” showcases the aggressive and euphoric Ghanaian sound while TASH BNM leaned towards a mellow, galactic sonic trip.
“Face The Wall” offers an unbridled sensation thanks to its surging energetic rhythms and soundscape that has you dancing at the drop of the beat. Like the golden glow of the artwork of the EP, the music on “Face The Wall” offers the listener a golden sensation.