ROB – Hellfire
Officially licensed vinyl LP reissue of often-discussed but never heard Afro-Disco album by Ghana’s ROB, one of Madlib and J Dilla’s favorite sample sources.
Tambourine Party Records of Canada has done the impossible – reissued the near-mythical apocalyptic Afro-Disco Hellfire album, by Ghana’s great funk musician ROB.
ROB is well known by collectors by his holy-grail albums of Ghanaian Afro-Funk, a self-titled album and a follow up, Make It Fast/Make It Slow. ROB’s third album, a prophetic pre-apocalypse disco message, Hellfire, was originally released as a promotional LP by Nigerian label Taretone. Though a seminal work by ROB, disco stylings had fallen from vogue on the Nigerian dance floors. With the local airwaves dominated by artists like Félix Lebarty, ROB’s promotional release was shelved, and never got to see a full-scale commercial issue. Ultimately the master tapes were lost by Taretone and the album was doomed to obscurity for decades until its recent rediscovery by Tambourine Party Records.
Hellfire is both a disco burner and a frantic warning about the impending end of the world. From the downtempo title track “Hellfire” to the floor-filling “Glory be to Jesus”, ROB will be sure to get his message across. Once the needle is dropped it is hard to deny that even if the world is coming to an end, you can die happy listening to ROB’s insane album.