Tabansi Records Sampler

by BBE

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of Tabansi Records Sampler via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £9 GBP  or more




BBE Music proudly present a sampler of its major West African label series, Tabansi Gold, giving a taste of the sixty or so titles to be reissued over the next couple of years.

Taking advantage of the growing lack of interest by the major labels in ‘local’ music, Chief Tabansi set up his own imprint in 1952, pressing up records at UAC, and promoting them through villages in ‘music vans’. By the early 70s, he was one of the most successful record business operators in Nigeria. He’d set up Tabansi Records (later renamed Tabansi Music Publishers), in Onitsha, complete with its own studios and pressing plant, and by the 80s, with the help of his son Godwin, he was promoting and developing many of Nigeria’s young musicians and stars, including reggae superstar Majek Fashek, whose 1988 album Send Down The Rain remains one the biggest local-selling African LPs of all time; Felix ‘Lover Boy’ Liberty, whose Ifeoma became a pan-African sensation; and Stella Monye, whose three LPs (two of them on the Tabansi label) established her as an international soul vocalist.

This sampler takes in just a few of the label’s highlights: the best in 70s and 80s West African highlife, afrobeat, funk, soul, boogie, disco, guitar-band bangers, soukous, rumba and major previously-unissued Ebo Taylor afrobeat/highlife masterpiece, and more.

The selection on this sampler is deliberately mixed up. No artful ‘sequencing’, no cod-historical ‘contextualising’. We want you to hear hardcore village highlife and palmwine storytellers interspersed with psych-juju and boogie bangers; classic afrobeat followed by Nigerian soul ballads: we want you to get the picture, to get into the spirit of this beautiful eccentricity that’s Tabansi records!


released August 30, 2019

Tabansi Records, BBE Music


all rights reserved



BBE London, UK

Sometime after the Universal Robot Band and sometime before where we are now, a pair of DJ/promoter/whatevers, Pete Adarkwah and Ben Jolly, ran a successful club night named after our eponymous song, playing a joyful mix of all they considered good. 'Wouldn't it be fun,' they mused, 'To release some of these tunes?' And so BBE (Barely Breaking Even) was born. ... more

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