“Ire,” a track by The Don Isaac Ezekiel Combination, appears on Strut’s Nigeria 70: Sweet Times Afro-Funk Highlife & Juju From 1970s Lagos compilation, the third in a series of ‘rare grooves’ from Nigeria’s label archives. From the liner notes:
Often going by the unlikely acronym of ‘D.I.E’, this trio constructed their confusing moniker from each member’s surname. Don Kemoah, Isaac Olasugba and Ezekiel Hart were all graduates of Koola Lobitas, the infamous highlife/jazz fusion outfit founded in the late 1950s in London by Fela Kuti. By the time he had hit upon the formula for Afrobeat, D.I.E. had released the first of three Nigerian singles during the early 1970s before emigrating to Italy. ‘Ire’ is a highlife-inspired track with a juju feel and the title means ‘blessing’ in Yoruba. The lyrics concern friendship and the need to do good: “We shouldn’t fight or we’ll end up in prison.”
Sweet Times is out next Tuesday. Don’t fight the groove or you’ll end up in prison.