Osibisa were a band introduced to me by my auntie (r.i.p.), and I got into their music immediately. In the last 15 years, finding decent quality editions of Osibisa albums on CD has been difficult since the CD’s were mastered from unknown sources, meaning it could have been a 5th generation tape for all we know. The first digital appearance of the first two albums happened in the mid-90’s, and the sound quality was okay but not anything too special. A few years ago the BGO label did a two-for-one reissue, but some say a few of the songs are obviously mastered from vinyl.
It seems the Repertoire label in Germany are to the rescue, with the help of mastering engineer Joachim Ehrig. If the name is familiar, Ehrig is known to some as Eroc from the German prog band Grobschnitt, and he also released a number of solo albums. Ehrig has been a mastering engineer for awhile and according to a post at the Steve Hoffman boards, the source of the masters were DATs that came in from England. I had been told that the actual master tapes were hard to come by, since founding member Teddy Osei has them and allegedly did not want to give them out unless he was properly compensated. Depending on the source of the DAT, it’s possible that Osei has had a change of mind. Fans have not been entirely pleased with the CD reissues, so having it properly done may move people to discover and rediscover these classic albums.
The CD booklet will feature slightly revised artwork from illustrator Roger Dean. The remasters of Osibisa and Woyaya will be released on December 19th.