Saturday, May 9, 2009

Cyclic Defrost

Here's a cool zine out of Australia that reviewed our compilation, "Afrobeat Revival", released in March on the World Music Network label, as part of the "Rough Guides" series.

I recommend checking out the zine here. This review is dated May 1, 2009 and is from issue #22.

From the zine:

This collection demonstrates that Nigerian icon Fela Kuti’s legacy is alive and well, the music he developed, an intensely political mixture of funk, hi life and African percussion with these trance inducing elongated instrumental parts, and call and response vocals still resonates in these difficult political times. Kuti’s drummer Tony Allen starts proceedings with his cheeky Crazy Afrobeat, taking a jazz funk angle that owes as much to Kuti as Herbie Hancock, given further weight due to the sleazy little instructions he murmurs occasionally as if Afrobeat is a hot new dance the kids will love. Move over Lambada, do “the Afrobreat,” instructs Allen. It’s a classic. Antibalas have been a long standing representative of the New York Afrobeat scene and their music is deep and funky with thick low horns and urgent tinkering percussion. Their 10 minute plus Government Magic whilst overtly owing much to Fela is also one of the highlights of this collection. Canadians Mr Something Something team up with Nigerian Afrobeat poet Ikwunga with one of the cleverest and overtly political songs on the album, whilst Massachusetts instrumental band The Superpowers highlight the funk aspects of early 70’s Fela, and it’s pretty food for white-boys. Almost without exception every track on this compilation is gold, though that’s what you get when you’re influenced by a musical deity. So special mention should go to the son of god, Seun Kuti who’s album Many Things is the most inspiring music I’ve heard this year, an angry slab of urgent Afrobeat that feels as raw and vital as any of his fathers work. Think Africa from said album, with Fela’s legendary backing band Egypt 80 attempts to highlight some of the social inequalities Africa is currently and possibly has always experienced. It’s intelligent aggressive and will no doubt make you go out and track down the album. Whilst the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree for Seun, Afrobeat has evolved and moved in new and curious directions and these artists are at the forefront and it’s an exciting time. This collection also comes with a complete bonus cd by the New York based Kokolo who integrated latin, reggae, Brazilian and dub influences into their unique take on Afrobeat.

author of the review: Bob Baker Fish

contact the zine:

Thanks to the folks at the fine publication, Cylclic Defrost!

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