Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Afrobeat Revolution...Out Tuesday!!!
We welcome a new CD compilation, "Afrobeat Revolution", which will hit the streets worldwide on Tuesday, October 13th. London-based world music specialists Rough Guides (a subsidiary of World Music Network) will release it. This is the follow-up to "Afrobeat Revival", released earlier this year. Compiled by DJs Bongohead and Andujar, both located in Western Massachusetts, USA, these CDs survey the contemporary Afrobeat scene, including several of the Revival groups and Afrika 70 offshoots, as well as the artists pushing the attitude in new directions. All of this under the stylistic and spiritual influence of the Afrobeat creators, the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Master Drummer Tony Allen (who is featured on four tracks on these disks).
"Afrobeat Revival", released in the Spring on the Rough Guides imprint, documented the new wave of international Afrobeat, including former Fela associates Tony Allen, Dele Sosimi and Akoya's Kaleta, along with Fela's youngest son, Seun Kuti. In tribute to Fela, several other groups sprouted around the world. The likes of Antibalas, Chicago Afrobeat Project, Femm Nameless, Boston's Superpowers and Mr Something Something (featuring Ikwunga) each contribute a song. Another of these contemporary groups, Kokolo, contribute an entire bonus album! This double CD set has received positive reviews in several publications, such as Wire and Songlines.
"Without Tony Allen there would be no Afrobeat"-that was Fela Kuti's own view of the dance groove he gave to the world. Allen's superbly subtle funk provided the music's vital heartbeat, and a track by the great drummer opens this exploration of Fela's legacy. There are other Lagos connections via Fela's youngest son Seun Kuti, and London based Dele Sosimi, formerly of Fela's Egypt 80. But Afrobeat is in the ascendent in North America, and groups from Boston, Toronto, Chicago, and New York bring their own urban accents to this hypnotic, yet confrontational style. New slants rather than radical departures, but some, such as the Latino inflections of Brooklyn's horn-driven Antibalas, are really persuasive. And Afrobeat's political edgeis kept razor sharp by the clumsily named yet impressive Canadian sextet Mr Something Something And Ikwunga The Afrobeat Poet.
The above review by Julian Cowley, appeared in Wire
"Afrobeat Revolution" reports on the new Afrobeat soldiers and the multitude of directions the sound has developed. This one has artists from all over: Canada's Souljazz Orchestra and Afrodizz, North Carolina's Afromotive, Albino! from the west coast, as well as Fanga, Ruth Tafebe, house music producer Dennis Ferrer, Nigerian percussion master Lekan Babalola (remixed here by Mark de Clive-Lowe), free jazzer Ted Sirota and Afrobeat co-creator Tony Allen. Kaleta & Zozo Afrobeat offer us a bonus album, their crucial "Country of Guns".
Both of these disks are compiled by the Andujar & Bongohead team, with collaberative notes. The cover art on both disks feature the work of Ghariokwu Lemi (former Fela cover artist). These CDs are available worldwide through such outlets as Amazon, Dusty Groove, Target, Barnes & Noble, Newbury Comics, and more. Ask your local outlet to enlighten the masses by carrying these disks. You may also order these and other Rough Guides titles through World Music Network.
The groups on these albums deliver the Afrobeat rebel sound and message to us through this music of now. Consider the gifts and accept the knowledge.
Here's an alternate piece of writing by DJ Andujar for the "Afrobeat Revolution" intro.
A review of "Afrobeat Revival" by Australian magazine, Cyclic Defrost.
Here's a piece by Andujar with some insight on Master Drummer Tony Allen.