Seun Kuti, Rising Son June 1, 2011
Femi Kuti can’t be happy. The moment that Fela finally transcends from pan-African icon to pan-global fixture feted by Will Smith and Beyonce and Clyde, his little brother Seun snakes their father’s Egypt ’80 band and asserts himself as one of the most prominent Afro-Beat musicians to emerge from the last decade. I believe this […]
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So says the Yoruba proverb that inspires “E Ma S’eka” by Bola Johnson & The Easy Life Top Beats. The phrase is a prayer for good luck — a votive aspiring for existence to be bountiful and yamtastic, an ideal that even Kanye couldn’t disapprove of. And indeed, Nigerian music at the dawn of the […]
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Hip-hop hiatus today. It’s all Afro-beat everything right now at Passion of the Weiss headquarters, where I’m celebrating the Ides of March a day early by listening to Pax Nicholas’ 1973 classic, Na Teef’s Know Road of Teef. After all, the themes are vaguely similar. Consider Na Teef, Nicholas’ act of rebellion against the Caesarean […]
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The trio. Folk musicians from Rwanda recorded Kigali in one afternoon. Continuing the tradition of Harry Smith’s local folk music anthologies, this is salvage culture; the instinct to preserve traditional music before it disappeared. Given the circumstances which name, name and name survived, there’s a good chance we would never have been able to hear […]
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Befitting my love of Walt Frazier fur coats and Quaalude jokes, my favorite installment of the Ethiopiques labyrinth might be episode 13, Ethiopian Groove: The Golden Seventies. Presumably, most hip-hop heads know the 27-volume (and counting) compilation for one of several reasons: the Mulatu Astatke music that Jim Jarmusch selected for Broken Flowers, Oh No’s […]
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With Strut’s tireless recent focus on Mulatu Astatke’s rich musical past, it was almost a relief earlier this year when the label unleashed a record of new material from the Ethio-jazz master. To be honest, the guy’s written music enough for two lifetimes – it would be easy for him to coast – but as […]
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Aaron Matthews doesn’t discriminate, he regulates every shade of that…. Tony Allen had a lot on his mind in 1979. Recorded shortly after his split with Fela Kuti, he recorded his first solo album with a crack band comprised of expatriate Africa ‘70 players. No Discrimination imagines an even more global reach for afrobeat– it […]
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Free Zombie September 13, 2010
In the hopes that a co-sign from Sean Carter and Willow Smith’s dad will suddenly stir your desire to cop a half-dozen coasters that you can illegally download via the magic of Google search, Knitting Factory Records has made an MP3 of “Zombie” available to you, discerning blog readers of the galaxy. I have yet […]
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Voodoo Music August 2, 2010
Tonight begins a two-week descent into deadline madness. Coupled with Sach’s National Lampoon vacation and Douglas’ ongoing move, content could grow a bit scarce in these parts. If my rambles become even more weird and disjointed, it’s because my bloodstream is 4.2 percent 5-hour energy drink, and I have cleaned out the last few remaining […]
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Thomas Odumade last lectured on the virtues of Lidget Green Position. This time he tackles the King–allapologies to Elvis, Michael Jackson, T.I., and Louis XIV. Both the band and the enlightened monarch. Despite a surge in interest in West African music over the last few years, little has been written about legendary Juju pioneer King […]
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