An overlooked gem from the 80s years of Fela Kuti – and a set that has the Afro Funk genius working with strong studio help from Wally Badarou! The vibe's still as fierce and frenetic as Fela's classic material – each track takes up a full side of the record, with lots of hard rhythms, long instrumental solos, and righteous lyrics – but Badarou has a way of fleshing out the sound without making things sound clunky or commercial – using the some of the subtle elements of his own records, in ways that really bring out the darkness in the tunes! These effects are subtle, but powerful – and maybe work better with Fela than any other producer in the 80s. Titles include "Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense" and "Look & Laugh". CD is augmented by the bonus cut "Just Like That", a similar grooving number that runs for over 22 minutes! CD
The original take of "Army Arrangement" – one of the greatest 80s grooves from Fela Kuti – stretched out here over the course of the entire album! The notes list side one as being the "instrumental" and side two as the "vocal" – but in truth, the whole thing moves across the space of the album together – with the band building up into tremendous energy as they get started, then Fela coming in for some very powerful lyrics that take the Nigerian government to task for its very corrupt practices. And of course, the music is fantastic – sharp, funky, and filled with this intensity that never lets up! LP, Vinyl record album
Two beautiful albums from one of the most difficult periods of Fela's life. "Coffin For Head Of State (Part 1 & 2)" is a mournful dirge-like track (although not without a good deal of funk), written around the death of Fela's mother from an attack on his Kalakatua Republic. "Unknown Soldier (Part 1 & 2)" tells of that attack, and has a similar mournful quality, mirroring the sadness and trauma of the event. Both tracks are fantastic, and represent a maturity and emotionality that make this time one of the best musical moments of Fela's career! CD
A great batch of rare tracks from the legendary Fela Kuti – unreleased for many years after their recording – which was done in London in 1971, when EMI sent Fela to the UK for a special session at their Abbey Road studios! The set benefits from the great production values of that historic place – and the band grooves tightly in tracks that are a little bit shorter than usual, but which still burn with all the intensity of the later African recordings – almost a more focused approach that draws a bit more link between American funk before some of the freewheeling jams of the side-long Afro Funk tracks! Titles include "J'ehin J'ehin", "Egbe Mi O", "Who're You", "Buy Africa", and "Fight To Finish". LP, Vinyl record album
(50th Anniversary pressing on red, white and blue splatter vinyl!)
An impassioned attack on police and army violence in 70s Nigeria – and easily one of Fela Kuti's best-remembered albums of the time! The lead track – "Sorrow Tears & Blood" – is really tremendous – a wicked groove that begins with a very long electric piano solo, which sets things up with almost a melancholy vibe – which is then echoed by the alto sax – all instrumental elements that create their own sort of pain and anguish, which is then given focus by the angry lyrics of the tune! "Colonial Mentality" has an equally sinister vibe, and some especially strong saxophone work – really powerful, and with a very sharp edge – so that it really stands out from the rest of the group! LP, Vinyl record album
Seun Anikulapo Kuti returns with another strorming set of neo classic Afro Funk in the great tradition of his father – once again fronting the incredible Egypt 80 group! It's remarkable stuff that finds Seun – the youngest son of Fela – standing up as a visionary talent. He's not only living up to an immense legacy, but moving forward with it in ways that will absolutely stand the test of time. The insistent rhythms and intense energy of the Egypt 80 group – led by Lekan Animashaun – are Afrobeat perfection, with Seun's forthright vocals out front of it. But their approach here is anything but a retread of family glories. The songs are urgent and fierce, and there are subtle modern florishes in the production – thanks in part, no doubt, to co-producer Brian Eno. Titles include "African Soldier", "You Can R Un", "Rise", "Slave Masters", "For Dem E Ye", "The Good Leaf" and "Giant Of Africa". CD
(Punch through barcode.)
Joe Morris/Ken Vandermark/Hans Poppel —
Like Rays ... CD KnittingFactory, 1996. Used ...
Joe Morris on guitar, Ken Vandermark on clarinet and bass clarinet, and Hans Poppel on piano. CD
(Out of print.)
Fela & Africa 70 —
Afrodisiac ... LP KnittingFactory, Early 70s. Near Mint- ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
A stunner from Fela – a record that really leaps right into the groove right from the very first note – then never lets up at all! Igo Chiko provides some fantastic tenor sax solos on the tunes – and both Tunde Williams and Eddie Faychum serve up some killer trumpet – while the rest of the group moves at amazing speed, driven on by the legendary drums of Tony Allen! Fela handles a bit of keyboards, with a really cool, moody sound alongside the groove – and the whole thing was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, which might have been a surprising change from some of the more staid material in the halls of EMI. Titles include "Alu Jon Jonki Jon", "Jeu Ko Ku", and "Eko Ile". LP, Vinyl record album
A real classic from the great Fela Kuti – a seminal mid 70s record that not only shows his impeccable sense of rhythm, but also his sense of rage as well! The title track – "Expensive Sh_t" – is Fela's answer to the time that he got busted for dope, and was forced to take a dump for the cops in order to "produce the goods" (which he had cleverly hidden in his stomach). The track has a great choppy funk groove, and is filled with the kind of raw anger you can imagine that the subject matter would produce – rich emotion that not only comes out in the lyrics, but also the sharp instrumental solos! The other track on the album – "Water No Get Enemy" – is another fantastic one, with cool electric piano solos, great tenor work, and a slinkily vamping groove. LP, Vinyl record album
Fela & Africa 70 —
Open & Close ... LP KnittingFactory, 1971. New Copy (reissue)...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
An early classic from Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – the kind of early 70s record that helped both the leader and the group establish themselves as a global powerhouse of funk and soul! The set begins with the side-long "Open & Close" – a righteous tune that's driven onward by lots of tight drums from Tony Allen – young, focused, and completely amazing here – while Fela delivers all these madly leaping electric piano lines amidst the super-sharp horn section – all moving instrumentally for many minutes before the vocals come into play! Side two features two shorter tracks, but still nice and long in comparison to most funky groups – the wonderful "Swegbe & Pako" and "Gbagada Gbagada Gbogodo Gbogodo" – tunes that really send the record over the top! LP, Vinyl record album
Hasidic New Wave —
Kabalogy ... CD KnittingFactory, 1999. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
With Frank London on trumpet, Greg Wall on sax, David Fiuczynski on guitar, Fima Ephron on bass, and Aaron Alexander on drums. CD
One of the best soul collaborations ever! Fela and Roy Ayers team up for this whopping album that brings together the best sides of these monster soul talents of the 70s! In keeping with Fela's work, the tracks are long and Afro-tinged, with a complicated groove that grows over the length of the track. And in keeping with Roy's work, the album has a sweet soulful feel, with lots of nice jazzy touches, cool vibes, and great vocals by Roy. Two long tracks, both classics: "2000 Black" and "Africa, Center of the World". Long overdue! LP, Vinyl record album
One of Fela's greatest albums – and one of the few that got any sort of international circulation in the 70s! "Zombie" shows Fela at the height of his powers – grooving away in incredibly fast, incredibly tight Afro Funk lines, weaving guitar, sax, and keyboards together with a speed that still leaves us breathless. No wonder the track had a history of causing riots when it was played! "Mr Follow Follow" is a bit mellower, but even stronger on the message tip, and graced with a sublime snakey sax solo. LP, Vinyl record album
A richly expanded version of this key Fela album from the 80s – one that adds in a full extra bonus album's worth of material! The CD contains the full 30 minute version of "Army Arrangement", a great mid 80s tune that was one of Fela's strongest political tracks – an extended attack on the military-based "democracy" that led Nigeria during the 70s. Added to the track is the full version of "Government Chicken Boy", another 30 minute long number, one that attacks the complacent political establishment – to the tune of eerie keyboards and funky Afro rhythms! CD