Saturday, July 31, 2010

Seun Kuti + Fela's Egypt 80

by Seun Kuti and Fela's Egypt 80

As I've been listening to more and more African music, I've come to an understanding of how central Fela Kuti is to it all.  This isn't a surprise of course, as he has always been the only artist from the region I could name before the last year, but I did not know that his son is also a well-known musician and band-leader.

Seun Kuti's album is great.  It came out two years ago, and has seven tracks, clocking in at a total of fifty-three minutes.  Many of the musicians that make up 'Fela's Egypt 80' worked with Fela originally, some dating back to the earliest days of Afrobeat.

The album is politically charged, with songs like 'African Problems', 'Don't Give That Shit to Me', and 'Many Things', the album opener, discuss the issues faced by African nations today, albeit in a pidgin or creole that is sometimes hard to understand (but it's not like I'm the intended audience).

Most importantly, Seun carries forward the tradition of large, rich, big band sounds as a conduit for his message, making it danceable as well as edifying.  Great stuff.

No comments: