11 comments

  1. A couple of great African musicians: Fela Kuti (one of my favorite artists) and Mulatu Astatke (recently gained some fame through the Broken Flowers soundtrack).

  2. Mulatu Astatke, eh? That music from Broken Flowers is absolutely amazing… It’s the best damn music I’ve heard in a movie in donkeys.

    Been looking into Rachid Taha recently — French Algerian. One of his tunes were featured very briefly in Black Hawk Down (the scene where the Delta guy gets picked up in the helicopter).

    Reckon I’ll keep an eye out for this Fela Kuti guy too. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Oh hang on — I listened to some of that Burkina Faso rap stuff. It sucked… It was just rap, done in a foreign language — they’re just trying to recreate the soulless, empty mass-produced shit that is turned out in the US. Except for the language, there’s nothing new there.

    Rachid Taha fuses the soundscapes of different cultures — he doesn’t try to imitate it.

  4. Fela is the king of afrobeat. Its a fusion of funk, jazz and traditional african music. When my friend burned his Fela library for me I was astounded that I had never heard of this guy. Truly some of the best music I have ever heard. part of his lack of success is due to his track lengths which can go on for 30 minutes. But I think anyone that knows anything about music, once they listen, they are hooked. Some of my faves are

    Shakara
    Unkown soldiers
    Expensive shit
    Gentlemen
    Lady
    Water get no enemy
    Unnecessary begging
    Follow follow
    Coffin for head of state
    Power Show

    That’ll get you started, theres a good bit more too. I truly feel like I missed out not knowing about his music for such a long time.

    Most of the above should be on itunes. Not sure about other music services.

    Sorry for gushing, but I truly love his music.

  5. you’re right, Dr Octagonecologyst (ps, kool kieth is the shit), Fela Kuti is THE king. If you’re into that, definitiely listen to Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra. They’re American, but they are also modeled after Fela’s band and play some smokin’ tunes. I like Talkatif, so check that out. Many, many more artists, but they are about as close to Kuti as it gets (aside from femi).

    http://www.last.fm/music/Antibalas+Afrobeat+Orchestra

  6. Definitely a fan of Antibalas too. I will check out Talkatif too, thanks.

  7. Don’t get me started:)

    Those who like the African music thing may want to check out http://seaneverdry.blogspot.com/, http://voodoofunk.blogspot.com/ (look down the ‘previous posts’ at the side for the ones flagged MP3 to find long mixes of extremely rare African vinyl) and http://www.bennloxo.com/ – all good mp3 blogs focusing on African music, much of it utterly unavailable outside of Africa and a substantial proportion rare even there.

    I also strongly, strongly recommend Network’s ‘Golden Afrique’ series (especially vol 1, which is the Goldest of the Gold and utterly unmissable) and their sublime ‘Desert Blues’ compilations (especially vol 2). You can get ’em through Amazon, Stern’s etc. The Golden Afrique stuff is mainly older stuff, never before released outside of Africa but seriously good dance music and THE soundtrack to the summer; Desert Blues is Western Saharan stuff (think Ali Farka Toure, Tinariwen, and the like).

    OK, OK, I’ll shut up before I get carried away…

  8. Okay, I found Zombie by Fela Kuti: Zombie, Monkey Banana and Everything Scatter — damn good stuff. Thanks for this. I’ll keep digging at this.

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