The Quietus, an online magazine covering music, film, books, art, TV and popular/unpopular culture, talks about the 2015 London Felabration along with the reissue of six of the finest Fela Kuti albums.
“Fela Anikulapo Kuti would have been 77 on Thursday (October 15) and in addition to the album reissues, a celebratory tribute concert is set to take place in London on Friday (October 16), at the British Library. The lineup features former Egypt ‘80 keyboard player Dele Sosimi and his 16-piece Afrobeat Orchestra, plus long-time Fela drummer Tony Allen who was a member of Fela’s early highlife-jazz group Koola Lobitos and Africa ‘70 throughout the late 1960s and 70s. Over the evening they will be joined onstage by a huge guest list of artists inspired by Fela’s work, including 2face Idibia, Laura Mvula, Shingai Shoniwa, Afrikan Boy, Terri Walker and many more.
Dele Sosimi said: “To celebrate Fela is more than an honour – it’s my duty. Fela is the reason Afrobeat music is what it is, and he is the reason Afrobeat music is in my DNA, coursing through the essence of my being and coming out in the various formats in which I perform, to a devout worldwide audience of Afrobeat enthusiasts who will take advantage of every opportunity to savour and appreciate, and gyrate to, this unique genre. The legacy of Fela will live on and pass on from us onto the next generation ad infinitum! Long live Fela! Long live Afrobeat!”
The latest batch of records from the Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer to be repressed includes five key albums from Fela’s prolific mid-70’s period with his Africa ’70 group: Roforofo Fight (1972), Alagbon Close (1974), Everything Scatter (1975), Na Poi (1976) and Fear Not For Man (1977); along with 1989’s Beasts Of No Nation with the Egypt ’80 line-up. All records appear housed in artist Lemi Ghariokwu’s iconic sleeves and come with a download and liner notes by Afrobeat historian Chris May. The records showcase a key period in Fela’s development of Afrobeat as a form of music and the political philosophy of the lyrics and were originally released on Nigerian labels. The albums will be available on vinyl from this Friday (October 16).”
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