King Of Afrobeat
King Of Afrobeat
Genre:Afro Beat
Catalogue Number:5479232
Release Date:1999-11-29
Review:"I am trying to use my music as a weapon", Fela Anikulapo Kuti once said, " ... as far as Africa is concerned, music cannot be for enjoyment, it has to be for revolution." And his music breathes with the fervour of a revolutionary. Which of course, he was. He was a political radical; he was an activist who suffered imprisonment and torture for his fearless denunciations of corruption and human rights abuses; he was a spiritual leader; but above all he was a musician, and it is his music that remains his greatest achievement. Fela's Afrobeat is a potent combination of lyrical anger, hypnotic rhythms spiralling round and round for as much as 15 minutes or more, and frantic organ solos or sax breaks that swirl insidiously overhead. It's not jazz, it's not funk, it's something utterly unique. This splendidly packaged box set, which includes a booklet that manages to be both glossy and informative, takes a chronological look at his career over 30 years from 1969 to 1989, tracking the gradual mellowing of his style (not his politics) from early roof-raisers like "Alu jon jonki jon" to the more laid back but no less powerful "Beast Of No Nation (Part 2)". Fortunately, at least for Western audiences, Fela's music really can be heard for pure enjoyment as well as for its political impact. Actually, the end result is always the same: the message is in the music, the message is the music