Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kuti Tuesdays: Fela Anikulapo Kuti & The Africa 70 - Confusion (1974)

This past week, I've been debating whether or not to blow my Fela load too quickly. After all, he has a great catalog of music to choose from. But as I've been trying to decide what was worth putting up this week, all I could really get the energy to do was my favorite. To prepare for Confusion, simply rewind the clocks one year from 1975 to 1974. Nigeria and Lagos are no better or worse, really, as the cover implies brutality and war are commonplace. As our previous spotlight highlighted, Kuti was a leader of the people tired of this state of life. His goals were grand, becoming president of the country chief among them. And to spread his propoganda, Kuti used a unique tool: music. With Confusion, Tony Allen and Kuti's keyboardist begin with a 4 minute flirtation, imitating a chugging train and fleeting emotions of excitement in alternate motions. Then, after a long silence, we are suddenly at our destination, Fela Kuti's grand Afrobeat party titled "Confusion". In a time of strife and struggle, when recorded music was a rarity, Kuti used his position to craft twenty-five minutes of straight up funky dance music. In a climate of economy where less than 30 minutes was all you got, Fela routinely made the most of it. As Fela's voice finally comes forward to emcee the party 14 minutes into the recording, it should already be certain this is oneof your favorite records, as well. Or at least the keyboard line that carries the track out for the final 3-4 minutes.

The keyboard played in the outro, as well as the rolling drums from the intro and outro, were sampled by Mike Love on the "I Know" remix, one of my favorites from Nigerian Gangster. And as an aside, last week's selections were sampled by Common and InI ("Water No Get Enemy") as well as Masters at Work ("Expensive Shit"). Just thought some people might like to know, and I don't think I mentioned it. I'm not sure Confusion has been sampled in any actual hip-hop tracks, but it ought to've been.



(Note: Most of Fela's LPs are not availabe in their original condition. Because Confusion is only available from commercial outlets combined with the Gentleman LP, I will probably cover that release next week. Like last week, this upload is of the LP in its original format, which I'll continue trying to provide.)


Moi said...

allllriiiiight baby!!!

Bushdoctor420 said...


Moi said...

I don't know Nodima if you're worried about blowing your load too quickly, I could recommend you Antibalas , I got into afrobeat with them and everybody I know tells me it's just a pale copy of the original.... I still like them :p

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