Afro-Beat (AKA Why Can't I Stop Shaving My Ass?!?!)

Sigur Ros is the greatest living band. Discuss.

Afro-Beat (AKA Why Can't I Stop Shaving My Ass?!?!)

Postby Brocktune on Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:01 am

so im talking via pm to the zone's own Keepcoolbutcare about the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti, when he proverbially slapped me upside my proverbial forehead, with an idea that was just crazy enough to work. "How about an afro-beat thread" he said. well, that isnt just a bitchin idea, but one that i am more than happy to oblige.

ok, so, who here likes, nay loves them some afro-beat?

i've recently been getting way into Fela's music. moved to something beyond dance, i had to reflect upon it in one of my messages to KC. here is what i had to say:

Brocktune wrote:he draws a lot of comparisons to bob marley, but id rather listen to fela any day of the week. nothing against bob, but his music doesnt make me want to get up and do anything about the bad shit he sings about. when i listen to fela, i dont know what it is, but there is something so subversively militant about his music. you can feel it. like it isnt all angry on the outside, and he doesnt beat you over the head with the annoying repetition of some revolutionary statement (read: RATM), but its like he doesnt have to. you can just feel the injustice that he and his people have suffered in the music, and in his voice. it is one of the strangest intangible qualities that i have ever come across in a musician. it is amazing that something like that can be so strong, when it is mostly so unspoken, you know what i mean? its just this weird paradox where you have this music that is so good and groovy, and it makes you feel so good, and it makes you want to get up, and yet it is born out of such misery. the only thing even close to it was this performance by Louis Armstrong that i saw one time. its a long story, so i'll probably save it for another time, but i had never seen or felt so much pain through one man's smile. it was really moving stuff.


so yeah, indeed, it would be an understatement to say that i enjoy his music.

so for the curious, the records that i happen to like the best right now, go like this:

"Zombie" - the title track alone is worth the price of admission. the first time i heard it, i was in love. so powerful, and yet so goddamned funky. everytime i hear him assert:
"fall in
fall out
fall down
get ready
HA
"
i want to fucking scream

and when he growls:
"OR-DAH!"
my heart melts.

i really cant explain it any better than i have. i cant guarantee it will do the same thing to you, but i sure as hell hope that it does.
the rest of the tracks (all 3 of them) are no slouches themselves. a little more down tempo, but if you are like me, and you love a good solid groove, you cant go wrong. and you double cant go wrong with a studly spliff 'twixt your lips, either.

"Shuffering and Shmiling" - this one is a bit of a doozy. and that dont come lightly for a guy who is notorious for 10 and 15 minute tracks. but at only one track, and close to half an hour, "Shuffering and Shmiling" is not only one of his longest songs, but one of my favorite records. considering the subject material, you would be surprised to find such an ideologically heavy handed song feel so light and groovy. but when im in the car, and i roll the window down, and i feel the soft breeze blow in that tells me spring is coming, accompanying the tight jams that are issuing forth from my speakers.....
i dont know, it just feels.... right. like its so good. like you know how some music is just so amazing that it seems like it couldnt have been created by something as flawed as a human. like the music exists, and always has, autonomously. like the music is as natural a sound, as the wind through the trees, and the water splashing upon the rocks. as if it existed before us, and will continue to afterwards. well, thats how this fucking record sounds to me. it sounds like eternal spring. it sounds like freedom.

"Open & Close" - this is about as metaphorical, and as spiritual, and political, as a song about dancing can be. if you know fela, then you pretty much know how an album is going to break down. but in his case, that is a good thing. never have i heard someone turn oppression into such a life affirming sound. never has struggle and turmoil sounded so warm and inviting. just an amazingly good, solid record.

now, i understand that just because Fela is the King of the Afro-beat, does not mean that there were no other contributers to the genre. hence, this thread. in addition to my need to express my profound love for Fela Kuti, i would love to hear about other artists that fill a similar need. there is a vast amount of knowledge possessed by many a zoner. if you just so happen to have any regarding the afro-beat, lay it on us right here in this thread.

BTW, over in my Music Journal Blag! i am keeping a running list of the records that i have listened to, Fela's included. just in case you are keen to check things out.
heh, like you didnt know.
Last edited by Brocktune on Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image
User avatar
Brocktune
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 6490
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:32 pm
Location: Pico & Sepulveda

Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:08 am

Thanks, eh paisan, for turning the Dino onna to a this putz. Who would ever have a thought that a the Africans, they can a make a the music, eh?
User avatar
DinoDeLaurentiis
SHE'S A THE SARAH SILVERMAN
 
Posts: 11284
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:15 pm
Location: Private Villa inna Santorini

Postby Peven on Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:11 am

does the fact that i really dig listening to the "Tsotsi" soundtrack qualify me for appreciating the "afro beat" as you put it?
Image

perversely contrarian since 2005
Peven
Is This Real Life?
 
Posts: 14425
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:45 am
Location: Group W bench

Postby WinslowLeach on Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:15 am

I'm up for some Afro-Beat in my music collection. Lets groooove!

Mekka lekka hi, mekka hiney ho!
User avatar
WinslowLeach
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 4079
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:39 pm
Location: The Deuce

Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:48 am

Gawd bless you, Brocktune


Zombie is a frakking masterpiece, like many of Kuti's tunes.

My claim to shame is that I sampled it on a house tune I collaborated on a few years ago. My own favourite of his is probably Sorrow, Tears and Blood - but the guy's discography is pretty huge, so I change my mind from time to time. Since we're on The Zone, it's also worth mentioning that he wrote a song called "Gentleman" :lol:

What I really like about him is that he writes a lot of protest songs, but where a lot of protest songs can sound deliberately tortured and a bit too "worthy", Fela always managed to play stuff which you could dance to - it was funky music, first and foremost. Zombie in particular has the most mindblowing story attached to it. Its anti-military message struck such a chord with ordinary West Africans that at one of the first public performances of the song people actually rioted. It takes a special person to be able to inspire that kind of emotion with music alone.

I also know that he honed his talents at Trinity Music College, just off Oxford St. I used to walk past that place almost every day - they do free concerts in the autumn time, worth a look sometime.

His son Femi Kuti still makes music - he's not bad at all, either.
Image
User avatar
ThisIsTheGirl
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 5689
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:42 am
Location: London, England

Postby WinslowLeach on Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:11 am

Downloading Zombie and Africa.....NOW! Er, uh... using a the iTunes or a some other legally approved a music delivery system, eh?

[EDIT: You goddamn putz!]
User avatar
WinslowLeach
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 4079
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:39 pm
Location: The Deuce

Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:20 pm

let's put it like this...

a trip to America in the late 60's got Fela into politics, drugs, and James Brown.

but he was so outrageously talented, such an innovator, that his music went and influenced the sounds Brown would go on to make in the 1970's.

and as Titgirl said, his life story is perhaps even greater than his music.
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
User avatar
Keepcoolbutcare
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 9407
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 4:14 am
Location: Blacktionville

Postby Brocktune on Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:03 pm

Peven wrote:does the fact that i really dig listening to the "Tsotsi" soundtrack qualify me for appreciating the "afro beat" as you put it?


let me download the Tsotsi soundtrack, and i'll get back to you on that one.
Image
User avatar
Brocktune
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 6490
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:32 pm
Location: Pico & Sepulveda

Postby WinslowLeach on Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:26 pm

WinslowLeach wrote:Downloading Zombie and Africa.....NOW! Er, uh... using a the iTunes or a some other legally approved a music delivery system, eh?

[EDIT: You goddamn putz!]


ROTFL! Im def not an itunes guy. I go underground always. :)
User avatar
WinslowLeach
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 4079
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:39 pm
Location: The Deuce

Postby TonyWilson on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:32 pm

Dude, awesome.
Been listening to his stuff all day thanks to this thread. Got Expensive Shit playing right now, it's got a stone groove man. Fucking badass.

You should check out Arthur Russell you'd like his stuff.
Elitism is positing that your taste is equivalent to quality, you hate "Hamlet" does it make it "bad"? If you think so, you're one elite motherfucker.
User avatar
TonyWilson
No Less Liquid Than His Shadow
 
Posts: 9155
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:45 am
Location: A Drained Swimming Pool

Postby Brocktune on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:39 pm

tony, i thank you.

i will definitely be checking him out!
Image
User avatar
Brocktune
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 6490
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:32 pm
Location: Pico & Sepulveda

Postby WinslowLeach on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:46 pm

I'm gonna check out that Arthur Russell guy too. So much music out there to find out about.
User avatar
WinslowLeach
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 4079
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:39 pm
Location: The Deuce

Postby magicmonkey on Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:13 am

Big up to this thread. Fela is the flyest motha funkin pimp! Cheers Brock.
magicmonkey
I AM fucking Zen
 
Posts: 6031
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:26 am
Location: Shanghizzo


Return to Music

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 2 guests