Some interesting new releases coming up in Spring 2012:
First and foremost, The Black President is back with his first official release in 20 years. Live in Detroit, recorded in 1986 with Egypt 80, will be released on 8 May by Knitting Factory Records (US) and Strut Records (rest of world). Track list:
Just like That (29.35)
Confusion Break Bone (40.54)
Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense (34.04)
Beasts of No Nation (38.49)
Rocketjuice and The Moon will be releasing their eponymous debut album on 26 March. This joint venture of Africa 70’s drummer/musical director Tony Allen, Damon Albarn of Blur fame and The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s bassist Flea contains 18 songs with guest appearances of major African music stars. Album will be available from Amazon, iTunes or your local music store.
Tristan from Down Under pointed out that The Cactus Channel will have a 45/digital single out on 23 May and The Bombay Royale’s new album will be out in April (Australia) and May (rest of world). The Cactus Channel is the Ozzie version of Jungle by Night and The Bombay Royale is an Afrobeat influenced Bollywood band.
Seun Kuti’s From Africa with Fury: Rise Remixes features remixes of 5 songs of the album. Available on iTunes and from record stores.
Last but not least, Jungle by Night, the best Afrobeat band in the Netherlands will be releasing their debut album Hidden on 18 April. Release party in Paradiso on the same date. Single Ethiopino is out on iTunes!
15 years after his death Fela Kuti finally hits the charts! Well, he’s number 22 in TimeOut’s 100 Songs that Changed History with his 1977 release “Zombie”.Everybody say “yeah yeah”!
See Africa Differently recently interviewed the cast of the incredible Fela! Musical, which will be touring the US starting on 13 September. Make sure to watch this inspirational video:
It’s finally here! Seun Kuti’s long-awaited second album. Rise: From Africa with Fury is a total beast of an album and the cover was designed by Lemi Ghariokwu. Get your copy from ITunes, Play.com (free shipping) or Amazon.co.uk. The North American release is scheduled for 21 June. Here’s the tracklist:
1. African Soldiers 2. You can Run 3. Mr Big Thief 4. Rise 5. Slave Masters 6. For Them Eye 7. The Good Leaf
Zozo Afrobeat is spreading the Afrobeat legacy in the New York area of the US. Lead by Kaleta, a musician who toured with both Fela Kuti and King Sunny Adé, this is Afrobeat from a multicultural band with a strong traditional African element. I urge you to check out this live from the studio video made by BreakThru Radio.
And the winner is...??? Chiwetel Ejiofor will be playing Fela in the biopic on the life of Fela Kuti. The movie will simply be called Fela. Ejiofor’s credits include 2012 and Children of Men. Ejiofor is learning to play the piano and saxophone for his role and is apparently getting “pretty good at it”!
Wax Poetics, a magazine covering all forms of black music, has dedicated an entire issue to African music with Fela on it’s cover. Available in stores or order your issue online.
Follow reporter Marco Werman of Music Without Borders to Lagos, Nigeria, in this short documentary on Afrobeat featuring Fela and Seun Kuti. Contains live footage from The Shrine! You can also listen to a breakdown of Afrobeat’s musical components in this audio file.
UK director Steven McQueen has signed to direct a biopic on the life of Fela Kuti. Filming will start this year in Nigeria and other locations. Steve McQueen won praise with his film Hunger about the IRA hungerstrikes. I will post more info as it becomes available.
Now available: Fela: Kalakuta Notes by West-African music expert John Collins. See the Books section for a review. Below the author is presented with a copy by Kofi Ayivor, former drummer of Afro-rock sensation Osibisa. Listen to interviews with the author by De Wandelende Tak (partly in Dutch) and Boeken.vpro.nl (in English).
Title: Fela: Kalakuta Notes Author: John Collins Publisher: KIT Publishers Price: 25 euro’s Pages: 159 Softcover, 8 by 12 inches Illustrated Published in: April 2009 ISBN 9789068327489