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Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, A Long Way to the Beginning (Knitting Factory Records)




Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, A Long Way to the Beginning (Knitting Factory Records)
CD Reviews: June 19, 2014

06/19/14
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, A Long Way to the Beginning (Knitting Factory Records)

Seun inherited the Egypt 80 band at age 14, after his father, Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, died of AIDS complications in 1997. Being that Seun had the very real choice to become an African soccer star, the rebirth — such as it is — of Afrobeat hung in the balance until Seun decided to press on with the genre’s most famous band. The new LP is, thankfully, next-generation in every respect, beginning with the digitally captured tightness of the band, machine-gunned horn blasts accompanying a newer, angrier frontman in Seun, who trots out rapper M-1 to bolster his anti-corporate message in album opener “IMF” (the first word in the acronym is “International;” you can guess the rest). Like his father, Seun is painfully aware his people are getting the shaft and little has changed, but he does continue to fight the same sort of brainless money-suckers who probably murdered his grandmother when Fela released Zombie in 1976. All cool, that, but, in keeping with the dichotomy, it’s still musically joyful (especially “Ohun Aiye” and “Kalakuta Boy”) (OK, I mean all of it). A — Eric W. Saeger





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