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Fela’s son Seun Kuti took over his Egypt 80 combo on his death in 1997 and apparently this is the third of a trilogy of albums from them. I however have missed the first two so I’m reviewing it as if it’s a stand-alone thing. The first thing that’s striking me is how punchy this is, it’s still got a lot of Afrobeat aspects bubbling around, the clever little spidery guitar lines and the joyous brass, but the bass guitar is mixed high and boomy and the drums have a rocky abandon to their clever rhythms.
Opener ‘IMF’ has a repeated ‘International Motherfucker’ refrain and some rapping from Dead Prez’s A1 and it’s obvious that Seun isn’t just rehashing his father’s classic work but adding some flavours of his own to the mix. These songs are lean and comparatively brief, with seven on a single LP, and are delivered with an almost punkish aggression and attack. It’s an infectious formula and he’s more than capably backed by his 14-piece troupe in a whirlwind of Afrobeat/jazz/rock fusion that won’t let you sit still for a minute. Bold stuff.
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- A Long Way To The Beginning by Seun Kuti + Egypt 80
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