Seun Anikulapo Kuti & Egypt 80
Son of Fela. Brother of Femi. Seun Kuti is the latest successor to the afrobeat crown. When his father died in 1997, Seun, then just 14, became the lead singer of his band, Egypt 80. He spent the next few years honing his skills before, in 2008, releasing his debut album Many Things to critical acclaim. Now comes the Difficult Second Album in the form of From Africa With Fury: Rise.
Seun has joined up with super producer Brian Eno on this album and the production is largely similar to the debut LP. It is an intense ride through long building, chugging rhythms and melodies. There are some heavyweight brass sections and plenty for the dancers to grind their hips to.
These eight new tracks find Kuti continuing his father’s legacy in attacking and highlighting many of the problems with Nigeria and Africa in general; in particular longstanding dictators on African Soldier and multinational oil and diamond companies on the epic title track Rise.
Not only does From Africa With Fury: Rise illustrate Kuti’s ever growing confidence, it also shows that his father’s spirit is very much within him. This is especially true in his live shows – with his gruff style and his wild, semi-naked antics on stage. Having experienced his gig last year in Brighton, I for one cannot wait to see these songs performed in front of me and a smiling, gyrating, sweaty crowd.
Review by 25ThC. Below are a couple of his snaps from the aforementioned gig in Brighton last year.