sat 26/05/2018

Nigeria

Reissue CDs Weekly: African Scream Contest 2

African Scream Contest 2 opens with a burst of distorted guitar suggesting a parallel-world response to The Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today”. Then, the song beds in and a James Brown groove plays off against spindly lead-guitar lines also...

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CD: Seun Kuti - Black Times

Is it fair to say that Seun Kuti’s fourth album is just more of the same? I believe it is, because more of the same is more or less the point with protest music, particularly if what you’re protesting hasn’t gone away. You have no choice but to keep...

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Expensive Shit, Soho Theatre, review - 'strong but slender'

It’s hot. Real hot. And you’re dancing, just lost in music. You’re at the legendary Shrine nightclub in Lagos, where Afrobeat star Fela Kuti is king. It’s 1994. And it’s hot. Sweat is just pouring off you, no longer in little trickles but soaking...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Wake Up You!

It begins with “Never Never Let Me Down” by Formulars Dance Band. “You’re the only good thing I’ve got,” declares the singer of a garage-band answer to The Impressions over a rough-and-ready backing where a shuffling mid-tempo groove is driven along...

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Captain America: Civil War

This rousing instalment from the Marvel universe shares self-evident similarities with Batman vs Superman, the latest effort from their DC rivals. In both films we see superheroes at loggerheads, and in each case it's because they find themselves in...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Fela Ransome-Kuti and His Koola Lobitos

Is greatness there from day one, does it evolve or suddenly strike? Do artists – in any discipline – develop in steps or arrive fully-formed? How does the quotidian become exceptional? With the new triple-CD set Highlife-Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-...

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Tony Allen and Jimi Tenor, Café OTO

Questions of what is authentic and what is retro get more complicated the more the information economy matures. Music from decades past that only tens or hundreds of people heard at the time it was made becomes readily available, gets sampled by new...

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Mouthful, Trafalgar Studios

Metta Theatre’s didactic "short plays" evening takes a rigorously Poppins approach: a spoonful of drama to help the medicine go down. The sobering facts – “We need to produce more food globally by 2050 than we have done in the whole of human...

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10 Questions for Eno Williams of Ibibio Sound Machine

Eno Williams is lead singer and composer of the band Ibibio Sound Machine, an eclectic fusion in which contemporary dance and synth are laid over classic Nigerian highlife rhythm and vocals. The full line-up consists of eight musicians working with...

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Half of a Yellow Sun

It’s the bad books, it has been famously said, that make the good films. As for the good ones, they have to take their chances. There is so much more to lose, so many nuances of tone and subtleties of texture to be sacrificed. Chimamanda Ngozi...

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10 Questions for musician Burnt Friedman - with video exclusive

Bernd “Burnt” Friedman is one of the most relentlessly questing of experimental musicians. In over 30 years of making music and 25 years of releasing it, he has specialised in researching ancient, hypermodern and as-yet-undiscovered methods of...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: William Onyeabor, Tears For Fears

 William Onyeabor: World Psychedelic Classics 5 – Who is William Onyeabor?A primitive drum machine rattles out a Latin rhythm. Keyboards begin. The gaps between the repetitive spirals of notes are plugged by blobs of fat synth. A disembodied...

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