Every day, I’m becoming more and more the person I decided I would be. There is no immutable, core me – at least, not on a long enough timeline. It’s freeing to realize this and to reflect upon it every once in a while.
They say that no matter what you’re writing about, you’re always revealing yourself. A moment on this blog tells you I keep my mind on the future, and I keep its aim true with a steady diet of sci-fi, art, music, and stories all filling in the aesthetics of the great beyond. It’s impossible to create anything without these influences pouring out. So it goes, with another mixtape: Until the End of the World.
Randomer’s Running Dry is a brand new EP from a label I’ve come to love over the past couple months, Dekmantel. Not only have they released a pair of the best progressive techno 12″s from Danish producer Central; they’re sending out some of the most innovative short-form music I’ve heard all year in the form of their new UFO series. This little release is the best so far.
I absolutely, unabashedly, and enthusiastically love this song. Electric Avenue is one of those infectious singles that can and will lodge itself in your brain for extended periods. When you come upon another person listening to the song, you instinctively smile and nod. You’re both on that same wavelength and for a moment, everything is as it should be.
Fela Kuti is a supernatural being. An extraterrestrial. A god. A politically charged, female-fueled rhythm machine. He basically invented what we know as afrobeat. He challenged the deadly authority of Nigeria’s oppressive government through song and action, and paid a price for it. He popularized and reinvented jazz in Africa, then brought the explosive results to the West. He was a visionary, a revolutionary, a womanizer, a pioneer, a king… a bad ass mother fucker.
Most of his music was released in single and 12″ form, and the majority of his tracks were 10+ minute floor pounding epics. Thus when being reissued, most of the originals were combined on CD, with it’s longer running time; which brings me to Expensive Shit + He Miss Road. The impossible nature of selecting a favorite Kuti track or album led me to sharing, as an introduction, the release which I simply have listened to most often. The tracks here are simply some of the most addictive numbers in his catalogue. Aside from the two title tracks, we have Water No Get Enemy, Monday Morning in Lagos, and It’s No Possible – all long form, mercilessly energetic pieces designed to kickstart brains and shake asses at the same time. Most Kuti songs follow a formula of intense rhythm buildup, chanted or sung culturally incisive lyrics, a beat explosion, and an extended hypnotic ending. The sound itself begs no description; it just is. Those who have listened know; those who have not are missing out on some fiercely energetic hip-shaking deep groove jams. The stories behind the songs’ genesis are often intriguing enough for a small book, Expensive Shit in particular, so be sure to read up on them. It not only aids in the enjoyment of the tracks (as if these masterpieces needed help to be enjoyed) but provides some insight into the man and his tumultuous life.
Just give this a try, especially if you’re completely new to it – in such a case, I promise no less than the most interesting thing you’ve heard all week/month/year. Open your ears and prepare for spastic motion, mental and physical. This is only the beginning.
[purchase the groundbeaking combo at cduniverse, wrasserecords, or the always-reliable amazon]