News, reviews and commentary on afrobeat and related music from Africa, The Caribbean and The Americas

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tony Allen's "Lagos No Shaking"

By David McDavitt
Tony Allen returns with a much anticipated new project for his thirteenth release. Recorded live in Lagos, with a full-sized Afrobeat band, "Lagos No Shaking" (Lagos is OK), signifies Allen's return to roots Afrobeat after forays into avant-garde electronica hybrids. "Lagos No Shaking" is due to be released on June 13, 2006.

From the BBC:
"This set was recorded in Lagos, and manages to harness the rugged grit of that difficult city, whilst simultaneously presenting Allen's signature sound with a slick production sheen. Intense horn riffs, choppy guitar, call-and-response vocals: all of these elements are interwoven with Allen's detailed, cyclic beats, his taut tripping lending an elastic tension to the dancefloor.

The tunes tend to insinuate themselves after several airings. Young, soulful Yinka Davies powers abrasively through "Morose" and "Losun", two songs that boast almost annoyingly catchy choruses, then elderly groaner Fatai Rolling Dollar imparts a completely traditional juju feel to "Awa Na Re", prompting Allen to layer up some heavy hardcore percussion patterns."

From (with audio samples):
"Many people have attempted to reinvent Afrobeat - chief among them Fela's sons Femi and Seun - but Allen's take on the genre is streets ahead of either of them. Recorded in the Nigerian city over 10 hot, heavy nights, Lagos No Shaking presents a calmer, less manic Afrobeat, delicately balanced between laid-back insouciance and urgency, loose-limbed polyrhythms and ferocious grooves. Features 11 total tracks. Honest Jon's. 2006."

Yeah baby, insouciance!

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