Friday, January 24, 2014

Fela Kuti : Roforofo Fight (Soul Motion Dj Edit)

It's true that Fela's early-'70s records tend to blur together with their similar groupings of four lengthy Afro-funk-jazz cuts. In their defense, it must be said that while few artists can pull off similar approaches time after time and continue to make it sound fresh, Fela is one of them. Each of the four songs on the 1972 album Roforofo Fight clocks in at 12 to 17 minutes, and there's a slight slide toward more 1970s-sounding rhythms in the happy-feet beats of the title track and the varied yet rock-solid drums in "Go Slow." There's just a hint of reggae in "Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am," in the pace, vocal delivery, ethereal keyboards, and lilting yet dramatic minor melodic lines. The James Brown influence is strongly heard in the lean, nervous guitar strums of "Question Jam Answer," and the horns cook in a way that they might have had Brown been more inclined to let his bands go into improvisational jams. The 2001 MCA CD reissue of the album, retitled Roforofo Fight/The Fela Singles, adds two previously unreleased bonus tracks from the same era, "Shenshema" and "Ariya."