Skip to main content

Manu Dibango's Africadelic


If you like Fela Kuti, then stop what you're doing and get the album Africadelic, by Manu Dibango. And then...strap yourself in for some mind-blowing 70s Afrobeat/Afrofunk.

Just when I thought no artist could ever rival Fela, I stumble up on this classic album from 1973. If you're used to Fela, you'll find Dibango's stuff has a bit more of a studio quality about it and definitely sounds more Funk than Jazz.

Fela's songs routinely extend into the 10, 20, 30 minute range, taking those typical, Jazz-like diversions and sometimes feeling much more like recorded jam sessions than songs. Dibango's Africadelic, however, is composed of 3 and 4 minute tracks. The songs rely heavily on the horn section, the Disco-like "waka-waka" guitar riffs, and heavy drum-rythms to create a sound that comes straight out of a campy, 1970s action movie or Blacksploitation film. You can almost see two guys in bell-bottoms, elevator shoes, leather jackets, and afros, chasing some shaggy-haired crooks through the alley in a Dodge Charger.

I have to believe this guy was way ahead of his time. Maybe labeling it as Afrobeat is improperly pigeon-holing it? This seems to expand way beyond Afrobeat; action-packed and speedy, whereas Fela's stuff is mellow and slimy.

Either way, they're both great. And if you have any affinity for Fela, Funk, or Afrobeat, you simply have to check out Manu Dibango.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review #146: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Issue: May 9, 2016

Story: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Rating: $

Review: I feel like this is a somewhat tired technique, straight out of Creative Writing 101: write a story consisting of three or four different snapshots or snippets out of a character's life at different ages, sort of like a series of written photographs. Fun perhaps, but strikes me as a bit amateurish. However, I also think L'Heureux succeeds here by pushing it a bit further, playing with the character's tentative attempts at something close to faith -- in childish, adult, and mature adult ways -- and tying all three "Short Moments" together in a subtle and readily decipherable way.

L'Heureux's prose and his frank humor and his ability to glorify and find the meaning in the mundane events and thoughts of every day life, and thereby turn the life of an ordinary person into a drama with meaning and significance puts me in mind of John Irving. As well a…

Water Review: San Pellegrino 250ml Bottle

Damn you, tiny little bottle of San Pellegrino. So little. So cute. But what are you really good for other than to make me wish I had a full bottle of Pellegrino? 
Good as a palate cleanser after a nice double espresso, I will give it that. But little else. The suave yet chaotic burst of Pellegrino bubbliness is still there, but with each sip you feel the tragedy of being that much closer to the end of the bottle, that much faster.

This is a bottle of water made specifically for the frustrated, for the meticulous, for the measurers among us with a penchant for the dainty. This water does not love you in the wild, on a sunny porch or with the raucous laughter of friends. No...much the opposite. Whatever that may be.

Best drunk in tiny, tiny sips, while forcing oneself through an unreadable and depressing Russian novel one does not want to read but feels one should, on a cold, wet day in December that promises four months of gloom and depression...or in pairs or threes and poured over …

New Yorker Fiction Review #151: "The Bog Girl" by Karen Russell

From the June 20 issue...

My loyal readers (if there are still any, which I doubt) will know I'm usually not a fan of Magical Realism, which, as you may also know, is Karen Russell's stock in trade. That said, there's nothing I love more than having my antipathy for magical realism shattered by an awesome story like "The Bog Girl."

Briefly, an Irish teenager discovers the body of a young woman who as been buried in a bog for over 2,000 years and begins to date her. What more do you need, right? If I'd read that one-line description somewhere else, and wasn't on a mission to review every New Yorker short story, I doubt I'd have read "The Bog Girl." But maybe I should start doing a George Costanza and do the opposite of everything I think I should do.

Where Russell succeeds here is in two main areas: 1.) Making us really love Cillian, the teenager who falls in love with the bog girl, and 2.) pulling the unbelievable trick making the characters…