"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
New York Times JULY 1, 2011 - by Jon Pareles
SEUN KUTI - FROM AFRICA WITH FURY: RISE
Nigerian Afrobeat, the brusque politicised funk that reached Broadway in Fela!, survives in Fela Kuti's son Seun Anikulapo Kuti, who not only inherited his father's middle name but also has the allegiance of his band, Egypt 80. From Africa With Fury: Rise (Kalakuta Sunrise/Knitting Factory) takes up Fela's longtime grievances - against corruption, exploitation and marijuana bans - with revved-up tempos and current targets. As the Afrobeat funk cross-hatches its syncopations and sets brasses against saxophones, the production captures the antiphonal clarity without sacrificing brawn; Brian Eno, one of the producers, overdubbed a few British musicians, but they don't stick out. The last three tracks - Slave Masters, For Dem Eye and The Good Leaf - accelerate as they grow angrier and angrier.