TONY ALLEN
N. E. P. A. (Never Expect Power Always)
Home Cooking

[Wrasse Records, www.wrasserecords.com]

Along with Fela Kuti, Nigerian born percussionist Tony Allen was solely responsible for the pioneering musical movement known as Afrobeat. He played with Fela between mid 60's to late 70's, when he decided to leave the band and pursue other musical projects. His polyrhythmic sound is instantly recognizable, as one percussionist takes the role of as many as four. His 1985 LP "N. E. P. A. (Never Expect Power Always)" is finally seeing the light of day on CD. Envisioned as an outright critique of the Nigerian Electrical Power Authority, which supplied unreliable power to the city of Lagos, Allen saw this release as a perfect opportunity to vent his anger. Title track features a thick, electrifying percussive beat that is interspersed with vocals from Candido and Victor Addis, who relate the story of NEPA in all of its gory details. "N. E. P. A. Dance Dub" has a more tribal feel, as the percussion is mixed right up front. Remainder of the album features more of the same steady percussive madness that is interspersed with breaking horn sections that infiltrate the pieces at all the right moments. Tons of reverb and space-like effects make it into the mix and the whole is just a satisfying whirlwind of sounds. Not too clean and just messy enough, this is an essential release, no matter how badly forgotten it may have been.
Moving forward nearly two decades, we find ourselves accosted with "Home Cooking". This is where Tony Allen had to reinvent himself, while keeping his ideals and rhythm firmly in place. First thing I noticed about this record is just how little Afrobeat has progressed since Allen helped to invent it more than three decades ago. The same rock-steady rhythms are in place and his multi-rhythmic percussive beat still keeps a tight pulse on the proceedings at hand. While the choruses are rich, it's the guest vocalists that keep things interesting. Check out Eska as she screams some angelic vocals on "What's Your Fashion" or the seductive vocalization from Mary Lee and Norman on "Calling". These are the breakout tracks as we see a certain move away on Allen's part into a more pop oriented category, while retaining the same sense of urgent rhythm and a masterful percussive hand. "Crazy Afrobeat" sees Allen showing off his percussive madness. While this in itself is fine, I get a sense the master of the beat feels mightily comfortable playing the role of grandfather of a movement. Fine record all around, if only to reaffirm importance of Tony Allen on the scene.

-Tom Sekowski


<<< poprzednia recenzja następna recenzja >>>
 

RECENZJE

+ Unai - A Love Moderne
+ System 7 - Live Transmission
+ Syntaks - Awakes
+ Rozkrock - Budka suflera
+ Rhythm & Sound - See Mi Yah - Remixes
+ Ochre - Lemodie
+ Billy Nasty - Imperfection
+ The Condition Of Muzak
+ Mantagskino - Sherlockholmes
+ Matt Kowalsky - Nowy plan
+ Ewan Jansen - Blueline Summer
+ Grundik Kasyansky - Light and Roundchair
+ GHQ - Cosmology of Eye
+ Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things
+ Underground Resistance - Interstellar Fugatives 2 - Destruction Of Order
+ James Figurine - Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake
+ Eneidi / Kowald / Smith / Spirit - Ghetto Calypso
+ Steve Swell's Slammin' The Infinite - Remember Now
+ Digital Disco 3
+ Pablo Bolivar - Anjanas
+ William Parker - mały przewodnik na letnie lenistwo
+ No-Neck Blues Band - Letters from the Earth
+ Keiji Haino/Tatsuya Yoshida - New Rap
+ Masayuki Takayanagi - Action Direct: Live at Zojoji Hall 1985
+ Salamander - Bent Hemlock

- - - - - - - - -

+ JAMIE LIDELL - Multiply Additions
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Sound Affects:Africa
+ FE-MAIL - Blixter Toad
+ WILLIAM ORBIT - Hello Waveforms
+ TIZIANO TONONI & THE ORNETTIANS - Peace Warriors - Volume One
+ OMARA PORTUONDO - Sentimiento
+ PIERRE FAVRE / YANG JING - Two in One
+ TONY CONRAD - Bryant Park Moratorium Rally / Fantastic Glissando / TONY CONRAD WITH FAUST - Outside The Dream Syndicate Alive
>> TONY ALLEN - N.E.P.A. (Never Expect Power Always) / Home Cooking
+ BADAWI - Safe
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Jamaica to Toronto: Soul, Funk & Reggae 1967 - 1974
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Jazz from FINland 2005 / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Natural Jazz
+ THE GENTLEMAN LOSERS - The Gentleman Losers
+ LOREN CONNORS - Sails
+ FELA KUTI - Koola Lobitos / The '69 L.A. Sessions
+ PAUL METZGER - Three Improvisations on Modified Banjo
+ WILLIAM HOOKER / LEE RANALDO - The Celestial Answer
+ CHARLES GAYLE TRIO - Live at Glenn Miller Café
+ ROY NATHANSON - Sotto Voce
+ MESSER FUR FRAU MULLER - Triangle, Dot & Devil
+ MUJICIAN - There's no Going Back Now / HARRY MILLER'S ISIPINGO - Which Way Now
+ GIUSEPPE IELASI - Giuseppe Ielasi / ANDERS DAHL - Hundloka, Flockblomstriga 1
+ ALAN SPARHAWK - Solo Guitar
+ TBA EMPTY - Stupid Rotation
+ WANG CHANGCUN - The Mountain Swallowing Sadness
+ ALVARIUS B - Alvarius B
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Radio Algeria
+ THE NORTH SEA & RAMESES III - Night of the Ankou
+ LOVE GROCER - Across the Valley / DUB SPENCER & TRANCE HILL - Nitro / ROOT 70 - Heaps Dub / NUCLEUS ROOTS - Heart of Dub
+ SENOR COCONUT AND HIS ORCHESTRA - Yellow Fever!
+ LEAFCUTTER JOHN - The Forest and The Sea
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Galaxie 500 #Fairy
+ JONATHAN KANE - February / I Looked at the Sun
+ BOARDS OF CANADA - Trans Canada Highway
+ SIDESHOW - Scary Biscuits EP
+ DANIEL MENCHE - Concussions
+ GIORGIO GASLINI - Gaslini plays Sun Ra
+ BN LOCO - Echo En Mexico
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Musica de Futebol
+ TAYLOR DEUPREE - Northern

- - - - - - - - -

WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Walka ze słabościami - Riverside
+ Dźwiękowa budowla - rozmowa z perkusistą zespołu Hipgnosis - SsaweQ-iem
+ Rockowe katharsis - rozmowa z Piotrem Roguckim/Coma
+ Dreams Versus Reality - rozmowa z Heinrich Mueller/ Black Amnesia