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Boomkat Product Review:
Half-century celebration of Fela & The Africa 70’s Afrobeat chop-ups packing politics for the party, newly bolstered with swingeing Ezra Collective remixes
The mellifluous, swaggering, horny originals showcase Fela variously reflecting on the detriment of European social habits to African culture, and warning against braggadocio, set to deadly cool grooves by an Africa ’70 unit propelled by Tony Allen and sporting Fela centre stage on tenor and alto sax. The version to ‘Lady’ is much shorter than the 13 min original, but still packs all the below-the-waist hustle and verve in its truncated length, while the naggingly uptempo ’Shakara (Oloje)’ is included in full glory with Allen’s needlepoint percussion keeping it toe-tip.
Ezra Collective follow works with JME and Jorja Smith with faithfully loose but tight instrumental remixes holding it down between a more Latinate take on ‘Lady’ and a broken beats/deep house-adjacent spin on ’Shakara’ underpinned by pendulous bass and harnessed to mix of live and programmed drums.