Saturday, March 26, 2005
Fela Kuti-The Underground Spiritual Game Mixed By Chief Xcel
"Look and Laugh" MP3
Fela Kuti is one of my all time favorite artists. This pioneer of Afrobeat music also was a man with a message. His music was the medium he used to carry his political viewpoints. If you are not familiar with Fela Kuti I highly suggest taking some time and learning about his life. For a music class in college I wrote a thesis comparing Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, and Marvin Gaye by the messages in their music. Whether it be his 40 wives, getting arrested countless times for smoking marijuana in public, or performing in his underwear, Fela was a character. This new album released on Quannum features some of his finer moments mixed together by Chief Xcel. Since many of his songs were over 15 minutes long, Xcel takes segments from various songs and pieces them together.
"The Underground Spiritual Game is an unbroken set of Kuti's music taken from throughout his career, meticulously compiled and mixed by Chief Xcel. Xcel is one half of Blackalicious, a hip-hop act that have themselves begun realizing the full potential of discourse inherent in their genre, and Xcel hopes to continue making his way through Fela Kuti's enormous output. Though touted as a "remix" of Kuti's work, The Underground Spiritual Game leaves the original sounds relatively untouched. Instead, Chief Xcel seamlessly melds selections from 11 of Kuti's tracks, occasionally adding effects, and inserting spoken snippets of Fela speaking. It's put together in a manner that stands as a testament to Kuti's political views, but pays equal homage to his musical impact."