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Fela Kuti 'Sorrow Tears & Blood' [Limited Edition 12"]

Watch a video preview of an upcoming limited edition vinyl reissue of afrobeat king Fela Kuti's "Sorrow Tears & Blood."


The afrobeat king Fela Kuti is getting a special reissue release of "Sorrow Tears & Blood" for Record Store Day. The limited edition vinyl will feature an extended version of Fela's impassioned sonic attack on police and army violence against political dissenters in Africa — as the original Sorrow Tears & Blood LP was among the first albums Fela released following the Nigerian army's destruction of his Kalakuta Republic commune in 1977. The 12" release will include the "title track restored to its original, complete running time, following the recent rediscovery of [a] six-minute instrumental section preceding the entrance of Fela's vocals," and the rare B-Side "Perambulator" which has been unavailable for decades.  Watch a cut-down visual stream of  "Sorrow Tears & Blood" below and look for the release out April 20 via Knitting Factory Records. For more from Fela check out the recent The Best of the Black President 2 compilation.

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(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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