Red Hot Organisation are set to oversee the forthcoming Fela Kuti compilation 'RED HOT + FELA'.
More than a decade on from his death, the figure of Fela Kuti seems to loom larger than ever. The Nigerian musician fused funk, jazz and the music of his homeland to forge a new kind of politically aware protest music, one which directly challenged authorities.
A true force of nature, Fela Kuti recorded extensively and left behind him an enormous body of work. With his 75th birthday looming, Knitting Factory have stepped in to oversee a new re-issue campaign.
Alongside this, the label have assisted AIDs charity Red Hot in preparing a new compilation. 'RED HOT + FELA' contains a series of cover versions, with the likes of ?uestlove, tUnE-yArDs and Angélique Kidjo all taking part.
Set to be a very modern take on Fela Kuti's legacy, the project was produced by Anthony Demby and Paul Heck for the Red Hot Organisation. Paul Heck explains: "We didn't set out to make a 'nu sound of Africa' or a cheap, of the moment kind of album. We reached out to artists we loved, who were making deep and inspiring music. You can't mess around with Fela. There's too much poetry and spiritual force in the music. It's hard to explain the life-long love affair that happens when you get into Fela Kuti's music. It is eternal, you can't ever deny it - you just love it. 'RED HOT + FELA' is not a sequel to 'Red Hot + Riot' (2003). It's a continuation, a desire to want to hear more. We wanted to hear new music in this new moment; to hear these incredible artists approaching these incredible songs. The artists on 'RED HOT + FELA' got seriously down with Fela's music and spirit on this album. My co-producer, Anthony Demby, and I are incredibly thankful and feel lucky to be involved with the artists on this fierce and beautiful album."
Listen to tUnE-yArDs, Angelique Kidjo, Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson and Akua Naru blast through 'Lady' below.
'RED HOT + FELA' is set to be released on October 15th. Tracklisting:
1. Buy Africa - Baloji & L'Orchestre De La Katuba featuring Kuku
2. Lady - tUnE-yArDs, ?uestlove, Angelique Kidjo + Akua Naru
3. Yellow Fever - Spoek Mathambo + Zaki Ibrahim
4. No Buredi - Nneka, Sinkane, Amayo + Superhuman Happiness
5. Who No Know Go Know - Just A Band + Childish Gambino
6. Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am - My Morning Jacket w/ Merrill Garbus + Brittany Howard
7. Sorrow Tears and Blood - Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, Kronos Quartet + Stuart Bogie
8. ITT - Superhuman Happiness w/ Sahr Ngaujah, Abena Koomson + Rubblebucket
9. Afrodisco Beat 2013 - Tony Allen, M1 + Baloji
10. Gentleman - Just A Band, Bajah + Chance the Rapper
11. Hi Life Time - Gender Infinity
12. Zombie - Spoek Mathambo + Cerebral Cortex + Frown
13. Go Slow - King
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