New York, NY, USA – Legendary musical revolutionary Fela Kuti’s work will be
released on Quannum on September 7th. Crafted by mixmaster Chief Xcel of
Blackalicious, the album is an amazing reflection on this luminary’s work as
well as the ultimate tribute. A charismatic and controversial bandleader, Kuti
was a powerful activist and arguably Africa’s most pioneering and influential
musician. The creator of the musical style, Afrobeat, Kuti was and continues to
be a major influence over a variety of artists and genres. As Paul Heck (Red Hot + RIOT) who executive produced the album further explains,
“Underground Spiritual Game was Fela’s way of describing the reality that was
below the surface of everyday life… This mix brought me back to all the
original records once again. That is the beauty of Fela’s
music and the Underground Spiritual Game.”
A true labor of love for Chief Xcel before delving back into the studio to work
on the upcoming Blackalicious album, The Underground Spiritual Game features
such key Kuti tracks as “Africa Centre of the World” which burns with
political commentary as well as the compelling “Monkey Banana” and
“Ariya.” The sheer power of Kuti and his body of work is undeniable.
Chief Xcel says of Fela, “He has always been a musical inspiration to me.
When the people from Red Hot + Riot came to me, they originally wanted me to
remix Fela’s entire catalogue but I was intimidated at the prospects so rather
than do it all at one time, I decided to chop it off little by little. Hopefully
this will be the first in a long list of remixes I do of Fela’s music.”
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. He was also the executive producer of the first Latino feature film made in North Carolina titled “Los sueños de Angélica.”.