Red Hot + Fela (Knitting Factory Records, 2013)
Uniting artists from Africa and the United States using the music of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti to increase AIDS Awareness was a good idea. There are so many interesting musicians and directions they could have chosen from. However, the album is loaded with rappers who bring little musical diversity to the mix and make the music monotonous, less attractive and doesn’t capture the vibrancy of Fela Kuti’s music.
The best known African artist featured in the album is world music star Angelique Kidjo. Contemporary classical music ensemble the Kronos Quartet also appears in this collection. Highlights are the rap free tracks: the slow tempo jazz infused ‘Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am’ by My Morning Jacket with Merrill Garbus + Brittany Howard; the seductive grooves of ‘Sorrow Tears and Blood’ by Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, Kronos Quartet and Stuart Bogie; the electronica and soul mix of ‘Hi Life Time’ by Gender Infinity and the dreamy neosoul of ‘Go Slow’ by King.
Red Hot is an AIDS awareness organization that has released 18 albums and produced several concert and film series to raise money and awareness to fight AIDs around the world.
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