Wednesday

Tony Allen & the Afro Messengers

No Discrimination - 1980

By 1980 Tony Allen had not only vacated the role he'd held as Fela Kuti's band leader and drummer for well over a decade, but had begun taking afrobeat off in his own unique direction. Much like Allen's previous two solo LPs, 1975's Jealousy and '77's Progress, the results aren't completely removed from what Fela was up to around the same time, but the gap between the two masters was undoubtedly widened with No Discrimination. Comprised of many members of Fela's Africa 70, Allen's Afro Messengers forged ahead with a deconstructed, almost dub-like approach to afrobeat paired with a subtle underpinning of greasy synths and gentle polyrhythms - a genre Allen himself would appropriately term afrofunk. As the decade wore on, Allen began incorporating period electronics, rap and R&B into the mix, but No Discrimination captures the brief moment when his music was still firmly rooted in West African traditions, but his desire of a more expansive palette first started to emerge. There's not a tune under 8 minutes here, and while all four are outstanding, the delicately trippy "Ariya" is my personal favorite. The Evolver label re-released this album paired with 1979's No Accomodation for Lagos a few years back, so pick that one up if No Discrimination piques your interest.

9 comments:

Octoplenum said...

Hey, thank you for this one. I,ve always loved Tony Allens'deep groove drumming. It's one of the things that makes life really worth living. Cheers...

infinitefool said...

Please excuse the boilerplate nature of this note:

As a friend (and I am your friend), I want you to be among the first to know that I've decided to run for President of the U.S. of A. You can find all the details (and a nice musical bribe) here:
http://infinitefool.blogspot.com/2008/01/important-announcement.html

I hope I can look forward to your support over the next few months. In return please expect a night or two in the Lincoln Bedroom with the hollywood actor/actress of your choice (just pick a person or people and a date after the inauguration and I'll have the IRS do the rest).

There may also be cabinet positions available for the highest bidders, er strongest supporters.

Vote early, vote often!

Joe-El-Santero said...

Muchas Gracias, Tony Allen Was A Pioneer Along With Fela.

RYP said...

hey JR Heat Warp,
finally The Beau Brummels "Bradleys Barn" + "Triangle" are up again on TwilightZone! Their great self titled reunion album from 1975 will follow soon!

Enjoy!
RYP

il angelo said...

Loved it, listened to later stuff but not this, Thanks JR HeatWarp

Ropedizzle said...

I'm loving your recommendations. It sucks that massmirror crapped out, but I'd really appreciate a re-up of this Tony Allen album. I appreciate it!

JR Heat Warp said...

@ ropedizzle: will do, buckaroo. check back in a few days.

Neilantman said...

Thanks

icastico said...

a classic...true classic