Confusion, Pt. 1 & 2

Confusion, Pt. 1 & 2

On this one-song concept album from 1974, Fela Kuti, a.k.a. The Black President, and his band, Africa 70, capture all the bewilderment and frustration of Lagos at the beginning of Nigeria’s oil boom. Part One’s freeform intro resolves into a monster Afrobeat groove, with Kuti’s sinuous electric piano weaving in and out of Tony Allen’s intricate, polyrhythmic drumming, while an insistent horn section moves the piece forward. Part Two ups the ante with Kuti’s accusatory—and still, sadly, relevant—lyrics: “When we talk, say confusion/Everything out of control.”


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