Album Review

Kuti, Fela & Africa 70 – “Everything Scatter / Noise For Vendor Mouth” – [Wrasse Records]

Thurston Hunger   5/4/2013   CD, International

“Big trouble, big argument, big fights, big everything…”
and that would include a big sound. A 2-for-1 reissue of
albums KFJC does not have among its massive Kuti booty.
“Everything Scatter” is so ebullient, so indomitable,
every one coming together on the Afro-beat. Fela is
such a master of whipping up the energy of a song,
the drum starts it, the horns herald what is to come,
and the vocals hang back so long, you think the singers
missed the bus, but they’re in there, just letting the
music work its magic. Stir things up. The vocals
powerful and almost another form of percussion, the
call, the response, the pattern pulls the listener in,
s/he becomes a singer, and after a few choruses its
time to sit back and let Fela speak/sing a story.
Some funky synth on “Who No Know Go Know” and definitely
on “Noise for Vendor Mouth” had a tripped out Sun Ra
vibe. “Mattress” may stress the mistresses, but come
on that beginning is as sexy as your most secret fantasy.
Horns spouting, and the drums yearing to find the one.
“Who No Know..” and “Mattress” have some killer sax,
and likely lead to some killer sex too. The force of
procreation conquers the political, ask any senator
in a scandal, but “Everything Scatter” out-drives
even the temptation of “Mattress” on this. Both releases
originally from 1975…
-Thurston Hunger

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