Fela Kuti - Ikoyi Blindness / Kalakuta Show (CD)

Fela Kuti - Ikoyi Blindness / Kalakuta Show (CD)



A two-for-one set, Ikoyi Blindness was a middle-of-the-pack release in a sea of mid-'70s Fela Kuti records that featured two songs and about a half-hour's worth of music.

The rhythms were a little tighter and more highlife-influenced than they had been on albums from earlier in the decade. "Ikoyi Blindness" itself was pretty typical of Kuti's efforts from the period, both in its structure, which built up to a call-and-response vocal, and in its taut two-chord melodic base.

"Gba Mi Leti Ki N'Dolowo (Slap Me Make I Get Money)" is a little more interesting due to its choppier rhythms, more vibrant percussion, stuttering low guitar riff, and extended haunting electric keyboard lines.

By the time of 1976's Kalakuta Show, Kuti's releases were starting to seem not so much like records as ongoing installments in one long jam documenting the state of mind of Nigeria's leading contemporary musician and ideological/political dissenter.

The track "Kalakuta Show" was unexceptional by his own standards, though it was a respectable lock-groove song that followed the usual graph of Kuti's song progressions. The lyrics, at any rate, go far outside the usual funk/pop spectrum, detailing his harassment at the hands of the Nigerian police.

"Don't Make Garan Garan" was musically more effective, particularly in its use of Kuti's characteristically eerie, out-of-sync-sounding electric keyboards.

1. Ikoyi Blindness
2. Gba Mi Leti Ki N' Dolowo [Slap Me Make I Get Money]
3. Kalakuta Show
4. Don't Make Garan Garan