Red Hot + Fela

Tickling My Fancy Music Selection: Red Hot + Fela, The Superman Revenge Squad Band, Susanna And Ensemble neoN and Simon Fisher Turner. 

Archive Updates: Gazelle Twin and Marmaduke Dando.

Epic of Everest BFI/Mute

Various Artists:  tUnE-yArDs, Angelique Kidjo, Ahmir ‘?uestlove’ Thompson’ and Akua Kidjo  ‘Lady’ (Knitting Factory Records)15th October 2013

Continuing to celebrate both the back catalogue and legacy of Nigeria’s most successful musical export, Fela Kuti, New York’s Knitting Factory record label has recently sanctioned this collaborative project with AIDS awareness organisation, Red Hot. Rustling together a polygenesis mob of feverish torchbearers and Afrobeat imbued artists, the thirteen-track album reworks some of Kuti’s most iconic foot shufflers and political anthems to chime with both the 75th anniversary of his birth and to raise money for AIDS awareness – of which Kuti succumbed in 1997.

Our featured interpretation, ‘Lady’, pretty much sums up the exercise: bringing what at first seems a pretty disjointed group of various musical styles and bands together to produce a modern Fela love in.


1. “Buy Africa” – Baloji & L’Orchestre De La Katuba featuring Kuku

2. “Lady” – tUnE-yArDs, ?uestlove, Angelique Kidjo + Akua Naru

3. “Yellow Fever” – Spoek Mathambo + Zaki Ibrahim

4. “No Buredi” – Nneka, Sinkane, Amayo + Superhuman Happiness

5. “Who No Know Go Know” – Just A Band + Childish Gambino

6. “Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am” – My Morning Jacket w/ Merrill Garbus + Brittany Howard

7. “Sorrow Tears and Blood” – Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, Kronos Quartet + Stuart Bogie

8. “ITT” – Superhuman Happiness w/ Sahr Ngaujah, Abena Koomson + Rubblebucket

9. “Afrodisco Beat 2013” – Tony Allen, M1 + Baloji

10.  “Gentleman” – Just A Band, Bajah + Chance the Rapper

11. “Hi Life Time” – Gender Infinity

12. “Zombie” – Spoek Mathambo + Cerebral Cortex + Frown

13. “Go Slow” – King

As part of the Fela Kuti zeitgeist that includes the Broadway musical, Fela!, the Knitting Factory have been on a crusade to re-release the entire 50 album back catalogue, in sporadic instalments – six more due to be released to tie-in with the Red Hot project. They kicked off the new year with The Best Of The Black President 2 compilation (review and details here), with further promises of DVD furnished editions to come.

The Superman Revenge Squad Band  ‘A Funny Thing You Said’ (Audio Antihero) – 16th September 2013

A friend to the Monolith Cocktail and a much cherished label, Audio Antihero’s tenth release is a perfect bookend to their inaugural flowering with the much ‘put upon’ forlorn Ben Parker and is most recent solo moniker, The Superman Revenge Squad Band. Formerly of the Croydon gloom merchants and much missed, Noseferatu D2 (a rare sneer-lipped band of observational verbose, whose ‘lost’ album of the noughties was the first release on Audio Antihero) , Parker has carried on venturing forth with even more bedraggled, ‘commercial suicide’ records.

Taken from the forthcoming album, There Is Nothing More Frightening Than The Passing Of Time, Ben ropes in his brother, and former D2 member, Adam for this plaintive accordion sorbet on life. Consider yourselves introduced to one of the country’s most under-rated if not ignored lyricists.

Susanna and ensemble

Susanna And Ensemble neoN  ‘Oh, I Am Stuck’  (SussanaSonata) – 11th November 2013

Interpreter, songwriter and producer of Norwegian morose Susanna Wallumrød teams up with fellow compatriots, Ensemble neoN for upcoming album, The Forester – the first for her newly invigorated label SussanaSonata. Reinterpreting paeans and laments from her back catalogue, Susanna’s newly acquired chamber-folk backing, charms and envelops the forlorn of yore with a certain diaphanous blanket of trembled but twinkling optimism on that said plaintive LP.


Simon Fisher Turner ‘Makalu’ (Mute) – 21st October  2013 

Tasked with scoring the empyreal heights of Mt.Everest for the stunningly restored The Epic Of Everest filmed expedition, Simon Fisher Turner‘s esoteric, beguiling soundtrack leans towards the mystery of the cultures that boarder and surround it. Forget Touching The Void, this is more your esoteric Holy Mountain, but with a group of boys own adventurers for company instead of lost disciples of the occult.

Filmed by one of the climbers in that original group, Captain John Noel, the attempt to scale Everest in 1924 ended in tragedy for two of it’s members – George Mallory and Andrew Irvine perished at the wayside, in debatable circumstances – and controversy still persists as to whether they reached the summit or not. Given a BFI overhaul, the original film of this ill-fated climb is to receive a premiere at the Leicester Square Odeon on the 18th October, with Turner’s soundtrack released a few days later.

Already a seasonal film score composer – cutting his teeth with Derek Jarman in the 80s and early 90s – Turner produced a congruous suite for a similar expeditionary BFI restored adventure, The Great White Silence (1924). This time Turner has opted for an imagined textural treatment of ‘found and stolen life sounds’ and ‘fake foley’; both ominous and yearning;  especially on the haunted, cornet heralding, ‘Makalu’ (the fifth highest mountain in the world, lent its name here by the Chinese whose lands along with Nepal surround straddle it). This hypnotising jazz tinged peregrination of the Himalayas is suitably furnished then with a certain mysticism: helped in no small part by a cast of like-minded sonic explores that includes, Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle, Carter Tutti Void) on cornet – that’s her performing on this featured tune -, Andrew Blick, frontman of Gyratory System on trumpet, James Brook (Land Observationsread review here), drummer Asaf Sirkis (Asaf Sirkis Trip, Gilad Atzmon) and cellist/composer Peter Gregson (currently artist in residence at the School of Design Informatics of Edinburgh University) on brass.

Turner will be performing his expansive suite as part at the premiere, as part of the London Film Festival. Tickets and information can be found here.


Added to the ever growing index of reviews, two posts from my GodIsInTheTV sojourn. Click on the accompanying artwork to be transported through the Monolith Cocktail portal to the desired review.

Gazelle Twin 

Gazelle Twin

“‘Changelings’ adopts an opaque soundtrack of old electronic synths and dark fragile existential lyrics, cooed over a foreboding whispery fog – imagine School Of Seven Bells deconstructing a morose grieving Eurhythmics.”

Marmaduke Dando


“A self-appointed despairing and melancholic romantic, Dando is unceremoniously catapulted from rubbing shoulders with the likes of Bryon, Keats and Dostoevsky in the garret and study rooms of a hazy bygone age, to the harsh realities of a cold dystopian envisioned Metropolis.”

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