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Secret Agent by Tony Allen
Released: Apr 2010
Label: Nonesuch
Without Tony Allen's drumming, Fela's Afro would still be in search of a beat. So when the master picks up his genre, decades after Kuti's death, it's with the hands of an expert. Where so much revivalist Afrobeat can feel deadening, as if it's endlessly flogging a tired style to extract yet another groove, Allen creates space: space in the beats, space in the songs, space in the choruses. Secret Agent is a modern classic of the genre, a must-listen for anybody interested in how to make a groove evolve and grow. Top-notch collaborators and all-Nigerian lyricists keep the sound honest.
Sarah Bardeen

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