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Tony Allen - Secret Agent (2022 Remaster) 2LP

World Circuit

  • £30.60

Format: 2 x LP,  180g Heavyweight Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve, Obi Strip 4p 12” Booklet
ICPN: 4050538752601
Release Date: 20 May 2022
Genre: Broken Beat/Nu Jazz

A1 Secret Agent
A2 Ijo
A3 Switch
B1 Celebrate
B2 Ayenlo
B3 Busybody
C1 Pariwo
C2 Nina Lowo
C3 Atuwaba
D1 Alutere
D2 Elewon Po

World Circuit Records has made its reputation by producing some of the finest albums of the past three decades. The label is best known for the Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club album (and associated solo artists Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo and Rubén González), which is the biggest selling world music album of all time and has contributed to the phenomenal rise in popularity of Cuban, as well as Latin American, music.

World Circuit is also home to a number of revered African artists including the late Tony Allen (whose Afrobeat-jazz collaboration with Hugh Masekela ‘Rejoice’ was released to great critical acclaim in March 2020), iconic blues pioneer Ali Farka Touré (whose classic Grammy-winning ‘Talking Timbuktu’ album, recorded with Ry Cooder, brought the label early international acclaim), Malian divas and social activists Oumou Sangaré and Fatoumata Diawara, master kora player Toumani Diabaté, the illustrious Orchestra Baobab and musical iconoclast Cheikh Lô.

With 25th Anniversary celebrations of Buena Vista Social Club under way throughout 2021 and 2022, World Circuit are planning further brand new releases in 2022 and beyond, continuing to bring diverse, genre-defying music to a wider audience.

Tony Allen (1940 – 2020) has long been acknowledged as Africa's finest drummer and one of the continent's most influential musicians. Together with Fela Kuti (with whom he played for 15 years) Allen co-created Afrobeat - the hard-driving, horns-rich, funk-infused, politically insurrectionary style which became such a dominant force in African music and such an influence worldwide. His iconic drumming has since underpinned an extensive catalogue of solo works as well as collaborations with the likes of Damon Albarn (as part of The Good, The Bad and The Queen), Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sebastien Tellier, Grace Jones, Malian superstar Oumou Sangaré, Jeff Mills and Hugh Masekela.

His 2009 World Circuit debut, the raw and uncut Secret Agent, has all the ingredients that combine to make Afrobeat so special - fat, full-throated, hard riffing horns; nagging tenor guitars; jazz- and funk-informed saxophone and trumpet work outs; effervescent chicken-shack keyboards; lyrics rich in folk metaphors and proverbs, some of which confront state corruption and oppression (Kuti’s most frequent targets); deep-soul call and response vocals; and, of course, energising everything around it, Allen’s majestic drumming.

To mark the 2nd anniversary of Tony Allen’s passing at the age of 80, World Circuit will re-release this classic album on 2 x 180g heavyweight vinyl. The audio has been remastered and the package features the original 2009 sleeve notes in a 4p 12” booklet.

“if you’re wondering why Afrobeat is hip, start here.” Observer Music Monthly

“There is no question that Tony Allen is a genius, one of the greatest percussionists in the history of popular music” The Guardian

“While seeking to revive Afrobeat from the roots, Tony Allen imposes here a modernist vision and achieves the best possible synthesis between Yoruba foundations, Blue Note jazz arrangements and electro sound resolution.” – Les Inrockuptibles

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