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The Daktaris: Soul Explosion

The spirit of the late, great Fela Kuti runs through The Daktaris’ Soul Explosion (Desco, DSCD 003 40:28). If that isn’t obvious from the brassy, beat-mongering arrangements, the fellas have provided an inner-sleeve portrait to the late Afro-pop giant, whose legacy, it would seem, is in good hands. This 15-piece ensemble lays down some unimaginably heavy Afro-funk, full of chattering guitars, cross-talking percussion and braying horns. Like Fela (and his spiritual mentor James Brown) the Daktaris milk the most from a groove. Fittingly, they dip into the Fela/Brown catalog for two tunes here-deadly versions of Brown’s “Give It Up or Turn It Loose,” and Fela’s “Upside Down.” But their own compositions, notably “Musicawa Silt” (Part 1 and 2)” and the stampeding “Super Afro Beat,” are head spinners in their own right. This disc is one of a series on Desco Records, run by some most rabid funk heads around-the rest of their catalog is well worth seeking out. In the meantime, slap this disc on again. And again.

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