Konono "Congotronics" or Fela Kuti "Roforofo Fight" - which one would you buy if you could afford only one?

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i have this dillemma...

piotr (pyotreck), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 11:25 (thirteen years ago) link

I bought the first.

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 11:32 (thirteen years ago) link

Buy Konono and then put it on at the weekend when you're a bit hung over and have a really manic cleaning session... it's brilliant.

braveclub (braveclub), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 11:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Buy the Fela Kuti (even though I've not heard this one). At the risk of coming over all Hongro-esque, at least there's some musical interest in amongst the repetition. I literally cannot stand to listen to the Congotronics Vol 1 album all the way through. It's fine for a few minutes, then.... aaargh, NOTHING IS HAPPENING!

mike t-diva (mike t-diva), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 12:23 (thirteen years ago) link

fela. which isn't to say congotronics isn't worth owning. it is. but the answer to should I by (x) or fela is always buy fela.

simon 803 (simon 803), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 13:27 (thirteen years ago) link

Fela of course!

is anyone anticipating the new Baaderonixx? (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 13:47 (thirteen years ago) link

fela

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 13:50 (thirteen years ago) link

F.E.L.A.

christoff (christoff), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 13:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Fela. I kind of like the Congotronics disc, but I mostly agree with Mike - I never put it on because it gets boring fast.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 14:19 (thirteen years ago) link

Re. Congotronics: I don't see any distinction between the different tracks, and I don't see any structure or progression within each track. They all do the same thing, at great length. If I'd seen them live (which I could still imagine being fantastic), then it might make for an effective aide-memoire, but...

mike t-diva (mike t-diva), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 14:52 (thirteen years ago) link

What I heard of Konono was kinda rhythmically boring.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:12 (thirteen years ago) link

Not heard the Fela, but agree with the comments about Kongo - Its good background music, but actually try and listen to it and it gets boring pretty quickly

actionjackson (actionjackson), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:22 (thirteen years ago) link

Konono are awful on record, and worse live. Fela is amazing on record, and was life-changing live. No contest.

pdf (Phil Freeman), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:24 (thirteen years ago) link

Fela!

I like Congotronics comp more than I like the Konono album.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:28 (thirteen years ago) link

fela can be pretty awful on record also if yr unlucky w.the record

mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:46 (thirteen years ago) link

What is this, the "Slag off Konono" thread, to make up for the blanket praise every other thread that mentions them?>

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:49 (thirteen years ago) link

The slagging off has happened on other threads too, just maybe in not such a concentrated form. (I was excited by them initially, but after hearing more I had second thoughts.)

R_S (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:53 (thirteen years ago) link

(Christgau was right?)

R_S (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:53 (thirteen years ago) link

i'm tempted to say that fela is just MUCH more aimed at non-africans hence non-africans are more likely to like it! certainly i knew african musicians back in the day (= mid-80s) who felt this when comparing it to other nigerian or west african music

(but i haven't given konono much attention so the argument may not transfer)

mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:55 (thirteen years ago) link

A few Nigerians have told me Fela was pretty popular there back in the day (well, they were young Nigerians, but you know, it was their parents' music, or whatever).

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:57 (thirteen years ago) link

Roforo Fight is def. one of his good records!

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:58 (thirteen years ago) link

As for Konono - I think it's just something that sounded good at first and wore off quickly. I mean it's not bad or anything, it's just a bit boring. The story is more exciting than the music itself.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 15:58 (thirteen years ago) link

well these were musicians working in rival styles not "ordinary fans", so it wz more of a eminem-vs-moby deal i suspect -- and plus the nigerian charts were wall-to-wall michael jackson, george benson and the very late jim reeves etc, so popularity wasn't a sign of authenticity in itself, particularly

but with all those caveats (and that i had no real way of telling if i wz being spun a promo tale), their line was certainly that fela was more "westernised" -- which is interesting, given that the way we maybe see and hear him

mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:05 (thirteen years ago) link

Wait don't "we" see him as being fairly westernized too?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:13 (thirteen years ago) link

Studied composition in London, recorded with Ginger Baker, LA sessions with possibly apocryphal Black Power/Black Panther girlfriend, etc.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:15 (thirteen years ago) link

haha b-but back in the day sayin this got you (or me) into a FITE! "ferla is better than other african music BECAUSE HE IS MORE WESTERN" (ok i never actually said or thought this and the fites were apocryphal also) (but i do remember arguments abt who learned more from who: fela vs james brown)

mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:18 (thirteen years ago) link

Why would you even want to discuss music in terms of "authenticity"?

jon person (jon person), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:24 (thirteen years ago) link

You don't think it's interesting to look at differences in the way Fela was viewed in Nigeria vs. by his western fans?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:28 (thirteen years ago) link

Pretty much all African urban/popular music has some "westernized" elements.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:30 (thirteen years ago) link

Maybe it's totally wrongheaded but I think of Fela's music as James Brown + African trad rhythms (and spec. hand drum parts voiced on the drumset).

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:30 (thirteen years ago) link

yes. but im not sure the authencticity of the music has something to do with it.

jon person (jon person), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:36 (thirteen years ago) link

well a good reason why african musicans were discussing things this way a lot in the 80s is that there was a big argument raging as to how much music ought to reflect local dynamics instead of multinational dynamics -- and who best reflected what (the argument was generally that more authentic music must be better -- but then inside this there were all sorts of complexities and feints)

if nothing else it was a good map of intra-national rivalries and tensions -- but yes, it was also (with some critics) a one-way ticket to dull posturing

mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:36 (thirteen years ago) link

I thought the whole point of Fela was that he went to L.A discovered James Brown and brought the sound back to Nigeria. Thus --> Afro-pop

is anyone anticipating the new Baaderonixx? (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:56 (thirteen years ago) link

If you buy the Fela album, you don't necessarily need to buy anything else off of him, since most of his records sound pretty much the same.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 17:08 (thirteen years ago) link

I mean, I love his stuff and all, and I own eight or more of his albums, but if there ever was an artist who found his schtick and stuck to it it's Fela.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 17:10 (thirteen years ago) link

FUCK YOU. GET ALL FELA EXCEPT THE BILL LASWELL ONE.

chaki (chaki), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 17:24 (thirteen years ago) link

I actually think Fela is way more boring than Konono. Fight!

braveclub (braveclub), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 17:42 (thirteen years ago) link

its a very reasonble discussion, considering colonialism, and the repression of "traditional" culture (the mbira in rhodesia etc..).

but to me, Felas music seems more connected to a lot of the 60s/70s musically (and politically) progressive music, than to nigerian (or african)pop or trad music. Why try to pin the music with cultural "authenticity", when it obviously tries to mix it up? Thats only a desire for the conservative critic.

I would say that felas music is not african or western..

its Cosmic!

jon person (jon person), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 17:45 (thirteen years ago) link

FELA IS 3423423423423X FUNKIER THAN KONONO

chaki (chaki), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 17:45 (thirteen years ago) link

Go with Fela - as Alex said, it is one of the good ones.

Have we done a Fela v. James Brown thread? I find I listen to and enjoy Fela much more than the Godfather.

EZ Snappin (EZSnappin), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 20:37 (thirteen years ago) link

fela album is better
if y'r american you can get them both on emusic for cheap, around 12 tracks total

a.b. (alanbanana), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 20:42 (thirteen years ago) link

fela>>>james brown

gear (gear), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 20:43 (thirteen years ago) link

OTMFM

is anyone anticipating the new Baaderonixx? (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 21:06 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh I don't know about >>>. Maybe >. Or =>. But >>> seems extreme. There are lots of great James Brown records.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 21:12 (thirteen years ago) link

fela>>>james brown

no wai

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 21:21 (thirteen years ago) link

Jamming together 10 tunes with sick transitions >>>> playing the same one for 20 min

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 21:21 (thirteen years ago) link

Doesn't that just depend on the tunes?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 21:25 (thirteen years ago) link

I love Fela, but I think even the best tunes have a boring couple of minutes in there. Usually in the solos.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 21:29 (thirteen years ago) link

Roforofo Fight is a GREAT album. I have never heard the other one.

I highly recommend the Fela one. Highly.

B.L.A.M. (Big Loud Mountain Ape), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 21:36 (thirteen years ago) link

Get the Fela, any Fela. That Konono crap is annoying and (like most things these days) ridiculously over-rated by folks who don't really know much about what does or does not suck. As for Fela vs JB: why compare? They both rule. But Konono sux. Almost as sucky as the Lisa Simpson sounding chick...

Tronid K (tronidk), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 21:40 (thirteen years ago) link

Aw come on, JB is definitely better than Fela.

Fucking ILMers getting excited about their contrarian opinions.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:13 (thirteen years ago) link

thanks a lot

I have "Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense" record and I was really amazed like for the first ten minutes . Then it gets a bit boring - it probably also depends on the context you're listening etc. Anyway I guess it's his worse, later period,. And "Roforofo Fight" is from early 70's and I don't doubt it's really exciting to hear Fela from those years but it's easier to get cheap Fela than Konono, especially in Poland (of course you can always download all the music ever recorded but it's not the point). Fela vs. Konono only in artistic terms - probably Fela wins, but, on the other hand "Congotronics" gets high scores on metacritic which is some good reference

so I bought Konono :) but I will try to bid for Fela later (there are still 8 days to go)

piotr (pyotreck), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:17 (thirteen years ago) link

Fela's repitition can be very hypnotic though, and I'd imagine it was even moreso live, especially having seen Antibalas live and knowing how awesome that was.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:20 (thirteen years ago) link

i was wrong

fela >>>> james brown

gear (gear), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:20 (thirteen years ago) link

xplan plz

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:22 (thirteen years ago) link

i like james brown but fela kuti is second to no one except maybe miles davis, and in that case i'd probably still take fela.

gear (gear), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:22 (thirteen years ago) link

At any rate I'm going to listen to Fela when I go home tonight.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:23 (thirteen years ago) link

xpost now that is a weird comparison to make

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:23 (thirteen years ago) link

I think it is just autocratic mid-70s drug addled band leader thing.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:26 (thirteen years ago) link

That said Agharta/Pangaea >>>>>>>>> everything else mentioned on this thread.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:27 (thirteen years ago) link

it wasn't really a comparison, it was a personal opinion. fela is maybe my favorite artist these days, though miles is in the running.

gear (gear), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:27 (thirteen years ago) link

I guess with all three I'm more a fan of the band and their direction than with their playing (although I like JB's vocals a lot more than Miles' trumpet playing!).

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 22:29 (thirteen years ago) link

I can see sort of a connection between Miles Davis's 70s stuff and Fela.

Miles probably made more exciting, interesting and varied music in the 70s alone than either JB or Fela did in their entire careers, but JB like changed music man! No JB = no 70s Miles and possibly no Fela too.

Right now I'm probably more inclined to throw on a Fela record than a James Brown record, but that's just because I kind of played him out in college.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 23:02 (thirteen years ago) link

Either the Godfather or Fela Ransome are equally likely to be bumped at my place...although, if I pass the bar exam (results on Friday), Fela is more likely to be played at ungodly loud volumes.

If not, I will be going to sleep. After consuming A LOT of alcohol.

B.L.A.M. (Big Loud Mountain Ape), Tuesday, 14 November 2006 23:20 (thirteen years ago) link

Fela of course, Orientalism/whatever debates aside

braveclub's idea is brilliant, by the way, but I think Fela can soundtrack a mean cleaning too

Roque Strew (RoqueStrew), Wednesday, 15 November 2006 02:38 (thirteen years ago) link

gear, dont be an idiot and compare james brown and fela. seriously. stop faking the funk.

chaki (chaki), Wednesday, 15 November 2006 03:17 (thirteen years ago) link

Why not compare? James was a key influence on Fela, and Fela took the baton and ran with it.

I'd rather listen to Fela over James. No question.

EZ Snappin (EZSnappin), Wednesday, 15 November 2006 03:22 (thirteen years ago) link

because its silly. mad respect goes to both of them.

chaki (chaki), Wednesday, 15 November 2006 05:03 (thirteen years ago) link

OTM.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 15 November 2006 05:13 (thirteen years ago) link

I think it is just autocratic mid-70s drug addled band leader thing.
This transports me at the CIA cafeteria in 1975. Not that I've ever been

I maen srsly (blunt), Wednesday, 15 November 2006 07:06 (thirteen years ago) link

thirteen years pass...

have no idea what it means but the "impossible, impossibility, impossibilityism, impossibilityismalogy, impossibilityismalogicalization" part in go slow is one of my favorite things of the history of recorded music

the burrito that defined a generation, Saturday, 1 August 2020 01:00 (one week ago) link

hey 2006 ilm I need to tick off “Africa” for my collection but I’m only getting 1 of these 2 records in totally different styles from different parts of the continent plz give me your most confidently wrong opinions thx

the state is bad (Left), Saturday, 1 August 2020 02:28 (one week ago) link

oh shit here comes Left!

the burrito that defined a generation, Saturday, 1 August 2020 03:10 (one week ago) link

Right did something Wrong 13 years ago and Left is here to let Us know about it!

the burrito that defined a generation, Saturday, 1 August 2020 03:11 (one week ago) link

did lol at this:

(like most things these days) ridiculously over-rated by folks who don't really know much about what does or does not suck.

Daniel_Rf, Saturday, 1 August 2020 10:56 (one week ago) link

serious take: 1st congotronics album is actually pretty underrated at this point

the state is bad (Left), Saturday, 1 August 2020 12:36 (one week ago) link

Both good albums. More interesting takeaway: the idea of "affording" an album has become outdated in less than a decade.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Saturday, 1 August 2020 16:25 (one week ago) link

Konono was such a great live show, love that album

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 1 August 2020 16:50 (one week ago) link

it was one of the loudest live shows i've ever been at!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Saturday, 1 August 2020 22:52 (one week ago) link

Yeh, the Konono live tour in summer of 2006 was unbelievable, won free tickets to see them in Cleveland, and it was just an enormous hours-long party.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Sunday, 2 August 2020 14:15 (one week ago) link

anybody in this thread have opinions on the new duma record

Kate (rushomancy), Sunday, 2 August 2020 14:41 (one week ago) link

Listening to 'Konono meets Batida' today and it is dope imo.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 3 August 2020 20:30 (six days ago) link


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