Tony Allen - Black Voices
Clearly a legend in his own time, Tony Allen returned to the recording studio after a quiet period of time in the 80’s and 90’s, (save the 1989 French LP Afrobeat Express). The wait for new material was well worth it. Allen’s 1999 LP Black Voices is a transfixing, groove-laden dub-infused machine populated with Allen’s funky drumming alongside electro-like rhythms. The sound is propulsive yet streamlined and minimal. French producer Doctor L proves to be the perfect collaborator for Allen updating the Afrobeat sound with these dub-heavy backbeats while remaining true to the incessant, polyrhythmic feel Allen pioneered and propelled in the 70’s with Fela Kuti and Afrika 70. Allen’s vocals are spellbinding as well with members of Parliament / Funkadelic contributing to the arrangements.
This new repressing of this gem is now restored to the original 2LP (also originally released by Comet) with 2 remixes and alternate takes and an additional non-album track. On the surface, you might think a 1999 album pairing a young producer with a Afrobeat legend would miss the mark. In this case however, they nail it. Mesmerizing work by Allen and Doctor L. (Dom)
Check out a track here.