Underground System

Underground System

by Fela KutiFela Kuti


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Underground System was among the better recordings of Fela's late career, comprised of two extended tracks, the title cut and "Pansa Pansa." "Underground System" starts off with rhythms that are far faster and more urgent than those on most of Fela's characteristically lengthy tracks. If that sounds like a marginal quality upon which to judge a song as a standout, well, something like a much faster and played-as-though-we-mean-it tempo really does help to differentiate it from the singer's generally similar output of the 1980s and 1990s. The backup singers also come in quickly with infectious chants, prior to a typical Fela lyric observing the difficulty in enacting positive political change in Africa. Hearing them sing in tandem with Fela instead of doing call-response patterns, as they do during much of the 28-minute cut, also makes for a refreshing variation. "Pansa Pansa," at a mere (for Fela) 17 minutes, also gets your attention more than his average effort, with rapid propulsive beats and sprinkles of slightly dissonant jazzy piano. The 2001 CD reissue on MCA adds a half-hour song from his 1990 album, ODOO, which is considerably slower and moodier than the prior two tunes, the beginning emphasizing mournful electric keyboards and sax soloing.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/31/2001
Label: Mca
UPC: 0731454924924
catalogNumber: 549249
Rank: 121652

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fela Kuti   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Oyinade Adeniran   Tenor Saxophone
Lekan Animashaun   Baritone Saxophone
Keji Hamilton   Piano
Oye Moses   Trumpet
Dele Olayinka   Conga
Oma Umude   Vocals
Fela Kuti & Africa 70   Piano,Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
Chioma Elostuba   Vocals
Stephen Ukem   Trumpet
Michael Obeatta   Conga
Rotimi Afariogun   Bass Guitar
Adebiyi Ajayi   Drums
Fehintola Anikulapo Kuti   Vocals

Technical Credits

Fela Kuti   Composer
Fela Kuti & Africa 70   Arranger,Producer,Cover Photo
Jean-Pierre Haie   Concept
Rikki Stein   Liner Notes,Project Administrator
Jacqueline Grandchamp-Thiam   Liner Notes
Mabinuori Idowu   Liner Notes
Francis Kertekian   Spiritual Advisor

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