There's something more than a little manipulative in making a track full of rustling rhythms and languorous keyboard lines and deciding to go ahead and call it "Fela." Is it an option to hear such a thing and even entertain the notion that it sounds like anything other than, well, Fela? Is there any room left for imagining in the end? It's probably not a great surprise that Audiofly's stated tribute (an album track from the duo's forthcoming Follow My Liebe) lacks some of the roiling energy and aggro warmth of the better work by Fela himself, but it's a serviceable simulacrum, with a wide range of nicely articulated drum sounds and a great slow bassline that lays back and suggests more than it states. The energy level stays more or less the same for eight minutes, but then, so did Fela's (at least some of the time).
Two remixes up the action, with an excellent turn by Tiefschwarz. For the first few minutes, Tiefschwarz takes all the little echoes and natters and taps in the original, sizes them up, and then builds a mix of them all into a tightly designed and funkily syncopated swirl. Then, around the 3:35 mark, there's an epic synthesizer breakdown that reduces everything to nothing for a spell, before launching into an even bigger and tighter extrapolation on what was going on before. There's even a key change! A much different take by Davide Squillace is sparse and austere by comparison, and way less invested in the Audiofly original, but it works a nicely idiosyncratic, herky-jerky house groove into something surprisingly spacious and spry.
Buy Audiofly - Fela at
Tracklist: Audiofly - Fela 01. Fela (Original Album Version)
02. Fela (Tiefschwarz Remix)
03. Fela (Davide Squillace Simple Chaos Remix)