Guest speaker: Florian Sievers
Presenter: Christine Kakaire
This month Classic Album Sundays Berlin will feature an extra special double bill of Fela Kuti with his albums ‘Zombie’ and ‘Gentleman’.
Christine Kakaire and guest speaker Florian Sievers will provide the musical context and tell the story behind the featured albums. This is followed by an uninterrupted vinyl replay of both albums. Join us to talk about Fela and to fully immerse yourself into his incredible music.
5:00pm listening session
Adv. ticket 5€ (+1€ booking fee) on RA
7€ on the door
*Please note this is a seated event with limited capacity.
Presenter: Christine Kakaire - Christine is a music journalist & editor, and her words, work and voice can be found on Pitchfork, Red Bull Music Academy, Crack Magazine, Boiler Room, Ableton and Resident Advisor.
Guest speaker: Florian Sievers, based in Berlin/Germany, is a trained economics journalist who also writes about music and art, mostly for Germany’s most renowned culture magazine, Spex. He is an avid record collector and has delved deep into the African roots of Northern hemisphere dance music genres from Hip-Hop to Techno, having done on the ground research from Johannesburg/South Africa and Nairobi/Kenya via Luanda/Angola and Lagos/Nigeria or Windhoek/Namibia and Santiago/Cabo Verde to Addis Ababa/Ethiopia and Dakar/Senegal. At the moment Florian is working on a documentary movie about Addis’ Azmari culture. He runs a party series in Berlin titled Bomaye! with contemporary club music from African cities and is co-editing the book Ten Cities about the history of club culture, public sphere and urban spaces in five African and five European cities.
Throughout his life, Fela Kuti contended that AfroBeat was a modern form of danceable, African classical music with an urgent message for the planet’s denizens. Created out of a cross-breeding of Funk, Jazz, Salsa and Calypso with Juju, Highlife and African percussive patterns, it was to him a political weapon. Fela refused to bow to the music industry’s preference for 3-minute tracks, nor did he buckle under entreaties to moderate his overwhelmingly political lyrics. He went down in 1997 still railing against the consumerist gimmicks that taint pop music, with the aim, he felt, of promoting and imposing homogeneous aesthetic standards worldwide, thereby inducing passivity. The fact that AfroBeat is today globally winning hearts in its original form – lengthy, ably crafted, earthy compositions laced with explicitly political lyrics – suggests that Fela’s purgatory on earth may have served to awaken a sensibility in people to appreciate authenticity and substance.