UPR!SE is a blog dedicated to The Shrine's Patron Saint and inspiration, Fela Anikulpo Kuti.

The blog focuses on music, fashion, art, design, politics and culture. It is a celebration of trailblazing souls who rise up without compromise.


Saturday, October 30, 2010


Taylor on stage with Afrobeat Academy in Accra, Ghana. Hopefully coming to a stage near you in support of his his/their new album!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Liam Farrell, or Doctor L as he is known to the world at large, is a Paris based producer/musician/composer/artist from Dublin, Ireland. He began as his career as a drummer before getting into hip hop in the early '90s and appearing alongside Daft Punk and Air on the classic Source Lab I an II compilations. He has produced a diverse array of artists such as Tony Allen, Lenine, Bum Cello and Screamin' Jay Hawkins, to name just a few. Psyco On Da Bus from 2000 and Tony Allen's Black Voices (1999) were crucial in Tony Allen 's career revival, and both were produced by L. He is also sought out as re-mixer as well, re-working the likes of Neneh Cherry, Salif Keita, Gangstar,Ice-T, David Murray & Pharoah Sanders. His music reflects the diverse artists with whom he produces and plays. A current project work pairs him with Martin Perna from Antibalas. He constantly challenges the listener with new sounds, seemingly pulling sounds from in an out of ether. Dub, Hip Hop, Down Tempo, Modal and Spiritual jazz, African/Latin rhythms all swirl together into a deep smoky medicinal melange. He has also ventured in to soundtracks as well as creating stunning visuals for his music.

A few select cuts + clips to drop the balm on your soul.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


A few years back, a package arrived at my house. A friend of mine had happily surprised me with a stack of records. In said stack was a 12 inch by the mysteriously titled Nephews of Phela. The needle dropped, then my jaw. The 12 inch, done by an equally mysterious west London duo (I haven't been able to dig up much, if any info...) featured re-mixes/edits of two African classics. The a-side ("Mulah 2") is a rework of Ethiopian Mulatu Astatke's "Yegelle Tezeta", while the b-side ("Uhuru Mash Up") is a rework of Ghanian Oscar Sulley's "Bukom Mashie". I am a huge fan of the work of both men, and naturally you should check the original versions if you do not know them. Both tracks here are simply massive, bringing modern dance floor thump, while still maintaining the flavor of the originals. You can track down the vinyl, but it'll cost you. Also available on i tunes I believe.

Not sure what Wylie Coyote and Roadrunner have to do with the Nephew's re-work of Mulatu, but here's a video dug up on youtube. DIG!


LAGOS JAZZ SERIES LINEUP - November 5th - 7th, 2010

Nov. 5th 2010 – Sofitel Moorhouse Hotel

  • Karen Patterson
  • Chinaza
  • Morrie Louden
  • Randy Weston

Nov. 6th 2010 – Federal Palace Hotel

  • Mike Aremu
  • Morrie Louden
  • Simone
  • Somi
  • Randy Weston

Nov. 7th 2010 – German Consulate (Sunday Jazz breakfast)

  • Karen Patterson
  • Chinaza
  • Simone

Nov. 7th 2010 – Muri Okunola Park

  • Bez
  • Ayetoro
  • Simone
  • Somi


Legendary Ghanaian performer Ebo Taylor returns with a brand new album. Taylor is well known to an older generation of folks from Ghana, but has never recorded an album specifically for release abroad. His work has been featured on countless compilations in recent years, exposing an entire generation of crate diggers to his music. His roots are in Highlife in the '50s, but over the years Taylor incorporated new sounds, including Afrobeat, Afro Funk, Jazz, Soul and more into his music. For this, his first international release on the UK's Strut Records, Taylor is accompanied by the Afrobeat Academy, which feature members of the Poets of Rhythm. What a treat to hear new music from an old master!

BUY IT HERE: Dusty Groove

Monday, October 25, 2010


Cool-running, natty-dressing Gregory Issacs sadly passed away today (10/25/10) at the age of 59 after a yearlong battle with cancer. Getting his nickname from his 1978 album "Cool Runner". Gregory perfected the style known as "lovers rock", with its smooth vocal stylin' based on that of Sam Cooke and Smokey Robinson and apolitical stance in counterpoint to the more militant Rastafarian sound dominant of Jamaica of the time. His massive hit "My Only Lover" (1973) is credited as the first "lovers rock" single ever made. With his smooth tenor voice punctuated with sexual moans and groans Gregory had a decade of future hits, peaking in 1982 with "Night Nurse".

Like many reggae stars, Gregory had a bad-buy image that was bolstered by his six month sentence for unlicensed handgun possession, drug dealing and an addiction to crack cocaine which resulted in a loss of some of his teeth and an impact on his subtle voice. Isaccs said of his addiction in 2007: "Drugs are a debasing weapon. It was the greatest college ever, but the most expensive school fee ever paid – the Cocaine High School. I learnt everything, and now I've put it on the side."

Isaacs nonetheless became an inspiration to a new generation of reggae stars through his combination of lover's rock and more politically charged tunes, such as "Black Liberation Struggle." He will be sorely missed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Afro-Beat Airways (West African Shock Waves Ghana & Togo 1972 -79) is the latest compilation from Analog Africa. Another massive set of tunes, ranging from Afro Funk, Psychedelia, Jazzy organ grooves and more. Nice diverse set with the exhaustive liner notes too.
Available for download, on CD and double LP. Fly the funky skies!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


The OG Black president would have celebrated his 72nd birthday this Friday, October 15th.
The Shrine commemorated last night with an amazing show by Chicago Afrobeat Project, along with DJs Tone B. Nimble and Joe Bryl.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Here's another batch of great African records that we're wishing to run into sometime while crate diggin'. We've listened to them on-line and were blown away. But, for all of us record geeks; there's nothing like having the real thing. Enjoy the view.