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.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


You may have your political opinions, but there is no doubt the nation of Brazil is on the big come up! Samba, soccer, beaches and world economic domination?! (Brazil is poised to jump England and France as the world's fifth largest economy.) As a former seven year resident of Rio de Janeiro, I really hope they can rise to the occasion and finally bring education to the masses as well as narrow the enormous gap between the rich and poor.


Swoon, has teamed with Upper Playground, to release the limited edition Walki print - 100% of the proceeds from the print will go towards support of The Konbit Shelter Project. Konbit Shelter is a rebuilding initiative, which uses dome-style structures and the super-adobe technique of earth bag architecture to create sustainable, inexpensive and dependable housing for the people of Haiti.

The general public don’t always have the time and resources to do incredible things like this on our own, so we it’s important to support those who take it upon themselves to do what we can not – which is the idea behind the sale of Swoon’s Walki print. The print is made of a three-layer screenprint on handmade Indian jute paper measuring 13″ x 21″ and is limited at an edition of 300 – all proceeds from the sale will go towards support of the Konbit Shelter Project.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


We're always keeping up with the cool cats at Sofrito to expose us to some of the hottest and heaviest Afro-Latin rhythms. Recently, we've been featuring their massive super singles, "Benin City Grooves" and "Soweto Disco EP" on our Chi-town DJ sets. Due out in 2011 is "Sofrito: Tropical Discotheques" release on Strut. Since we haven't been able to give it a spin yet we're taking the information directly from them. Keep an eye and ear out for this. It should be essential listening.

Strut present the debut compilation by one of the UK’s leading Afro, Caribbean and Latin music party collectives, SOFRITO. Comprising DJs Hugo Mendez and Frankie Francis alongside The Mighty Crime Minister, Sofrito has consistently combined the serious vinyl hunter’s ear for amazing records with a stylish, accessible approach, rocking dancefloors worldwide since their inception in 2007. From their legendary Tropical Warehouse parties in East London to the clubs and bars of Brooklyn, from beach parties in Greece to festivals and clubs across Europe including WOMAD and the Big Chill, Sofrito has now become a worldwide proposition. The club has also attracted a string of A-list guests for live performances including Manu Dibango, Poets Of Rhythm, Souljazz Orchestra and Quantic.

The club’s graphics by artist Lewis Heriz have become an important a part of its identity, with each event accompanied by unique hand-drawn poster art, each now a collector’s piece in its own right. And, running alongside their events, their Sofrito Specials 12” imprint has made available exclusive edits of impossible-to-find rarities. Their ‘African Soul Power’ edit was picked by Gilles Peterson as one of his re-works of 2008.

For their debut compilation, Sofrito get the party started with 15 dynamite tropical grooves old and new ranging from cumbia, Congolese guitar, calypso and highlife. Highlights include an exclusive cumbia by Quantic, ‘Cumbia Mochilla’, a new edit of a rare Victor Uwaifo disco cut and firing Carnival jams from old-timers Roaring Lion and Mighty Shadow.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Legendary Brazilian musician/composer/arranger performing live at Casa Oi, in Rio de Janeiro. Deodato is a sample staple in Hip Hop, with beats lifted by Black Sheep, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Biggie and Snoop, just to name a few. His career has spanned six decades, from bossa nova, to the monster jazz funk grooves he produced in the '70s. Visuals at the show provided by Breno "Hardcuore" Pineschi.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010


'Tis that time of the season, when your eardrums are pummeled by the sometimes strained sounds of (more than) well worn Yule Tide classics. Why not rescue your friends and family from the same old, same old with cool Christmas jamz?! Here's a couple cookers to get your party stated on the good foot!

On In The Christmas Groove
, Santa's got a brand new bag! Original Christmas grooves from the '60s and '70s all around from an array of obscure Soul and R&B acts.

Next up, it's time to go Latin and get the Fiesta crankin'! Willie Colon, Hecor LaVoe and company bring hot salsa to make your Navidad Feliz. Christmas, Fania style! Si Si!!!!

Stay tuned for some funky Hanukkah cuts... Diggin' deeper


Trace magazine's latest (and final) issue is dedicated to Brazil! One of our favorite mags goes in on one of our favorite countries. It's win-win! The issue focuses on Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. Just in time to whet your appetite for carnival! On news stands now. Sad to see it go, though....

Monday, December 6, 2010


Our friends at Ubiquity Records have dug deep again into lost crates and unearthed this extremely rare Afro Soul/Jazz record that we've been giving many spins lately. Due out soon, the record reminds us of a mixture of the Afro-Latin Blues Quintet + 1 and Martin Denny at his best.

Jack Millman, aka Johnny Kitchen, had a hand in many interesting, obscure and highly collectible records from the 1960s and 1970s. Producing, composing, recording, editing, releasing, licensing – you name it, Millman did it. The records he touched had an eclectic range from psychedelic rock to Latin jazz, and several include editing techniques that can only be described as an early incarnation of sampling in music. The Victims of Chance, Blues Train, The Crazy People, The Trio of Tyme, The Pros, The Tarots, Jeremiah, and even (Frank Zappa protege) Larry "Wild Man" Fisher were some of the acts connected to Millman. Based in Los Angeles he was called-upon by multiple people to make tax shelter records, and provided musical content for the Condor, Mira, Mirawood and Crestview labels amongst many others.

After seeing them play at the Living Room (which later became the Comedy Store) on Sunset Boulevard, Millman became manager of the Afro Latin Blues Quintet +1, and signed them to Randy Woods (creator/owner of the Mira, Mirwood, Crestview, Surrey labels) in the late 1960s.

Having released several albums this band would later become the Afro Soultet. The liner notes to their Afrodesia album state "This is Afrodesia! A Musical collage of many peoples. . .it comes from Africa and from Arabia, from the South Seas and from Asia." Living up to the promise of those notes Afrodesia mixes Latin Jazz, with straight jazz, worldly percussion, surf, rock, funk, oddball sound effects, a touch of lounge, and some hints of tropicalia. Millman produced and released the Afrodesia album on his own Banyon label sometime between 1968-1971 (no release date is listed on the record, and Millman cannot recall a more exact date.)

Somewhere between 500 and 1000 LPs were pressed on Banyon. The album was licensed non-exclusively to Betty Chiappetta (of Vee-Jay fame) for a period of time, but it is possible that the record only saw release as a test pressing during the license, and that no official release was made commercially available. After their short stint as the Afro Soultet, the band morphed one more time into The Afro Latin Soultet releasing records with pianist Phil Moore III at the helm.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Please see the trailer to this powerful upcoming documentary about the redemptive powers of Hip Hop and break dancing on the youth in war torn Uganda.

BOUNCING CATS film trailer from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.

Read the entire story HERE