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.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


A massive Afro Funk combo from the contemporary Paris scene – stepping out here on a wicked debut LP! Paris has certainly been home to some great Afro-styled groups over the years – and Les Freres Smith can definitely count themselves among the best – as they play here with a rock-solid set of rhythms that really take us back to 70s Lagos, but also inflect things with a nice dose of Ethiopian influences as well! The horns are especially great – and the Smith Brothers play some killer tenor, alto, and baritone that really stands out from other groups of this nature – blowing with a hell of a lot of feeling, and hitting these wild raspy notes that really deepen the sound of the whole set. There's only a bit of vocals – on two of the tunes – and Tony Allen guests on one track too.



Lifted from Dustygroove


The third and best album yet from Sao Paulo Underground – formed by Chicago scene veteran and sonic adventurer Rob Mazurek – with a sound that's informed by the rhythms and creatively boundless possibilities of Tropicalia era Brazil and well beyond, along with the cosmic spirit of other Mazurek projects such as the Exploding Star Orchestra. This is hypnotic, attention seizing work that pushes boundaries and challenges tradition while still respecting it – it's never less than fully engrossing and pulls you right in, but it also skirts convention on just about every level. Mazurek's on coronet and electronics that fracture and fuzz out the atmosphere, creating some really dynamic interplay with instrumentation. Mauricio Takara is on cavaquinho, drums and percussion, Guilherme Granado on keys, loops, samples and percussion and Richard Ribeiro on drums. A pair of excellent tracks feature fellow modern greats with roots in the Chicago underground – vibes player Jason Adasiewicz and drummer John Herndon on "Just Lovin'" and "Six Six Eight" – the latter also featuring bass player Matthew Lux.

Cop it where we lifted it DUSTYGROOVE