Premiere: Kronos Quartet & Stuart Bogie (feat. Kyp Malone + Tunde Adebimpe) – Sorrow, Tears & Blood

A couple of months ago, we picked out our favourite reworkings of Fela Kuti’s music to mark the 16th anniversary of his death. The overwhelming response we got was confirmation of the feeling that had compelled us to write the feature; that Fela’s musical legacy resonates as strongly today as it ever has. Another testament of this is Red, Hot & Fela, a new compilation released by Aids awareness charity Red Hot, to mark his 75th birthday. Featured on the thirteen interpretations are a range of African and American artists including ?uestlove, tUnE-yArDs, Spoek Mathambo, Nneka, Tony Allen and Chance The Rapper. Our standout, however, was an interpretation of Sorrow, Tears & Blood by a selection of names who were initially a little less familiar. The tale of political stubble and police brutality has been introspectively re-arranged into a chamber setting by Stuart Bogie and Grammy award-winning string ensemble Kronos Quartet, with help from TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe on vocals. Tropical guitar lines become pizzicato strings; call and response vocals become long, bowed sighs; and keyboards become a solemn echoing whistle. That familiar Fela style is kept in tact, but transformed into 21st century blues without losing an ounce of its original power and rhythm.

Sounds Like: Fela Kuti, TV On The Radio, Kronos Quartet
Release Info: Red, Hot & Fela is out now on Knitting Factory Records



Comments are closed.