As one of the forbearers of the now internationally renowned afrobeat sound, Fela Kuti's influence can still be heard far and wide throughout the music scene today. Despite dying in 1997, his ingenuity and inspiration has far outlived him and remains a staple of much of the music arriving to our shores from Africa today. But with his son Femi and grandson Made also proving themselves to be great innovators of the style as well, the pair have now teamed up to deliver a pair of solo albums dubbed 'Legacy +', a multigenerational effort to see how Fela's influence has moved with the times.
While there is not too much distinction between the two sides of the record from an initial listen, it is clear that they both have their own intentions when it comes to sonic direction. While Femi's initial half mirrors that of his father's, filled with more organic and traditional intent, Made's latter side is the one that takes the afrobeat sound to an interesting and progressive direction. Rather than look to emulate the texture entirely, Made treats the genre in the same way a dance producer would. Slowly building and adding elements to the music to create this gradual and slow rise that feels a lot more contemporary throughout.
While it was obviously created to showcase the talents and ambitions of the Kuti family, 'Legacy +' does manage to create a diverse and captivating collection throughout. With each member given free rein on each side of the full-length, we hear this slight yet distinctive change in tone as it plays, creating a release that could have written and recorded over a fifty year period.