Review of 37th State Album by Various Artists

There is no denying the influence of afrobeat currently in modern music. This sound born in Lagos, Nigeria and created by the master himself Fela Kuti, has inspired the 37th State project, an afro-centric take on new urban music. Initiated by Stephane Malca, a composer/producer with roots in funk and hip hop, this musical venture emphasizes on the Nigerian music heritage, from old school afrobeat to nu soul and hip hop. Some of the most prominent artists of Fela Kuti's legacy such as Dele Sosimi and Tony Allen are featuring on this album, along with Keziah Jones, Tony Kofi or Ty, and many more talents from the British new urban scene.

Various Artists 37th State Album

It's a really cool project and totally relevant to multi cultural Britain. There's groove, great vocals, tight rapping and excellent beats! When you hear this it's obvious why a lot of people are digging afrobeat right now as it reminds you what's so great about world music. It's a fun positive sound that I think has been simmering for a while now. The second disc has a more a dance remix flavour than the first which is more fusion based.

I'm not saying this is the best album ever, as often with collaboration projects they're not necessarily as good as the sum of its parts, however it's very welcome and makes for an extremely promising future for UK fusion music. If nothing else it can educate people to the source of much inspiration at the moment. Very cool!

Tareck Ghoneim