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Nepa (Never Expect Power Always)

Tony Allen

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Album Review

Never Expect Power Always (aka N.E.P.A.) is largely a biting criticism and mocking of the Nigerian Electrical Power Authority, rife with corruption and poor service. It starts out with the title track, with a definite Afro-beat punch and a tighter arrangement than would normally be expected from Fela. Electro-claps stand as part of the percussion line, adding to a more modern look at what Afro-beat was becoming. This is followed by an even further modernized piece of Afro-beat, as the title track is given a dub mix. "When One Road Close" has a similar pace, and is similarly followed by a dub remix, complete with the necessary space-effects reverb. This is the peak of electronic Afro-beat, before it returned to some degree of its original James Brown-inspired roots. If you didn't pick the album up the first time around, this is a good time to get it.

Biography

Born: 12 August 1940 in Lagos, Nigeria

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The drummer and unofficial music director of the late Fela Kuti's band, Africa 70, from 1968 until 1979, Tony Allen (born Tony Oladipo Allen) helped create the sounds of Afro-beat. With his solo recordings, however, Allen has refused to remain stagnant, incorporating...
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Nepa (Never Expect Power Always), Tony Allen
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