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Anarchy

A 15 track afrobeat album (1h 7m 36s) — released October 29th 2012 on Agogo Records

Imagine yourself in London in the late Eighties. When you walked up Camden High Street, it wasn't the smell of fast food but the sound of jazz in the air. Enter Dingwalls and you were in a different world. Pulsating rhythms, inspiring dancers, a truly fascinating, global spirit, it felt something like a revolution at that time. Bukky Leo was at the heart of this creative explosion, which DJs like Gilles Peterson or Russ Dewbury created a soundtrack for. Remember: There was no internet at the time, it was by word of mouth to be in the right place and the right time. As much as the jazz dance community was about showing off and being cool, essentially it was about the freedom of expression. This was a rare era when hiphop met bebop, Northern Soul got into jazz and funk rediscovered its African roots. It seemed like music could actually be the catalyst for diversity and democracy, peacefully proactive in nature. Yes, it seemed to be possible at last to overcome the stigma of the Thatcher era, the re-active dilemma and creative implosion of the Cool Britannia aftermath was not yet in sight. To see Bukky Leo enter the stage at that time was a revelation. Growing up in Lagos Nigeria, he was the saxophonist in Tony Allen's band and went on to play with the great Fela Kuti. Coming to London In 1982 he found himself in the midst of post-punk experimenting with world music. His debut "Rejoice in Righteousness" (released on Eddie Piller's Acid Jazz label in 1988) was the first encounter with afro-beat for many young, aspiring DJs and music lovers. The follow up "River Nile", nominated for the US African Music Awards in 1990, put Leo firmly on the jazz map. When acid jazz decided to take a break, Bukky Leo embarked on the definitive pilgrimage to Egypt where he laid down the intellectual foundation for Black Egypt. The trip to Nile was an eye opener for him. After some years of developing their sound, Black Egypt emerged as one of the most acclaimed afro-beat groups outside Nigeria, releasing the album "Afrobeat Visions" on Mr. Bongo in 2005, preceded by Leo's guest appearance on Ben Mitchell & Russ Dewbury's album "Rapping With The Gods" in 2003. Both releases arrived in a time shortly before the digital age took over the music business, the DJ was the tastemaker and clubs were the places to discover exciting new music. Still, in the outside world, the social consensus seemed to disappear and made way for entrepreneurship and the emergence of the finance sector: "But people are not content with the outcome of privatisation, the new enterprises are not for their benefit. This may sound like a political discussion, to me it has more of a spiritual dimension though," he explains. "In times where things are not in the place where you think they actually should be it is essential to identify what really matters. Africa is the focal point for me."

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