I read in the Guardian a couple of months back that a new wave of Afrobeat artists were sweeping all before them on the dancefloors of the nation. So when I was paying one of my regular visits to the man in Roman Road market who sells dodgy reggae bootlegs and I saw a compilation called "Gotta Love Afrobeat Anthems Volume 1" I snapped it up.
It quickly became apparent that modern Afrobeat bears no more resemblance to what I consider to be Afrobeat than modern R 'n B bears to what I consider to be R 'n B. In fact, at least judging by this compilation, most of it is plain R 'n B that just happens to have been made by Africans. Very few of the tunes have any discernible local influence.
Most of it I didn't care for it all, but there are a few good numbers including the big breakthrough hit, D'Banj's "Oliver Twist". Here are two of the better tracks, both from Nigeria - "Adamma" by Flavour for me is the highlight of the album - and then we have our old friend Hugh Masekela to show the youngsters how it should be done.
UPDATE: It is now just one of the better tracks off the compilation. Box.Net have deleted "Adamma" after a complaint about copyright infringement. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.
"Bunie Ya Enu" - P-Square
"Afro Beat Blues" - Hugh Masekela
And here's the other good one from the compilation. I apologize on behalf of Kwame Joe for sticking his bloody logo all over the video.