Global Music Column – April

Tony Allen – There Is No End

One of the defining characteristics of the late Tony Allen’s drumming was his capacity to switch register at a moment’s notice. His is typically a hard-swinging, syncopated groove that can be sharply interrupted by a burst of air through the hi-hats and a rattling fill on the toms, making us aware of his presence not just as a solid sideman but as a spacious soloist, too.

This casual rhythmic code-switching made Allen such a formidable collaborator, working with everyone from Fela Kuti to Damon Albarn, techno producers Moritz von Oswald and Jeff Mills, and jazz luminary Hugh Masekela. True to form, before his death in 2020 he was working on this wide-reaching collaboration, an album of rhythms for a new generation of rappers to expound upon.

Read the review in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 02/04/21]