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  • 521074

Track listing

Click tracks with speaker icon to listen
1 Secret Agent 5:21
2 Ijo 5:13
3 Switch 4:49
4 Celebrate 7:54
5 Ayenlo 4:57
6 Busybody 4:34
7 Pariwo 5:53
8 Nina Lowo 5:44
9 Atuwaba 0:50
10 Alutere 3:44
11 Elewon Po 5:41

Secret Agent

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  • about this album

    “At nearly 70, the man Brian Eno reckons is perhaps the greatest drummer that ever lived is reveling in his heritage, and it’s contagious.” —Q

    Tony Allen—best known for his work as drummer and musical director for Fela Anikulapo Kuti, one of Africa’s most influential artists—makes his World Circuit / Nonesuch debut with the US release of Secret Agent on April 13, 2010. Following its European release in 2009, Secret Agent received generous critical praise. The Guardian proclaimed, “There is no question that Tony Allen is a genius, one of the greatest percussionists in the history of popular music,” while Observer Music Monthly said, “If you’re wondering why Afrobeat is hip, start here.”

    Together with Fela Kuti, with whom he played for 15 years, Allen co-created Afrobeat—the hard-driving, horns-rich, funk-infused, politically insurrectionary style that became such a dominant force in African music and is now one of Africa’s most popular styles among international listeners.

    Allen produced Secret Agent, which was recorded with his touring band of musicians from Nigeria, Cameroon, Martinique, and France. The music is four-square in the Afrobeat tradition—rhythmic tenor guitar, funky keyboards, call-and-response vocals, and full-throated horns—with a few twists (including keyboard player and arranger Fixi’s accordion on some tracks). Allen’s playing, meanwhile, draws on four different styles—highlife, soul/funk, jazz, and traditional Nigerian drumming. At Afrobeat’s heart is the beat, even more prominent now than it was in Fela Kuti’s legendary Afrika ‘70 band.

    Secret Agent is Allen’s first release since he became a founding member of The Good, The Bad, and The Queen (alongside Damon Albarn, Paul Simenon, and Simon Tong). This association has helped encourage a recent upsurge of interest in Afrobeat. Over the years, Allen has appeared on dozens of albums, and his continued relevance—fans of hip-hop, funk, and jazz clamor for his recordings—speaks to the staying power of the Afrobeat music that he helped create in the 1960s.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Tony Allen, drums, percussion, lead vocals (1, 11)
    Rody Cereyon, bass
    Claude Dibongue, guitar
    Fixi, Rhodes, keyboards, synths, accordion, Vocoder, voice (1), trombone (6)
    Nicolas Giraud, trumpet
    Jean Jacques Elangue, tenor saxophone
    Yann Jankielewicz, alto & baritone saxophones   
    Simon Andrieux, trombone
    Yinka Ogunye, percussion       
    Orobiyi Adunni aka AYO, lead vocals (2, 8, 5, 9), backing vocals (3)
    Bola Dumoye aka Switch, lead vocals, backing vocals (3)
    Kefee Obareki, lead vocals (6)
    King Odudu, lead vocals (4, 7)
    Abiodun Oke aka Wura Samba, lead vocals (10) 
    Backing vocals: Deborah Ohiri, Shade Orobiyi, Michael Okorie, Soji Adetona, Bola Kamson, Kefee Obareki (6)
    Additional Guitar: Seb Martel (1, 2, 6, 4), Oscar Olembe (1, 3)

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    A World Circuit Presentation
    Produced by Tony Allen & Fixi
    Additional production by Morris Kawel and Nick Gold
    Recorded at Studioworks, Lagos
    Sound Engineer Morris Kawel
    Assisted by Tezsh Terseer Jato, Moses Okoase, Fidelis Eleyi, Stephen Oshilaja.
    Coordinator in Lagos Kole Israel Payne
    Thanks to Dayo Akinbote, Hotel Cottage 2, Hotel Opebi Ikeja.
    Pre-production & additional recording at Studio Nemours Street, Paris
    Sound Engineer Fixi
    Additional recording at Studio Calm, Paris & Studio Soyuz, Paris
    Sound Engineer Lucas Chauvière
    Assisted by Lionel Boutang
    Mixed at Livingston Studios, London
    Mixed by Sonny
    Mastered by Tom Leader

    Music composed by Tony Allen. Lyrics by Tony Allen (1, 11), Orobiyi Adunni aka AYO (2, 5, 8, 9), Bola Dumoye aka Switch (3), Kefee Obareki (6), King Odudu (4, 7), Abiodun Oke aka Wura Samba (10). All tracks arranged by Fixi. Published by Carthage Music Ltd.

    Artwork by House @ Intro
    Cover Photograph by Hugo Glendinning

    Format availability

    This album is available from Nonesuch in the US and Canada only.

on November 3, 2009 - 3:09pm
Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

521074

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
Artist Name: 
Tony Allen
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
UPC: 
075597981001BUN
Price: 
16.00
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597980998
Price: 
10.00
Label: 
MP3
Description: 

“At nearly 70, the man Brian Eno reckons is perhaps the greatest drummer that ever lived is reveling in his heritage, and it’s contagious.” —Q

Tony Allen—best known for his work as drummer and musical director for Fela Anikulapo Kuti, one of Africa’s most influential artists—makes his World Circuit / Nonesuch debut with the US release of Secret Agent on April 13, 2010. Following its European release in 2009, Secret Agent received generous critical praise. The Guardian proclaimed, “There is no question that Tony Allen is a genius, one of the greatest percussionists in the history of popular music,” while Observer Music Monthly said, “If you’re wondering why Afrobeat is hip, start here.”

Together with Fela Kuti, with whom he played for 15 years, Allen co-created Afrobeat—the hard-driving, horns-rich, funk-infused, politically insurrectionary style that became such a dominant force in African music and is now one of Africa’s most popular styles among international listeners.

Allen produced Secret Agent, which was recorded with his touring band of musicians from Nigeria, Cameroon, Martinique, and France. The music is four-square in the Afrobeat tradition—rhythmic tenor guitar, funky keyboards, call-and-response vocals, and full-throated horns—with a few twists (including keyboard player and arranger Fixi’s accordion on some tracks). Allen’s playing, meanwhile, draws on four different styles—highlife, soul/funk, jazz, and traditional Nigerian drumming. At Afrobeat’s heart is the beat, even more prominent now than it was in Fela Kuti’s legendary Afrika ‘70 band.

Secret Agent is Allen’s first release since he became a founding member of The Good, The Bad, and The Queen (alongside Damon Albarn, Paul Simenon, and Simon Tong). This association has helped encourage a recent upsurge of interest in Afrobeat. Over the years, Allen has appeared on dozens of albums, and his continued relevance—fans of hip-hop, funk, and jazz clamor for his recordings—speaks to the staying power of the Afrobeat music that he helped create in the 1960s.

DescriptionExcerpt: 

For fans of hip-hop, funk, and jazz, Tony Allen, holder of the Afrobeat flame following the death of pioneer Fela Kuti, is revered as the genre's leading living figure. NPR exclaims: "Tony Allen is easily one of the most gifted and influential percussionists of all time." Secret Agent, finds him "continuing his late career high," says Pitchfork, "never more confident." 

FormatRestrictions: 

This album is available from Nonesuch in the US and Canada only.

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
Tony Allen, drums, percussion, lead vocals (1, 11)
Rody Cereyon, bass
Claude Dibongue, guitar
Fixi, Rhodes, keyboards, synths, accordion, Vocoder, voice (1), trombone (6)
Nicolas Giraud, trumpet
Jean Jacques Elangue, tenor saxophone
Yann Jankielewicz, alto & baritone saxophones   
Simon Andrieux, trombone
Yinka Ogunye, percussion       
Orobiyi Adunni aka AYO, lead vocals (2, 8, 5, 9), backing vocals (3)
Bola Dumoye aka Switch, lead vocals, backing vocals (3)
Kefee Obareki, lead vocals (6)
King Odudu, lead vocals (4, 7)
Abiodun Oke aka Wura Samba, lead vocals (10) 
Backing vocals: Deborah Ohiri, Shade Orobiyi, Michael Okorie, Soji Adetona, Bola Kamson, Kefee Obareki (6)
Additional Guitar: Seb Martel (1, 2, 6, 4), Oscar Olembe (1, 3)

PRODUCTION CREDITS
A World Circuit Presentation
Produced by Tony Allen & Fixi
Additional production by Morris Kawel and Nick Gold
Recorded at Studioworks, Lagos
Sound Engineer Morris Kawel
Assisted by Tezsh Terseer Jato, Moses Okoase, Fidelis Eleyi, Stephen Oshilaja.
Coordinator in Lagos Kole Israel Payne
Thanks to Dayo Akinbote, Hotel Cottage 2, Hotel Opebi Ikeja.
Pre-production & additional recording at Studio Nemours Street, Paris
Sound Engineer Fixi
Additional recording at Studio Calm, Paris & Studio Soyuz, Paris
Sound Engineer Lucas Chauvière
Assisted by Lionel Boutang
Mixed at Livingston Studios, London
Mixed by Sonny
Mastered by Tom Leader

Music composed by Tony Allen. Lyrics by Tony Allen (1, 11), Orobiyi Adunni aka AYO (2, 5, 8, 9), Bola Dumoye aka Switch (3), Kefee Obareki (6), King Odudu (4, 7), Abiodun Oke aka Wura Samba (10). All tracks arranged by Fixi. Published by Carthage Music Ltd.

Artwork by House @ Intro
Cover Photograph by Hugo Glendinning