You may know Tony Allen as the drummer on Fela Kuti’s band Africa 70, with whom he basically created the Afrobeat phenomenon, or from the array of other artists he has previously played with such as King Sunny Ade, Rocket Juice & The Moon, and The Good, The Bad & The Queen or you may just know him as one of the greatest drummers of all time, but however you know him, you know him none the less.
And now the legendary Tony Allen has got a surprise in store with the release of his new single “Go Back” which features a reunion with the jack of all trades, vocalist and Blur & Gorillaz front man Damon Albarn, who he has previously played with in The Good, The Bad and The Queen, and Rocket Juice & The Moon. Out on July 7, he new single is the first to be released from Allen’s forthcoming album Film Of Life, which is to be released in October via Jazz Village.
“Go Back” is a very intriguing track and showcases Allen’s flawless Afrobeat percussion abilities, of which coincide so beautifully with the smooth and relaxing vocals of Albarn. There is no surprise however that these two musical geniuses working together would create such a purely stunning song. If you have heard the creations of their talents combined before – which can also be witnessed on Allen’s 2002 LP Home Cooking – then you would expect nothing less than the greatness they have so beautifully reconciled on “Go Back”.
The new single is over flowing with summer vibes and is completely sun drenched in atmosphere, with the bubbling bassline which mixes so perfectly with the distinct and sharp, but tender sound of Allen’s professionally demonstrated beats, the flawless unique vocals of Albarn and the sublime saxophone arrangements. The name for this song could not be a better fit for these two artists, as they really do go “way back”, and I imagine I am not the only person praying that they also go forward as well, as these two legends are like a fine wine, they really do get better with age (or remain as gifted and talented as ever) but either way, “Go Back” is the perfect reunion and I hope it is not the last piece of musical history these two create together.
Words by Kerrie Lobb // Edited by Ayo Adepoju