Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 cut direct-to-disc session for Night Dreamer debut.
Seun Kuti, youngest son of afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, and leader of his father’s Egypt 80 band, entered the Artone Studio in Haarlem, Holland, earlier this year to cut a direct to disc session in a single take.
The first to be released on the Night Dreamer label, the session brought some of the foremost afrobeat musicians in the world together, many of whom cut their teeth playing with Fela himself.
Inheriting both his father’s musicality and political activism, Seun was only fourteen when his father died, and has played with the band for over twenty years, first as a singer and then as a saxophonist in his father’s mould.
For the Night Dreamer session, the band took a day to acclimatise themselves to the recording process, sound check levels, and perform a few test cuts, with Seun was the central figure throughout, orchestrating the band with the assurance of his father.
Playing without the safety of multiple takes, Seun and Egypt 80 cut all four tracks (two per side) in a single take without rehearsal on the second day, improvising with all the focus and relaxation of a band in the midst of a world tour.
The recordings were cut to the studio’s Neumann VMS70 lathe, capturing not just the urgency of the performance but the atmosphere of the session itself, with all its imperfections. A snapshot of a legendary outfit at the top of their game.