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Kokoroko | Kokoroko

London's female-fronted Afrobeat collective get hips swivelling with their EP.

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Fela Kuti was not exactly a champion of women’s rights. In fact, the Afrobeat pioneer openly said he was proud to be a sexist. You have to wonder what the self-proclaimed “Black President” would make of Kokoroko and their four-track debut EP. The eight-piece Afrobeat collective from London is not only fronted by trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey; the band’s entire thee-person horn section is female. And no matter what Fela thought of that, he’d have to respect the young collective’s formidable ability to combine the hypnotic hip-swivelling grooves, lilting melodies and stabbing brass syncopation essential to the form. After all, Kuti may have been a sexist, but he was certainly no fool.