The Paper Wave Radio Show – Tony Allen Special

We were absolutely gutted to hear about Tony Allen’s passing. Ben Davis wrote a lovely post post (see below) and dedicated a Paper Wave Radio Show to him. There are interviews, his influences, knockout music and the finest drumming the world has ever heard.

It was with a heavy heart that I learned of Tony Allen‘s passing. He has long been one of my musical heroes and its interesting how upset you can feel about somebody you never met. As I write this, I’m looking at a picture of him right next to my desk that has been up for many years as a creative and musical guiding light. Only this morning his brilliant new album dropped through my letterbox.

We approached his management to make a film of his life four years ago and shook hands on it in Paris, which was one of the most exciting days of my life. Unfortunately it never happened but as we developed and researched the project, my admiration for him just kept growing. How many people can claim to have invented a musical genre?

Through post-colonial Africa, Fela, lost years in Europe and the late blooming of creativity pushing musical boundaries, it is an incredible life and career. Just in the last 5 years he has been involved in projects that touched on techno, dub, jazz, hip hop (the list goes on) and all alchemised by his afromagic. I managed to see him live a couple of times and he blew me away on each occasion. Read “Tony Allen : An Autobiography of the Master Drummer of Afrobeat” for the whole, incredible story.

He will be looked back on, rightly as one of the greats.
A huge loss for music.
RIP Tony Allen

Ben Davis

Stevie Wonder vs. 2 Billion Beats – FREE DOWNLOAD

To celebrate Stevie’s 70th birthday, 2 Billion Beats took him in to the lab and this piece of magic is the result. 7 minutes of dancefloor heaven.



Paper Recommends

Some more things that are rocking our world….


From David Simon, the creator of The Wire is a series about the post-hurricane Katrina New Orleans. It feels especially relevant now with its refection on political and police corruption, racism, the public housing controversy, the criminal-justice system and the black experience. Front and forward is New Orleans music with appearances from bona- fide stars like Dr John, Steve Earle, Alain Toussaint, Soul Rebels Brass Band and a whole host of others its is an education. Add the Shakespearean intrigue and drama that David Simons is known for one of the best mini-series of recent years.

Find it HERE



If like us you were gutted to hear of his death, his autobiography is a great place reflect on his legacy. Engagingly written with Michael E. Veal it covers post colonial Nigeria, the Fela years followed by his move to Europe. It is full of juicy anecdotes, seldom mentioned facts abut his life as well as insight in to the drumming one of the greatest who ever lived.

For further reading, Ginger Baker’s Hellraiser proves him to be even more mental than you thought with a good chunk of the book on his time in Nigeria and Fela Kuti.

Hear the Paper Wave Radio Show – Tony Allen Special for 2 hours of sublime afrobeat.



A doc on the unique and wonderful Arthur Russell who changed the face of music. There really has been nobody since who has occupied the same ground.