Brian Eno’s Favorite Beats of the ’70s

Brian Eno

The erudite Brian Eno once said, “There were three great beats in the ’70s: Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat, James Brown’s funk, and Klaus Dinger’s Neu!-beat.” They are so great, in fact, that strains of their DNA can be detected in practically every groove-based genre of the last 35 years. These include not just hip-hop and techno, but industrial and jungle/drum ’n’ bass as well. Bringing together landmark recordings from all three, this playlist is a sprawling tapestry of densely undulating polyrhythms, purring 4/4, and ecstatic syncopation punctuated with seriously nasty breaks. The bulk of the tracks feature Kuti, Brown, or Dinger, obviously. There are exceptions, however. Kraftwerk, for instance, explored Dinger’s motorik rhythm to great effect years after the group and drummer had parted ways. Hit play and find out why Eno knows what the hell he’s talking about.