Tony Allen: There Is No End review – consummate collaborator's final drumroll

One of the defining characteristics of the late Tony Allen’s drumming was his capacity to switch register at a moment’s notice. His is typically a hard-swinging, syncopated groove that can be sharply interrupted by a burst of air through the hi-hats and a rattling fill on the toms, making us aware of his presence not just as a solid sideman but as a spacious soloist, too.

This casual rhythmic code-switching made Allen such a formidable collaborator, working with everyone from Fela Kuti to Damon Albarn, techno producers Moritz von Oswald and Jeff Mills, and jazz luminary Hugh Masekela. True to form, before his death in 2020 he was working on this wide-reaching collaboration, an album of rhythms for a new generation of rappers to expound upon.

The result is the feature-laden There Is No End, posthumously arranged by producer Vincent Taeger. Allen’s beats – already sampled in tracks by everyone from J Cole to Missy Elliott, Nas and Mos Def – work familiarly and head-noddingly well on opener Stumbling Down, perfectly blending with Australian rapper Sampa the Great’s scattering, polyrhythmic flows, while the grizzled baritone of LA’s Tsunami intersects satisfyingly with the reverb-laden Afrobeat on Très Magnifique.

Related: Tony Allen: the Afrobeat pioneer's 10 finest recordings

The most interesting music here comes when Allen’s metronomic work gets chopped up and made thrillingly alien: Danny Brown’s off-kilter whine tripping over a triplet bassline on Deer in Headlights; poet Ben Okri’s dub lyricism on the vamping Cosmosis, and the spacious, Wu Tang-referencing swagger of Hurt Your Soul, slowing Allen down to a menacing crawl.

Unlike the cobbled-together feel of many posthumous releases, There Is No End plays as a cohesive record because of Allen’s capacity to slot into place behind seemingly any collaborator without diluting his innate sense of rhythmic style. The album is a tantalising glimpse of the varied records Allen might have gone on to make; as it stands, it will no doubt inspire others to continue to shape the multitude of work he left behind into giddy new forms.

Also out this month

A 2008 live collaboration between Malian kora master Toumani Diabaté and the London Symphony Orchestra is released as Kôrôlén – a tender and beautiful merging of musical traditions, culminating in singer Kassé Mady Diabaté’s yearning vocals on closing track Mamadou Kanda Keita. Pakistani American composer Arooj Aftab artfully blends the warm balladry of sufism with luscious, string-laden arrangements on her third album, Vulture Prince, a forlorn twist on a centuries-old devotional tradition. Italian producer Khalab presents a fascinating collaboration with musicians from the Mauritanian refugee camp M’berra as the M’berra Ensemble. Mixing field recordings with defiant vocals and propelling rhythms, the group channel their placelessness into a new sub-Saharan blues.