Clean, staccato guitars and conga 'n' snare breakbeats are quickly avalanched by monstrous horn sections, shakere counter-rhythms, and kinky clavinets. As time passes and we get further from the initial heat of Fela's influence, bands like Antibalas play a greater role in keeping the flame lit.Fela Kuti - Water no get enemy
Victor Axelrod's liquid organ initially takes something of a plodding lead on "Elephant", but at six minutes in, the track briefly dubs out and Ernesto Abreu's Yoruba vocals come on like a Nuyorican boogaloo crooner.
That release beautifully conveyed Fela's bravado and bluster, even while the band was yet unable to evoke his humor, intimacy and personality.
The track opens with a Superfly -echoing riff as spastic tenor sax man Stuart Bogie recites a litany of offenses committed by everyone from Donald Rumsfeld to "the game of baseball," in what sounds like some funky People's Court. Their 2002 follow-up Talkatif lightened their sound with sharper songwriting, including some truly memorable melodies no mean feat within afrobeat's syncopated firestorm that popped with addition of bright major chords, Afro-Latin rhythms, briefer track lengths, and more compelling lyrical fomentations from Duke Amayo.
Like hip-hop and reggae, afrobeat is one of the crucial forms of expression for the world's disenfranchised. At 12 minutes, it's one of the longer tracks in the group's repertoire, though a peek at the runtimes reveals that America contains two even lengthier tracks, one of which nears the 20-minute mark.
Who Is This America? Both the opening track and the breakbeat powerhouse "Big Man" come down on America's wholesaling of capitalist consumerism, augmented by a newfound razor-sharp wit. Just when I start gloating about afrobeat legend Fela Kuti's influence permeating the underground, what should find its way...
Just when I start gloating about afrobeat legend Fela Kuti's influence permeating the underground, what should find its way through my mail slot but the new Antibalas LP? Of course, while I was thrilled to hear a new multi-culti spin on the Nigerian afrobeat legacy, I couldn't shake my disappointment at the record's lack of focus, or its departure from Fela's tried-and-true blueprint. Antibalas, of course, predates them all, having staked their claim to Fela's dynasty back in 2001 with their Ninja Tune debut, Liberation Afrobeat Vol.
If you're familiar with afrobeat, you'll have a basic grasp of this record's sound: The decision to close America with two monumental midtempo songs gives Antibalas the opportunity to show off all the tricks and insight they've gained in their seven years together. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Open share drawer.
That sense of humor is also apparent on "Indictment", a stylistic watershed for the band. While Fela was a master at submerging political censure under metaphor see his 1973 release, Gentleman , a denouncement of colonialism that employed pants as symbolism , Antibalas is more didactic, though they do dabble in some amusing poetics.
Skip to content Search query All Results. But, never daunted, Antibalas regrouped to drop the bomb the world was waiting for: Pitchfork is the most trusted voice in music. Indeed, where Antibalas' previous works were abridged for accessibility, here they've clearly become more comfortable with their staying power, and more confident with their voice.