Thursday, October 25, 2012


by Antibalas

Fela Kuti is alive and well, and curiously, living in Brooklyn.  That's what you might think, were you to listen to Antibalas's latest, self-titled album, without knowing what you were listening to.

The band, having made the move to Daptone Records, continue to channel the Black President in all that they do, while also modernizing his sound, and singing about contemporary issues which Fela would probably be tackling himself, were he still with us.

The album starts with 'Dirty Money', a horn-drenched commentary on our wealth-obsessed culture.  'Rat Catcher' tells a story that also sounds like one Fela would have told.  While the band is excellent and swinging, it is the presence of vocalist Abraham Amayo, who was raised in Nigeria, that elevates this music to a new level.  His lyrics and vocal mannerisms really bring all of these tracks together.  I love waiting for that point in each song (sometimes quite a ways in) where he joins the music.

I saw these guys play about a month ago, and I have to say, if you ever get the opportunity, make sure you don't miss them.  They put on an incredibly high-energy show.

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