Prentiss Riddle: Music

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Prentiss Riddle
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Antibalas with a bullet

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra brings the 70's horn-driven sound of Nigerian musician and political rebel Fela Kuti home to Brooklyn, USA. Their CD Liberation Afro Beat Vol. 1 features driving horns, heavy on the bottom with baritone sax out front over a big multilayered rhythm section. This is wake-up-and-shake-it music.

Antibalas is also a self-described political "movement". I'm not sure how that's supposed to work -- if I subscribe to their politics will they let me sit in on their next gig? Be that as it may, like Ozomatli at the opposite corner of the country, they haven't let the egalitarianism of their politics stand in the way of making some excellent music. Essentially an all-instrumental album, LABV1's few spoken-word elements don't really express Antibalas' message all that well -- the intro to "World War IV" is an abbreviated laundry list of oppression by "war criminal Bill Clinton" and others, which means we must be up to World War VI or so by now. But the message isn't in the words, it's in the music.

When was the last time you heard a political trombone solo? You'll hear it from these guys.

music 2002.08.02 link

Comments

Hey, I thwot I had da Brooklyn beat! I've seen Antibalas a few times, once at a funky studio in SoHo with a pickup band of Fela Anikulapo Kuti veterans, and they definitely have it down, down to all those dirty, dirty horn licks. All geeky Opies just like you and me, too, with subtle Deadhead inflections: a pale shadow of Fela himself (saw him at the Olympic Auditorium in 1986, best show ever ever), but you just can't get enough of that Afrobeat stuff. I'm checking em out on Rhapsody right now. Thanks, Riddler! You're the hippest!

iggy [iggy ARROBA hairyeyeball PUNTO net] • 2002.08.03
http://www.hairyeyeball.net/jotbook/archives/000496.html

Anonymous • 2002.08.03
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