This is a pretty easy segue from my last post about Tony Allen. I was reading the latest Rolling Stone yesterday, and in Austin Scaggs’ Smoking Section, he gave a heads up to the new album by Antibalas (which just came out March 6th). Scaggs said they “churn out the best Afrobeat since Fela Kuti left the building”.
So naturally, off I went to eMusic to download the album, and glad I did at that. Brooklyn-based Antibalas is most certainly hugely influenced by Fela. I would say it’s impossible to play Afrobeat and not be influenced by Fela. But these guys also manage to reinvent the form at the same time. The album is produced by John McEntire of Tortoise. If you want to spend an hour falling under the groove and spell of good Afrobeat (with some good rips on Bush & Cheney in “Filibuster XXX”), pick up this album.
Here’s the cool opening track to the album, the aptly named “Beaten Metal”.
Antibalas: Beaten Metal (mp3)
Antibalas’ Official Site | MySpace (includes their latest tour dates, which includes SxSW in Austin over the next few days, and just about every American city it seems except for here in Phoenix – shit!).