Liberation Afro Beat 1
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Liberation Afro Beat Vol. 1
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Owing as much to James Brown and Tito Puente as to Fela Kuti, Antibalas, the multiracial 14-piece Brooklyn collective named after the Spanish word for "bulletproof," are far from straight Afro Beat revivalists. Instead, Liberation Afro Beat, Vol. 1 lays New York's rich musical heritage of jazz, funk, and Latin groove over Afro Beat's polyrhythms to spectacular effect, resulting in a raw selection of driving ghetto funk. Despite tracks being mostly instrumental and nearly 10 minutes long, the relentless onslaught of rasping horns, African chants, strutting bass, and frantic percussion mean there's nothing dull about these eight phenomenal tunes. The collection's explosive Afro/Latin/American collision may earmark it as a party album, but there is a deeper motivation to their music. Hear the cries of war in the tenor sax breaks of "Dirt & Blood" and "World War IV"'s denouncement of American foreign policy; Antibalas's unreserved '70s grooves come with unreserved passion and politics. With all the ingredients of the golden age of funk, Liberation Afro Beat, Vol. 1 is a modern classic that matches (beat for socially aware beat) the best the era had to offer. --Dan Gennoe
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I saw them live at the Temple Bar in LA and they blew me away. The orchestration of their big band is sublime with all the aggressiveness one would expect from those following in the footsteps of Fela Kuti. They groove and swing with incredible passion and intensity.
The song World War IV sums up the political stance of the group and you can't deny it.
Some of their songs are also published on the "Africafunk"-cds and other afrobeat-samplers.
How to define their style? Of course, sometimes they sound like Fela Kuti, a bit less Afro and a bit more Jazz. The 4 horns varying from "bigband-like" to deepest funk. 5 Congaplayers & Drummers will make you dancing & shaking. Guitars are super-funky, the organ & the bassline will blow your mind away.
Tracks 5-8 recorded live at the Jazz Café, London.
If you like JB, Matata, Mandrill, Fela Kuti, Manu Dibango, Peter King etc, you have to buy this funky, groovy masterpiece!!! If you wanna buy only one CD in 2003, go an buy this one! I'm just too happy I did so!
Martin Antibalas plays the baritone sax and conducts the music. With song titles like 'Dirt and blood' and 'Uprising' they continue in the tradition of Fela Kuti who added a political message to his funky music.
This is funky world music people! Recommended to anyone who likes Fela Kuti's earlier work or any band on the Desco label.
I'd definitely recommend this album to anyone who likes afrobeat or Antibalas' music. I'd also recommend "ASAP: the Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project"... there's a great uptempo live version of "Uprising" by Antibalas on it, as well as some other brilliant afrobeat acts like Tony Allen, Akoya, and Dele Sosimi. You can check it out at modiba.net