On the verge of a mainstream breakthrough, Antibalas have made an odd choice in hiring John McEntire from Tortoise as the producer to make sense of the group's blasting horn lines and free-flowing rhythms for a funk-friendly audience outside the Afrobeat faithful.
The sombre-toned Security album is a considerable departure from the aggressively confrontational attack for which Antibalas are known and loved. McEntire applies the dubwise concepts he knows best while slowing down the Antibalas roll and flattening their sound to remove all the explosive bursts - essentially Tortoisizing them.
Perhaps the thinking is that a softer, subtler approach will make Antibalas more palatable to a wider audience. Unfortunately, it's come at the cost of what originally made their music so exciting.
Antibalas play the Opera House Friday (June 29).