Discs: ANTIBALAS

Rating: NNNOver the course of a year, Brooklyn Fela disciples Antibalas have released their debut album, Liberation Afrobeat Vol. 1,.


Rating: NNN


Over the course of a year, Brooklyn Fela disciples Antibalas have released their debut album, Liberation Afrobeat Vol. 1, in at least three different incarnations. Bold marketing, for sure, but with the 14-piece orchestra now signed to Ninja Tune, this must be considered the definitive version. Liberation Afrobeat is full-throttle African funk, heavy on percussion and hypnotic, sinewy rhythms and with a sax section that blares like a Lagos traffic jam. Even with more than a dozen people jostling around, it’s a remarkably tight mix. What’s so sad about Ninja Tune re-releasing this two-year-old recording is that Antibalas have become even tighter in the interim. Live bonus tracks offer an update, but a proper follow-up is long overdue.

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