Album: Antibalas, Antibalas (Daptone)

 

With their fifth album, the Brooklyn-based Antibalas show themselves to be almost as potent an Afrobeat ensemble as even the late Fela Kuti's greatest bands.

The key component is surely the new rhythm section of bassist Nikhil Yerawadekar and drummer Miles Arntzen, who capture the essential Afrobeat blend of power and subtlety to perfection . But what most impresses is the ingenious way that all the elements fit together like some fiendish 3D wooden puzzle, with the popping percussion, proud, staccato horns, and stabbing organ and electric piano all working to the same end on tracks like "The Ratcatcher" and "Dirty Money", which boast assertive, Fela-style lyrical themes of venality and filthy lucre.

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