Antibalas is a Brooklyn-based afrobeat band that integrates elements of jazz, funk, and dub. The group derives its primary inspiration from Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 band, which led to a stint as the live band for the of the off-Broadway hit Fela! in 2008, arranging and performing tracks originally penned by Kuti himself. Antibalas celebrates their 20th anniversary with Fu Chronicles, a nostalgic return to their pre-gentrified Williamsburg roots. Antibalas (and Daptone Records itself) was spawned from lead singer Duke Amayo’s North Brooklyn Kung Fu dojo, and this training led to him creating a unique combination of music, dance, and martial arts that he refers to as “FU-ARKIST-RA”. While the music at times resembles the dramatic orchestrations from classic Kung Fu films, it isn’t a mere homage or tribute, reflecting Amayo’s passion for the underlying principles of martial arts. The album was almost entirely cut live, giving each tune an expansive, intuitive feel. “Fight Am Finish” is stammering monophonic keys and swooning brass, “Lai Lai” is shaker-led guitar funk with vibrant backing vocals. “Fist Of Flowers” is built on warm electric organ, heroic horn stabs, and features a wonderful sax solo. This album is pressed on limited edition maroon colored vinyl, and includes a printed inner sleeve with full album lyrics.
- maroon colored vinyl pressing
- packaged in tip-on style jacket with printed inner sleeve
- digital download included
- limited edition
- music label: Daptone 2020
reviewed by AHMED GALLAB 03/2020