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Nearly two decades on, Brooklyn’s twelve-piece afrobeat ensemble Antibalas shows no signs of slowing down on its powerful sixth full-length.
Where The Gods Are In Peace continues the Fela Kuti worship that has marked Antibalas since inception. Driving rhythms provide a marching funk beat for walls of brass to blast in unison or explode in solo freedom. Chanted vocals beget a call-and-response chorus while the guitars blend Nigerian aesthetics with fuzzy psychedelic tendencies. In true afrobeat fashion, the tracks run around ten minutes, with the closing three-part “Tombstown” running a full fifteen. It’s everything that made Fela’s music great done with the utmost love and respect for the dearly departed hero.
Fela’s oldest son Femi Kuti has turned to pop, while Seun, his youngest, keeps the dream alive by fronting his father’s legendary Egypt 80 group. Here in the US, however, Antibalas deliver the same message with passion and energy. Make sure you see them when they come to town. You won’t forget it.
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