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Government Magic

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Album Review

For the third studio CD from Antibalas, the big band continues to tread the path of their hero Fela Anikulapo Kuti, providing the exciting Nigerian Afro-beat sound accented by searing saxophone solos, electric keyboard chords, dancing and driving funky percussive rhythms, vocal shout choruses, political speak ups, and the fun, joyous music that has a distinct universal appeal. Baritone saxophonist Martin Perna, keyboardist Victor Axelrod, vocalist/percussionist Amayo, and lead tenor saxophonist Stuart Bogie front this 13-piece group plus singers, who have refined the formula of their early days, stepped it up a slight bit, and are starting to find a new Latin, Kwela or Makossa avenue to strut down. Most like Fela, the title cut displays a funky two-beat driven mid-tempo groove, dramatic horns, and spiked horns before they lay out, return, and regroup while the vocalists get down on the powers-that-be. "Out with the New, In with the Truth" is a heavy 6/8 number featuring the over-the-top tenor of Bogie, while the straight recording and dub version included of "Go Je Je" reflects the slow, inexorable, sexual sweaty West African 100-plus degree heat. Not known for covers, Antibalas also does the Willie Colón makossa song "Che Che Cole" with wah wah guitar, village group vocals, and the most tribal number the band has ever done. The P Vine label version of this CD has two extra tracks, further cementing the value of this Antibalas recording and perhaps the most singularly unique band of their kind in the world. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Biography

Formed: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

New York-based Antibalas were formed in 1998 by musicians from King Changó, the Soul Providers, and the Daktaris. Influenced by Nigerian Afro-beat, American soul, and Latin dance grooves, Antibalas started playing at clubs around New York, hosting a weekend party called Africalia, giving them the opportunity to perform their particular style based on the combination of different cultures immersed in the band. After recording Liberation Afrobeat, the live album, Live in New York! Summer 1999, was...
Full Bio
Government Magic, Antibalas
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: Aug 04, 2006

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