Home Read Classic Album Review: Antibalas | Talkatif

Classic Album Review: Antibalas | Talkatif

The mighty Brooklyn collective channel the sound & spirit of Fela on their second LP.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


It’s a funky world after all.

The umpteen-member Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra hail from Brooklyn, Noo Yawk — but their sound comes straight from the Afrobeat world of Fela Kuti. For those not down on the Fela tip, think of James Brown at his late-’60s bad-mutha funkiest, coupled with multi-layered African rhythms and percussion. Think of scritch-scratchy guitars and punchy horn lines, fuelled by hypnotic syncopated grooves and lengthy instrumental jams (average track length on this seven-cut sophomore CD: six minutes). Think of a sound that is almost impossible to listen to without becoming slowly wooed over — first your head starts bobbing, then your shoulders start to sway, then soon you’re dancing as unself-conscioiusly as a hippie at a folk festival.