NEW ANTIBALAS LP, COMING THIS SUMMER

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Wow, has it really been five years since the last Antibalas album? Their self-titled release (their 5th) is coming out on Daptone and produced by Gabriel Roth. There’s a reason they’re America’s premier Afrobeat band; if you needed a reminder…

Antibalas: Sare Kon Kon
From Antibalas (Daptone, forthcoming 2012)

Due out August 7th just in time for you to ride out the back half of the summer.

ORCHESTRE DU BAWOBAB: CROSS-ATLANTIC CONNECTIONS

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Orchestre Du Bawobab: Kelen Ati Len + Jarraf
From Visage Du Senegaal (Disques Buur, 1974)

Amongst certain circles of Afro-funk fans, “Kelen Ati Len” is probably the best-known song by this Dakar band but this LP is hardly a one-tracker 1 No doubt, “Kelen Ati Len” is killer with its crashing drums and angular guitar work. It’s like Bawobab/Baobab members had spent a few years jamming with the Kashmere Stage Band before returning to Senegal.

However, I included “Jarraf” because you get a whole other sense of cross-cultural play with its Latin touches. That’s the whole thing about Afro-Caribbean music styles – West African traditions ended up in the Caribbean via the slave trade and then took root and evolved…and once Latin music blew up in the 1950s onward, you can hear how African groups blended it back into their music. Polyculturalism, made manifest?

  1. Alas, a digitizing flaw messed up the 3rd song I wanted to include.