CD Review

Fela Kuti's Afrobeat fusion of jazz, funk and West African drumming is the cornerstone of Brooklyn-based Antibalas's (ne, Anitbalas Afrobeat Orchestra) gig. Their third full-length is produced by space-age bachelor-pad soundtracker John McEntire (a studio whiz and sometime collaborator with the likes of Tortoise and Stereolab), who apparently gave plenty of heeded advice on arranging (and experimenting) to the many-membered group. The multiple rhythms run smoothly from hyper-shake Kuti-style super groovers to slow-horned spicy-smooth jazz perfect for contemplating your navel. You can also run down the list of artists Antibalas has performed with over the last few years and hear what they learned from Pancho Sanchez (who brings out the Latin flavor that had been simmering on past releases) and Herbie Hancock (responsible for the keys cracklin' with static electricity). Security is the kind of record you break out when you're throwing a cocktail party where you want dance circles to break out intermittently followed by fight-the-power discussions about the lyrics. In other words, it's one smooth mess of styles. (Michael Coyle)


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