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Antibalas

Antibalas (Daptone)

Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., Oct. 12, 2012

ACL Music Fest Saturday Reviews

Antibalas

Antibalas (Daptone)

Five years have flown by since Brooklyn's Antibalas dropped an LP's worth of Fela Kuti-inspired polyrhythms. In the interim, its bandmembers have occupied Wall Street, forged a myriad of side projects (Chico Mann, Austin's Ocote Soul Sounds), and supplied a soundtrack for the Fela! Broadway musical, for which trombonist Aaron Johnson served as musical director. Somehow the New York 12-piece is more focused than ever, eschewing the experimentation of 2007's Security for Antibalas' pure, uncut Afrobeat. From the loping swagger of "Him Belly No Go Sweet" to wild rumpus closer "Sáré Kon Kon," the orchestra proves itself the top purveyor of African funk not led by the progeny of Fela himself. Frontman Duke Amayo spins a sly parable on "Dirty Money" in the tradition of genre classic "I.T.T. (International Thief Thief)", but incessant grooves, captured live by producer and Daptone architect Gabriel Roth, are what greases these palms. (7pm, Zilker stage)

***.5

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