Antibalas

Security (Anti)

SXSW Reviews

Antibalas

Security (Anti-)

It's possible this dozen-member, Brooklyn-born collective dropped the latter two-thirds of its name – Afrobeat Orchestra – because it wanted to move out from beneath Fela Kuti's Afrobeat umbrella. Assuming so, asking John McEntire (Tom Ze, Stereolab, Tortoise) to produce their fourth was thoughtful. The sonic alchemist captures the band's unrelenting live energy while assisting exploration. Keeping its political scalpel sharp, Antibalas stabs at the beast in "Filibuster X," so acute that Fela smiles from above at the progress. Ditto for all 13 minutes of "Sanctuary" and the animated and emancipatory "War Hero." McEntire facilitates the chanted island-beat "Hilo," wherein the band hits like a kung-fu kick. With the exception of closer "Age," which, thanks to keelless melodies, should've been lain upon the cutting-room floor, Security delivers more epic, horn-thrusted, and tightly woven songs to launch booty into duty. (Friday, March 16, Antone's, 12mid)

***.5

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