I had heard about Antibalas for awhile but only first saw them last year when the entire crew (and then some) joined TVOTR on stage in Prospect Park and was absolutely blown away. Then in Austin last September for ACL, I briefly chatted with Martin Perna, the group's lead man, after he played a couple of songs with Kyp, Tunde and the guys. So when I got the opportunity to review their new album, Security, for this month's URB, I jumped at it -- and gave it 4.5 stars. Here's what I had to say:
Brooklyn's Afrobeat Heroes Spark a Fat One
If Antibalas served as a snapshot for how the world should look, there would be a lot more harmony on our planet. Their diverse world rhythms, described through a blending of jazz, reggae, soul, funk and, of course, Afrobeat made popular by the legendary Fela Kuti, infuse enough light to brighten even the darkest corners of the Earth. The group's eighth studio album (and first for the celebrated indie label) delivers a treasure trove of eclectic beats, energetic sounds, political musings and agreeable voices that come together in a perfect musical statement. Only seven songs long, the nearly hour-deep collection packs a serious punch, delivering enough diversity while remaining consistent and true to the group's rebel roots. While claiming more than 500 shows since their 1998 inception, Antibalas is the larger-than-life Brooklyn orchestra that could – and Security is just another notch in their collective belt.
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