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Antibalas: Liberation Afro Beat Volume 1

To hear the undulant, grooving sounds of Afrobeat, with a reverential nod to the influence of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, one could bend an ear towards Brooklyn, N.Y., where the group called Antibalas (“bullet proof”) has hosted the weekly “Africali!” The 15-piece group summons up a sound in which Afrobeat is the root, but elements of funk, jazz and Cuban rhythms slip into the mix. That cultural references end up in a happy, hip stew is not surprising, given the musicians’ varied backgrounds, as well as an in-house attitude which embraces universality. The Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra’s Liberation Afrobeat, Volume One is a reissue of a recording originally released on their Afrosound label, with two extra tracks added. The sound quality varies, especially on the live recordings, but the spirit of therapeutic rhythmic fever, and idealism, prevails.

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