With summer in the Pacific Northwest bidding adieu and the rainy season lurking around the corner, concert promoters who got a late start to the season due to Oregon having
It was already packed tight when I arrived at Southpaw in the heart of Park Slope, standard for an Antibalas show in their home borough. The venue proved to be a good fit for the afro-beat collective, despite the small stage—wedging 12 band members, including keys, full percussion and six horns, into that cramped area was an impressive feat.
I've wondered about their staying power and ability to emerge from behind the long shadow of Fela Kuti and assert a fresher, more developed sound. At their album-release party (for Security) at the Warsaw in Brooklyn on March 10th, all doubts were laid to rest.
Antibalas, the horn and percussion driven Brooklyn collective, is best known for their energetic afro-beat grooves that channel the legendary Fela Kuti. But with careful attention to refining their sound—adding distinct Latin, jazz and funk elements—the group has emerged as a well-rounded and diverse sonic force. On Security, they demonstrate their growth, with the capable guidance of producer John McEntire (of Tortoise and The Sea and Cake fame), post-rock pioneer and a consummate shaper of dynamic soundscapes.
At Orchestra Baobab