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Antibalas: Security

by Ami Kealoha
on 16 February 2007

Security is the first ever Afrobeat soundtrack. Irreverent, hip, rough, political, moody and soulful, it's like an afro-funkier Curtis Mayfield score for a Blacksploitation film that only exists in the mind of the listener. As told by Brooklyn’s twelve-member Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, the story unfolds like a hypnotic trance.

With a new record label (the coincidentally named ANTI-Records) and new producer John McEntire (Tortoise, Stereolab), Antibalas is breaking new ground with Security, their fifth and most experimental studio album in their ten year career. The new record is a clear turning point for the band. Staunch Afrobeat traditionalists may be disappointed by its lack of Fela Kuti worship. But with Security, Antibalas has made that transition that all true artists must make when transcending the limits of their genre to create something exciting and new. Incorporating diverse musical influences—from free jazz to rock—and non-traditional instrumentation, they also experiment with the form itself, adding extended b-sections that take the tunes much further than rhythm breaks and give the album an epic air.

Favorite tracks are difficult to choose on an album that is a pleasure from start to finish.

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