Monday, December 27, 2010

Album Review: Music Frees All-Emefe

Music Frees All, the debut album from NY based afro-funk ensemble Emefe, is a seriously funky collection of eight songs packed with energy and attitude. The album was recorded in the basement of drummer/band-leader Miles Arntzen, and you can hear that raw, untapped energy of young musicians pouring their hearts out onto all eight tracks on the album. Emefe is a highly talented group of musicians dedicated to paying homage to the tradition of Fela Anikulapo Kuti and the musicians who have followed in his lineage. This album is a great initial offering and a sign of even greater things to come if the group can continue to work together.

Music Frees All features several tracks that range in tempo and dynamic. Uptempo tracks such as Free Yourself, 221 Groove and Oh, That's What It Is are highly danceable, energizing tracks that will make any dancefloor jump. Slower tracks like The War and Consequence and Sumo are more sneaky, relaxed grooves that showcase Emefe's horn-section and its ability to accentuate winding, languishing lines. There are also tracks that display a range of tempos and dynamics within a single composition such as the opener Jump and Stomp and The Night.

As afrobeat continues to grow and flourish as a growing movement in multiple cities across the globe, bands continue to sprout from every direction. Emefe represents that growing trend of musicians riding the cresting afrobeat wave. While certain bands will label themselves afrobeat without delving into the history of the music or putting in the time to learn the form, Emefe clearly understands and respects those who have came before them in the afro-tradition. Judging from the quality of the horn and percussion arrangements on this album, they know what afrobeat is really about and how to build on its tradition.

Dig the album for whatever price you like here.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra Remix

It seems these days more and more afrobeat inspired bands are popping up all over the globe. It truly is a beautiful thing. Check out this remixed track from UK-based outfit Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra.

Herma Puma Jollys - (Ariya Astrobeat Remix) by Herma Puma

Zozo Afrobeat on BreakThru Radio

Check out this dope video courtesy of BreakThru Radio that takes you inside the world of afrobeat with NY-based ensemble Zozo Afrobeat as your tour guide.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Wudos Band Mixtape

What do you get when you take the funky beats of the Budos Band, and combine them with the ferocious lyrics of the Wu-Tang Clan? The Wudos Band, yes, that's right, the two best things to ever come out of Staten Island have joined forces. 8 mashups of Budos jams with Wu-Tang lyrics. What more could you ask for?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some Afro-Love from Australia

Harmon - Melbourne World Edits #1 by congotardis
Check out this dope track from Melbourne beatmaker Paul Harmon...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Album Review: Analog Africa No. 9-Angola Soundtrack

Analog Africa has unearthed yet another treasure chest of African funky goodness. This time around they draw from Angola, the Southwestern African nation, with Angola Soundtrack. Featuring several hypnotic styles such as Semba, Merengue, Kazukuta, and Rebita, these are songs you most likely have never heard, although due to the styles they amalgamate, they have a familiar feel. The percussion backdrop, the entrancing guitars, the call and response vocals, will all be familiar to any listener with an interest in post-colonial African musical styles. Highlife, afro-funk, and Mande swing all take elements from the musical styles of the Americas and combine them with homegrown percussion and vocal styles. The popular music of 1970's Angola is no different, but these songs definitely have their own style unique to the cultural factors present in Angola as opposed to Nigeria, Ghana, or Mali.

Analog Africa has an amazing track record of hunting down original music on the African continent, re-packaging it, and introducing it to a new audience. The world is a better place for it, and they have helped contribute to the budding revival African music is currently enjoying. Angola Soundtrack is the most recent release in the line of compilation albums that continue to push that revival forward. If you've enjoyed any of their other compilations thus far, definitely check this one out as well. You will not be disappointed.

Zé Da Lua - Ulungu Wami by afrobeatblog