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The Afrobeat Thread

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I was wondering how much love there is for Afrobeat 'round these parts? Not just the classic old school Fela Kuti and Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou and The Funkees and Tony Allen etc, but also the modern day revival acts like Antibalas, Vaudou Game, Fanga, Newen Afrobeat, Bixiga 70 etc?

I used to play percussion in an Afrobeat / Jazz hybrid outfit and it was some of the deepest, funkiest, most life-affirming music I've ever been involved in. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Please share some of your favourites, old and new, if you're a fan of this stuff. Afrobeat, African funk and soul, highlife, anything 😎

The band that kicked off the current revival was probably The Daktaris. Martin Perna and co. recorded just one studio LP before evolving into the band that became Antibalas, but that whole album is killer! The video is the most boring YT video ever but the basslines totally hit the spot 👍

Vaudou Game are a great live band, I saw them twice midway down the bill at festivals and they absolutely destroyed it for the poor bands that had to follow them:

The Budos Band's output varies a lot, but when they're on an Afro tip they totally nail it:

And from France, Fanga. They often had Tony Allen sit in with them and, again, a devastatingly funky live act:

Please if you're into this stuff feel free to add your faves to the thread!

Cheers - Lee :)

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, big fan here of Fela Kuti and Tony Allen. I also play drums and Tony Allen is a huge inspiration. Here's summat from the very excellent Antibalas

And let's have some love for the great King Sunny Ade way back from the 80s

 

Edited by Barking Spiders
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4 minutes ago, Barking Spiders said:

Yeah, big fan here of Fela Kuti and Tony Allen. I also play drums and Tony Allen is a huge inspiration. Here's summat from the very excellent Antibalas

 

That's making me grin like a fool 😃 Thank you!

Percussion is my main instrument (or instruments, there's loads of them). I used to play shekere, woodblock and conga all night in an Afrobeat band and I'd zone out, just focussing on the basslines. One of our favourite Antibalas performances was the Tiny Desk Concert. Full marks to the 3D specs-wearing drummer and the organist with an alien mask on:

 

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Dutch band Jungle By Night used to be good live, especially for a bunch of young'uns, and they're still worth seeing but have moved away from their Afrobeat beginnings lately. Great clip of them playing live in the street here, skip to 6:00 minutes in for the grooves:

Nice competition Mustang bass too 😎

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Had the pleasure of working on the release of this compilation of Hugh Masekela's early work, which led to an invitation to the announcement at the South African embassy of Viva South Africa, a concert with Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Yvonne Chaka Chaka (which, unfortunately I couldn't go to). The three of them at the end of the presentation, unplanned, got up and sang Nkosi Sikelel i'Afrika. The significance of this being sung in the embassy was so powerful I think something got into my eye! 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimela_(album)

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Newen Afrobeat are soundtracking my morning 😎

There seems to be about 3 dozen musicians onstage, I bet their rider requirements are insane. Great tune though.

 

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20 minutes ago, MrDaveTheBass said:

I recently discovered this lot. Absolutely sublime:

 

Yep, that's scorchiooooo alright!!!

I've played this in live DJ sets and it's always got people moving:

And of course, this does it for me all day long:

😎

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Some great music there.  I'd recommend checking out a London band called the Ezra Collective who fuse Afrobeat with jazz. Fab stuff. Also a band from New York (I think) called Nomo.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Bassworm said:

Some great music there.  I'd recommend checking out a London band called the Ezra Collective who fuse Afrobeat with jazz. Fab stuff. Also a band from New York (I think) called Nomo.

Ezra Collective are great, both live and on record. Saw them cover a Fela tune and they put their own spin on it, a real sense of joy from them.

Nomo is Elliot Bergman, who makes high-end electric kalimbas. A guy I play for has done records with him, that's my claim to fame haha 🤣

 

Edited by meterman
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I like King Sunny Ade and his African beats. Juju music is one good record. Island had many interesting artists in the 80's. And the labels were day and night.

I heard Fatoumata Diawara few years ago, and liked the band.

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Posted (edited)

@itu +1 for King Sunny Ade and his African Beats, and you're dead right about Island Records. They had great artists in pretty much every genre, but for me especially African and Jamaican. And I thought the light blue / dark blue labels was a great touch. 

Here's a couple of tunes from an album that was released in 2015 that still hits the spot for me. Baba Sissoko - "Three Gees". A proper family affair, it's Baba and his wife and their daughter Djana with an electric backing band that includes Corey Harris and musicians from the Daptone Records roster. It goes from bluesy to funky to soulful and back, and the whole LP is a great listen imho.

 

If these tunes float your boat, go down the YouTube rabbit hole of live clips of Baba Sissoko and his band in radio sessions and at festivals. Absolutely compelling stuff if African gear is your thing 😎

Edited by meterman
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I'd forgotten about this - my cameo, and my car's starring role in a Rwandan Afro-Pop video (nearly 1 million views). Wenema by Kitoko. Poor model, it was January in Brighton!!

 

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On 17/06/2020 at 16:11, Mykesbass said:

I'd forgotten about this - my cameo, and my car's starring role in a Rwandan Afro-Pop video (nearly 1 million views). Wenema by Kitoko. Poor model, it was January in Brighton!!

 

Loved that, thank you!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the great music links. Please keep them coming

Here are a couple of groups I listen to. 

 

Edited by adriansmith247
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On 19/06/2020 at 09:10, adriansmith247 said:

Thanks for all the great music links. Please keep them coming

Here are a couple of groups I listen to. 

 

Loved both of those! 

The Shaolin Afronauts I knew a little bit, but the Maisha tune was a new one to me. Great mix of jazz and Afrobeat influence. Thank you!

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On a more Ethio tip are The Sorcerers. Straight outta Leeds! Signed to the excellent ATA label which is also home to The Lewis Express and Nat Birchall among others, the whole label has a lot of interesting things going on. If you're into the jazzier side of soul and funk, or the funkier side of jazz the label is worth a look.

But anyway, The Sorcerers. They've got it totally locked. And bonus points for using a Jedson tele bass and a Philicorda organ (Philips home entertainment keyboard from the 60s) and making it work. 😎

 

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Just seen someone Tweet this guy. Wow, what a glorious noise! Love it. Adding this to my wish list when I can next get to a record shop!

 

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11 hours ago, Mykesbass said:

Just seen someone Tweet this guy. Wow, what a glorious noise! Love it. Adding this to my wish list when I can next get to a record shop!

 

Ginger Johnson was big on the underground scene in London around 1966-67. Imagine someone like Donovan having to go onstage after Ginger and his band at full pelt! He shared bills with The Pink Floyd and The Purple Gang and a lot of the early hippie bands as well. He'd have blown them into the weeds I should think. Cracking stuff, thanks for posting it! 👍

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Some more Manu Dibango, one of my favourite tunes ever

 

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22 hours ago, spike said:

Some more Manu Dibango, one of my favourite tunes ever

 

Yes!!! Same here, absolute joy to hear this again 👍

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Lauren Laverne played this today - a project by Coldcut. Sounded pretty good to me!

 

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On 17/07/2020 at 13:20, bearhart74 said:

Might not be strict Afrobeat but Bokante is definitely lining the rich African soil.

 

That is beautiful, thank you for posting that!

I've never been able to get on with Snarky Puppy but what Michael League does here is first rate imho.

Thank you 👍

 

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