Sunday, August 28, 2011

Underground System Afrobeat EP Teaser Video

Dig this video from Underground System Afrobeat, a Brooklyn based afrobeat ensemble who plan to release their debut EP in the coming months. This video is dedicated to the bootyshakers of the world...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Album Review: From The Rooftops - The Funk Ark

I've often said, funk is the universal language. The Funk Ark, an 8-piece afro-funk band out of Washington D.C. who released their debut LP From The Rooftops August 16, 2011 on ESL Records, definitely subscribe to that philosophy. Blending elements of 1970's Latin, African, and American funk music, The Funk Ark truly does embrace the ark of what funk is all about.

This album has a gritty, rhythmic vibe that gets inside of you and makes you want to move, or at least strut with a bad-ass look on your face. Due in part to the fact the majority of the album is instrumental, the interlocking guitars, keys and bass take on the identity of The Funk Ark's sound. Like a dirty funky Afrika 70 hook, Meters' Jam, or Juan Pablo Torres ostinato, their polyrhythmic, patchwork textured sound has an infectious effect on your midsection. It's that indescribable funky thang all good funk music has in common that's all over this record.

I'll be on the 1's and 2's when The Funk Ark throws down at Southpaw in Park Slope, Brooklyn (one of my favorite music venues on the planet) on September 10th along with heavyweights of the BK afro-scene, Zongo Junction and upstate afro-representatives The Big Mean Sound Machine. If you're in and/or around New York, definitely come get your doctor prescribed dose of funk as it will be doled out in extra strength portions all night.

The Funk Ark - Diaspora by afrobeatblog

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Afropop Takes You Inside the Antibalas Experience

Of all the amazing bands I've ever seen perform, and all the inspiring musicians I've interviewed, Antibalas and Martin Perna sit at the top of both lists. This video from Afropop gives you an idea why.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Dub for Mali from Afrolicious

If you've ever been to an Afrolicious party in San Francisco, you know they bring the funk. If not, dig this track to get an idea:
Afrolicious - A Dub For Mali by INgroovesmarketing

Friday, August 12, 2011

New EP from The Green

Love and Affection, the new EP from The Green out August 9, 2011 on Easy Star Records, is a contemporary, updated take on traditional roots reggae sounds. As with anything that comes out on Easy Star Records, there is a high standard of production quality and musicianship that shines through on this release. Definitely check it out.

Love&Affection by thegreen

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Concert Review: Seun Anikulapo Kuti and Egypt 80 @ SOB's

Contributed by Erin Steadman

Seun Anikulapo Kuti & Egypt 80’s most recent New York show at SOBs on July 27th, proved that Afrobeat is still a very sought-after sound and experience. Possessing the high cheekbones and sweet eyes of his Father, you would have thought you were in front of the man, Fela, himself. Seun might be the youngest son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, but in no way did he fall short of mesmerizing the crowd with his high energy and political disquisition. Between saxophone solos in “Rise” from their newest album, ‘From Africa with Fury: Rise’, Seun set a more solemn, yet groovy, mood over the crowd as he chants about Africa needing to rise against diamond and petroleum companies bringing them down.

At sight of the band, the crowd was already dancing. Though the ultra-high BPM of “Mr. Big Thief” is what really turned the venue known as SOBs into 4,000 square feet of a mini World dance party. It was no longer a show anymore; it was an experience. If you closed your eyes, you could hear the different layers in the music and you were suddenly moving your body in ways you didn’t know you could. Political verse would then make its way through, telling African soldiers that they need to put their uniforms down. At the end of this powerful song, Seun stands shirtless, in the famous stance of his Father. Seun then proceeds to break the ice even more by letting Americans know that they should always turn Kuti on when things go down in the bedroom.

All in all, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 is an experience not to be missed. If you have the chance to see this band, do yourself a favor. If you are unable to see them live, at least familiar yourself with their new album ‘From African with Fury: Rise’ and be ready to embark on a real, raw journey.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Album Review: Janxta Funk! - The Pimps of Joytime

There are some who believe the golden era of funk music has come and gone. Bands and artists like P-Funk, Prince, James Brown, and Rick James either have their best days behind them or have passed on. Then comes along a band like The Pimps of Joytime, proving funk is still very much alive and well as evidenced on their album Janxta Funk!, out June 21, 2011 on Wonderwheel Recordings.

01 Janxta Funk! by The Pimps Of Joytime

Janxta Funk! takes contemporary funk music to new levels. Incorporating elements of hip-hop, Latin, blues, and New Orleans style musics, The Pimps of Joytime definitely have a unique take on the world and their own funky attitude. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, it's apparent they're influenced by the variety of cultures and styles present in the Brooklyn scene. Right from the first track, Take the L Train, The Pimps bring the funk with a Brooklyn attitude.

What I love the most about this album is how The Pimps pay homage to classic voices and artists while still maintaining a contemporary original identity. One can definitely hear a lot of Prince in lead singer Brian J's voice, as well as a lot of JB's in the horn lines throughout. Several funk luminaries guest including Roy Ayers and The Neville Brothers. While the funk legends all make their presence felt, The Pimps have a way of sampling the best of all them to create their own sound.

Janxta Funk! is available on Itunes or via The Pimps will be touring all over the US during August and September, so def look out for them as they come to a town near you. These guys know how to throw it down, so whether you just download the album or see them live, prepare yourself to get funked up.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Live From the Continent @ Lincoln Center

If you're physically able to get to Lincoln Center in Midtown Manhattan this weekend, DEF go see the finest music makers of today's generation coming from the continent throw it down. Blitz The Ambassador, Spoek Mathambo, Iyadede and Chief Boima will all be in attendance. If you need any more inspiration, check out the preview video below:

Live from the Continent! from MVMT on Vimeo.