Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Africa Africa Africa pt. 4

It's about that time again...DJ Underdog and The Lunchbox Theory have joined forces yet again to unleash a frenzy of afrobeat, afro-house and a variety of other danceable beats in the form of a mixtape. Underdog is joined by DJ Cam Jus this time around who brings some new elements to the party. As always, prepare for the danceparty that will undoubtedly ensue.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Album Review: Chopteeth Live-Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band

If you've ever been to an afrobeat show, you know what it's like to experience the power of a ten-piece ensemble unleashing their energy as it reverberates throughout the crowd. If you haven't, this album is about as close as you can come to the real thing. Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band is a D.C. area afrofunk ensemble that fuses a variety of Afro-influenced musical styles. Their self-titled debut, released in 2008, made waves in the international music community and introduced themselves to the world. Chopteeth Live, out February 1, 2011 on Grigri Discs, validates Chopteeth as a band not only capable of going into the studio and laying down a world-class album but also able to hit the stage and kick out some dance-floor shaking jams.

Chopteeth Live kicks off with a cover of JJD, a song originally recorded by Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The call and response horn arrangements grab your attention from the jump and are immediately followed up with a multi-layered percussion attack. The energy of the horns sets the tone for the rest of the album featuring covers of tunes from several different countries in Africa including Ghana, Senegal, The Congo, and Guinea. As displayed on their debut studio album, Chopteeth is able to pay homage to a variety of African styles while incorporating their own individual style.

While listening to this album will give you an idea of what it's like to be in the audience at a Chopteeth show, experiencing it live is something totally different. If you can't get to D.C., go find an afrobeat band close to where you are. Seeing live afrobeat is like nothing else. In the meantime, however, this album is a great substitute.

Chopteeth - J.J.D. by afrobeatblog

Thursday, January 20, 2011

SLF Afro-Dub Session One Year Anniversary Party

Sound Liberation Front (SLF), an arts and music organization based in Brooklyn, presents the Afro-Dub Sessions One-Year Anniversary Party at Rose Live Music in Williamsburg, BK on Saturday, January 29. Afro-Dub Sessions combines live music and DJs to celebrate the best in Dub and African-influenced sounds.

To celebrate the success of their one-year run, Afro-Dub Sessions will feature special guest DJ Carter Van Pelt, host of WKCR 89.9FM's Eastern Standard Time, a Jamaican music program that airs live every Saturday from 6-10 a.m. The show highlights roots reggae of the ʼ70s and early ʼ80s, Rocksteady from the mid ʼ60s and Ska from the early ʼ60s. Carter Van Pelt also co-hosts the weekly Roots Rock Reggae party at Motor City Bar, and organizes the popular Coney Island Reggae Soundsystem parties, one of which SLF co-hosted this past summer.

He will be joined by renowned MCʼs, K Vibes and Willow Wilson. K Vibes has been singing reggae professionally for nearly 20 years. She was one of the last of a new generation of Brooklyn-based reggae artists to record for iconic Jamaican record producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, scoring a cult-hit with “Frenemies” in 2001. Willow Wilson was widely recorded at the height of Brooklynʼs digital reggae/dancehall era in the mid/late 1980s. His voice can be heard on dozens of recordings, including a full length self-titled LP, made primarily for Whitfield Henryʼs prolific Wittyʼs label. His latest release, a cover of Bob Marleyʼs “Slave Driver” for Taitu Records, reveals his strong affinity for singer Dennis Brown.

As it does every month, Afro-Dub Sessions will also feature a pair of live performances by resident Afro-Dub band Super Hi-Fi, which has been packing the house with their creative melding of Afrobeat, Dub, live remixing and special guest appearances. The five-piece collective features members of Aphrodesia, Slavic Soul Party, Peopleʼs Champs, and the Blue Man Group. SLFʼs resident DJs Linh, Q-Mastah and Lil Tiger will bring their diverse musical selections to the turntables to round out the night.

Afro-Dub Sessions is dedicated to the idea that dub, born in Jamaica, and African musical styles like Afrobeat, Afropop and Afrofunk are natural partners in the origins of global dance music. Each month SLF explores these connections by hosting a different guest DJ specializing in Dub or African-influenced styles.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Track from Swedish Beatmaker

Dengi Riddim - Makks by Makks

Dig this track from Swedish afr0-inspired beatmaker Makks.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Video from Spoek Mathambo

This video is quite literally nasty...

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Afrobeat Blog Best of 2010

2011 is officially upon us. Now is the time to assess where we're at, where we're going, and what has been. As such, I've put together my list of the best music released in 2010 that reverberated in range of my ears. I've expanded the list to include a section for comps as well as an honorable mention section to recognize some great music that didn't quite make my top 15. If I left anything out, feel free to let me know, as it's never too late to share! Here's to more great music in 2011!

Best Albums of 2010
1. Ye Fre Me Richy Pitch-Richy Pitch
2. Seahorse and the Storyteller-Michael Leonhart and The Avramina 7

3. Blue Eyed Black Boy-Balkan Beat Box
4. Afrocubism-Afrocubism
5. La Difference-Salif Keita
6. Donso-Donso
7. Medicine Show # 3: Beat Konducta In Africa-Madlib
8. Love and Death-Ebo Taylor
9. The Electric Sound of Johnny Arrow-Cochemea Gastelum
10. The Budos Band III-The Budos Band
11. Rise and Shine-Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars
12. Wake Up!-John Legend & The Roots
13. Oyo-Angelique Kidjo
14. Secret Agent-Tony Allen
15. Adje Adje-Elikeh

Best Compilations
1. Black Man's Cry-Now Again
2. Afrobeat Airways-Analog Africa
3. Angola Soundtrack-Analog Africa
4. Lagos Disco Inferno-Academy
5. Afrolution Vol. 2-Afrolution

Honorable Mention (In no particular order):
Seu Jorge and Almaz
Music Frees All-Emefe
Lero Lero-Luisa Maita
I Learned the Hard Way-Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
82-Just A Band
El Existential-Grupo Fantasma
Ali and Toumani-Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate
London Afrobeat Collective-London Afrobeat Collective
Fried Speakers-Monareta
Thieves!-Zongo Junction