Personnel: Abraham Amayo (vocals, congas); Marcos Garcia, Luke O'Malley (guitar, background vocals); Cochemea Gastelum (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Stuart Bogie (tenor saxophone); Martin Perna (baritone saxophone, background vocals); Jordan McLean (trumpet, background vocals); Dave Guy (trumpet); Aaron Johnson (trombone); Victor Axelrod (electric piano, organ); Miles Arntzen (drums); Yoshi Takemasa (congas, bell); Reinaldo DeJesus (congas); Giancarlo Luiggi, Marcus Farrar (shekere, background vocals); Lucinda Slim, Afi McLendon, Shaneeka Harrell (background vocals).
Recording information: Daptone Records House Of Soul, Bushwick, NY.
Antibalas were formed in 1998, in the apartment that gave birth to the Dap Kings and TV on the Radio. Those groups share members and ideas, and collaborate in studios and on stages. Given this, it's quite odd that Antibalas' self-titled recording is their first for Dap Tone. Those familiar with the band's frantic Afro-beat sound will hear sonic evolution in these grooves. The complex polyrhythms are still at the core, but horns, organ, and guitar have added a bright, streetwise funk layer to their mix, creating a propulsive 21st century genre-bending dance music.
Billboard (p.26) - "The dozen-member Antibalas has never sounded tighter or more engaged than on its new self-titled set."
Q (Magazine) (p.97) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]n all their attention to detail, there's flair and fire enough to quash the qualms and revel in people doing something over and doing it right."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Tracks change direction sharply, arrangements build slowly, unexpected solos appear in unusual places and rarely do what they ought to....This is the album to prove that great Afrobeat doesn't have to be a Kuti family affair."