Flooded by the influence of Fela Kuti, the sophomore studio album from New York's Antibalas is a most-accomplished offspring of the late, great founding father of Afro-beat music. Now a fully revitalized subgenre thanks to the American funk underground, this group of New York's finest groove players is 17 gentlemen deep and has been taking Afro-beat on the road again, playing clubs across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. With the majority of compositional credits attributed to guitarist Gabriel Roth (Dapkings, Daptone Records) and with adroit performances by the rhythm section of Duke Amayo, Ernesto Abreau, and Phil Ballman, the authenticity of the group's sound cannot be questioned. The horn and woodwind work on the record are additionally noteworthy, boasting a deep horn section consisting of alto, tenor, and baritone sax; two trombones; and two trumpet players. Their second for Ninja Tune, Antibalas is a better bet live than on record, but still puts down a great recorded taste of what's new in this vital beat genre.
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AllMusic Review by Nic Kincaid