Apr 16, 2010

Australian Afrobeat: Public Opinion Afro Orchestra


Inspired by the infectious afro-beat music of Nigeria and its neighbours, The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra delivers contemporary African funk to Australian dancefloors. This mammoth ensemble comprises up to twenty musicians hand-picked from Melbourne’s African, jazz & hip-hop scenes. The experience and creativity of these established musicians energises the group’s original compositions and the sound of the entire band is a force to be reckoned with.

The afro-beat movement of the 60’s and 70’s is making a resurgence worldwide in live venues and clubs alike. The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra combines these North African rhythms with hip-hop which has recently become a major force in Australian music and culture. The group is the brainchild of Zvi Belling, Ethan Hill (DJ Manchild) and Tristan Ludowyk who are long time friends and musical collaborators, each with vast and diverse musical backgrounds to draw upon.

The band directors recently travelled to Africa to promote the new single and recorded with African hip hop stars Tumi (South Africa) and Modenine (Nigeria). These artists will feature on the band's upcoming debut album, which will be accompanied by a 12” vinyl release. The band’s current single is “Future Africa” features N’fa and 1/6th and was recorded and mixed by Andy Baldwin in New York.



Public Opinion Afro Orchestra - Do Anything Go Everywhere

The power of Afrobeat, sizzling funk, righteous hip hop, rootsy grooves and 20 of the hottest musicians from Melbourne's booming music scene, all come together on the sublime debut by The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra.

Hot on the heels of their impeccable vinyl-only release Two Sides of the Truth/Do Anything Go Anywhere, The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra have made an album to command the attention of world music fans, hip hop aficionados, jazz cats, funk and soul freaks and indie hipsters alike.

There are strong echoes of the Afrobeat movement from the 1960s-70s, as well as the influences of the African diaspora in Australia over the past decade, yet this is boundary free, totally modern music that sounds as fresh in the clubs as on the streets of Melbourne where it was born.

Do Anything Go Anywhere delivers seven irresistibly loose-limbed, exotic jams which resonate with ferocious grooves, positive messages, conscious hip hop and gutsy soul. Lyrical odes to the power of resistance and the spirit of the African and Australian people hit home with smoking hot sing song vocals, heavy duty horns, gritty guitar grooves, jazzy solos, all snaking out on top of the infectious polyrhythms of the percussion section.

In 2009, the core members of The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra travelled to Africa to immerse themselves in the roots of Afrobeat and record the basis of Do Anything Go Anywhere. They jammed with family members of Fela Kuti at Lagos, Nigeria's Afrika Shrine nightclub (the home of Fela Kuti's Afrobeat revolution in the 1970s), collaborated with local Nigerian hip hop stars Modenine and Terry Tha Rapman, and journeyed to South Africa to record with rising hip hop star Tumi.

Back in Australia, the ever-rotating roster of the Orchestra poured into the studio to lay down the grooves and unique voices of Do Anything Go Anywhere.The Orchestra lineup includes African expats, local hip hop and funk merchants and the cream of the Melbourne jazz scene. The explosive result is Do Anything Go Anywhere, one of the most electrifying, inspiring and unique records you'll hear all year.


Afrobeat has experienced a rebirth of late with Seun Kuti reinvigorating his father's sound and new acts like Antibalas, the Budos Band and Nomo giving renewed life to the sound. Now we have the debut from a band that is based locally, but has players from across the globe. These players play many other styles of music in other bands, and bring elements of those styles to The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra. You can hear 60s to 70s Afrobeat, jazz, hip hop and funk brought together by this 20-strong group. They are already a super-group and this is their first album! You'll be exposed to heavy duty horns, gritty guitar grooves and great songs...not to mention the incredibly infectious beats!



1. How Long It Go Take 9:37
2. Future Africa 9:21
3. Two Sides Of The Truth 8:17
4. Mumbo Jumbo 11:58
5. Do Anything Go Anywhere 9:38
6. Let Them Know 8:08
7. Boom Boom 5:19

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