May 10, 2011

The Superpowers - Trance For Nation

Originally formed as the Boston Afrobeat Society, having won the 2007 Phoenix Best Music Poll and 2006 Boston Music Award for Best World Music Act, this 21st-Century Dance Band has been blasting off in the Northeast. They have since relocated to Brooklyn where they have nurtured a monthly residency at Zebulon, one of Brooklyn's most well-respected music venues, for 2 years! They have played packed houses throughout the Eastern U.S. and shared the stage with internationally renowned artists including Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars, John Browns Body, Aphrodesia, and NOMO.

Review by Marc Gabriel Amigone from amazing

Trance for Nation, The Superpowers new album released April 1, 2009 on Young Cub Records, wastes no time bringing the funk with a booming horn section balanced by the deep pocket of their groovtasticly funky rhythm section. The Superpowers achieve a perfect balance from top to bottom of the sound register--the guitars provide a link between the aggressive horns and intricate percussion. Claude and Rudy Gomis' voices glide over the richly textured ensemble as guest appearances for three tracks.

Trance for Nation showcases The Superpowers ability to play with dynamics. Within a single track they can sink and pulse into a deep groove, then push out of it into an up tempo progression, and sink back down again. On the whole, the album is very versatile alternating between sharp, aggressive tracks and deep relaxed tempo songs.

Connected is a slow deep groove reminiscent of Egypt 80 cuts like Look and Laugh or Beasts of No Nation. The title track, Trance for Nation, is also reminiscent of Egypt 80--the macabre drum beat, the open guitars, the sustained horn lines. Claude Gomis brings a perfect element to The Superpowers texture. The Superpowers cool guitars and tight horns mesh perfectly with Gomis' sly voice.

32 bit could be the best track on the album. It highlights the strength of The Superpowers sound--their ability to balance both aggressive and cool elements within a single track and achieve a duality of sound. Trance for Nation is composed of music the band has been performing live for months at clubs in Brooklyn, so the album incorporates their ability to accentuate dynamics and push the energy of the music during a live performance.

The Superpowers are a group of young musicians with a lot of potential. They represent the generation of young musicians using Afrobeat to push their sound. Much like Antibalas, Nomo, and Budos Band, they utilize afrobeat arrangements and instrumentation and use the word to form part of their identity, but don't limit themselves to any one genre or attribute their influences to one specific element.


Occupying a unique place at the intersection of Afrobeat, American pop, lounge, psychedelia, and progressive jazz, The Superpowers create horn-driven, poly-rhythmic grooves that are both chill and full of joie de vivre. Performing over 100 dates a year, this fresh and furious group is making fusion fun again, spreading the love with tight, funky interplay and spacious, improvisatory explorations.



1. American Exceptionalism
2. Cold World
3. Connected
4. 32 Bit
5. Lake Vicissitude
6. Acid Rain
7. Trance for Nation
8. Ar #2

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