Jun 15, 2011
Canadian Afrobeat: Ultra Magnus - Chemical 1 Chemical 2
Ultra Magnus is an 10 member band that revisits the glory days of Afrobeat with their own breed and blend of infectious grooves, blazing horns, furious performances and social consciousness.
Ultra Magnus started with an extensive repertoire of Afrobeat standards but decided instead to focus on writing original compositions. By summer 2003, Ultra Magnus had a formidable collection of their own originals and were assailing audiences in Toronto and beyond with their fierce vocals and gratifying grooves. The album, Chemical 1, Chemical 2, was recorded in two separate sessions at Chemical Sound Studios (hence the title) and was recorded by venerable engineers Al P(Death From Above 1979, MSTRKRFT) and Rudy Rempel.
Ultra Magnus boasts a highly diverse audience and enjoys collaborations with various artists like MC Masia. Ultra Magnus’ performance is ferocious, unforgettable and guaranteed to make you dance.
Ultra Magnus is a 10 piece Afrobeat band from Toronto that plays highly energetic music to dance to. Our sound is influenced by Nigerian Afrobeat, blending poly-rhythmic beats with heavy horns and bass riffs that create infectious highly dance-able grooves. It is a ferocious, unforgettable performance that is guaranteed to make you dance.
Ultra Magnus is a 10 member Afrobeat band that revisits the glory days of Afrobeat with their own breed and blend of infectious grooves, blazing horns, furious performances and social consciousness.
Ultra Magnus began more as a research endeavor than a musical venture. In the late nights of winter 2002, roommates Chad Paulson and Andrew Scott (The Meligrove Band/Bicycles/Femme Fatale) spent their evenings trying to unravel the intricate rhythmic layers of Fever by Afrobeat songwriter Jingo. Chad and Andrew came to the fortuitous decision to assemble a group of musicians who, like them, would revel in the challenges of studying Afrobeat. From their shared pursuit of this legendary genre, Ultra Magnus evolved. The group eventually acquired their name because of a nickname Chad had been given in elementary school, on account of his actual first name being Magnus.
The members of Ultra Magnus spent over a year learning the quality and nuances of Afrobeat, devotedly studying, not only the music, but also the historical context from which it was born and the people and artists who popularized it throughout the 1970's and 1980's in Africa. Ultra Magnus amassed an extensive repertoire of Afrobeat standards long before the writing process of their original works began. They firmly believed that creating a spurious imitation was an utter disrespect of true Afrobeat. After all, in 1970s Nigeria, people went to jail for playing this stuff.
By summer 2003 Ultra Magnus had a formidable collection of their own originals and were assailing audiences in Toronto and beyond with their fierce vocals and gratifying grooves. Releasing their first demo in 2003 they have now completed a full length release for March of 2006 entitled Chemical 1 + Chemical 2. The album was recorded in two separate sessions at Chemical Sound Studios by venerable recording engineers Al P(Death From Abover 1979, Mstrkrft) and Rudy Rempel.
Ultra Magnus' main inspiration remains with Afrobeat originator, Fela Kuti. Like Kuti, Ultra Magnus uses "music as weapon"; creating socially conscious songs that make you want to move. Ultra Magnus boasts a highly diverse audience and have enjoyed a longstanding collaboration with hip hop MC Masia One whom they have backed up both at live concerts and on several CBC recordings.
"Their committed educational perspective shines through in Ultra Magnus, as their intense study of the craft has translated into the collective being one of the best acts in the region. By combining deep, pouncing rhythms with steady melodic structures, bouncy horn interplay and climactic improvisation, Ultra Magnus' take on Afrobeat is a stunning tribute to Kuti and his message. Paulson and Scott's songwriting is laced with jazz, rock, High Life, Juju and soul, effectively crafting an eclectic, brooding advancement of the original style. This is highly danceable, contagious Afrobeat, no doubt about that." VIEW MAGAZINE
"an eight- to 11-piece (depending on the day) Afrobeat juggernaut that's awakened Toronto's indie hordes to the charms of the Black President, Fela Kuti, and his polyrhythmic fusion of jazz, rock and tribal music..... the all-white combo plays their eight- and nine-minute groove epics with the force of a punk-rock band...." EYE MAGAZINE
"Ultramagnus craft their hypnotic grooves with skill and intensity, utilizing a full horn section, multiple guitars, inescapable basslines and a percussion section..... If you're a fan of loosing yourself in layered rhythms, let Ultramagnus be your guide through the groove." INSIDE MISSISSAUGA
03. Original Kuti
05. Papa Ya
06. Suffer M.D.
Labels: Ultra Magnus