Aug 1, 2012

New Afrobeat from Kansas City: Hearts Of Darkness



Hearts of Darkness is an fifteen-piece afrobeat, hip-hop, funk, soul collective formed in 2007 in Kansas City, Missouri. The sound is a hybrid beginning from the roots of '70s afrobeat and building off of the traditions of Kansas City big-band jazz as well as American funk and rock with hip-hop on top, the band's sound is as huge and lush as the grooves are deep and tight. The intention has always been to produce an incredible live show that makes good girls dance dirty and bad boys get down. In 2011, the band has opened for the national tours of Huey Lewis and Snoop Dogg, played with Willie Nelson and Neil Young at Farm Aid and also performed at the inaugural Kanrocksas Music Festival. Music reviewer Timothy Finn of the Kansas City Star said of the band, "Even in a big venue like Starlight, they sounded as polished and prepared as a regular touring band." The 'Hearts were voted "Best Jazz Ensemble" in 2011 via the Pitch Weekly Music Awards, and they continue to pack local venues show after show.

The front of the stage is held down by four vocalists, backed up by a six-piece horn section with rhythms established by bass, rhythm guitar and keyboards. Finally, the groove is locked in with a heavy four-piece percussion section featuring african and american instruments. Music writer Bill Brownlee, a contributing reviewer to The Kansas City Star wrote on his blog "Plastic Sax": "Far from a musty academic exercise, the Hearts of Darkness convey the spirit, if not the sound, of Kansas City's heyday. The Hearts of Darkness deserve recognition from the jazz audience because their visceral big band power is the soundtrack to the same exuberant scenes that undoubtedly accompanied the bands of Benny Moten, Harlan Leonard and Count Basie."

Hearts Of Darkness





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James Brown meets Fela Kuti meets Benny Moten meets The Supremes. That's one description for the hybrid style of a hot new Kansas City big band known as Hearts of Darkness.

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The Hearts of Darkness sound is a hybrid beginning from the roots of '70s afrobeat and building off of the traditions of big- band jazz as well as funk and rock with hip-hop on top. In 2011, the band has opened for Huey Lewis and Snoop Dogg, played at Farm Aid and the Kanrocksas Music Festival. HOD was voted "Best Jazz Ensemble"via the Pitch Weekly, and they continue to pack venues show after show.

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Tracklist

1. Space Age [06:33]
2. Debt On Me [04:12]
3. Unplug Yourself [09:56]
4. Terror Flu [05:40]
5. Step First Look Last [07:41]
6. Distress Call [07:03]


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