Aug 31, 2012

Sensemaya Afrobeat All-Stars


Since 2003, the Sensemaya Afrobeat All-Stars have been leading the way as a beacon for afrobeat/funk fusion in New Jersey. Profoundly influenced by afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and his sons as well as modern American afrobeat bands such as Antibalas and Budos Band, Sensemaya strives to achieve a unique sound. Founded as a student band at Princeton University, Sensemaya’s energy on stage has made it an unofficial institution for the dissemination of funky vibes on the university's campus for the past 9 years. To that end, the group performs from a growing repertoire of fresh original songs as well as some classic afrobeat tunes. The All-Stars recorded their first album in May of 2011, titled Weapon of the Future and featuring eight original tracks, fusing hard-hitting afro grooves with electronic sounds and cutting vocals. With 10 or more members on stage at any given time, the band is an eclectic mix of musicians who believe that there if there is one thing that will save us all, it's funky music. If the music doesn't get you on your feet in one second, you probably forgot to take your earplugs out.

For the past few months, Sensemaya has been working on new tracks, in anticipation for a studio session this October. Stay tuned for a forthcoming EP!

Founded in 2002 by Princeton University students, Sensemaya Afrobeat All-Stars have been providing Princeton with a much-needed dose of funkiness for almost a decade. In 2011, we recorded our debut album, Weapon of the Future, which can be downloaded from our website.

Unfortunately, I cannot find a lot of information abouth the band, but check out




I just can tell you the album is quite amazing and you should check it out!


1. Weapon of the Future
2. Tribunal
3. Indra's Knot
4. Mister
5. Pilgrimage
6. Fallacy
7. Americanize
8. Skullfukker

Aug 30, 2012

From Zambia: Paul Ngozi

Paul Ngozi, born Paul Dobson Nyirongo (1949–1989) was a popular Zambian musician He rose to take his place at the top of Zambian Music in the 1970s and 1980s. He first became popular as the band leader of the ‘Ngozi Family’, a Band which made a mark as a top local rock group and was one of the first groups to have dubbed its type of music Zamrock.

He earned his place as a ‘sharp’ social commentator because the themes of his music were usually very close to society’s own lives and therefore easy to relate to.

He is listed at number 81 of the most popular Zambians by The Zambian online newspaper.


Paul Ngozi (Nogozi means danger) with his band gave a popular voice to what later was called "Zamrock", a cool fusion of older African rhythms and 70s rockish underground modes – never too polished, but with a tightness that might have made Anglo groups up in London sit up and take notice! The guitars are razor-sharp here which sounds great next to the harder rhythms at the bottom, and the album's mix of English and Zambian lyrics.

Paul Ngozi recorded at least 10 albums, another one which is famous among collectors is Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family, which comes out soon on Shadoks Music.
You will love this one if you liked THE WITCH and AMANAZ. Great album, great artwork, a masterpiece from Zambia!


01. In The Ghetto
02. Help Me
03. Anasoni
04. Who Will Know
05. Suicide
06. Bamayo
07. Can't You Hear Me
08. Ulesi Tileke
09. Jesus Christ

Aug 24, 2012

From Congo: The Cavaliers Band

African funk from Congo feat. the dancefloor filler tune "Tryin' to get you".

Chgeck out audio sample here! Quite amazing ...


A1. Dunia Ina Mambo
A2. Amina
A3. Fishen Man
B1. Try into Get You
B2. Maggie Mama
B3. Louk Age Me
B4. Wazari Walizema

Please, please ... if someone has this album, I would like to get it!

Aug 18, 2012

From Côte d’Ivoire: Guehi Jean & Son Ensemble (get it)

Guéhi Jean et son Ensemble were from Côte d’Ivoire, formerly known as the Ivory Coast.

A big THANK YOU goes to amazing orogod


Includes 'Essemon noupo', deep heavy Afro Funk sounds from the Ivory Coast! The rest of the album is pretty nice too!


A1. Abdati
A2. Donh Bosko
A3. Essemon Moupoh
A4. Nana Boigny
B5. Bamoudji
B6. Madbo Naho
B7. Gueya Zou
B8. Zoua

Another one from Guehi Jean ... really amazing stuff:

Aug 17, 2012

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra - Antibalas ... some reviews

Antibalas’ self-titled fifth album marks a return for the band in many ways, including working again with producer/engineer Gabriel Roth, aka Bosco Man, co-founder of Daptone, Dap-Kings bandleader, and producer of Antibalas’ first three albums. Five years after 2007′s Security, an album that saw Antibalas pushing its limits, the group has also returned to the sound that they helped to re-introduce (at least to American audiences) in 1998, no doubt prompted by various band members working with the Broadway production Fela! in the interim.

In the 14 years since Antibalas’ formation, the band has been the torchbearer for a resurgence in the exuberant percussion and poly-rhythmic sounds of afro-beat, which now includes other artists such as Ann Arbor’s Nomo, the Chicago Afrobeat Project, and New York’s Kokolo. Blending in elements of Cuban Son, American soul, and Latin dance rhythms with a smart, savvy approach to political and social protest, Antibalas evolved the sound while keeping the spirit of the genre’s forefathers (artists like Kuti, Tony Allen, and Sonny Okosun). That spirit of unrest is very much alive on Antibalas.

With only six songs and coming in around 45 minutes, Antibalas explodes out of the gate with rolling percussion and doesn’t let up until the last crash. Afro-beat is partially defined by every element maintaining a rhythm and groove unto itself while simultaneously being part of the whole. This is best exemplified by album closer “Sare Kon Kon (Running Fast)”, a song that certainly lives up to its parenthetical title as well as showcasing Antibalas’ exceptional musicianship.

However, afro-beat is not defined by poly-rhythms alone, but also by the message it wants to convey — a message that seeks to expose corruption and injustice. Even the title of single “Dirty Money” points directly at current issues. Band founder Martin Perna has suggested that it could indeed be seen as “taking a dig” at the current global financial crises, but the song speaks to a more universal truth – the self-destructive nature associated with money’s seductive power. That self-destruction is thematically carried over on “The Ratcatcher (Di Ratcatcha)”, a song whose protagonist, in his desire to catch a rat, builds a trap so large that it not only continues to attract more rats but traps himself inside as well. By using such straightforward metaphors, Antibalas allows its message to cross over to any walk of life, and that global awareness helps keep them true to the spirit of the music.

And while some have criticized Antibalas for lacking the anger and danger often associated with the genre’s founders, it must be remembered, to slightly misquote Roy Ayers, “[They] live in Brooklyn, baby.” Yes, there is enough injustice and corruption to incite anger in any American actually paying attention, but Kuti had an army breaking down his doors regularly. While Williamsburg hipsters may be in danger of getting their asses kicked by Bronx residents, Brooklyn will always be tamer than 1970s Nigeria., written by Len Comaratta

Antibalas were the perfect choice of house band for the off- and on-Broadway runs of the Fela! musical, based on the life of afrobeat progenitor Fela Kuti. The 12-strong New York collective has spent the last 14 years spreading Fela’s afrobeat gospel across the globe with all-singing, all-dancing shows packing more energy than most musicals, let alone garden-variety indie bands.

But although they’ve performed plenty of Kuti covers, their own material has proven Antibalas to be much more than a tribute band. While there’s no shortage of bands capturing the sound of afrobeat, few have also captured its fury. Yet Antibalas’ previous albums, such as 2002’s Talkatif and 2004’s Who Is This America?, carried a righteous ire within their riotous grooves.

And this is a trait that, pleasingly, hasn’t been quelled by their brush with Broadway. The English lyrics of Dirty Money and The Ratcatcher, as well as the equally impassioned-sounding Yoruba words of Ari Degbe, indicate that the band’s fires are burning as brightly as ever on this fifth album.

Their Fela! experience has had some influence, though. Musical director Aaron Johnson might have talked about the difficulty of translating Kuti’s 20-minute tracks into five-minute snippets for the stage, but it’s a process that seems to have resulted in the leanest and most focused Antibalas album yet.

They still only get through six tracks in 45 minutes, but whilst the horns of Him Belly No Go Sweet are as blazing and jubilant as ever, they’re driven by a much tighter rhythm section. On the nimble breakbeats of Sáré Kon Kon, this element bears more than a passing resemblance to drum ’n’ bass.

Yet Antibalas’ release feels timely for more reasons that just the resurgence of interest following Fela!. Beyond their lyrics, and the video to first single Dirty Money, Antibalas’ music embodies the principles of grassroots revolutionary movements like Occupy as the disparate voices of guitars, brass and organ all move in one unified direction; each having their say without drowning out their companions.

Antibalas is musical democracy in action, and an inspiring example of a band practicing what they preach., written by Paul Clarke


Antibalas has always been a band of great style and prowess. Their furious Afrobeat grooves celebrate the work of Fela Kuti, to the point where many of them were heavily involved in the recent Broadway play celebrating him. This ever-mutating collective has been able to integrate other musical genres as well, including salsa, funk, and hip-hop.

But it’s always ultimately boiled down to Afrobeat, and this new self-titled album doesn’t make any attempts to rock that boat; its songs burble and rumble and fly in very much the same way they always have. But in the five years since their last work, 2007’s Security, they seem to have acquired a new lean fighting shape—and this is a great thing.

For one thing, Martín Perna has decided that he is no longer interested in shapeless 12- or 14- or 20-minute jams; Fela could always pull this kind of thing off, but Antibalas’ similar efforts always got a little wearying. Instead, here they kick off with the six-minute scorch of “Dirty Money.” British-Nigerian vocalist Amayo rides the funky organ-led groove, supplying just enough class-conscious bite in his voice to make the point and then letting the band make his point for him.

The trend continues throughout the first half of the record: shorter songs, tighter grooves, pinpoint observations. “The Ratcatcher” is the finest single track they’ve made, a hellacious groove coupled with a folktale about a guy whose success turns out to be a trap. Not exactly subtle, but a lot less hit-ya-over-the-head than the band has been in the past. The ambiguity suits them just fine.

On the album’s second half all the song titles are in Nigerian, as are the lyrics. Not to put too fine a point on it, but these songs don’t lose any of their power even for those of us who do not understand that beautiful language. “Ibeji” provides not one but two indelible rhythms, and “Sare Kon Kon” is a total stomper that makes the most of its eight minutes through concentrated power.

Does any of this mean that Amayo’s lyrics (and by extension the band’s political attack) are unnecessary? No, it just means that there are some things that are timeless in their power. It also means that Antibalas is finally, like their name in Spanish, bulletproof; even if you don’t understand what they are saying, you GET it on some deeper level., written by Matt Cibula

In the five years since Brooklyn-based Afrobeat revivalists Antibalas last released an LP, the band’s been plenty busy, with some members guesting on friends’ albums, and others working on the arrangements and performance of the musical Fela!, about the life and career of Nigerian musician/activist Fela Kuti. Taking to the stage doesn’t seem to have had any effect on Antibalas, except that the band’s new self-titled album sounds even more like Kuti than ever. But frankly, Antibalas’ style hasn’t changed much since he group released Liberation Afrobeat Vol. 1 back in 2000: Founder Martin Perna still leads a dozen or so horn players, percussionists, and guitarists through polyrhythmic, deeply groovy dance tracks, punctuated by call-and-response political sloganeering and African phrases. If anything, Antibalas is more of a “square one” album than Liberation Afrobeat. The title is not incidental.

Reunited with former member Gabriel Roth—best-known as the head honcho at Daptone Records and the leader of The Dap-Kings—Antibalas retreat from the experimental bent of 2007’s John McEntire-produced Security and get back to the sound of a big group of musicians in a single room, trading licks. But what initially sounds like simple jamming reveals itself on repeated listens to be incredibly complex, as Antibalas shifts gears within songs, building up to eruptive, jazzy horn-blasts. The effect of the album as a whole is like taking a long trip through the world of today, from the ironically peppy survey of economic inequality in the opener “Dirty Money” to the frenzied closer “Sare Kon Kon,” which starts fast and then gets even quicker, reflecting the breakneck pace of modern life. The music is retro, but in no way outdated. This is “world” music for our increasingly globalized times., written by Noel Murray

Antibalas is a very exuberant performance, and one that exhibits a wide variety of influences. Most of the compositions emphasize on an agile rhythmic groove that exudes an irresistible dancing allure, but there are also several occasions were we find the musicians dwelling into elaborate improvisatory moments of Jazz-influenced soloistic musicianship. The album opens with "Dirty Money", and the music begins to flow on a funk influenced melodic framework established by the piano and guitar sections. As the music ensues, the wind instruments begin to flourish as they decorate the melodic theme with eruptive solos so as to direct the song into a more free-form Jazz environment.

The musicianship is absolutely impressive throughout the entirety of the album. We can really see Antibalas expanding on the growing enthusiasm its predecessors had on Afrobeat and World music. Though these influences are present throughout the album, "Him Belly No Go Sweet" and "Ìbéjì" are perhaps the most eminent moments in the album when Antibalas transcend beyond Jazz and embrace the habitual sounds of a variety of cultures. Blending African singing, tribalistic percussions, and the harmonic sensuality of salsa into an ineffable elixir of enticing rhythmic medleys.

Songs like "The Ratcatcher" and "Ari Degbe", on the other hand, show Antibalas returning to a more traditional Jazz routine. Martin Perna and Stuart Bogie assert dominance over the other instruments with their respective baritone and tenor saxophones. Each taking their turn to release a series of intensive solos that innovate the rhythmic framework as they pioneer into their own melodies. Antibalas is a highly entertaining and artistically impressive Fusion release. The album doesn't necessarily explore any new styles that haven't already been covered by early defining Fusion contemporaries like The Weather Report and Herbie Hancock, or renowned Afrobeat artist, Fela Kuti, but it does provide one fascinating performance that will be sure too keep any Jazz enthusiast hooked for days., written by Hernan McKennan

t’s been 5 long years since the last album from Antibalas, NYC’s foremost Afrobeat ambassadors. Since then, they’ve passed the time with a few endeavors- a side project or two, some woodshedding, helping a few friends with albums and, lest we forget, the massive Broadway hit FELA!. In that musical, they assumed the role of Fela’s backing band, cutting down the genre’s notoriously lengthy live workouts to the far stricter demands of the stage. On the heels of that triumph, the band has returned with a new self-titled LP on Daptone Records, on which they present six funky, rhythmic jams perfect for a (new) nation of afrobeat fans to chew on.

Recorded at the Daptone’s House of Soul studios with the help of Gabriel Roth, an old producer and band member, the new album sees the band reconnecting with their roots, welcoming founding members back to the fold (Roth is joined by founding guitarist Luke O’Malley) while kicking out the jams with an album of remarkably straight-up afrobeat.

Given the dictates of the genre, this means that the album is beat heavy, with a thick layer of percussion matched and tested by the polyrhythms and counter-parts generated by a host of sound makers. This kind of density is one of the benefits of the size of the group. The 12-piece band is able to support numerous syncopated parts, laying down a solid foundational drive, and never straying from this musical interstate once it is established. “Rhythm is what make a good Afrobeat record,” says Gabriel Roth, and Antibalas takes this dictum to heart, employing every instrument in the service of the all-powerful grove.

But it comes at a cost. While the album gives its listener a healthy dose of afrobeat goodness, ultimately it’s just that. Don’t expect anything groundbreakingly new. While the members of Antibalas are as tight as ever, playing with a power and intensity that few modern-day afrobeat bands can match, its hard not to hear something a bit tired in this album’s single-minded focus on the form. As a result, the tracks lack much variation, and the breakdowns and solos (many of which are surprisingly confined) begin to seem predictable.

That said, the album definitely has a number of stellar moments. The initial single,“Dirty Money,” is politically-inclined gem, kicking off the album with a warm, organ-lead jam filled with celebratory horn skronk and the powerful vocals of Amayo, the group’s singer. It is also among the records most topical tracks, excoriating the corporations that profit at the expense of the workers during the current “Great Recession.” Connecting Fela to Occupy, it is the closest that Antibalas comes to matching the fire of the master. Other album highlights include “Him Belly No Go Sweet,” which features powerful horn hits, an exciting use of space, and tight percussion. While “Sare Kon Kon,” is another explosive jam filled wild horn races and a catchy melody.

While Antibalas has long had a significant audience, their role in FELA! brought the band to the international mainstage at an altogether different level. This has given them the opportunity to present afrobeat to a wide-ranging, international audience. While Antibalas does not explore any new territory, it is a excellent synthesis of the classic style, capturing the essence of the funky, Nigerian jam that is afrobeat., written by Julia Chanin

Aug 15, 2012

From Nigeria: Nehizena Arase ‎- Ekhoe (get it!)

A1. Ekhoe
A2. Unuagbon
A3. Edegbagbe
B1. Ugie-Era
B2. Nofe

Thanx to afroslabs

Aug 12, 2012

The Semi Colon - Ndia Egbuo Ndia (Afro-Jigida)

Ndia Egbuo Ndia (Afro-Jigida), an LP recorded by the Nigerian rock group Semi-Colon in 1976, was an experimental response to Fela Kuti’s then-dominant afrobeat sound, substituting Fela’s sophisticated horn charts and jazz leanings with wiry electric guitar work and a passion for vintage rock ‘n’ roll. Long fabled and coveted amongst collectors and DJs alike, the album has remained one of the rarest of the Nigerian 1970s “afro” cycle. Comb & Razor Sound is proud to be reissuing this lost gem of Afro-rock for
a new audience.

This reissue marks the second release from Comb & Razor Sound, following up the success of its inaugural offering, 2011’s Nigerian disco and boogie compilation Brand New Wayo, which was spotlighted on NPR’s All Things Considered and received favorable mention on its “Song of the Day.” The new edition of Afro-Jigida continues Comb & Razor’s exploration of rare, cutting-edge popular music produced in Nigeria in the 1970s and 80s.

Afro-Jigida will be initially released in its original six-track vinyl format, with a deluxe CD release to follow at a later date. As a bonus, the first 1000 copies pressed of the album will include a 7” single featuring the never-before-released demo recording "Our Fada".


Rare Afro Rock from Nigeria's Semi-Colon group – and it's an astonishingly strong record! It's got fuzzy guitar grooves and spacey electic piano that are indebted to the global psych soul and rock scenes of the late 60s and early 70s – but the rhythmic sensibility, percussion and vocals are prime 70s Nigeria. The record has 3 great jams per side, which is perfect – allowing each number plenty of space to stretch, and sink into to a hypnotic groove, but they're just succinct enough to leave us wanting more!


1. Ndia Egbuo Ndia
2. Ebenebe
3. Isi Agboncha
4. True Fine Mama/True Fine Woman
5. Giam Blow
6. Yanga (Okongwu)

Aug 10, 2012

The surreal Afrobeat ballet of Fela’s Nigerian shows (by Wax Poetics)

You can hear the sonic ripples of Fela Kuti’s legacy anywhere in the world. But to appreciate the explosive power of the man as a musician, a bandleader, and a booming voice for social justice, the tale becomes a Nigerian story, an African story. Rikki Stein was Fela’s manager and close friend, a veteran of management and event production, and the author of Fela’s obituary, but equally able to articulate the future promise of the music. Just getting that music heard could be a challenge, requiring everything from face-offs with police to DIY PA systems.

In the U.S., land of high-tech music gear and Guitar Centers in every city, noise-making equipment is plentiful, but Africa is a very different situation. “Equipment? In Africa?” laughs Rikki. “Forget it! There’s nothing there except that which lovers such as I bring them. There may now be a few enterprising Nigerians that have begun importing guitar strings and saxophone reeds and a few amps. There are then the enterprising promoters who import entire systems—for which they probably pay too much—but they’re few and far between. Those that do exist and are properly maintained are in high demand.”

That often meant Rikki had to bring a DIY spirit to producing Fela Kuti—going as far as, on one occasion, building the PA for an event from scratch: “I had flown two sound engineers to Lagos who had provided concise instructions to carpenters for the speaker cabs, monitors, et cetera. They had then returned to London, and some weeks later when the boxes were ready, we returned with all of the necessary contents and cabling, plus a mixing desk. As the boxes took inordinately longer than planned, we arrived the day before the first show, due to take place in Port Harcourt, some thousand kilometers from Lagos. Everything was shipped there and actually put together onstage. The moment of truth came when we connected everything together and powered up. It worked! Hallelujah! I’d been keeping a beady eye on the promoter, as we hadn’t yet been paid and saw him heading for the door. I asked where he was going and he told me, ‘To NEPA.’ NEPA was the Nigerian power company—commonly referred to as ‘Never Expect Power—Always.’ I asked why, and he explained that the technicians on duty there knew that we had a show that night, and if he didn’t go there and grease their palms, there’d be no juice for the show!”

Amidst this somewhat chaotic background, Fela Kuti himself was a picture of order, says Rikki: “Fela’s approach to performance was meticulous in every detail. Sound check involved him personally tuning every instrument himself. During the performance itself, heaven help any musician who strayed from the groove.

“A Fela concert in Nigeria was a wild experience. [There were] regular shows in Fela’s club, the Shrine, where he would arrive around 2:00 AM and play until dawn to packed and appreciative audiences. A Fela show outside would normally be in a stadium attended by twenty to fifty thousand and secured by an enthusiastic belt-wielding police force, though those being chased were pretty adept at avoiding getting cornered. The whole thing became a sort of surreal Afrobeat ballet. It was immensely amusing to watch and participate in—if you had the balls!—all taking place under the aegis of the chief priest and his high-energy music and volatile lyrics.”

Live or recorded, Fela’s musical creations had a carefully planned life cycle, with an end product and a quasi-political, radical spirit baked into the process. “Each Tuesday in the Shrine would be ‘Yabis Night,’ when Fela would discuss issues of the day with his devoted audience, using the occasion to air his forthright ideas. These ideas would, over a period of days and weeks, consolidate into lyrics and music. Fela would then come back to the Shrine in the afternoons to begin translating, with the full band and singers, his lyrical and musical ideas into a full-blown song. Once the song was ‘cooked,’ Fela would begin performing it during his shows. This might go on for some weeks, but as the underlying issue within the song could now be seen as ‘old news,’ Fela would tire of performing it. At this stage, he would go into the studio and record it, releasing it shortly thereafter. Following the recording, the song would never be performed again.”

Speaking with Rikki is a reminder that, far from our capitals of popular music, access to equipment and political opportunity taken for granted in the U.S. are far scarcer in Nigeria. It’s also a reminder that, as he is quick to observe, petroleum riches are not the nation’s greatest offering to the world.

“I have a thirty-five-year love affair with Africa that shows no sign of abating,” says Rikki. “I am amongst those who consider that Africa has a tremendous contribution to make in the world that we haven’t seen yet, above, beyond, and apart from the raw materials that they’ve been providing the world for a century or more.”, written by Peter Kirn who edits the website

Aug 9, 2012

Liberian funky Afro-jazz: Kapingbdi (get it)!!!

Kapingbdi is Liberian funky Afro-jazz group which y'all may know through Off Track series... This is their self titled LP from 1978, recorded in Germany for Unsere Stimme label... So, grab yourselves some cool-aid, beer or whatever, play this laid back, trippy LP


A1. Dadadada
A2. Mali Feeling
A3. Now IS The Time To Cry For Love
A4. Soko Jazz
B1. Montserrado
B2. Deadea
B3. Don't Mess With My Music

Update by amazing .. check out the comments!!!

Aug 8, 2012

From Ghana: The Great Pilsners

Rare highlife LP, led by Jimmy Kwapps and w/ vocals by Jewel Ackah.

Label : Gapophone
Pressing : Ghana
Year : late 70's

Soundclip can be found ...




Aug 3, 2012

From Japan: Kingdom Afrocks - SanSanNaNa (The 2nd album)

Kingdom★Afrocks' debut studio album, Fanfare, was one of the highlights of 2011, and, together with JariBu Afrobeat Arkestra, they are one of the top afrobeat-influenced acts in Japan. One year on from that acclaimed album, the band are back with their second release, SanSanNaNa, offering eight original new tracks.

The opening track, P.E.O.P.L.E., is a delicious slow-burning afrobeat number led by a great rolling bassline and some exquisite Rhodes keys. With its understated power and infectious groove, this is a track that has staying power and stands out as a classic within the band's repertoire.

Things step a gear or two with No Son Tuyas (Not Yours), sung in Spanish by IZPON, seemingly a comment on the economic state of the world. Clavinet and some meaty horns then launch the title track, SanSanNaNa, an infectious uplifting tune, with a singalong refrain. The dance rhythms continue with the deep afrofunk of Conexao, the quirky instrumental BonBonBon, and the guest-laden lead single 2vs98 ~ Loud Minority ~.

Fanfare was always going to be a difficult album to follow, but with SanSanNaNa, Kingdom★Afrocks have pulled it off, going deeper with their blend of afrobeat and global grooves. Not to be missed.


01. P.E.O.P.L.E
02. No Son Tuyas (Not Yours)
03. SanSanNaNa
04. fire fire(interlude)
06. BonBonBon
07. 2 vs 98 -Loud Minority!
08. jinja jinja (outro)

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


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.


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.



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]