Nov 2, 2010
Antibalas (Spanish for “bullet proof”) seems poised to leave the Brooklyn underground scene for greener pastures, riding a wave of critical acclaim from their musical involvement in the Broadway musical “Fela!”. It seems appropriate that Ropeadope Records re-release the band’s 2004 funk album Who Is this America? to reach out to their new audience.
One of the few studio efforts that captures the dynamism of Antibalas’ stage show, Who Is this America? is a chanting, pounding slice of Afrobeat by way of Brooklyn. Fourteen pieces strong, the band features a mighty horn section that alternately skanks (“Pay Back Africa”) and struts (“Elephant”), and turns the nearly twenty minute long “Sister” into a jam that would not be out of place on an Ornette Coleman album. “Money Talks’ is a previously unreleased bonus track added to the CD, an instrumental that smacks of New Orleans voodoo. This is one of those releases I missed the first time around, and am glad to see back.