Formed in a Brooklyn warehouse in 1998, this band was born to a very proud Martin Perna. It took its first baby steps on May 26 that year at St. Nicks Pub in Harlem at a poetry night organized by renowned visual artist Xaviera Simmons. Since then, it has been credited with introducing Afrobeat to a wider global audience, influencing countless musicians and developing a live show that is the stuff of legend.
Did you guess? We’re talking about Antibalas, the 12-piece ensemble that has just reunited with Gabriel Roth, former member and producer of the band as well as co-founder of Daptone Records! The collective has announced it is all set to release its first album in five years on August 7 through the very same Daptone Records.
Inspired by economic meltdowns and global uprisings, Antibalas piled into two rooms at Daptone’s House of Soul Studios in Bushwick, Brooklyn to cut an explosive new set of afrobeat classics. Lead singer Amayo — a native of Lagos, Nigeria and senior Kung Fu master — guides the band through cathartic workouts of call and response, dynamic instrumentals and eruptive solos.
Get a taste of the album right now by listening to the self-titled album’s track “Sare Kon Kon” on Rolling Stone. You wont stop grooving, that’s for sure!
While they were “gone,” the band wasn’t exactly lazying around on an abandoned beach somewhere… Several members contributed to the Broadway hit FELA!, as part of the crew that penned foot-tapping music for the show as well as performers in the house band. Some band members have also recently collaborated with Iron & Wine, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Mark Ronson, TV on the Radio and The Roots.
Now what we’re all wishing for is a tour! Don’t worry, you need not rub the lamp and wait for a genie to emerge to grant you this wish. Antibalas is confirmed to play Outside Lands in San Francisco on August 10th and they’re announcing an international tour shortly!