April 6, 2016

Alma Afrobeat Ensemble | It's Time

ARTIST: Alma Afrobeat Ensemble
TITLE: It’s Time
LABEL: Slow Walk Music
Guitarist Aaron Feder started Alma Afrobeat Ensemble in Chicago in 2003; he moved to Barcelona in 2006 and put together a new band there. Alma’s sound is classic Afrobeat: drums laying down a midtempo danceable polyrhythmic groove, guitar and keyboards providing harmonic depth, a tight horn section and energetic background vocals fleshing out the mix, plenty of time and space for soloists, plenty of politics in the lyrics. The newest soloist is Nigeria-born singer Joe Psalmist, the best front man this band has yet had. There are four long (seven to nine minutes each) original songs on this, their third album, accompanied by five remixes of those originals. All the originals are good to excellent: the insistent track 3 is my favorite, 1 with a touch of old-school soul flavor is right behind it in energy and urgency, 2 is a little bit cooler yet plenty compelling. The remixes are more like re-imaginations: 5 by DJ Farmo adds hip hop and harmonica, 9 by Los Terrificos is driven by a swirling soukous/champeta guitar line and new lyrics and vocals by Terrificos’ Ray Lugo. An excellent new album from one of the handful of the finest Afrobeat bands on the planet right now.
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    3    5    9

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