Alma Afrobeat Ensemble: It's Time (Slow Walk)

 |   |  <1 min read

DWB Breakdown (DJ Quiet Cool Down emix)
Alma Afrobeat Ensemble: It's Time (Slow Walk)

As the rugby people like to say, this was a game a two halves . . . and all the action happened in the second.

Usually albums play their aces up first but this band -- mining the oh-so familiar tropes of Fela-styled Afrobeat -- doesn't offer anything you haven't already heard in the genre during the first half.

But, persistence is a small reward.

Formed in Chicago by guitarist Aaron Felder – who concedes things only started to happen for the band-name when he relocated to Barcelona a decade ago, ironically closer to Nigeria than the Windy City — AAE just get the grooves going for four typically lengthy tracks and . . . so-far so-familiar.

But the five remixes in the second half -- by  DJs Farmo, Quiet Cool Down, Phader Decale, Los Kalakos and Terrificos -- haul their stuff into far more rewarding and enjoyable territory.

With strident percussion and big bass mixed forward, there are assertive raps and canyons echoing with dubbery.

As with reggae, Afrobeat is irresistable when experienced live. But, as with the one drop, it's often only successful becase it offers the easily digestible and danceable familar, here the roiling sound created by its unimpeachable pioneer 40 years ago.

Not a lot to get excited about, but the interesting case of an album salvaged by its remixers.

Play in reverse.

(The clip below does them few favours . . . not the way to see or hear Afrobeat) 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music from Elsewhere articles index

Various: Musica Negra in the Americas (Network/Soutbound)

Various: Musica Negra in the Americas (Network/Soutbound)

Some years ago the estimable Network label released the groundbreaking Desert Blues collection of music from the Sahara region, a superb double disc in a beautiful and informative long-form... > Read more

Etran Finatawa: The Sahara Sessions (Riverboat/Southbound)

Etran Finatawa: The Sahara Sessions (Riverboat/Southbound)

Since the emergence of desert blues from the sub-Sahara regions a decade ago through Etran Finatawa, Tinariwen and the often overlooked Malouma (a woman who really rocks), the genre has seen a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

FALUN GONG AT HOME AND ABROAD (2006): The Chinese envoy is here . . .

FALUN GONG AT HOME AND ABROAD (2006): The Chinese envoy is here . . .

The walls of the modest unit in suburban Auckland where Huang Juo-Hua and his four-year old daughter Kaixin live are almost bare. In the lounge there is only a meagre calendar, and a large... > Read more

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND gets all at sea with Hitchcock

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND gets all at sea with Hitchcock

With the remarkable story of survival at sea by the Salvadoran fisherman Jose Alvarenga – more than a year in an open boat across the Pacific – the new Robert Redford film All is... > Read more