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 articles index

Mamadou Diabate: Courage (World Village)

Mamadou Diabate: Courage (World Village)

As the son of kora player N'fa Diabate who was a founder of the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali and with the great Toumani Diabate as a cousin, Mamadou was born to play the kora. For this, his... > Read more

TARANAKI WOMAD 2017: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

TARANAKI WOMAD 2017: THE ARTISTS' LINE-UP

As regular readers of Elsewhere will know, we have had a long tradition of writing about world music here. In fact we sometimes boast that we are the ony place which regularly gives coverage to... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WATERMELON SLIM INTERVIEWED (2007): He's had interesting lives

WATERMELON SLIM INTERVIEWED (2007): He's had interesting lives

“You tell them this,” says 58-year old bluesman Watermelon Slim in a voice which sounds like he has been gargling whisky-soaked nails. “God has blessed me with an extremely full... > Read more

Eddie Turner: Miracles and Demons (Northern Blues/Southbound)

Eddie Turner: Miracles and Demons (Northern Blues/Southbound)

As mentioned previously on the occasion of The Turner Diaries, this singer-guitarist won't be to every blues fan's taste -- and not just because he gets the Hendrix tag a bit (true, but only... > Read more