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Antibalas, Black Market Brass

  • High Noon Saloon 701 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Afrobeat is be a lush, funky brew of many influences, and New York City band Antibalas do it justice in a muscular and cutting fashion. Yes, the horn arrangements and multi-layered percussion create immense grooves, but "Beaten Metal," which opens the excellent 2007 album Security, offers a distinctly tough and stern take on the legacy of Fela Kuti. This year's Where The Gods Are In Peace has that same unmistakable backbone—and percussionist Duke Amayo's alternately stately and raspy vocals—but also works in a touch of stark atmosphere. Especially on the three-song suite "Tombstone," that sonic balance reflects an attempt to marry the band's uncompromising political message with something more wide-eyed and hopeful. Not that this music ever puts you at ease—and if you've experienced Antibalas' relentless live show, you know that's a good thing. —Scott Gordon

Earlier Event: September 27
Later Event: September 28
A Clockwork Orange (free)