“Rhythm is what makes a good Afrobeat record,” says Gabriel Roth, Daptone Records co-founder, producer and connoisseur of all things funky. “Not just the rhythm section, but the rhythm of the horns, the rhythm of the vocals, the rhythm of the keyboards, everybody’s rhythm. It’s not just being about being right or wrong in your rhythm, or being good at it, but it’s about feeling something the same way, swinging the same way, anticipating things the same way, and hitting things the same way — everybody hearing music the same way, and being able to turn all those instruments into one voice.
“Antibalas is the only band that can do that, right now. That’s why they’re still at the front of the scene, after all these years.”
Fourteen years after their first gig, and five since the release of their last album, 2007’s Security, Antibalas — Afrobeat’s premier second-wave ensemble — are back with their fifth full-length release. Simply titled Antibalas, the album is both a blazing reaffirmation of the NYC band’s collective musical strengths, and a hard-hitting continuation of their funkified excursions into what Antibalas founder and baritone saxophonist Martín Perna calls “our vault of esoteric sounds and knowledge.”
Critically acclaimed lyricist, producer, writer, director, cinematographer and all around consummate entertainer- Jean Grae has been challenging the boundaries of artistry since her debut in 1996. Whether creating music with imaginative narratives that immerse the listener in a dark world of Grae’s design, or spilling her most personal stories of love and life experiences, she always delivers an honest performance that strikes the most vulnerable parts of her audience and keeps them wondering, “what will she do next?”
Well into an almost 20 year long career that not only maintains relevancy, but continues to push the envelope of perception, marketing and branding, Grae has worked alongside Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Pharoahe Monch, and a list that this very small bio cannot contain. Sorry, bio.
Grae recently made her directorial debut and created her company, “KAGD.” With videos for The Hellpit Faeries, Talib Kweli and herself under her belt, she created “Life With Jeannie” a half hour sitcom, written, directed by and starring Grae. “Life With Jeannie” premiered on 12/25 on JeanGrae.com and Grae’s latest releases: Gotham Down cycles 1-3 is available on jeangrae.bandcamp.com/.
LAKE is a group of cloudy individuals brought together through lines drawn along Interstate-5, intersecting in Olympia around 2005. Since forming, they have gained and lost members, recorded an album a year, and toured extensively. The sounds they craft are straight from the playbook of the good parts of Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, and Turkish psychedelic music. Caressing the wurlitzer keyboard, endearing drum fills, guitars that don’t sound like guitars, and slamming bass lines: listening to LAKE is like pouring sugar in your ears. They’ll turn your brain into chocolate, 67% cacao.
John Roderick is the songwriter and singer/guitarist of The Long Winters, forming the band back in 2001. He is frequently a guest musician on other artists’ recordings including Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, and David Bazan. Roderick has also acted as correspondent covering Bonnaroo for CMJ magazine in 2006 and for MSNBC the following year. In 2009 he published his first book of short prose, Electric Aphorisms. He can be heard every week on his new podcast Roderick On The Line.