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Antibalas - Security  

For most of its career, Antibalas has been vulnerable to the claim leveled at most performers of afrobeat: not enough variety.  That problem is solved on Security, the Brooklyn collective's first release for Anti, as the album incorporates elements of funk, jazz and dub that have only been hinted at on previous recordings or in concert. 

Credit Tortoise's John McEntire, who produced and engineered the album, for helping to expand their sonic palette.  The songs are considerably shorter than in the past, with most falling under the seven-minute mark.  This new approach forces them to tighten their focus considerably, resulting in more immediate, hard-hitting grooves.  A case in point is "Beaten Metal," which contains the funkiest backbeat and bass-driven breakdown ever recorded by Antibalas, while not sacrificing the essential afro feel.    "Hilo" is a superb cross-pollination of dub and funk that was last convincingly done by Cymande. The closing track "Age" shows Antibalas at their most mellow, with a jazzy arrangement highlighted by Aaron Johnson's trombone.

Longtime fans need not worry that Antibalas has gone soft. . Their trademark left-wing politics remain present, as one listen to "Filibuster XXX" and "War Hero" will prove beyond all doubt.  Here the band sticks most tightly to the traditional Fela-inspired model, chopping guitars and driving horns urging on the condemnation of corrupt politics and senseless war.   

Security further cements Antibalas' leading position as purveyors of the global groove and figures to shatter any remaining stereotypes about the depth of their creativity.

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