World Cafe

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The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe

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World Cafe Archives

Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.


credit Marina Abadjieff Sometimes known as the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Antibalas is exactly that: a large group of talented musicians playing rhythmic Afrobeat in perfect synchronous harmony. The New York-based band has come a long way from its Harlem roots but has never forgotten them.
Rather, the band has embraced the heterogeneity of the city and woven together a veritable symphony of sound. In a seven year stretch, Antibalas ("bulletproof" in Spanish) released four well-received albums, concluding with Security in 2007. Since then, a five year hiatus in which several members collaborated on the broadway musical FELA! has left fans hungry for more of their percussion-heavy Afro/Cuban goodness.

Fortunately for those fans, Antibalas' new self-titled album Antibalas is as delectable a morsel as the group has ever put out. The fourteen-man outfit comes together impeccably over the course of the a crisp, catchy six-song track. The short setlist is a misrepresentation - each song clocks in at over six minutes, with "The Rat Catcher" and "Sáré Kon Kon" breaching eight. Really, the album Antibalas is a declaration by the band Antibalas: that they are still here, they are still sharp, and they are still making awesome music.
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