Michael Cragg 

New music: Antibalas – Dirty Money

The Brooklyn Afrobeat group's new track is top dollar
  
  

Twelve-piece Afrobeat collective Antibalas formed in 1998 in the same New York apartment as the Dap Kings and TV on the Radio, the three groups sharing members and ideas from the start. It's a creative link still going strong: the band are now signed to Daptone, the same label as the Dap Kings, and appeared on TV on the Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain and Dear Science albums. In fact, collaborating is something they can't really help doing, with various members having worked with everyone from Amy Winehouse to Gomez and Miike Snow.

According to Gabriel Roth, Daptone co-founder and the man who co-produced the band's forthcoming self-titled album, there's one important reason why people want to work with them: rhythm. "Rhythm is what makes a good Afrobeat record. Not just the rhythm section, but the rhythm of the horns, the rhythm of the vocals, the rhythm of the keyboards, everybody's rhythm," he explains on their official site. "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."

On Dirty Money, this love of rhythm is abundantly clear. Starting with a warm organ riff and chugging guitar, it soon morphs into a horn-led celebration that disintegrates to make way for the vocal. Once that bit is out of the way it rises and falls, stops and starts with reckless abandon, the whole thing loaded with pure joy.

• Antibalas's self-titled album is released on 7 August on Daptone. You can download Dirty Money for free from the player above.

 

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