26 November 2005

Afrobeat Online!

Anyone with an inkling of musical curiosity has at least heard of Afrobeat. It's the funk-drenched, politically charged Nigerian music pioneered by Fela Kuti. For some reason, lots of this anti-establishment music tends to be available for free download around the internet. Here, collected for your convenience, is a sampling:

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra (www.antibalas.com):
You can sample and buy more Antibalas tunes at spintheglobemusic.net

Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra (www.kokoloonline.com):
Akoya Afrobeat (www.akoyamusic.com)
Afrobeat Down (www.afrobeatdown.com)
(sorry - these are samples, not full tracks...)
Chicago Afrobeat Project (chicagoafrobeatproject.com)
Aphrodesia (www.aphrodesia.org)
Bonus Afrobeat content:
And of course, if you like these tunes, support the bands by buying their music and attending their shows! Every town and village should have an Afrobeat orchestra!


IanB said...

Great post and a lead into some fine music, thanks !! I'm blogrolling your site @ Retrobabe!

rentstrike said...

Thanks for doing us all a service by introducing Afrobeat to the wider audience it deserves.

Guuzbourg said...

Maybe every town and village is a little too much, but certainly every country should have at least its own afrobeat-band. Here in Holland, we have New Cool Collective, a bigband that plays latin-infused jazz, but also made a cd with the great Tony Allen. And in Belgium, there's The Belgian Afrobeat Association and in France there's the wonderful CQMD. On the Italian Schema-label there's jazzdance-producers (like Dining Rooms and Gerardo Frisina) who are influenced by afrobeat. If you want, I can send you a few mp3's of these bands.

Anonymous said...

ah you mentioned some of my favorite afrobeat bands (Antibalas, Akoya, and Kokolo) who all happen to be on a charity compilation called "ASAP: the Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project."

All proceeds from the album provide humanitarian services for the people of Darfur who are being killed by their own government.

I urge everyone to listen to some great afrobeat (including a track by Tony Allen and Fela Kuti himself) and support a great cause... check it out online at www.modiba.net

SpinTheGlobe said...

Dave's right - ASAP is a great album for a great cause. It's a great intro to Afrobeat. Of course, if you get me going on the topic, I'll end up rambling on about Red Hot + Riot, Allenko Brotherhood, and more. A reader just send me some Northern European Afrobeat, which I'll share in an upcoming post.

Anonymous said...

Nice observations. Just thought to let you know i have just bought a new album by a group called Ayetoro. It is called the Afrobeat chronicles vol 2 and it made me go back to pick the earlier one(vol1). It is the freshest take on afrobeat i've heard in years.

SpinTheGlobe said...

Thanks, dr soul -- always love discovering new afrobeat sounds. Another new one we're enjoying is Euforquestra's "Explorations in Afrobeat," which marries the rhythms of Afrobeat with the chants of Ifa, the West African / Yoruba religion known for the Orishas (Shango, Ogun, Oshun, Obatala, and the like). Heady stuff.

Anonymous said...



Kola is no doubt a world-class musician who has evolved new sounds and combined elements of pure artistry in his lyrics and arrangement. Kola Omo Baba Olopa combines eclectic blend of jazz, Afro beat, highlife, juju, funk and traditional Yoruba music, using horns, guitars and keyboards along with traditional Nigerian instruments in his Sayo Music. Kolas unparalleled innovativeness in his music makes him one of the greatest musicians of this generation.

This CD is a complete Afro beat music plus smooth improvisation on Calypso beat, High-life , Afro smooth jazz and the new Shayo beat from Kola Gbedu Ogunkoya.

The multi-talented musician plays an array of instruments including saxophone " Soprano , Alto , tenor , Baritone " Trumpet , Fluger horn, and slide Trombone. While influenced by most of the artist he worked with in the past , artists such as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Orlando Julius, Dr Victor abimbola Olaiya , Dayo kujore , Jambos Express , Handsome Wale Abioudun , King Sunny Ade and many other Nigeria artist . Kola started playing music as a trumpeter in church, at age 18 he formed his own band , the Afro beat Ensemble in Lagos Nigeria West A F I R I K A . He started playing jazz for the love and power of the music. Kola has created is own brand of music called Afro Gbedu. Kola describes his music as a combination of Afro beat, Juju , fuji and jazz, Combined with the smooth fusions of saxophone, trumpet, flute, trombone, and African percussion. Kola and his 15 piece Afro jazz Ensemble, which includes female dancers, have performed all over the globe, He also have a six piece group for smaller Engagements. He has released 7 albums, Na jeje ooo, in USA & Nigeria , Kola Ogunkoya - Loud in washington DC, SHAYO MUSIC and PAN PAN PAN ROBO ROBO - as F.M. Foreign Mentality.