On Ninja Tune

Antibalas is the spirit of Afrobeat reincarnated as a hard-hitting collective of musicians in New York City. The group carries on the soul of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, founder of the unique Afrobeat sound, which unites highlife, jazz, funk, and traditional African elements with unabashed political messages. Antibalas-which means "anti-bullets" or "bullet-proof"-shoots out monstrous horns and bass layered over polyrhythmic beats coupled with furious lyrics inciting insurrection in English, Yoruba, and Spanish.

Antibalas formed in 1998 from members of Desco Records' Soul Providers and the Daktaris. They were quickly joined by like-minded New York musicians active in the worlds of jazz, rock, improvised music, and traditional drumming from Cuba and Brazil. The union of Latinos, whites, African Americans, Africans, and Asian Americans is based in Brooklyn, NYC.

With fifteen band members, Antibalas-which is run as a collective-cannot easily be described in a traditional biography. The group's players come from such diverse professional, cultural, and personal backgrounds that only a spray of bullets can shed light on the foundation of this musical insurrection.

Antibalas Headlines

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  • "MT @Fun2KnowPodcast: Ep.15 Trumpeter Jordan McLean talks #Antibalas, #Fela, Lily Tomlin and #Ornette..."

    Fri May 29 21:45:58 2015
  • "MT @systemdialing: @KQEDarts @nprmusic for the latest coverage on #NewVocabulary #OrnetteColeman"

    Fri May 29 13:31:50 2015
  • "@KQEDarts @nprmusic Antibalas is not being sued. Jordan McLean and Amir Ziv of @systemdialing are. Please check your facts."

    Thu May 28 23:02:05 2015
  • "RT @splaquet: CELEBRATE THE POWER OF THE PEEL! (please share) A Party of the Peel (FREE), featuring The Budos Band, Antibalas... http://t…"

    Thu May 28 03:13:37 2015
  • "RT @ShaunKing: Read between the lines. The officer on the right claims he took this photo "to fit in". http://t.…"

    Wed May 27 20:47:29 2015

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