Latest Release
Where The Gods Are In Peace
out on daptone repords

 
 

VIDEOS

 
 

ABOUT

The musical collective known as Antibalas (Spanish for bullet-proof or anti-bullets) was conceived of in Mexico City and formed in Brooklyn New York. The early nucleus of the group was composed of the band's founder Martín Perna and later included several other members (Gabriel Roth, Michael Wagner, Del Stribling aka Binky Griptite, Victor Axelrod, Fernando Bugaloo Velez, Anda Szilagyi) from the Soul Providers / Dap Kings band, performing their first show in May 1998 at St. Nick's Pub in Harlem NY.

A few months into the group's existence, Perna and Roth, on a walk through their southside Williamsburg neighborhood, met Amayo, who at the time owned a boutique / kung fu studio / arts space where he sold his own fashion designs, held shows. They invited Amayo, who grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and was fluent in the music of Fela, to see a show in the neighborhood. A few weeks later, they called again to ask him to fill in for a percussionist for a show at the Cooler (NYC) and he joined the band shortly thereafter. Within months he began composing and performing lyrics and assuming the role of the group's lead vocalist / frontman.

The nascent group spent its early months rehearsing and composing at Desco 41st street studios and later the first Daptone Studios at Amayo's Afro Spot. Eschewing all commercial venues for the first year, they performed exclusively in alternative spaces in lofts, community markets, parks, art spaces like Sara Roosevelt Park, Taller Latinoamericano, Brecht Forum, and the Angel Orensanz Center.

In August 1999, Greenwich Village record store owner Ayo Osinibi introduced them to the owner of the Tribeca club NoMoore, where they earned a weekly residence that ran for 18 months until the club was abruptly closed by the city. At No Moore, the group's nucleus and repertoire expanded, as they routinely played three 75-90 minute sets every Friday.

In 2001, following their debut record (reissued independently, then licensed to Ninja Tune) they began touring internationally, from Glastonbury, Montreux to Newport Jazz and other renowned rock, jazz and world music festivals.

Around 2003, following their third album "Who Is This America," the Dap Kings and Antibalas both became very busy, each group developed its separate full-time lineup although the groups would remain close, later reuniting with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and Charles Bradley for the 2014 Daptone Super Soul Revue across summer festivals and theaters in Europe and culminating in a three night run at New York's Apollo Theater.

The group toured heavily between 2002 and 2007 with the releases of their third album, "Who Is This America", and fourth, "Security".

From 2007-2012 many members and former members of the Antibalas participated in the Tony-Award winning Broadway musical FELA!, including the show's musical director Aaron Johnson, lead saxophonist Stuart Bogie, and assistant MD trumpeter Jordan McLean.
In 2011, the group returned to the Daptone House of Soul to record their most recent album, "Antibalas" produced by emeritus member Gabriel Roth. The group toured heavily throughout the US and Europe, and later that year, performed songs from the album live on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live. 

Antibalas has recorded five studio albums on the Daptone, Ninja Tune, Anti-, and Ropeadope labels as well as a number of singles and EPs. The band finishing their sixth studio album, due out in mid-2017.

Though recognized for their fluency in Afrobeat and funk music, the band is known to collaborate with diverse groups and artists, from Angélique Kidjo to Jovanotti to Medeski Martin & Wood to Public Enemy, and served as the house band at Carnegie Hall in 2014 (Music of Paul Simon), 2015 (Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads) and this year's 2017 Music of Aretha Franklin.

The Antibalas horn section has performed on Grammy award-winning albums by Angelique Kidjo, and Mark Ronson and dozens of albums, sound tracks and live guest appearances with artists including The Roots, My Morning Jacket, TV on the Radio, Santigold, Jovanotti, Nneka, Alabama Shakes, The String Cheese Incident and numerous others.

Former members have gone on to record and perform with The Dap Kings, Mark Ronson, the Black Keys, the Arks, Menahan Street Band, the El Michels Affair, Arcade Fire, Iron and Wine, Bat For Lashes, and Imogen Heap.



Reviews


Rolling Stone Magazine - Editor's Picks:

The Brooklyn-based afrobeat believers have been keeping the spirit of Nigeria's Fela Kuti and his orchestras burning since the early '00s, through the triumphant musical Fela! and various side gigs (including work on Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk). On their latest, frontman Duke Amayo walks convincingly in Fela's footsteps, balancing politics against mighty, crosshatched horn squalls and kinetic grooves. It ends in the three-part epic "Tombstown," featuring polyglot vocal outfit Zap Mama – a cosmic-funk journey that rockets past afrobeat formalism into provocative new regions. Will Hermes


Stereogum - Album Premiere:

If you’ve ever caught Antibalas live over the course of their nearly two-decade existence, you already know what an overwhelming and exhilarating experience their music is in-person, and somehow they’re able to bottle it up and make their studio work groove and climax just as dramatically, like you’re right there in the room with them. It’s been five years since the Brooklyn collective released a record, and now they’re about to return with their sixth, Where The Gods Are In Peace. True to classic Afrobeat’s potential to tackle dire social and political issues via cathartic party music, Antibalas emphasized positivity and hope.


New York Times

Antibalas, the Afrobeat band founded in 1997 in Brooklyn, follows the template of Afrobeat’s inventor, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, playing songs with long, smoldering instrumental stretches that assemble and disassemble the groove, made for extended dancing. On “Where the Gods Are in Peace,” the group’s album due next week, the full-length “Gold Rush”runs for 11 funky minutes. But the four-minute radio edit on YouTube is a dynamic highlight reel. It cuts back the intro and interludes to plunge right into the vamp, moving through ever more urgent verses (about colonialism and plunder) punctuated by bellicose interjections from paired guitars and a horn section, rapidly culminating in a thrilling full-band drive that unites them all. J.P.


Consequence of Sound - "Gold Rush" Premiere

In particular, the latest track off the album, “Gold Rush”, takes exploitation to task. Over the course of 11 minutes, Antibalas remind us of the ways in which, time and time again, indigenous communities have been taken advantage of and then disposed of like nothing but a nonhuman means to an end. The song’s complex, grooving arrangements — some darkly tense, others rich and rallying — capture the urgent subject matter at hand.

Festival Performances

Primavera Sound
SummerJazz Festival
PostePay Rock In Roma
Glastonbury Festival
Jazz In La Defense Festival
Festival des Eurockeennes
Festival Jazz A Vienne
Hop Farm Festival
Nice Jazz Festival
Umbria Jazz Festival
North Sea Jazz Festival
Montreux Jazz Festival
All Good Festival
Green River Festival
Ottawa Bluesfest
Quebec City Int'l Summer Fest.
Festival Nuit d'Afrique
River & Sky Music Festival
Int'l Festival Of The Arts Gal
Burlington Discover Jazz Fest.
SESC Pompeia Choperia
MidPoint Music Festival
Daptone Soul Review Tour
El Museo Del Barrio
Carnegie Hall
Soul’d Out Festival
LEAF Festival
Revival Music Festival
Vancouver International Jazz Festival
Twilight Concert Series
Oregon Eclipse
Lockn’ Festival
Meadows Music and Arts Festival
UtopiaFest
Blue Note Japan
The Growlers Six Festival
Coachella
Newport Jazz

Releases

Where The Gods Are In Peace (2017)
Antibalas (2012)
Rat Race / Se Chifló 12-inch (2011)
Security (2007)
Government Magic (2005)
K-Leg 12-inch (2005)
Who Is This America? (2004)
Talkatif (2004)
Che Che Colé (2003)
Liberation Afrobeat Vol. 1 (2001) 

COLLABORATIONS

Angelique Kidjo
Steven Bernstein
Brian Jackson
Kyp Malone (TVOTR)
Quantic
Jovanotti
Lee Fields
The Roots
Santigold
Esperanza Spalding
Cee Lo Green
Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)
Sharon Jones
Alexis Krauss (Sleigh Bells)
Amanda Palmer & Jherek Bischoff
Steve Earle
Thievery Corporation
Jade (Edward Sharp & Magnetic Zeros)
Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio)
Brett Dennen
Richard Marx
Allen Toussaint (RIP)
John Doe (X)
Judy Collins
Dan Wilson
Bob Mould
Sam Moore
Betty Lavette
Mike Gordon (Phish)
L.P. (female singer)
Eric Harland
Miguel Zenon
Davido
Zap Mama
Nneka
Tony Allen (Fela Kuti Drummer)
Seun Kuti
Femi Kuti
David Byrne and St Vincent
Beats Antique
Vampire Weekend
Public Enemy
Paul Simon
DJ Gilles Peterson
Burning Spear
Baaba Maal
Sinead O’Connor
Gomez
DapKings

StreaminG

"Dirty Money" - 1.2mil streams on Spotify




Management

Matthew Thompson - Elliptic Mgmt / Faction Ent
matthew@metartists.com

Brian Ross - Elliptic Mgmt / Faction Ent
bross@ellipticmgmt.com