Cut from the same cloth as Fela Kuti and the psychedelic sounds of West Africa in early ‘70s, the sophomore album from Martin Perna (original member of the Dap Kings and Antibalas) and Grupo Fantasma’s Adrian Quesada is literally Afrobeat funk gold. Throughout The Alchemist Manifesto, a wide selection of strings, horns, vintage keyboards, and percussive sounds enrich the many flutes of Perna and the can’t-keep-it-down funk guitar prowess of Quesada to a point of being indistinguishable from the legendary forces that influenced the album into existence. Both Ocote Soul Sounds and Quesada are accomplished multi-instrumentalists, and the guest appearances on these jams constitutes a list that stretches a mile long. This results in a vibrant work in line with a dirtier Herbaliser that sounds as if it was all cut live off the floor, while still being glossed with a kind of frozen analog hum that lends more credence to the record’s early ‘70s soundtrack feel. For my money, The Alchemist Manifesto single-handedly outdoes the entire catalogue of Antibalas and Grupo Fantasma.
- Multiple songs MySpace
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.
// Notes from the Road
"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.READ the article