EW Staff
May 17, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Talkatif

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
Producers
Ninja Tune
genre
World

We gave it a B

ANTIBALAS Talkatif (Ninja Tune) — With help from drummer Tony Allen (a.k.a. Allenko), Nigeria’s Fela Kuti forged a brassy funk permutation called Afrobeat in the ’70s. When Kuti died in 1997, most figured the genre went with him. Not true. Besides son Femi Kuti’s rising star, Allen is evolving his own electro-minimalist brand of Afrobeat. The Brotherhood Ensemble mates his quicksand beat patterns with various global producer-DJ types; even when the mixers overdo it the grooves never quit. Meanwhile, Antibalas are a collective based in Brooklyn (!) devoted to keeping Fela’s spirit alive. Talkatif’s sound is so vintage you might mistake it for one of the countless Afrobeat reissues in the racks. But when the soloists start tag-teaming, the group comes into its own. SPACE IS THE PLACE Allenko’s ”Brotherhood (piano mix)” has British remixer the Cinematic Orchestra casting Allen’s beats against Martian trumpet and soul-jazz piano. Like Sun Ra gigging at Rick’s place in Casablanca. Allenko: B+ Talkatif:

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