Antibalas (pronounced /?nti?b?l?s/[dubious – discuss], or approximately “ahn-tee-BAH-las”, from the Spanish for “bulletproof”) is a Bushwick, Brooklyn based afrobeat band that is modeled after Fela Kuti‘s Africa 70 band and Eddie Palmieri‘s Harlem River Drive Orchestra. Although their music is primarily afrobeat, it incorporates elements of jazz, funk, dub, improvised music, and traditional drumming from Cuba and West Africa.
Founded 1998 by Martín Perna as “Conjunto Antibalas,” the group played its inaugural concert in May 26, 1998 at St. Nicks Pub in Harlem at a night organized by artist Xaviera Simmons. Over the course of the next few months, the group solidified with a core of eleven band members and began to develop a repertoire of original songs. Guitarist and producer/engineer Gabriel Roth wrote several of the earlier tunes and oversaw recording and production of the first three records.
We sat down with Martin in Austin, Tx and talked to him about everything under the sun-from the founding of Antibalas to Immigration reform to whether or not Hip Hop is Funk or Soul. We talked about his other group Ocolte Soul and how he had adjusted to Texas/ Tejano music..We also talked about the group’s recent collabo with the Roots.
Very insightful interview…Click the link below to listen to Breakdown FM Interview