Saturday, March 10, 2007

Interview with Antibalas

Twelve musicians and no band leader: Sounds like a recipe for disaster in logistics, organization, command, finances, you name it.

But the musical "collective" known as Antibalas wouldn't function any other way.

"Operating this way can be frustrating," allows Martin Perna, the band's saxist. "But in the end, it's more rewarding. You can get very lazy when you have a leader. You just let somebody else figure it out. Here, everyone has to figure it out."

Ironically, Antibalas' messy setup has resulted in music with a rare sense of order. In the past few years, this Brooklyn-based band has become one of America's prime promoters of the "Afrobeat" sound, a complex style pioneered by the Nigerian artist Fela in the '70s.
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