This is the year Afro Beat rose up and got noticed. With regional releases in NYC, Seattle, Austin, and San Diego, it seems like the genre is experiencing a revolution of sorts. We’ve covered this explosion of Afro Funk and Soul here at Flea Market Funk, and are pleased to hear more of it still coming out here in the States. It’s not surprising that a whole new generation of players are mesmerized by the driving beat of African music, if you haven’t experienced a 12 minute Fela song, you’re missing out. The elder statesmen of the genre, Budos Band, and Antibalas among others, have a whole new crop of brethren to break their bread with these days. Hailing from the Twin Cities, MPLS, or just plain Minneapolis, Black Market Brass are taking the Afro Beat scene by storm. Their latest output on Secret Stash Records, “Big Muffler” is getting major props since it’s been out. Already featured in Wax Poetics as a download of the day, this 45 is filling dance floors and taking names, because this is just the beginning. Minneapolis is again on the map for music, and this time it’s not just Prince or The Replacements, it’s Funk, Soul, and now Afro Beat heating up this otherwise cold climate city.
Heavy horned, BMB gets right into the groove with some mighty freaky organ and a little bit, ok who are we kidding, a whole lot of Africa comes through your speakers. Pretend you dug this record up and the label didn’t say 2013, Secret Stash, or Minneapolis. You wouldn’t know the difference. This is some authentic music right here people, recorded in the United States. Inspired by the likes of The Funkees, The Black President, and Moussa Doumbia as much as James Brown and The Meters, this Twin Cities dozen (and sometimes more) is shoveling out their musical path with their unique sounds. What I like so much is the tone of the horns, as they break from the section to individual, and the way the drums link up with the guitar and bass that really give “Big Muffler” its gas. Spirits of Fela and Tony Allen are there. The birthplace of Funk is there. The sound of a revolution is there. This time the revolution is musical, and no one is getting killed except the dance floor.
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Get this 45 here.