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World Music CD Reviews North American


By John Kuhlman
Published March 16, 2007

Explorations In Afrobeat
Euforquestra Productions

This is the latest from a group of kabloonas from Iowa City who are channeling a serious Afro-beat vibration in the heartland. Working on a fusion of Cuban and African sounds, some members of the band have not only traveled to Cuba to study the music there, but have also developed some level of commitment to the native Santeria faith as well; several tracks feature introductory invocations to the African gods. Not certain if this is the secret to their musical prowess, but they have remarkable success reproducing the Afro-beat sound, stretching out on long spacious tracks of taut, elegant funk, propelled by loops of circling guitar and bass and punctuated, when needed, by a tight, percolating horn section. Probably not enough to make you throw out your favorite Fela Kuti albums, but still it's nice to know that a fire this warm is burning out there in the cornfields.