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World Music CD Reviews Africa

Akoya Afrobeat

By Jill Ettinger
Published June 13, 2008

P.D.P. (President Day Pass)
Afrobomb Music

The indelible imprint that Fela Kuti left upon music is as significant as the instruments were synonymous with his sound—saxophones and trumpets would blare out front as congas, drums and bass brought the beat up to meet the melody of keyboards, guitars—and of course, those gruff, political vocals. Having performed with Kuti himself for a decade, Akoya Afrobeat’s frontman Kaleta brings a little more of that West African funk to a world that seems always to be in need of more dancing. He’s got quite a solution brewing in the 13-piece New York City-based outfit’s second recording P.D.P. (President Day Pass). Simply put, it’s a hypnotizing affair, and with four of the album’s six original songs clocking in at over 12 minutes each, it’s no wonder. While the more restrictive pop song format insists that a groove must grind to a halt after three minutes, that’s right when Kaleta and his band are getting warmed up.