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Kung fu & afrobeat collide on 'Lai Lai', from Antibalas' Fu Chronicles

Antibalas

Afrobeat ensemble Antibalas celebrates their 20th anniversary with a brand new album on iconic soul label Daptone.

Credit photo: Celine Pinget

Antibalas celebrates its 20th anniversary with a stark return to their Williamsburg roots on its latest Daptone Records studio album, Fu Chronicles. Senior master of the Jow Ga Kung Fu School of martial arts, Duke Amayo, along with Antibalas founder/baritone saxophonist Martín Perna, guide listeners through an epic journey on the intersection of kung fu and afrobeat.

“Lai Lai” (meaning “Never” or “Forever”), the first single off of Fu Chronicles,  is a window into the group’s ethical intent beyond music. The track is a tribute to the resistance of the indigenous Africans and their sustainable practices. Amayo, for example, is spearheading a green construction project for a school in Ikeja (the capital of Lagos) featuring a rooftop garden with rainwater harvests and solar panels.

Recorded with an impressive 17 musician band in Brooklyn and packed with five hypnotic long-form instrumentals, Fu Chronicles weaves through the band’s kung fu dojo origins to the gentrification of modern-day Williamsburg. To dive deeper into the group and their work, Martin Perna and Duke Amayo, founders and key members, took a break from their tour to share a piece of their history. Read the interview here.

Fu Chronicles is due to release on February 7th. Preorder it now here. Discover the album artwork and Antibalas’ tour dates below.

May 5 – Sala Apolo – Barcelona, Spain
May 6 – Sala Clamores – Madrid, Spain
May 10 – Islington Assembly Hall – London, UK
May 13 – Le Sans Reserve – Périgueux, France
May 14 – La Cooperative de Mai – Clermont-Ferrand, France
May 15 – Paul B. – Massy, France
May 16 – La Batterie – Guyancourt, France
May 19 – La Cave – Argenteuil, France
May 22 – Salle Marcel Helie (Aretha Franklin Tribute Concert) – Coutances, France
May 23 – Parc des Expos (Aretha Franklin Tribute Concert) – Saint-Gaudens, France
May 28 – New Morning – Paris, France

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