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THE FONTANELLES: Horns Of Freedom (2013)

November is this year’s month of afrobeat it would appear what with The Fontanelles’ Horns Of Freedom and The Liberators Power Struggle both coming out. The Fontanelles (in case you didn’t read about July single Pinprick/ Criminality on MB) used to be the onstage band for the London run of Fela Kuti musical Fela! You imagine it would have been a bit hard to go home and forget all about it if you’d been playing on a nightly basis with like-minded musicians as part of such an effort and, as it happens, they didn’t. Go home that is. Nope – the band decided ‘we’re going to name ourselves after that bit of a baby’s head where all the bones join and do some original afrobeat’ – so they did. That’s afrobeat flavoured with reggae, jazz and ska influences of course, though. You can hear the jazz in the Bitches Brew-era Miles’-ish opening to Gaia’s Revenge even if the rest of the track settles subsequently into more Fela-ish territory. The ska influences comes through on Pinprick which has just enough of the right kind of horns to make you think of Ghost Town by The Specials (if they did afro-instros) and Project 31 is a trippy laid back reggae-ish number. Players below…
(Out 18 November on First Word Records)

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