Nine-Piece Barcelona Band To Release Full-length CD Stateside
“[‘Toubab Soul’ is] an Afrobeat delight, full of endless driving rhythms manifesting a polyrhythmic stew of life-affirming funk, protest, dance and social commentary in song to some of the best African beats.” — Latin Beat Magazine
“To talk about this disk and this Barcelona band is to talk about an historic moment for Afrobeat in Spain.”– Spain’s EnlanceFunk Magazine
“The best representative of Afrobeat in the Spanish state is the Alma Afrobeat Ensemble.” — DJ Foro
New York, NY – Amphora Records will release Toubab Soul, the first full-length studio recording by Barcelona’s Alma Afrobeat Ensemble, on Wednesday, December 1, 2010. Providing a healthy dose of original, spirited Afrobeat, Toubab Soul pulsates continuously from the hip-hop inflected opening tune “Taskmaster,” which features Ugandan MC Krukid, to the Afro-psychedelia of the closing track, a cover of Wallias Band’s “Muziqawi Silt.”
Featuring some of the most prolific musicians from Europe, the United States, Latin America and Africa, Toubab Soul is an endlessly danceable CD. The driving rhythms of the Ensemble’s music were captured in Barcelona’s La Ramona and BCN Arts studios over the course three months, making it the first Afrobeat album ever recorded in Spain.
Bandleader, composer and guitarist Aaron Feder originally formed the Ensemble as a tribute to the music of Fela Kuti in the U.S. in 2003. The native Chicagoan moved to Barcelona in 2006, forming a second incarnation of the band to include a stellar array of European, South American and African musicians. Since then, the Ensemble has been playing festivals all across the Iberian Peninsula and, most notably, has shared the stage with Konono No. 1 and Chicago Afrobeat Orchestra.
“In parts of Africa, the word ‘toubab’ means ‘white man,’ but the musicians on Toubab Soul are actually come from across the globe. All of them are musically like-minded, as well as in other ways, and we’ve come together under the flag of Afrobeat and the principle of social justice through music,” says Feder, who studied music at the University of Illinois.
The Barcelona band currently includes percussionist John “Kwame” Adzraku, bassist Fernando “Dinky” Redondo, trumpeter Audun Waage, saxophonist Gonzalo Levin, guitarist Octavio Hernandez, percussionist Tato Sassone, keyboardist Oscar Bayester and rapper Babacar “Baba” Gaya. Special guests on Toubab Soul include saxophonist Kike Perdomo, reggae singer Rasta Glover, rapper Krukid and kalimba player Seydu.
For more information on The Alma Afrobeat Ensemble, visit http://www.myspace.com/almaafrobeatensemble. For a review copy of Toubab Soul, please contact Eva Dilmanian at 646.675.8550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.