Where The Gods Are In Peace
Outer-space concept trilogy from Brooklyn’s finest Afrobeat ensemble.
And now we know the answer to the question: “What if Silent Running had been a Fela Kuti track rather than a Bruce Dern film?” Twenty-strong at last count, Martin Perna’s Afrobeat orchestra here deliver a sixth album that only contains three “arrangements” – they are definitely not just “songs” or “tunes” – but has an impressive grandeur and symphonic sweep. There is also, hidden among the solos, a message it’s hard to ignore: thanks to opportunism and greed, the system we have is broken, can we return it, please, and start again? The 11-minute Gold Rush explores how America’s indigenous people were shafted; Hook & Crook devotes nine minutes to dissecting colonialism; and the threemovement Tombstown addresses a possible future. Heavy matters, but eminently danceable, too, thanks to some glorious playing and an adherence to the spirit of Kuti.