(Daptone Records, 2014)
If you hadn’t heard the terms “Ethio-Jazz” or “Afrobeat”, you certainly knew what these meant after you saw the classic Jim Jarmusch film “Broken Flowers” with Bill Murray, which featured many amazing songs from the Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke (it also featured the classic Sleep-song “Dopesmoker” but that’s another story). Soon Afrobeat artists were sought after by every open-minded music-lover, such as myself, and it didn’t take long until groups like The Budos Band started showing up on movie soundtracks and festivals of good music.
Daptone Record’s own studio named “Daptone’s House of Soul” delivers that authentic analog organic 70’ies sound, and that’s why artists old and young revere the place to heavens. Daptone has been home for many of todays most appreciated souls-bands such as Antibalas, Menahan Street Band, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, El Michels Affair, Lee Fields, etc. The Budos Band has always had that trademark Daptone Sound.
The first three albums of The Budos Band featured a very similar style of Afrobeat, or Ethio-Jazz with a Soul-vibe (and 60’ies influences), and were amazing although basically the same sweet stuff. Now on their fourth album they decide to go even more 60’ies and 70’ies, adding a lot of more psychedelia to their beats and sound. The trumpets and the sax have always been the trade-mark of the Budo’s sound, with their majestic, uplifting and groovy melodies sounding away on top of the jamming basses, guitars, organs and of course those ultra-cool drums. This album is the “old Budos” through and through, but on songs like the title track the psychedelic guitars are given a lot bigger role.
The album has a magical and almost dangerous feel to it, but in no way gloomy, since it gives those funky groovy jamming party vibes all the way through, in the way only The Budos Band can do. The music has that genuine 60’ies and 70’ies Psychedelic Rock and even Doom-feeling, bringing bands like Zeppelin and Sabbath to mind from the sounds to the album artwork. To me personally, Afrobeat and Soul always bring feelings of walking the streets of NYC, and if you sprinkle some old school Occult Psychedelia on top of that, you know where I’m at with this album.
The whole album rocks from the beginning to the end with no clear weaker parts to be heard, in the same way the first three albums did. If you’ve loved the older Budos albums, you can’t go wrong with this one. Vinyl is a must naturally!
9/10 – Antti Mikonmäki