Can there be any greater thrill for a band, especially one with love and appreciation for Afrobeat, than getting to work with Tony Allen? If the Chicago Afrobeat Project’s new collaboration with Allen is any indication, there’s nothing better than the music that comes from working with the legendary Afrobeat founder. Not a single track holds back as the group plays fiery, modern funk with Allen’s intense rhythms driving them forward. The group tackles race relations and police brutality on “Race Hustle” and climate change on “Marker 48”, which starts with a quick spoken breakup between the Earth and her deadbeat boyfriend, the human race, before turning into a lament for the fate of them both.
Alma Afrobeat Ensemble was founded in Chicago in 2003 by guitarist Aaron Feder. In 2006 Aaron moved to Barcelona in search of a different sound for the AAbE. He quickly found a group of international members, from all continents of the globe. In a short time the band was reformed and headlined the Fiestizaje music and arts festival in 2008. The band then set about recording their first studio album, Toubab Soul which was released in 2010. Shortly afterwards, they released the remix album, Toubab Resouled, and opened the world music festival Cruilla de Cultures with Konono No 1.