World Vibes 2: Exploring Afro-Caribbean Fusion
  • THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014

  • Posted by: Tayi Sanusi

For those of you that find yourself listening to the same three playlists of your favorite pop, rock, or alternative songs, we've got news for you... There's a whole wide world out there of unique musical fruits waiting to be foraged for your listening pleasure. Out of the kindness of our hearts, we'd like to spoon feed you samples of such rich musical culture from unexplored corners of the world.

Afro-Caribbean Fusion

Music of the Caribbean covers a wide gamut of musical genres. Much of Caribbean roots music stems from African traditions that were blended with a variety of different styles as cultural influences spread through the Diaspora. Unlike the majority of western music, traditional music of the Caribbean is often firmly rooted in both ceremonial and/or religious practices. Some of these traditional and sacred sounds have come to the forefront in recent months due to the large artistic influence they had on counterculture's favorite collective Arcade Fire. Since the release of their new album the Canadian band has received some attention both positive and negative for what some call the re-appropriation of both Afro-Caribbean (specifically Haitian) imagery and musical elements, which you can read more about here. Luckily, there are many other musicians who draw inspiration from Caribbean roots, and we thought we'd share some of our favorites with you.

Spotlight Musicians:

Antibalas

Formed in 1998, a year after the death of Afro-beat messiah Feula Kuti, this self-titled Afro-beat orchestra started churning out the Yoruba inspired instrumentals like nobody's business. This group expertly combines strong West African and Cuban influences with brass and western orchestral traditions to make musical odysseys all their own.



Songs to check out:

"Sare Kon Kon"


"Who Is America (Album)"



Val-Inc

This Haitian-born Brooklyn native, who recently shared her unique brand of Afro-electronica at SXSW last month, has found the blissful point where spirituality and cerebral ambiance meet. Best described as electronic soundscapes layered with sacred chanting and Vodou drumming, Val-Inc creates both a vast and complex aural aesthetic. The fusion of ancient ceremonial tradition with the contemporary elements of electronica expertly articulates spirituality and revelation in the context of what many would describe as polarized genres.

"Du"


"Rasin (feat. Sherley Cesar)"


"Gede Nibo (feat. Erol Josue)"



Cymande

As immigrants from Guyana and Jamaica, this eight-piece collective formed in Britain during the early 70s. Utilizing elements of rhythm and blues, funk, and afro-Caribbean percussion, these guys are easily considered to be one of the most sophisticated funk bands of the 70s and 80s... and word on the street is there may be a new album and tour on the horizon. But for now check out some of their most popular tunes.

"Rickshaw"


"Anthracite"


"Bra (Extended Mix)"


Enjoy and keep your eyes peeled for World Vibes 3, where we'll be bringing you yet another exciting world music trend!

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