Sydney-based new Afro-funk formation The Liberators have gotten straight to business in the less than one year of being together, and their debut full-length album is coming out on Record Kicks. The 10 piece outfit includes members of several other afro-groove bands, resulting in a tight Afrobeat supergroup with masterful musicianship.
Opener “Multiculture” starts off with an Afrobeat so soaked in funk that it sounds like the Dap-Kings jamming with Fela Kuti’s band Afrika ’70. “Bulletproof” follows, and the sound is so genuine; no retro vibes or a sense of being part of a new afro-inspired funk wave. A delicate balance of guitars and percussion make up the rhythmic backdrop over which their horn section careens and cuts, and the track builds with heavy progressions. The kicking rhythm of “Rags To Riches” has a sleazy taste of Blaxploitation and it’s a monster track of funky grooves. “Let It Go” is a soulful track featuring the vocals of Dojo Cuts’ Roxie Ray, and it moves on a slow steady groove. The uplifting “Liberation” opens up like “See-line Woman” and it features Ghana-born singer Afro Moses who provides the track with tons of live feeling and personality.
The Liberators are not trying to rival the greatness of classics from 70s Africa, but they’re definitely keeping the spirit of Fela Kuti alive. Like Antibalas, the production quality is extremely high, and they focus on every detail in their craftsmanship, but they are still able to make their sound fluid and dirty. This record will kick start your summer