There are few contemporary Afrobeat bands in 2011 that are pushing the envelope and not relying on generic retro grooves or the emulation of Fela, but Ikebe Shakedown is one. But we can’t exactly call them an Afrobeat band either. Infusing cinematic soul, highlife, American funk and some Afro-Latin flavors as well, the fellas of Ikebe Shakedown have mastered a sound so crisp and precise, yet entirely raw. The seven piece band is made of a hodgepodge of music school graduates, funk fanatics, ethnomusicologists, and hard bop connoisseurs who can swing, groove and throw down some BAD horns.
The Revivalist caught up with the rhythm section of Ikebe Shakedown at their album release party at Southpaw last Thursday before their set. These cats broke down the history and cultural connections between West African musical aesthetics and American popular music, and of course a look at the formation of the band itself, their greatest musical influences, and recommendations of music that we need to school ourselves on.
Check out the interview, enjoy a free track download, and spread the word!
Words and Interview by Nora Ritchie & Boyuan Gao