Long considered the closely guarded secret of record collectors and wide-eared listeners, Afrobeat continues its steady crawl toward the spotlight. Fela Kuti, the godfather of the musical style, will soon have his back catalogue reissued, and Fela!, the Broadway musical about his life and music, has drawn rave reviews and sell-out crowds. A few dedicated indie rockers have thrived by adopting Afrobeat's interwoven polyrhythms and full-bore horn blasts. One such act is the instrumental Michigan sextet NOMO, which draws on hypnotic beats, soul-jazz saxophones and relentless jams. But rather than merely recreate the sounds of Fela's Nigeria, the band embraces a certain experimental verve through ambient backing tracks and dizzying effects loops, dropping a little bit of Sun Ra into the mix.
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