Chico Mann is the solo moniker of Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra's guitarist/singer Marcos García. Raised in a Cuban householod in New York  — to a record store owner father and pianist mother — Chico grew up with all sorts of Afro-Cuban musical stimuli.

Among his favorites are Willie Colón, Lisa LisaAfrika Bambaataa, and of course Fela Kuti, whose Africa 70 band serves as the model for Antibalas. Chico brings this convergence of 1970s Afrobeat, 1980s Freestyle & Afro Cuban and mainstream to AIYE #11: Call and Response. In his own words,

"It's no secret that I love the funky, African music of the past.  It's an endless source of inspiration and in that spirit, I submit these selections. They are dominated by one band, It's no secret that I love the funky, African music of the past.

It's an endless source of inspiration and in that spirit, I submit these selections. They are dominated by one band, Orchestre Poly-Ritmo de Cotonou. The simple fact is that the band is amazing. They capture many moods, their scope is vast, and their musical concepts are fresh and highly relevant. If you've yet to hear them, now is the time."

Stream and download Chico Mann's  AIYE #11 below! And big up to Underdog for the incredible cover art!


1. Another Man's Thing - Joe King Kologbo & His Black Sound (Nigeria)

2. Acid Rock - The Funkees (Nigeria)

3. Se We Non Nan - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou (Benin)

4. Kenimania - Mono Mono (Nigeria)

5. Otachikpopo - Bongos Ikwue & The Groovies (Nigeria)

6. Mi Ve Wa Se - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou (Benin)

7. Malin Kpon O - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou (Benin)

8. Finger Toe - Tabukah X (Nigeria)

9. More Bread to the People - The Action 13 (Nigeria)

10. Na Mi Do Gbé Hué Nu - Honoré Avolonto (Benin)

11. Dancing Time - The Funkees (Nigeria)

12. Agboju Logun - Shina Williams & His African Percussionists (Nigeria)

13. Mi Ni Non Kpo - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou (Benin)

14. Houe DJein Nada - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou (Benin)

15. Vimado Wingnan - El Rego Et Ses Commandos (Benin)

16. Ma Dou Sou Nou Mia - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou (Benin)

17. Noude Ma Gnin Tche De Me - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou  (Benin)


Photo: Felipe Maia.

Making Music Between the Cracks In Senegal

Navigating mbalax, hip-hop, and afropop, Senegalese artists are sticking together to make their music heard.

Taking a stroll in Dakar is an overwhelming sonic experience. One of the busiest metropolises of West Africa, Senegal's capital is flooded by taxis with lousy tailpipes and drivers who are keen to honk every now and then while cruising long avenues by the seaside. All over the city, several minarets' speaker boxes remind the prayer times throughout the day, adding chants to daily people's chats in different languages and dialects.

At first, it may not seem too different from other big cities in Africa, but one kind of music sets a unique dakarois tone. Whether in a clothing store, having a thieboudienne for lunch or taking a cab, one's ears will be caught by mbalax music.

A new generation of artists wants to bring different sounds to the main stage of the Senegalese arts. They are the likes of the electro-fueled trio Guiss Guiss Bou Bess, the big afrobeat-ish band Sahad & The Nataal Patchwork and the experimentalist sound-maker Ibaaku. He's one of the founders of Kandang, a newly-born platform that aspires to build up a healthy environment that could develop the work of Senegalese musicians through concerts, workshops and promotion.

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