with Low Mentality Afrobeat Massive feat. members of Antibalas, Akoya Afrobeat & very special guests, Underground System, Kaleta & Super Yamba Band & DJ Mickey Perez
Fri October 13th, 2017
Minimum Age: 21+
Doors Open: 9:00PM
Show Time: 10:00PM
Event Ticket: $15
Day of Show: $20
This is a general admission event at Nublu: 151 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009
Felabration NYC 2017
Low Mentality Afrobeat Massive feat. members of Antibalas, Akoya Afrobeat & very special guests
Known for his work in groups like Antibalas, The Sway Machinery and Akoya Afrobeat, multi-instrumentalist and producer Nikhil P. Yerawadekar founded the band Low Mentality in 2011. The group merges elements of Afrobeat, reggae, dancehall, hip-hop and rock music to create deeply funky compositions that balance a compelling new style of songwriting with propulsive, danceable grooves. Nikhil has been immersed in Brooklyn’s Afrobeat scene since joining Akoya Afrobeat (fronted by former Fela guitarist Kaleta) in 2007, and went on to join Antibalas two years later. He has since performed Afrobeat music all over the world, from New Zealand to Tokyo to the Canary Islands to Broadway as an occasional player in the Fela! Broadway musical. Nikhil has broken bread and made music with a number of Fela collaborators and disciples, including most recently Tony Allen, creator of Afrobeat’s signature drum sound. In addition to writing original music that uses the structure of Afrobeat in different stylistic contexts, maintaining public interest in Fela’s musical style and message is major goal of Nikhil’s career. This year’s Felabration NYC aims to bring the community together and build off the success of last year’s all night celebration.
A Black-Italian raised in Miami and Venezuela walks into a bar. She’s flanked by some instrument toting lady friends and a few dudes. There’s a Filipino, a Jewish/Brazilian, a Motswana, a Japanese man, and a couple white guys with guitars (of course). If you’re waiting for the punch line, it’s better seen and heard than read. Underground System, the Brooklyn, NY born female-fronted group of modern afrobeat deconstructionists, is a singularly original and undeniably exciting group. Hanging their hats on an uncompromising stage show, they augment their presence with a multitude of eclectic musical influences and a heavy penchant for the deeper sounding corners of NYC dance floors, bringing a refreshing sense of urgency to what is at the core a classic tight-knit, no frills, show stopping act.
Other than the extra-musical and cultural factors, Underground System separation from the norm of touring afro-friendly bands was cemented with the recent release and subsequent proliferation via about a dozen official remixes of ‘Bella Ciao’ – a retro-futuristic dance floor ready interpretation of a Partisan anti-fascist Italian WWII anthem (Frontwoman Domenica Fossati’s father is off the boat Northern Italian, mom from Flatbush Brooklyn, and she grew up in Miami and Venezuela; you do the math). This single has had an impressive little run – there were three separate 12” vinyl releases dedicated to it (Ropeadope Records, Hell Yeah! Records), remixes from electronic wunderkinds Archie Pelago, viral MC Kool A.D. (Das Racist), and the tune attained cult status on the dance floor all over the Mediterranean region when it was played and later remixed in the Boiler Room on Ibiza by Leo Mas, the protagonist resident DJ of the Balearic revolution on the island during the infamous summer(s) of love.
Aside from the success of ‘Bella’, their live show over the past year has evolved and brings their newfound concept of sonic palette to a place as diverse as the players. The group at this stage is just as likely to tip their hats to the imitable South Bronx girl group ESG as they are Fela Kuti, and lately have been leaning on a raucous interpretation of British new wave cult classic band XTC to close their shows. Sitting on a wealth of brand new original material currently being produced in the studio, they will begin in 2016 to spread their wings with it live. For their forthcoming debut full length recording they have tapped resident indie rock legend and Brooklyn guru Tony Maimone (of Pere Ubu and They Might be Giants fame) as well as former DFA Studio manager Abe Seiferth to engineer, under the close watch and collaboration of producer/bandleader Peter Matson. The progressive social and sonic thesis statement of the band is fully laid on the line for these upcoming records, and you can catch them now in a city near you for an early taste of things to come.
Some recent press for Underground System comes from Afropunk, okayafrica, The Washington Post, Time Out NY, The Village Voice, Test Pressing, and Afropop Worldwide. Some recent tour stops for Underground System include The Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Bowl, Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, WNYC, Brooklyn Museum, WMI, Le Poisson Rouge, The Ace Hotel, Brooklyn Night Bazaar, Sofar Sounds NYC, American Museum of Natural History, and S.O.B.’s
Kaleta & Super Yamba Band
Brooklyn afro-funksters Kaleta & Super Yamba Band are fronted by legendary Afrobeat veteran Leon Ligan-Majek a.k.a. Kaleta. The singer, guitarist and percussionist from the West African country of Benin Republic lived his adolescent life in Lagos, Nigeria where Afrobeat was born. Kaleta performed and toured the world with the two most popular musicians from Nigeria, Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade, along with Majek Fashek and recently Lauryn Hill.
Now based in New York City, Kaleta was overjoyed to find Super Yamba Band and hear their take on the vintage, psychedelic sounds of his native country. Super Yamba takes its cues from artists like Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, El Rego and The Funkees all legends in their own right for pioneering the classic styles of Afro-Funk and Afro-Rock in Benin and Nigeria. Super Yamba Band have dialed in the nuances of some of the rarest grooves out there with a timeless sound that will move everyone in the room to dance!
Kaleta got his start in the late 70s performing in church and was soon after picked up by iconic Juju master and world music pioneer King Sunny Ade. A few years later Fela Kuti came calling. Kaleta would go on to tour the world playing guitar for the King of Afrobeat in his band Egypt 80 through the 1980s and into the 1990s. Audiences will hear Kaleta sing in several different languages native to West Africa including Fon, Goun, Yoruba and Ewe, along with French and Pidgin English, “the official language of Afrobeat” he says with a grin.
Super Yamba Band’s live performances with Kaleta are absolutely explosive. Afropop Worldwide said “their ace-up-the-sleeve: the singer Kaleta, whose James Brown grunts have got to be some of the best in the business.” With Kaleta at the helm Super Yamba Band have recently erupted onto stages at Paste Magazine’s Emerging Music Festival, World Music Institute’s Masters Of African Music Series, The Untitled Action Bronson Show (Viceland TV), Secret Planet APAP 2018 Showcase and more, giving audiences an unforgettable experience of world-class Afro-Funk dance music.
DJ Mickey Perez
A first generation American born DJ of Cuban & Ecuadorean descent, Mickey Perez was born in Chicago, IL in August of 1978. Mickey grew up hearing the music of Motown as well as James Brown & Michael Jackson to Latin legends such as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz & Beny More at home on a regular basis. Upon moving to Miami in the summer of 1990 those influences would evolve into The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Gangstarr, Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest & Tupac Shakur among others. After graduating from film school in Orlando, Mickey moved to New York City in September of 2002 basing himself in Brooklyn to further pursue a career as a Feature Filmmaker. Over the next 8 years, Mickey saw his goal slowly sail farther & farther in the distance while he toiled away his time working on a myriad of banal Talk, Game & Reality Television shows during this span in addition to Producing for a major Ad Agency, GreyNYC, beginning in 2008. By 2009, Mickey was disillusioned with the prospect of working as a Producer in the Advertising Industry long term. It was during this period, Mickey purchased a record player & thus records and began collecting some of his favorite old albums but also began listening to music that was new to him specifically Nuyorican Latin Soul aka Boogaloo and Underground Disco from NYC, Chicago and pretty much anywhere as long as it was funky. Everything changed for Mickey when he purchased the album “Subway Joe” by Joe Bataan. With that album, Mickey found his new favorite style of music – Boogaloo – and with it began to find as many records as possible that had the Latin Beat fused with American R&B and Rock & Roll. From this nexus, Mickey and 2 of his closest friends began DJing house & loft parties on the weekends sometimes for money but mostly for free in Brooklyn in 2008-09 playing a range of Disco, Funk, Soul, Post Punk and Punk Funk from Europe and the US to go with Boogaloo and classic 70s Salsa from Fania Records mainly on the Afro/Latin/Caribbean side. These house & loft parties for fun became passion projects for Mickey specifically, mainly because he had zero outlet in terms of being creative while working as a Producer. In January of 2010, Mickey’s employer and him agreed things were not working out for both sides and decided to part waysMickey would turned a still growing interest of DJing in its infancy and decided to take a crack at DJing full time giving up what might have been a promising career in Advertising in the process. Becoming fully immersed in the subject of New York, Chicago & Detroit’s underground dance scenes of the 70s & 80s, Mickey began studying the approach & direction of DJs David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy among others absorbing how they put their styles of music & sets together. To add a special ingredient from his own background & upbringing, Mickey also dug deep into the New York Latin music scene of the 60s & 70s, specifically Boogaloo & Salsa to deliver a definitive & unique New York based sound not heard out in conjunction with the Disco sound during this time. As Mickey’s musical tastes continued growing & his DJ style began to develop, that New York Sound he was attempting to create organically expanded itself to include indigenous dance music from other distinct parts of the world. Some of this evolution was in part due to him moving to London, living & DJing there for 9 months from Fall 2010- Spring 2011. In London, Mickey’s selection expanded even further into South America in regions such as Colombia, Brasil, Peru, Ecuador, in the Caribbean such as Haiti, Cuba, Cape Verde, Guadeloupe and finally Cape Verde, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Africa among the many other musically rich countries throughout Africa. Upon returning to NYC in May of 2011, the New York Sound Mickey was attempting to develop wound up morphing into a truly Global Sound by accident during his time in London. It evolved into a sound that can wreck a dance floor in Brooklyn the same way it can be wrecked in London, Soweto, Sau Paulo, Accra or Cartagena. A full time DJ since 2010, Mickey currently holds down weekly residencies throughout Brooklyn at Black Flamingo in Williamsburg on Wednesdays, Le Boudoir in Brooklyn Heights on Fridays and Sundays at Bembe in Williamsburg. He also holds monthly & bi-monthly residencies in Brooklyn & Manhattan at the following locations: at Donna Cocktail Club & The Randolph in Williamsburg, Starvue Loft in Bushwick, Project Parlor in Bed-Stuy, Sisters in Fort Greene and in Manhattan at Nublu in Alphabet City.