Live Concert Photography: Ibibio Sound Machine with Ikebe Shakedown at Brooklyn Bowl 7/25/19
Like countless people across New York and across the globe, I’ve been following social distancing guidelines when I’ve gone out, but for the most part I’ve been in quarantine. With the seemingly endless hours at home, I’ve been busy. Most of my time has been consumed with work. Although live concerts in the traditional sense aren’t happening — and won’t be happening at any point in the near future, artists from all over the world are still actively releasing music. There seems to be a sense among the community that art of all stripes can offer people some solace and connection in these bleak and uncertain times.
Unsurprisingly some of that work has included editing photos from my extensive archives of previously unedited photos. Over the course of last year, I wrote quite a bit about the London-based Afropop act Ibibio Sound Machine. With the release of their first two albums — 2014’s self-titled release and 2017’s Uyai — the London-based Afropop act, which features Eno Williams (vocals), Alfred Kari Bannerman (guitar), Anselmo Netto (percussion), Jose Joyette (drums), Derrick McIntyer (sax, synth) have established a sound that draws from West African funk and disco, as well as contemporary post-punk and electro pop.
Ibibio Sound Machine’s third album Doko Mien derives its name from an Ibibio (the Nigerian dialect and mother tongue of frontwoman Eno Williams) phrase that translates into English as “Tell Me,” and the album, which was released last year through Merge Records finds the band blurring the lines between cultures, nature and technology, between joy and pain, and between tradition and the future. Interestingly, I wrote about Doko Mien‘s three released singles: the wild genre-defying album title track “Doko Mien,” which sounded to my ears at least, like an amalgamation of I Feel For You-era Chaka Khan, Prince, Michael Jackson‘s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin‘,” Chicago house and Fela Kuti, the sultry 80s synth funk-like “Wanna Come Down,” which invites the listener to get over to the dance floor and shake your ass — and the slow-burning Quiet Storm-like “Guess We Found A Way.”
The band’s Brooklyn Bowl set was primarily centered around the material of Doko Mien but also featured material off their two previously released material. Brooklyn-based Afrobeat act Ikebe Shakedown opened the night. Check out photos from the show below.
Founded over a decade ago, the Brooklyn-based Afrobeat act Ikebe Shakedown — Barnaby Alter (drums), Dave Bourla (percussion), Mike Buckley (tenor/baritone sax), Vince Chiarito (bass), Jason Colby (trumpet), Nadav Niremberg (trombone) and Robin Schmidt (guitar) — have developed a reputation both locally and nationally for a funky groove-based sound that draws from 70s psychedelic soul, classic Afrobeat and cinematic Western soundtracks and for an energetic live show.
Recorded by the band’s Vince Chiarito at Hive Mind Recording, a studio built from the ground up and co-owned by the band’s Chiarito and Mike Buckley, the band’s latest effort Kings Left Behind was released last year through Colemine Records. Interestingly, the album’s material is the first time in their history, in which the entire band wrote material together — and a a result, each instrument and element were allowed to shine, while the band as a collective whole expanded upon their take on what they’ve dubbed “instrumental soul.”
The Brooklyn-based Afrobeat collective’s July Brooklyn Bowl set was centered around the material from their latest album.