The Afromotive - Scare Tactics CD

Asheville has a glorious 9-piece afrobeat ensemble and this is their incredible debut. Led by Ivory Coast's Kevin Meyame, the dancer, djembe player and percussionist also sings in French, English and his native language of Baoul.

The band's sound is faithful to Fela and Africa 70 -- complete with Fela-isms (whoas, ahhs, etc.) -- and grafts on nu-stuff (prominent guitar on "Scare Tactics"). All tracks are under 10 minutes and are excellent. They sound like Antibalas on "Yako" . "Blinded" is particularly unholy-jazzy and tasty. "Lies" clips along, smoking hot. "Doni Doni" is a great, short percussion, bass and vocals traditional. The trumpet-laden, mid-tempo "Red E Yo" lyrically plays on Fela's "Teacher don't teach me nonsense". "On the Cuff" is a simple instrumental.

Everything is superb. Themes include fear among groups of different ethnicities/nationalities, and poverty. They've done North Carolina, and Fela, proud.

- By Christiane Voisin,