The Afromotive - Scare Tactics CD

A graceful record, and a credit to the durability of Fela Kuti’s seminal genre.

On its debut record, Scare Tactics,
the Afromotive takes on the choppy, brass-punctuated style of Afrobeat
conceived and perfected by Nigerian band leader Fela Kuti. Technically,
the gig qualifies as “politically charged" by virtue of Afrobeat’s
militaristic pep and chaotic birthplace (Nigeria, circa 1970.) But an
Afrobeat band from Asheville, North Carolina can only be so subversive,
and it would be misleading to peg them as such.
Instead, the Afromotive’s offering is more pleasurable than
political—Ivorian frontman Kevin Mayame adds a sweetness to Fela’s funk
with his gentle West African lilt. His voice is nowhere near as husky,
and his on-mic personally is far less grandiose and misogynistic than
Kuti’s. Mayama can project, however—on-record he has what passes for
stage presence, and his lyric sheet sparkles with the poetry of pidgin

The band, meanwhile, follows the feverish pace of master drummer Adama Dembele, whose jittery percussive tics give Scare Tactics
an almost hallucinogenic quality. The trance is matched by the sober,
lonely aesthetic of the two saxophonists, both of whom, like Kuti, seek
solace in John Coltrane’s modal territory. The 10-piece band is thick,
tight, and jovial, with horns and guitarists who weave and wind around
congruent melodies over extended instrumental vamps—Scare Tactics
offers plenty of time to zone out, plenty of room to think. But above
all, it’s a graceful record, and a credit to the durability of Kuti’s
seminal genre.
-By Drew Hinshaw courtesy of Offbeat Magazine