You Asked for It: Yaaba Funk

By Niki D’Andrea

The goal of this weekly “You Asked for It” blog is to review every local CD we receive, in the order it was received, and to provide an honest analysis of the music (for better or worse). If you’re a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to submit your CD for review, please send it to:

Niki D’Andrea ATTN: YAFI c/o Phoenix New Times 1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix, AZ 85032

This week’s review is the second release from local label Afro-Baile Records, an EP from U.K. collective Yaaba Funk.

Yaaba Funk Nyash!...’E Go Bite You E.P. (Afro-Baile Records) In keeping with his deep, abiding love of world music, Afro-Baile Records founder Miguel Ivery (a.k.a. DJ Seduce) has been pimping this disc by U.K. group Yaaba Funk. The eight members of the group came together over a love of African drumming and the folk music of 1970s Ghana. The music here also shows an island music influence, with steel drums decorating tracks like “Me Nye Me Dofu (Appreciate What You Have Today, for It May Not Be There Tomorrow).” The island flavor isn’t surprising when you consider that members of Yaaba Funk have also performed with Spasm Band (a project spearheaded by Trinidad spoken word artist Anthony Joseph). In addition to incorporating traditional African drumming and world music, Yaaba Funk adds psychedelic elements, jazz horns (check out the instrumentation on the E.P.’s title track), and a funk-feel to its songs. The collective’s desire to marry the sounds of urban London with African beats and island instrumentation has resulted in a rich, multi-cultural jam that sounds equally at home on the next Lion King movie soundtrack or Carribean house party.

Next week’s review: Brian “Head” Welch

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