Skip to main content

Wild Vibe: Jungle by Night Dropping Amsterdam's Worldwide Afrobeat-Inspired Funk in New York City July 11 2015

From a media release:

Jungle By Night - Wild Vibe: Jungle by Night Dropping Amsterdam's Worldwide Afrobeat-Inspired Funk on the U.S., with Tony Allen's Approval

• July 11, 2015 - Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY at 9:00 PM
Get your tix

When Tony Allen, the drumming power behind the sound of the late and very great Fela Kuti, pronounces a band to be “the evolution of Afrobeat,” it’s got something special. That’s exactly how he described Holland’s Jungle by Night.

The nine-piece powerhouse evolves the American and Nigerian roots of the music, folding in the beats and fierce attitudes of hip-hop and EDM, guided by the wild soul of jazz and the raw energy of rock. They’ve teamed up with Afro-inspired DJs and club music instigators like LA’s Gaslamp Killer and Philly’s Rich Medina. They’ve electrified audiences from Europe to Japan, and in July they’ll be bringing their modern taken on Afrobeat to America as they undertake a U.S. tour in support of their third album, The Hunt.

“We all came to this from different beginnings,” explains conga player Gino Groeneveld, “so we all bring our own ideas and we make them work together. Several of the band members’ father was a journalist in Africa, and he has a huge collection of highlife music. I love James Brown and Maceo Parker, and we grew up on that. The trumpeter came from jazz. All those things fit well in this band. And my brother Sonny, who plays the drums, used to make hip-hop beats. He’s always been a crate-digger, so he got us all into funk that’s off a lot of people’s radars, thanks to samples he tracked down.”

Formed by a group of friends six years ago, the band quickly found itself opening for acts like The Roots, legendary Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke, and Benin’s Orchestre Poly-Ritmo de Cotonou. From that flying start they organized their own Afrobeat festival, Felabration, in Amsterdam, bring in Tony Allen and Fela’s music son, Seun Kuti, as special guests.

And the people who have Afrobeat in their blood, one of the creators and the heir, were captured with Jungle by Night’s take on the music.

“Afrobeat to that level is just wonderful and impressive,” Seun Kuti said after they’d performed.

“We just have fun onstage,” Groeneveld insists. “We don’t focus on perfection. We enjoy it, and the crowd focuses on the music. If you’re having fun, the audience will, too.”

But along with the fun and the energy, there’s plenty of skill and focus. This is a new generation with a wealth of fresh influences to bring to the music, using Afrodiasporic forms as a springboard to bring in a wealth of sounds. On “Attila,” for instance, the first single on The Hunt, a synth grabs the ear before a relentless groove takes hold and a trumpet solo that nods toward Bitches Brew roars to life. The production on “Cherokee” owes a debt to Jamaican dub, and “Desdemona” opens with a complex, jagged guitar riff that would sound perfectly at home on a prog rock album, while “To Sugar A Dream” switches the mood by offering three minutes of gorgeously woozy brass languor.

This is the new funk, made up of countless flavors, determined in part by the scene the band came up in. “We’ve been lucky, living and playing in Amsterdam,” Groeneveld admits. “It’s a very open-minded city and there are so many broad musical interests here. You can just look around and find a jam session pretty much anytime. There are good clubs to play, and Holland has 200 festivals a year, so you can find places to play, to experiment and grow. That’s been great for us.”

From Holland they’ve spread their wings, playing all over the continent, before being invited to Japan’s famous Fuji Rock last year.

A nine-piece band can be unwieldy, but Jungle by Night has the sharpness of a razor in its sound. There’s plenty of room for the musicians to improvise. Between the soloists and the formidable machine of bass, drums, and percussion, however, there’s the constantly shifting soundscape, a journey through sonic territories that draws from the influence of dance music. It’s a powerful combination, one to stimulate the mind as much as the feet.

Along with touring, Jungle by Night is also working on a new album, spreading a global net for their music. “We’ve only recorded two songs so far, but one of them is a cumbia. A kind of cumbia, anyway,” says Groeneveld with a chuckle. “We’re taking our influences ever further this time on the album. It has more hip-hop and rock, and even some ideas from Turkey.”

Worldly influences aside, Afrodiasporic funk is still very much the core of the band’s sound. But whether the inspiration begins in Nigeria or Colombia, Jungle by night want one thing when they play live. “We want to get everyone in the same mood,” Groeneveld says. “To have them all with that wild vibe.”

America, get ready. The wild vibe is coming.

Comments

What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Blues Single | Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020)

Blues Single Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020) Stream It From Your Fave Service Waiting is the latest in a string of singles released by Bushwick Blooze Band. The Brooklyn-based blues trio have been performing and recording the blues around the NYC area since 2018. Their first album "Cryin' for the L Train" was released in January 2019, and included covers of famous songs composed by their greatest influencers such as Little Richard, The Allman Brothers Band, Freddie King, and Eddie Vinson.  Bushwick Blooze Band is finishing up the production of their second album "Yes Dear" and unlike the previous cover record, this new album will be their first original contribution to the genres they love. Waiting is an upbeat blues track with a party kind of veneer over solid musicianship. What begins with a classic blues feel transforms into an extended psychadelic flavoured trip. Inventive guitar licks almost make you forget about the virtuosity

Experimental Solo Guitar | Dan Pitt: Monochrome (Independent / September 4 2020)

Experimental Solo Guitar Dan Pitt: Monochrome (Independent / September 4 2020) Buy it on Bandcamp Toronto guitarist and composer Dan Pitt explores new ground in Monochrome, a recent release. The compositions for solo guitar each take a different approach. Pitt's musical imagination is inventive. Ghosts is contemplative, criss-crossing the line between jazz and classical music, and in and out of tonality. It has an interestingly eerie effect. The piece contrasts with Attraction and its buzzy, erratic energy that bursts into spurts of lightening quick notes. He returns to a more conventional contemporary jazz idiom in The Sorrow - but one that ends with an intriguing twist on the form. Long Lake is a classic acoustic guitar track, folky and melodic. Ditto is a standout, a distinctly contemporary exploration of contrapuntal melodies that at times sounds like a murmur of voices. Which Way Is Up is another highlight of the release with its elegant approach to minimalism. Electronic effe

CD Release: TriBeCaStan's New Deli Breaks the Time/Space Continuum in New Deli (Feb 7)

From a media release: New Release from Little Known Government of TriBeCaStan : Capital New Deli Found to Have Irregular Time-Space Continuum EverGreene Music - February 7, 2012 TriBeCaStan: News Alert. This morning Aljazzeera reported that the questionable nation of TriBeCaStan ( www.tribecastan.tv ) has made scientific breakthroughs in time travel. The unrecognized republic of nomads has broken the code of the time/space continuum. And by broken we mean: it no longer works. Applying sonic techniques once only known to a small group of punk rock shamans, the nation's most prestigious scientific entity, the TriBeCaStani FolkLorkEstra, uses sound alone to simultaneously place listeners in eras separated by decades and terrains separated by oceans. The breakthrough is outlined in an auditory compendium titled New Deli (distributed by the state-run EverGreene Music, set for release February 7, 2012 ), a recording that allows the world to experience a type of soulful networking mor

Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 Online - PWYC

 From a media release: Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto present A virtual concert featuring Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 at 8:00 PM Enjoy the concert from home! K inshasa’s vibrant nightlife has long been world-famous. It is home to the subculture known informally as the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People (SAPEUR), which has spread its influence through artists such as Papa Wemba. Blaise La Bamba is part of this scene. He has worked with some of the top names of Congolese music, in particular General Defao. I n 2018, Blaise La Bamba founded Kotakoli , an all-star collective of musicians that perform an energetic mix of Congolese rumba and soukous . In the company of Kotakoli, this veteran musician brings Congolese popular music back to the forefront, with spellbinding dances. The Details Date: Saturday November 7th, 2021  Blaise La Bamba and Kotakoli Virtual Concert Time: 8:00 PM Tickets: Pay what you can This concert is offered to you