Blog October 1, 2014
Afropop Premiere: Nikhil P. Yerawadekar and Low Mentality -- "Reel It In/Vultures"
We've said it before, and at this rate, we'll probably be saying it again--Nikhil P. Yerawadekar and Low Mentality make some of the best music coming out of NYC. Not the best Afrobeat, not the best post-highlife, not the best South African psychedelic disco. Some of the best music, period. Nikhil and his comrades are part of a loose generation of musicians who came of age in the hothouse of the Afrobeat revival, but who are now pushing past its confines in all sorts of wonderful directions. Drawing on lessons in groove and restraint garnered from stints with Hailu Mergia and Antibalas (among other places), and bringing them to bear in the service of freewheeling, genre-splicing pop, the group's new 7'' is as about as pure a distillation of these tendencies as you could wish for. Fusing Afrobeat rhythms with Ethiopian horns, highlife guitars, soul organ, and the kind of indy-rock trot that the Strokes took to the bank, "Reel It In" is one of the catchiest things the band has ever produced, a perfectly poised track biding its time before exploding into a final rave-up. The flip side, "Vultures," brings the Motown influences to the fore, pulling things back to a drum-led simmer while spicing the blend with a helping of dub FX. So check them out! And remember: you can also buy these songs on sweet, sweet vinyl. Or on far more portable MP3.