"Chicago Falcon" by Budos Band
The Daktaris opened up young American bands to the idea of playing Afrobeat—a dream kept alive by The Daktaris' own offspring, Antibalas—but The Budos Band's self-titled debut redefined the rules with massive doses of lithe syncopation and hard, sharp funk. Two years on, Budos has unleashed II, and the instrumental outfit couldn't have evolved more gracefully. Still coming on like Fela Kuti with solid charts and some pruning shears, the band has infused II with less attack and more atmosphere, resulting in a disc of drifting brass hooks, reverb-coil thunder, and a hazy saturation of organ and loose-limbed polyrhythm. The Budos Band II winds up feeling more suited to a soundtrack than the dance floor, but it's no less stunning for that.