A split personality between the brilliant horn & bass arrangements of a mature musical pioneer and the unfocused words of an inexperienced poet.
These two personalities inside United Vibrations clash to create a schizophrenic album… as if seasoned, old-soul musicians were laying down killer grooves to distract the neighbors so young graffiti artists can paint bold but vague statements on their house.
Galaxies Not Ghettos is the continuation of a story risen up from Africa’s best rhythm sections; a musical tale that could’ve been casually told by Tony Allen to Jack DeJohnett, overheard and now being loudly discussed (in vivid detail) by these four inspired young musicians…
Certainly a conversation worth listening in on…
Simply because the musicianship is touring calibre. Wayne Francis II and Ahmad Dayes expand the sound of two horns so well that you won’t notice the absence of (typical) guitars or keyboards until you read the album cover. The two other Dayes brothers, Yussef and Kareem, round out a rhythm section that suggests the whole family was raised on a strict diet of syncopated beats, punk mantras and Fela Kuti records.
Though the lyrics & vocal arrangements detract from the musicianship on a few of the songs, United Vibrations lift up all their words with seriously intriguing musical precision… like jazz kids stepping into afrobeat adulthood, they’re beginning to tell their own story with skills that promise a badass live show.
When their words start to hit as hard as their musical arrangements, this family will sound right at home somewhere between the Kuti’s and the Ramone’s on your playlist.
New Author: Steve Hendricks is a musician and sound engineer who cut his teeth working with the local hip hop, R&B, gospel and rock talent of Detroit. Now that he’s based in London, we are happy to have him on the contributors roster. For more from Steve and United Vibration, check out his review of the We never Die EP.