Review by Annar Veröld.
Afrobeat is a brilliant concoction of funky jazz and rhythmic drumming that originated in Southern Nigeria. It is composed of fifteen to thirty instruments including the trumpet, trombone, various types of saxophones and guitars, keyboards, congas, the akuba, and the shekere. The father of Afrobeat Fela Kuti used music as an approach to revolutionize the society and politics in Nigeria. The method in creating Afrobeat reflects native African instruments and syncopated rhythms overlapping in intricate and complex ways.
Austin’s Hard Proof Afrobeat’s album launches with the exciting, upbeat theme of the entire composition known as “Soft Bullets.” The underlying hues and rhythms reoccur throughout the album in various different ways.
Sounding slightly different from Fela Kuti’s version of afrobeat, Hard Proof manages to sound original and clearly highlights the talent of their various musicians throughout the album. Unfortunately, a few songs are difficult to distinguish from one another as we hear the same melody repeating itself several times within the album. Because Afrobeat is a genre of music in which one of its most distinctive traits is the various different rhythms that the percussion can create and overlap, there should be no reason as to why a track sounds eerily similar to one or two other tracks throughout the album. Regardless, Hard Proof clearly delivered an illustration of a modernized, jazzy Nigeria and with a track like “Buzz Biz,” they should be praised.