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Ubiquity Records

Super Yamba Band "Last Leap" LP

Super Yamba Band "Last Leap" LP

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Track List

A1) Yetunde

A2) Control Per Capita

A3) Bad Dog

B1) Xoomba

B2) Last Leap

B3) Bad Dog (Tigerbalm Remix)

B4) Last Leap (Taj Remix)

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With an adventurous and daring take on instrumental afrobeat, Super Yamba Band’s Last Leap EP takes listeners back to 2014, the band’s formative year. “We had just moved to Brooklyn—Walter, Sean, Evan, and I,” said Daniel Yount, the band’s founder and drummer, “and our only plan for ‘making it’ was to just play as much music together as possible.”

Finally released from the Yamba archives, the Last Leap EP is a sonic timestamp of the band’s creative energy during those very special first days in New York City. “We were excited, inspired—and probably a little overwhelmed. We wanted to record a few of our tunes so that we could have something for the clubs to listen to as we were trying to book gigs,” Yount explained. “From there, we immediately fell into playing shows at Harlem’s African music clubs—places like Silvana and Shrine—as well as DIY dance parties in Brooklyn.” The result of all of this, Yount said, was “a sound that we intentionally designed to keep people dancing for as long as possible.”

If necessity is the mother of all invention, then what the Last Leap recordings show us is a scrappy, young, unbridled Super Yamba Band pushing the sonic boundaries of what afrobeat could become in the 21st century. “We had so many forces driving us to that point. We’d previously been in a band together based out of North Carolina which featured songs by our friend Mamadou Sarr Mbengue, a Senegalese talking drum (tama) master who would also sing. Mamadou moved to Chicago and we moved to New York and since we no longer had a vocalist, we knew we needed to arrange these tunes in a way where the instruments would bring as much intrigue as possible,” Yount said. “This pushed guys like Sean and Walter to start bringing ideas forward for us to workshop together as a band.”

The title track, “Last Leap,” is a prime example of dynamic ideas coming together into a single, epic arrangement. “The song almost has two movements with the intro, horn melody and dubbed out trumpet solo laid over an upbeat groove,” Yount explained. “This is all followed by an outro with a really funky time shift that goes from 4/4 to 12/8 while moving into a Senegalese/Malian feel that allows the vibraphone and desert blues guitar to shine before a big triumphant horn section puts a final statement on the piece… we obviously had a lot of fun with that one!”

From the early days of the Last Leap sessions, Super Yamba Band never relented. Today the group has gained notoriety in the global afrobeat and afrofunk scenes largely through its extensive touring and Ubiquity Records releases with singer, composer, and guitarist, Leon Ligan-Majek, aka Kaleta, a veteran of the genre. “Our project with Kaleta gained traction so fast, we basically put these masters on the shelves and forgot about them,” Yount explained. “Years later we went back to listen—with fresh ears—and it was reinvigorating. We’re going to keep exploring these sounds and pushing the limits of what an instrumental, afrobeat-centric band can be, even as we continue to double-down on our work with Kaleta.” - Spencer Conover