What a year 2006 has already been for Aphrodesia! Taking their intoxicating show international for the first time, the 11 piece San Francisco-based musical extravaganza went far off the beaten path and back to the roots of their music by touring West Africa for the entire month of February. The trip landed them in Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria- where, over two incredible nights of playing with Femi Kuti, Aphrodesia made history by becoming the first American band ever to play the legendary New Africa Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria. Who is Aphrodesia? If you don’t know yet, you soon will.
Emerging in 2003 from the fertile San Francisco Bay Area music scene, Aphrodesia's highly original brand of ‘Super Aphro Beat’ and uncompromising political stance made them resist easy classification. In 2004, the band exploded into the national consciousness with the “Just Vote Tour”, a swing-state voter registration tour that took the band all the way to NYC and back in their vegetable oil-powered bus and landed the group on the cover of USA Today. The band’s debut CD, “Shackrobeat Vol. 1” (Flatbed Lamborghini), was picked as one of the best records of 2003 by the East Bay Express, and showstopping performances in 2004 and 2005 at the Aspen JazzFest, the Earthdance Festival, the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, the High Sierra Music Festival and many other festivals and venues won the group high praise. The band's second CD, 2005’s "Front Lines" (Full Cut Records), was featured on National Public Radio, won rave reviews from media outlets from Global Rhythm Magazine to Jambase.com and broadened the band’s already wide appeal even further, setting the stage for their landmark trip to Africa.
Aphrodesia, San Francisco's contenders in the Afrobeat arena, are 13 young heavyweights who play Kuti's music but embellish the form with Latin swing and reggae skank. Vocalist Lara Maykovich adds a steamy sensuality not found in Kuti's aggressive chants, shifting the focus of the message from the boardroom to the bedroom. It's an irresistible twist that'll keep you begging for more.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN
The Bay Area's answer to Antibalas, Aphrodesia makes music with enough vim and vigor to make Fela's spirit proud. On this self-produced debut release, Aphrodesia adds traditional East African, dub reggae, and American funk and jazz influences to the Afrobeat bag, creating an album that truly deserves the multiculti tag. --EAST BAY EXPRESS