Eastside Radio’s Album of the Week: Dec 13 – Dec 20

Eastside Radio’s Album of the Week is Naming & Blaming by The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra on the Hope Street Recordings label.

After a long wait, Melbourne’s Public Opinion Afro Orchestra (The POAO) is set to release their second album, ‘Naming & Blaming’, a pulsing, percussive journey into classic afrobeat. Recorded by a 17 piece ensemble, led by fierce vocals and a howling horn section, it’s a fitting 21st-century response to the world-shaking music of 1970s Nigeria. The result is true to the afrobeat blueprint of hypnotic, extended songs, improvisation and political comment but adds to the formula a host of pan-African influences and hip-hop elements that reflect the deep ranging roots of the band.

As the title suggests, and in true afrobeat tradition, Naming & Blaming pulls no punches. It is an outspokenly political record, a cauldron of strong opinions where indignation and optimism coexist. Led by the vocals of MC One Sixth and singer Lamine Sonko, the critique of colonialism is applied to both the African and Australian experience, the battles of many cultures informing the group’s ethos as does the importance of community and staying true to one’s convictions. Uplifting visions of a brighter possible future as laid out in “No Passport,” the album’s rambunctious opening song, are balanced with honest reflections on injustice like guest Robbie Thorpe’s take on Australia’s chequered history in the title track.

Artist: The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra

Title: Naming & Blaming

1.No Passport

2.Fight So Hard

3.Medicine

4.Naming & Blaming

5.The System

Musicians

Lamine Sonko, vocals and percussion

Kuukua Acqua, vocals

Lydia Acqua, vocals

Fem Belling, vocals

Simon Edwards, guitar

Dave Marama, guitar

Zvi Belling, bass

Julian Goyma, drums

John Mcall, keys

Tristan Ludowyk, trumpet, keys, guitar and percussion

Declan Jones, trumpet

Peter Slipper, trombone

Nick Lester, alto and tenor saxophone

Andy Williamson, baritone saxophone

Nui Moon, percussion

DJ Manchild, percussion and turntables

Robbie Thorpe, vocals (track 4)

Jidah Clarke, didgeridoo samples (track 4)

Produced by Tristan Ludowyk,  Zvi Belling and DJ Manchild

Recorded at Soundpark by Tristan Ludowyk

Mixed by Tristan Ludowyk

Original cover art by Lemi Ghariokwu

Graphic design by Chad Harri

Mastered by Lachlan Carrick at Moose Mastering

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