Hunting for rambunctious music that honors the bygone big-band era can quickly transform into a wild goose chase. This is not the case for DC-area collective Chopteeth. As a twelve-piece Afrobeat band combining nationalities and genres, Chopteeth captures its vivacious performances at local landmark venues such as the Black Cat, 9:30 Club, and the Rock & Roll Hotel on Chopteeth Live. To a generation hooked on Vampire Weekend’s brand of Afropop and the Fela Kuti revival, this is more than a live recording. “Didjeridoo” kick-starts the celebration as a rollicking tribute to Duke Ellington; “Gagne Perdu” is a tropical whirlwind of keys and a brassy breeze. The runaway rhythm and catchy chanting on Ghanaian track “Eyi Su Ngaangaa” is a swift call to the dancefloor. Whether the influence derives from Congo or Senegal, Fela Kuti himself, or the band members’ own experiences in fields such as ethnomusicology or playing in other area bands, the layers beneath each track signals a meticulous attention to detail and an intense devotion to funk. In a city with a celebrated funk scene and distinct go-go tradition, Chopteeth’s brand of Afrofunk is the pulse of the city.
Buy this at iTunes. After the jump, check out a performance of “Eyi Su Ngaangaa”.