2007-12-30West coast American band Aphrodesia present their take on West African music with Lagos by Bus, featuring a blend of funky Afrobeat with the smoother highlife style. Lara Maykovich and Maya Dorn sound larger than a vocal duo with their mostly chanted, occasionally interwoven singing, which wafts rich harmonies on the traditional Afro-Cuban hymn for healing "Ago Mado." Although their ecstatic voices open "Ochun Mi" massed horns and a stabbing electric piano straight out of Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti’s stylebook dominate the extended groove. “Holy Ghost Invasion” pits its English language invocation against fierce percussion, a theremin effect, and sonic collage in an energetic ditty that ends almost as soon as it begins. Best track honors go to instrumental "White Elephant," which beautifully modulates quiet tension and full tilt boogie, then erupts into Charlie Gurke's throttling baritone saxophone solo. -- Bob Tarte
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