Published Dec 01, 2005Throughout a two-hour set at the Casbah, the sextet of Mr. Something Something proved that they rank with any Afrobeat in the world today with soaring, vibrant horn lines rolling through passionate vocals filled with conscious lyricism and some of the bumpiest, contagious West African rhythms in Southern Ontario. Focusing on promoting their brand new full-length, The Edge, Mr. Something Something embarked on ten lengthy, politicised jaunts into the improvised, rhythmically rich world of Afrobeat. While each melody was intrinsically lengthy, none seemed discursive, as the band understood that a level of patience must be sewn in to each melody and obeyed stringently in order for the melodies to be given ample time to forage through pastures of jazz, Cuban, swing and rock. Both "The Edge" and "The Wanting" embodied that aesthetic, as vocalist Johan Ivar and principle saxophonist John MacLean took time to intersperse each change with percussive interludes, furthering the melody while the rhythm bumped and grooved. In addition, Nigerian-born Afrobeat poet Ikwunga joined the band for over half the set, alternating between performing original material and adding his own spin to his accompaniment's originals. Lyrically lambasting both the American, British and Nigerian governments for the social and political strife consuming Nigeria, Ikwunga built upon Mr. Something Something's strong textures, accenting each rhythm by crafting a call and response dance with his poetry, MacLean and the rest of the troupe. This continued throughout the set, giving each song a heightened climactic edge that fed equally off the Nigerian traditions expelled by Ikwunga and the contemporary flair of the Canadian collective. This was Afrobeat in its finest form.