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Music Releases (more headlines) 10-11-2006

Kobo Town Claim Their Independence

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Email: kobotown@musicdish.net
Website: http://www.kobotown.com
Music: http://www.kobotown.com

Toronto-based calypso act Kobo Town will officially release their debut album Independence to North American retail and online outlets on November 14, 2006.

Drawing heavily upon the sounds of traditional calypso, roots reggae and dub poetry, the album is a collection of stories which offer a running commentary on a wide variety of social and political themes including domestic violence, homelessness, globalization, the war on Iraq, and the various frustrations and betrayals of the post-colonial era.

Named after an historic community in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, where calypso was born, Kobo Town strives to recover the social conscience, satirical storytelling and strong acoustic/organic rhythms that characterized Trinidadian music in the past. But while the group's singer-songwriter Drew Gonsalves expresses a wish to "celebrate the musical and artistic traditions formed over the long years of our turbulent history", the tales that fill the album could be told anywhere.

The title of this album is intended to be hopeful and ironic at the same time: some of the songs offer a critical look at the "independence experiment" and its various failures and betrayals in Trinidad and elsewhere, while others aim to celebrate the musical and artistic traditions formed over the long years of our turbulent history. One track Abatina tells the tragic story of a girl trapped in an abusive marriage by her family's class aspirations, while another, St. James, uses a flood of rhymes and images to evoke both the desperation and celebratory spirit of a struggling neighbourhood in Port-of-Spain. And underlying the songs are bottle and spoon rhythms, syncopated flute and violin melodies, strumming cuatros, and heavy reggae bass lines which indicate a marriage between West Indian musics old and new – a dialogue between a fading folkloric tradition and the sounds that prevail in our time.

Independence was co-produced by Lyndon Livingstone (David Rudder, Andre Tanker, Mighty Scrunter) and Drew Gonsalves at the Razorshop in Maraval, Trinidad. Independence will be available for download through CD Baby, iTunes, Music Discovery Network, Calabash Music and select online retailers. For more information or to hear advance tracks from the album, please visit, www.kobotown.com.

What the press is saying:

"...a pan-Caribbean mix of reggae, rock steady, calypso and funk whose vibrations dictated dance." Joyce Corbett, The Live Music Report

"Toronto's hottest new Calypso-Reggae-Jazz ensemble" Shawna Marlay, AfroToronto.com

"Kobo Town is set to unleash a new musical style on the world with a fusion of old and new traditions from the West Indies. Lead singer/songwriter Drew Gonsalves' vividly melodic lyrics backed with a heavy bass and rhythm section inspire people to move both physically and spiritually." Karam Debly, Canadian Music

Guitarist and singer-songwriter Drew Gonsalves has crafted cutting messages through thoughtful lyrics that beg to be absorbed." Chris Page, Ottawa XPress

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