Boston's premier afrofunk outfit, the Macrotones, have been launching explosive dance parties for nearly a decade. The 9-piece, horn-driven ensemble is steeped in funk, afrobeat, cinematic soul, ethiojazz, rock, and more, resulting in dark, interlaced rhythms and progressive arrangements. The band’s tightly-honed grooves and infectious sound has shared the stage with like-minded practitioners such as the Budos Band, Grupo Fantasma, the Funk Ark, Big Mean Sound Machine, Ikebe Shakedown, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, and Barika, and is in good company with fellow instrumentalists Brownout, Jungle Fire, the Menahan Street Band, and the Shaolin Afronauts. Since typical genre descriptions fail to fully capture the scope of the Macrotones’ sound, new monikers need exploration: imperial funk, astrobeat, or even “a soundtrack for spies” all fit. For those looking for a distinctive take on funk, afrobeat, and global groove, the Macrotones are the thunderous answer.
After self-recording their first record, 2008’s Wayne Manor, the Macrotones followed up with two studio albums: First Signs of Danger, released on Young Cub Records in 2010 and produced by Craig Welsh (John Brown’s Body, 10 Foot Ganja Plant), and Darvaza, released on Music ADD Records in 2012 and produced by Sean Slade (Radiohead, Morphine).
Their newest effort, Unknown Outpost, with Boston Music Award-winner and Grammy-nominated engineer and producer Benny Grotto at the helm, will for the first time feature guest vocalists on a number of songs, including emerging star Iyeoka. Stay tuned for more details.
“Masters of the city's afrobeat movement”
"While the Macrotones’ brass stays powerful, it stays smooth and shiny as silk as well; easing into and out of measures with style, letting some of the more percussive instruments have their time and space."
- Boston Band Crush
"Rejects categorization within Afrobeat, reggae, and jam-band boundaries… Wayne Manor is a miraculous matrimony of funky preconceived ideals and effective spontaneity."
- The Boston Phoenix
"A tight display of funk and percussive aggression… Certain songs attack and punch you in the face from start to finish while others slowly creep, ebb, and flow..."
- The Afrobeat Blog
"They pump out an instrumental, afro-beat inspired, funk sound that will get your booty shaking. While you certainly get the sense that Fela's spirit is lingering in the air, there are also dashes of good ol' American funk thrown in for good measure. Tight horns, funky basslines, all sorts of percussion – certainly a tasty recipe."
- Mainstream Isn't So Bad Blog
"Very funky, jazzy horn section and irresistible percussion. This album [Wayne Manor] often reminds me of the soundtrack to a spy movie. There is an inquisitive nature behind each of these songs that keeps the listener on their toes throughout the twists and turns of each song."
- Yellow Bird Project Blog