With a name derived from the lyrics of the great Fela Kuti, New Orleans’ Gov’t Majik seeks to infuse the spirit and rhythms of Afrobeat with the ethos of Crescent City funk and jazz. At its core, Gov’t Majik is comprised of four principal members—bassist Bru Bruser, guitarist David Hyman, keyboardist Eduardo Tozzatto, and drummer Kyle Sharamitaro—but the ensemblecan grow to include a revolving cast of eleven. Dubbed the Afro-Tech Institute of Technology, the dynamic collaboration is rooted in its own unique culture. Their mission is simple: groove. Yet, their motivation, like that of the late Kuti, runs much deeper: hope.
On their latest album, Party Favors, the band takes on a more progressive sound, one that doesn’t sacrifice their roots in Afrobeat and urban funk but pushes to incorporate elements of rock, Hip Hop, electronica, and psychedelia into their dance-oriented disposition. The mostly instrumental album plays out like a stream-of-consciousness space-trance that blends in snippets of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blackalicious, George Clinton, the Future Sounds of London, and Prince. The world-beat fusion can be found in the sci-fi synths, syncopated clicks and clacks, percolating bass, trumpet shrieks, and call-and-response chants of “Wait,” while the socio-political message comes through in the title track, a funk-rock circus that calls out corruption and hypocrisy. Things get rambunctious on the post-rock party anthem “Make Them Watch Us,” and the late-night soul rave “Ripchord” certainly spices up the par-tay. Through all the cascading cosmic collisions, liquid funk freakouts, and sonic surges, the album aims to ascend to a state where sense and sensation coalesce. The words “Where thought goes, energy flows” pulsate through the slow-motion daze of “Mind Power.” The message is clear: The booty, much like the mind, is a terrible thing to waste.