SummaryThe story behind Antibalas and the Bob Marley classic "Rat Race" began in the winter of 2006. Palm Pictures invited Antibalas to the studio to arrange and record three Bob Marley songs in their own style. The sessions were electrifying and the process of reworking and performing the songs created an even deeper and intimate ap- preciation for Bob Marley's work. In the meantime, the band had become entranced by the dark, epic, 9-minute arrangement of "Rat Race," prepared by Antibalas key- boardist/producer Victor Axelrod (Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Dub Side of the Moon), and the song quickly became a staple of our live show. After two years of performing "Rat Race" for audiences from the Canary Islands to Paris to Vancouver to Brooklyn, the band decided it was time to re-record the song and Axelrod was the right man for the job. A few years later, guitarist Marcos Garci´a dug up an unreleased Antibalas demo, added lyrics, and wound up with the song "Se Chiflo´." The title, in Cuban slang, roughly meaning "he went crazy" or "things are crazy," refers to the general lack of accountability, responsibil- ity, and transparency between such authorities (police, banks, and elected officials) and the billions of everyday people that pay the true price for their theft and incompetence.
The EP also features full-length dub mixes of both "Rat Race" and "Se Chiflo´," as well as "Rat Breaks," a breakbeat mix of drums and per- cussion for fans of Axelrod's dub treatment of Antibalas dancefloor classic version of "Che Che Makossa." The moment of the release of the "Rat Race" EP could not be more critical and timely, amidst the devastating economic, environmental, and social challenges confronting humanity. Antibalas is proud and privileged to be able to pay homage to Bob Marley, keeping alive his rallying cry against the inhumanity and desperation faced by many every day. This is the fruit of many tireless years on the road, stage, and in the studio, and represents the first of many songs in Antibalas' bag that will be released over the coming years.