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Demon Fuzz - Afreaka! CD (album) cover

AFREAKA!

Demon Fuzz

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.22 | 35 ratings

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Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
5 stars ZING!

Finding Afreaka! on PA a little while back had me scratching my head. Ever since I picked this wonderful record up in high school I thought it part of the groovin' saucy psychedelic soul scene booming from the lands of Motown. It was first when I dug a little deeper - dove beneath the overt funky bass lines and oh so soulful singing, that I hit the experimental bits. The part of this album that feels influenced by the whimsical quirkiness of the Canterbury scene - the part that goes whoof and s'got bells on it - dingalingaling!

These guys all immigrated to London during the musical epiphany of the 60s, and while you'll certainly pick up on some infinitely swinging, warm and psychedelic Hammond-organ-hippie-vibes during most of this record, it still comes across unlike most of what got produced around that time - especially in London! This is Funkadelic and a Mel Collins inspired reed quartet. Sly & The Family Stone hooking up with Osibisa and a funky inclined Don Cherry. The Junglebook meets Malcom X on a particularly inspired sidewalk in Piccadilly Circus...

The beat is low down boogie - grab your missus' backside. The bass is wavy, sultry and vivacious like a big pair of bouncy brown boobs. Together these two critters pounce their way through this release like a black panther on the prowl - sneaky, elegant and wild when it needs to be. Complimenting this incredible rhythm section is a cornucopia of fiery vocals that take their cue from the aforementioned motor city of Detroit - acts such as The Four Tops, The Temptations and The Jackson 5 all spring to mind when you hear the harmonies of Demon Fuzz unfold. What then gives this music it's zing and punch is the crooked reeds, the angular turnovers and the quirky fusion breaks that once in a while come to the fore and rearrange this boogying funky soul train.

Released in 1970 Afreaka! obviously cashes in on the experimental surge that sweeped through popular music. It wasn't only with the likes of King Crimson and Pink Floyd you faced the counter cultures emerging up through the airwaves, but also with the black music community that at this time took artistic chances and revolutionised the more funky parts of the radio. Soul had suddenly become psychedelic and wobbly - jazz equally so while at the same time experimenting with freeform and rocking templates. Especially the jazzy invasion into popular music - the odd time sigs and musical freedom, is felt on this record. Call it melodic avantguarde, crooked soul, bouncy doo-wop or progressive blaxpoitation - hell I don't give a flying feck, but whatever you do, please take a chance with it - let it fill your living room with a rhythmic sensuousness and a funky beat that'll have your missus shaking dat ass, imitating bad hip hop videos and rolling up doobies like a young Jane Fonda in a leather catsuit with slender nimble fingers and a wild jungle stare. Man oh man how I love this thing!

Guldbamsen | 5/5 |

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