Who says a funk band can't play rock music
August 2, 2013 11:34 AM   Subscribe

“Stylistically, Demon Fuzz’s single album, 1970’s Afreaka!, is hard to pin down. But then, I guess that’s the point. Demon Fuzz went out of their way to keep people guessing; at gigs, they’d let people assume they were a reggae band, only to launch into some African-influenced jazz/rock number. Jaws hit the floor and feet started tapping. “We were different, totally different,” says Demon Fuzz trombonist Clarance Crosdale.” -- Demon Fuzz was a shortlived British, African-Carribean prog rock group that had started life as a soul cover band.

Demon Fuzz only release one album in its lifetime, Afreaka!, which was inspired by the sounds and music the band's leader, Paddy Corea, heard when visiting Morocco:
“It was while in Morocco that my idea for a different kind of band and a different kind of music was born,” says Corea. “I was at this time exposed to a new kind of music that didn’t have a Western European scale. I learnt the Sufi Arabic scale and the pentatonic scale there. I heard all these tribal musicians from the interior playing various drums, reed instruments, and a kora, which is a stringed instrument with a calabash as a resonator. These chaps would play the hell out of this thing, as good as a Yehudi Menuhin. All this synthesized into what influenced me to try a different approach to my music. Some of the members of the Maroons understood and appreciated my ideas, and were thinking of similar things, so we formed Demon Fuzz on our return to the UK.”
Lack of promotion and support from their record label, as well as racism in the clubbing and touring scene -- "Black bands were paid less by club owners and were asked to work twice as long" -- meant that the band didn't last long. They did get some attention, from John Peel, as well as a short writeup in the Melody Maker, but it wasn't enough. What remains is the pure uncut prog rock of Afreaka!:

Past, Present and Future
Another Country
Hymn to Mother Earth
Mercy (Variation No 1)
I Put a Spell on You
Message to Mankind
Fuzz Oriental Blues
posted by MartinWisse (10 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Fuck yes. Love this record!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:49 AM on August 2, 2013

Wow, what a find. Thanks for a great post. I hear some Tower of Power influence in there, among other things. A fine treat!
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:51 AM on August 2, 2013

Oh cool. The whole album's on Grooveshark too.
posted by surplus at 12:13 PM on August 2, 2013

Holy crap.
I've been recently discovering some of the gems of African psychedlic rock, but this is a whole other kettle of awesome.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 2:09 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wow. All aces. Very nice.
posted by petebest at 2:10 PM on August 2, 2013

posted by J0 at 2:45 PM on August 2, 2013

Probably not news to anyone who clicked into here, but Soundway Records are the everloving musicmine of shejazzle like this.

FWIW most of their catalogue is on Spotify.

If it weren't for them I might have been reduced to spending my less-than-sober evenings watching the same old Industrial dance vids with dubbed polka, rather than the far more pretentiously obscure break dance dubbed with Molam.
posted by titus-g at 2:51 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oh shit! So glad to see this crop up here — I got it during an epic slsk binge a couple years ago, and it's a kinda mediocre vinyl rip. It's genius despite that, but really glad there's renewed interest (and hopefully a legit reissue).
posted by klangklangston at 5:28 PM on August 2, 2013

Thanks for posting this. Excellent.
posted by the sobsister at 7:00 PM on August 2, 2013

Just spotifying it 1.34 minutes in…….it sounds a bit special. A great big ta from me.
posted by Fat Buddha at 7:18 PM on August 2, 2013

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