DJs like Gilles Petersen have been hip to the seven-piece wonder band Demon Fuzz for years, and as of the 21st century -- now that everybody's put away their James Brown records for sampling -- other club jocks are getting into the act of sampling this incredibly rare LP. Afreaka was the only release by Demon Fuzz. Released in 1970, Afreaka is a wild mash of Afro-Latin funk, breakbeats, tripped-out soul, jazz fusion, and psychedelic journeying. These seven black musicians took on everything that was happening, and were musicians enough to make it work for them. This CD reissue by Castle/Sanctuary includes the entire original album plus their three-track EP whose A-side was "I Put a Spell on You." Yeah, there are vocals on this set, but they are far from a distraction. Imagine the early Santana band mashed ****** the mouth by Fela, Sly, and mid-'60s Blue Note soul-jazz -- and having heard prog rock. Oh yeah...heavy, demented, and so out there that it's timeless. Had they heard this when they did their mighty Root Down EP, the Beastie Boys would have released a very different record. Most tracks run in the eight- and nine-minute range and get down with tough drums at the core, with rhythmic shifts happening on a grooved dime. Killer horns, Hammond B-3s, electric guitars, and deep tough slinky funky bass all wind together to create a mix so utterly intoxicating and fluid that it's difficult to take in one listen -- check out the Eastern mode sax solo on "Another Country" or the stomp-and-slide greasiness of "Past Present and Future." And as for the Screamin' Jay Hawkins cover, it's like the Meters jamming with Osibisa There's also a fine extended voodoolicious psych-soul cover of Ray Harris' RB classic "Mercy" (subtitled "Variation No. 1"). This is the real deal -- solid, freaky-deaky, and groove-centric. Not to be missed. [The CD was also released with bonus tracks.] Thom Jurek, Rovi
- April 28, 2009
- Demon Fuzz
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