FAME Review: The Afrorockerz - The Afrorockerz
The Afrorockerz - The Afrorockerz

The Afrorockerz

The Afrorockerz

Buda Musique - 860256

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

The promo lit to this cool-ass release claims The Afrorockerz to possess a "sprinkling of New Wave madness", and I'll choose to disagree with that, as Time for Me is full-on, blown-out, Talking Headsy, groovalicious rokkfunk meeting Kraftwerk and other electro-techno bands along the way, the sort of thing Conny Plank'd give his eyeteeth to be involved with. I mean, Jesus!, the cut is straight out of the glorious Stop Making Sense film. Its interspersed "What the hell am I doing here?" line perfectly reflects the mindset as well as the music. Someone, in fact, needs to stage this track as a single. Quite some back, I raved about a group named Turbine (here), and I have to place Time for Me in the same vein, though not of the same musical style; the follower cut, Talking in Rings, even has a bit of glitchtronica to it.

I can fully see this ensemble headlined at a Coachella, Burning Man, Lollapalooza, or other type fest, as its work appeals to a wide array of modes: Ibiza, New Wave, bass 'n drums, funk, acid jazz, prog, etc. I was Blind is a very smooth pulsey blend of mainstream, mellow, neofolk, African, soul, and other genres, the bassline defining its lifebreath. Guitarist Julien Raulet founded the band, and many of the songs' melodic structures build upon the entrancingly quirky African stylistics the 'Dark Continent' has been heir to, well proven to be so irresistible to Western musicians, Ginger Baker perhaps the true first acclaimant back in the 60s.

The ballad A Place in my World has a Romanto-fairy-tale vibe and substance to it (I even detect faint essences of very early T. Rex, back when Marc Bolan was a quirky folk-imp), a dreamy gauzy slo-mo featuring singer Allonymous in sprechestimmey narrative. For This returns us to Adrian Belew period Talking Head, but the closer, My Prayer, is an extremely interesting electro-prog-funk cut, again a Conny Plank-er and trancily wrought (like perhaps Frontline Assembly had been passing through after listening again to Klaus Schulze with Arthur Brown), atmospheric as hell, powerful, and superbly arranged, forever on the edge of an ebony tension letting into a reality a bit too close to doom, a little too distanced from salvation, and thus emblematic of right now whilst poetically timeless. My fave track of the disc, it's neither typical nor atypical of this collective, a group which obviously places no borders on their music, but will prove to be very well received by anyone with progressive tastes…as will the rest of the disc.

Track List:

  • I Go U Go (Lamadji / Raulet)
  • Looking For Change (Conway / Daniel)
  • Time For Me (Conway / Lamadji / Raulet)
  • Talking In Rings (Conway / Raulet)
  • Hearts And Lines (Conway / Jean)
  • I Was Blind (Lamadji / Raulet)
  • A Place In My World (Conway / Raulet)
  • For This (Conway / Raulet)
  • You Need Me (Conway / Daniel)
  • My Prayer (Lamadji / Daniel)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2015, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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