If you’ve been following JOVM since the very beginning you’d probably remember that I’ve written about the San Francisco-based collective, Afrolicious. Originally the ensemble began as one of the Bay Area’s premier dance parties before eventually morphing into one of that area’s top sound systems. The ensemble’s debut EP, Pleasure Time was released to critical praise across the blogosphere for it’s slickly produced sound that comprised of elements of Afrobeat, disco and funk.
Interestingly, over the last few years, the group have been remarkably prolific releasing a number of singles and touring across the country. And if you know musicians, you know that their livelihoods are incredibly precarious, especially the larger the group. Sadly, after finishing a hometown gig, the members of Afrolicious had their gear stolen. Certainly for a band, this is a rather troubling situation as they rely on their instruments to support themselves and they’re asking their friends, fans and others for their help.
The band decided to release a compilation to raise money to replace their members’ stolen gear. Titled Emergency Funk the album is compiled of remixes, previously unreleased material and two live tracks recorded at Red Rocks and at Brooklyn Bowl respectively. The album starts out with a remix of “What We Came For” and it manages to mix the propulsive polyrhythmig groove and political messages of Fela Kuti’s earliest work with slick, dance club sheen. “Politricksters” calls out corrupt politicians to a tight groove comprised of twisting and turning organ chords, explosive horn lines and four-on-the floor drums. “Chica Pleasure” employs the use of flamenco-styled guitar chords, paired with ethereal flute notes, funky bass and Latin percussion. in some way, it sounds as though it could easily be part of the soundtrack of a Quentin Tarantino film. “Staying Golden” manages to use an organ line familiar to Fela Kuti’s Expensive Shit/He Miss Road. “Edge of Town” mixes hip-hop with the group’s disco-infused Afrobeat, making a vital connection in the vast African Diaspora. And the rest of the tracks bring funk too.
You can check out the band’s bandcamp and purchase the album in it’s entirety here: http://afrolicious.bandcamp.com. it’s pay as you will – and even a small donation helps.