The Afrorockerz is the revitalized project of guitarist Julien Raulet. Knighted by Tony Allen and founding member of the band Fanga, a french afrobeat septet known in the world music circuit. After meeting with bassist and multi-instrumentalist Sylvain Daniel (ONJ, Bot'ox, Yom & The Wonder Rabbis), who navigates between rock ...
World Music/Contemporary | World Music/Traditional | Jazz
Imagine Minneapolis in Lagos, the First venue club that was home to Prince’s early ‘80s funk years somehow melding with the Shrine, where Fela Kuti would play all night. Massive grooves, slithering, spiny funk, and music packed with soul. But you don’t need to imagine it: The Afrorockerz already have, adding a sprinkling of New Wave madness and Zappa-style virtuosity into the music. The result is on display with glittering brilliance on their debut, The Afrorockerz (released January 13th, 2015 on Buda Musique).
The brainchild of guitarist Julian Raulet – a man lauded by the legendary Tony Allen – and bassist Sylvain Daniel, the band is built around the groove. African inflections power “I Go U Go,” while jagged slivers of guitar push through the mix, the track building to a pounding, insistent climax. Then, on “Time For Me,” they do a little time traveling to the early years of MTV, a slice of squiggly synth funk with a chorus that sounds as if it should have been lodged in your head forever.
Singer Allonymous – a Chicago transplant, now living in France like the rest of the band, shines with his abstract poetic flow on “Hearts And Lines,” which co-vocalist Emma Lamadji, born in Central Africa takes “My Prayer” all the way to church. Full-throated and soulful, she makes the song completely her own.
With David Monet on keyboards and Maxime Zampieri behind the drum kit, The Afrorockerz are more than the sum of their influences. They’ve absorbed that musical history and made it their own, building on it to create something new that nods to the past but looks to a future of global funk.
Starting in the Parisian underground scene, the band has built its reputation, graduating from clubs to festivals, and becoming one of France’s breakout groups, carrying the crowds with them wherever they play.
It’s music for the urban future, gritty and dirty, but always real and pushing beyond borders. It makes the dancefloor a place that crosses cultures. It’s a sound that connects cultures and builds bridges out of funk.