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The African fuzz thread

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:36 am
by HorseyBoy
Seeing the enthusiastic response to Dullboy's thread (viewtopic.php?f=8&t=17973) I figured it was time we did a full-blown thread on African fuzz. The Mexican fuzz thread from way back (viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14338) turned up some great stuff, and I'm hoping we might be able to do the same here.
So, Africa in the 1970s - post-colonial civil wars, bad shit everywhere, but oil money is also starting to flow and musicians are travelling in and out and regional scenes are beginning to emerge. And fuzz is right in the forefront.
The two biggest scenes are in Zambia ("Zamrock") and Nigeria. In Zambia the biggest influences are said to be Hendrix and James Brown, so you hear a lot of fuzz and a lot of wah, which is never a bad thing.
In Nigeria it's Ginger Baker, who fled London and landed in Lagos. He may have created chaos everywhere he went, but mostly Ginger created - he made shit happen. He played and toured with Nigerian musicians and built a state-of-the-art studio, ARC, in Lagos. EMI followed suit and built their own studio in Lagos - "Band on the Run" was recorded there - so there was some pretty good equipment floating around. They probably had a decent stash of fuzz boxes, so don't assume all the fuzz you hear is home brewed or shipped in from Japan.
As for the music, the psychedelic influence is obvious: Traffic, Cream, Hendrix. But it's invariably given an African twist and the fuzz sounds, whatever they are, are awesome. A lot of this stuff has popped up on compilations, mostly from Soundway Records in the UK. "The World Ends" is a particularly good one.


Witch, “Motherless Child” (1975). Everything off the album "Lazy Bones!!" rocks.

Chrissy Zebby Tembo, “Oh Yeh Yeh” (1974). The whole "My Ancestors" album is awesome.

Salty Dog, “Fast” (1976).

Ngozi Family, “Day of Judgement” (1976). Again, the whole album is worth tracking down.


Blo, "Time to Face the Sun" (1973). These guys played with Ginger and Fela before branching out on their own.

The Hykkers, “Deiyo Deiyo” (early 70s). Fuzz and wah tone here is flat-out genius.

Colomach, "Ottoto Shambled" (1974).

The Semi Colon, "Isi Agboncha" (early 70s).

Ofege, “In Concert” (1973). Nigerian high school students find fuzz boxes.

“In the Jungle”, the Hygrades (1972). Instrumental version.

Honorary mention

Have to give an honorary shout-out to Demon Fuzz, too, a seven-piece band from the UK made up of African immigrants. They were playing soul music until they took a trip to Morocco and came back with blown minds and a taste for psychedelic jams. They only did one album, "Afreaka!", but it's amazing.

Demon Fuzz, “Past, Present and Future” (1970).

Re: The African fuzz thread

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:34 am
by chankgeez
As usual, I'm in complete agreement with the HorseyBoy ethno-fuzz threads.


Not completely fuzzy, but a worthy contender as well:

Perhaps not strictly guitar fuzz per se, but fuzzy sounding in general:

Mo' AfroFuzz:

Re: The African fuzz thread

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:25 am
by HorseyBoy
I knew you'd pop up here, chank :tu:
Nice additions. I forgot Amanaz - one of the major Zamrock combos.

Re: The African fuzz thread

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:39 pm
by chankgeez
:cheers2: :bump: :popcorn:

Re: The African fuzz thread

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:02 pm
by jreeves47
here’s a cool source for africa musics

Re: The African fuzz thread

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:14 am
by John Lyons
Fuzz, no. Africa, yes.

Re: The African fuzz thread

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:22 am
by jerms
some awesome cut there horsey!!!

the green arrows were great too.... only this one with fuzz, but their other stuff is some great early high life stuff.....

Re: The African fuzz thread

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:26 am
by HorseyBoy
^ Man, that's a great fuzz sound, Jim. Really like that track. I'm only just starting to get into the highlife stuff (I came for the fuzz, stayed for the rhythms) and will definitely add the Green Arrows to my list.
This track from Da Frank and His Professionals, also from Ghana, also kills me. Sounds great if you play fuzz guitar for the horn parts :crackjam:

Re: The African fuzz thread

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:28 pm
by Zuff-1A
Great listening :listening: :listening: !
Damn good bass players in Africa :box:

Re: The African fuzz thread

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:22 am
by monolithfuzz
Best thread ever.