Lack of Afro: I’m Here Now

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Adam Gibbons, aka Lack of Afro, is from Devon, born in Exeter but now living in Ilfracombe.

Wikipedia reports that he was given the nickname Lack of Afro while a student, when he DJd and played a lot of funk, presumably looking the opposite of the performers he loves.

This new one opens with an Eminem-style funky hip hop song. His music is distinctive: tight, crisp beats, and a constant funky groove – that DJing presumably taught him what gets crowds moving.

From Slim Shady-era Eminem, You Could Do Better moves into classic soul territory. Gibbons, despite being a good musician – he got to grade eight on the sax – presumably sounds like a white guy when he sings so each song has guest vocalists, and this one (despite having a rapped section) has the soulful vocals of Camila Recchio. Later on, Wait For Me (Mica Millar) is similarly soulful.

Bad Ass Self, as the name suggests, is harder funk, the kind of music to get a crowd moving and Craig Charles worked up.

Got My Number (Jordan Stephens) is one of the early standouts: the verse section has a repetitive sax-accompanied beat, almost one of those classy one-hit wonders that use to roll up every so often, but the chorus mellows out to be very ear-friendly. This is followed by Game Day, a high-octane funk instrumental that could have slotted nicely into a Tarantino soundtrack.

Triumph features Ric Flo so you might rightly guess hip hop, complete with name checks for Ric and Lack (“you know I’m not laughing right?” asks Flo just after this), the song itself starting a run of more hip hop tracks that see the album out.

Closer Speakers Erupt (ft Alyssa Marie and Milez Grimez) is as loud as it sounds, a catchy rock / funk / hip hop blend in the style of OPM (The Heaven Is A Halfpipe band, themselves a commercial take on Cypress Hill).

We really enjoyed Afro’s (or our boy Lack as we call him)last album and it still gets regular plays, and this new one is as good. We’re only baffled as to why a Google search reveals so few reviews.

Fans of the funkier side of hip hop and anyone who listens to Craig Charles should give this a go. The review copy came with a set of instrumentals, which are just as good as the versions with lyrics, and give you a chance to appreciate the ever-present groove LoA brings to every song.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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