Mighty Flames – 1978 – Metalik Funk Band
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The Mighty Flames never sound too metallic here – at least not in any way that’s cold or harsh, or heavy metal too! Instead, these guys have a warm groove that’s on the tighter side of African funk – that point when the sound was getting a stronger influence from American soul and club music – as you’ll hear on the grooves in the set!
The tunes are mostly upbeat, and wrap their basslines, guitar, and keyboards together tightly – but they also have a looser vibe overall, and some especially nice synth lines – which almost feel as if they were added to the music afterwards, creating this cool sort of outer space presence.
A1 Music Is The Answer 6:20
A2 Let’s Work Together 7:39
A3 Search Out! Watch Out! 5:32
B1 Road Man (Mystic) 5:39
B2 Funky Child 4:33
B3 Loving To Sing For You 5:55
B4 Lover Man’s Bullet 4:58
1978’s Metallic Funk Band by The Mighty Flames is an impossible record to find in its original format. So are, in fact, that its first reappearance came about in 2015, with a single from the LP coming out through the Voodoo Funk label, but Austria’s PMG have done us the courtesy of re-releasing the entire album. There is no other way of describing this wonderful music apart from saying that it’s a wonderful collection of deep, psychedelic funk bombs of the highest calibre and, while many unearthed albums of this time have gained notoriety in recent years, this particular piece of work has remained in the shadows; once a digger’s privilege, it is now available for you in its complete form, as raw and mystical as the day it was first conceived….
The Mighty Flames were a crack bunch of Cameroonian musicians, drawn to Nigeria by the heavy funk sounds booming across the border like musical moths. For a short time in the late sentries they ‘owned’ Port Harcourt, destroying dancefloors with an incendiary sound that burned so heavily that it was phosphorescent. Metalik Funk Band is the band at their most deadly. Willy ‘Pazz’ Nfor is on bass, Nfrackie ‘Jazz’ Song on synth, Didi Lead on lead guitar, Emma ‘Wah Wah’ Baloka on rhythm and Stormy ‘Booga’ Jimmy on percussion.
There is not a single dud track. ‘Music Is The Answer’ is a psychedelic head spin. ‘Funky Child’ is an irresistible call to the dancefloor. And I guarantee you’ll need a good lie down after listening to ‘Search Out! Watch Out!’. Sadly, things did not end well for the Mighty Flames. Their manager was a tyrant and when they tried to escape to Lagos with all the band’s gear he promptly had then arrested. Metallik Funk Band was their last album, but what a way to go out: with an incendiary batch of Afro Funk monsters that need to be in every funk lover’s collection.