Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Veldt
Afrodisiac


Released 1994 on Mercury/Polygram
Reviewed by Le Samourai, 02/03/2001ce


The Veldt were a great but little known U.S. Shoegazer/Dreampop group who although got signed to Multi Media Corp. Polygram, they still didn’t know how to market and promote this amazing CD (their one and only for the label.) So now I have to write about it here:-) The Veldt gave themselves quite the musical mountain
to climb ambition wise. This all-African American group (with a English Caucasian bassist) basically tried to combine their love of late 60’s/early 70’s R & B/Soul with their love of the swirling feedback noise pop/rock sculptures of Shoegazer/Dreampop music. I’m sure you can picture Curtis Mayfield playing with My
Bloody Valentine, The Temptations working with The Cocteau Twins, Aretha Franklin & Lush, Stevie Wonder & Curve, Barry White & A.R. Kane and/or Marvin Gaye with Swervedriver right now. However the music The Veldt put here on Afrodisiac does work. Seriously.

Daniel Chavis is truly the magnetic front man. He pleads here for his women in true R & B/Soul style and sounds convincingly good doing it. “Soul In A Jar” is basically one long beg for a woman’s attention and the sound is PHENOMENAL. Litterally, the songs explodes at you surging and soaring with shredding guitars as
Chavis desperately NEEDS this woman. “Daisy Chain” would’ve been a great Temps tune if they decided to get The Jesus & Mary Chain to back them up. The band even has one great make-out ballad in “Heather” 7 minutes and 33 seconds of pure feedback drenched LOVE. You know Al Green would be pleased. They even include 2 totally chaotic remixes of “Soul In A Jar” at the end. The Jesus & Mary Chain REALLY turn the song into a nightmarish feedback fest while Diamond D’s remix makes it thump more the Hip Hop crowd.

Why Afrodisiac wasn’t a success remains a mystery. You may even have some serious trouble hunting it down. I bought it when it was released in 1994 and I still hear rumours of it floating around the world in used CD shops. The tantalizing magic here should’ve caused a new revolution. Now’s your turn to give that magic a second chance.


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