With a name like Afrolicious, the weekly Thursday-night party at the Elbo Room clearly feels a strong bond with sounds created by African musical heroes like Fela Kuti and Manu Dibango. But as Oz McGuire (a.k.a. Señor Oz) explains, Afrolicious' roots stretch out in more than one direction.
"We make a connection between old and new, classic Afrobeat to modern house music or funky breaks," says McGuire, who cofounded Afrolicious with his brother Joey, better known as Pleasuremaker. "The lines are blurry, and sometimes we don't even know where they began and end. For instance, you can play some Afro-Colombian cumbia or Afro-Latin salsa joint right alongside a Balkan Gypsy track, and to the partygoers' ears and ours it all fits under the Afrolicious umbrella."
The event, which is celebrating its three-year anniversary with a two-night party on Thursday, April 29 and Friday, April 30, focuses its attention on groove-oriented music, offering bands, DJs, MCs, and more to get the party started and keep it headed in the right direction. As usual, Pleasuremaker and Señor Oz will be hosting, with local Afrobeat outfit Aphrodesia playing on Thursday and Afro-electro band Chico Mann and DJ Sabo showing up on Friday.
"We wanted a format to express and explore our love of DJ culture and live music, to create a space where the two could coexist and inform each other," says McGuire. "A space where legacy takes priority over fad, and substance takes precedence over style."