Afuche is a band built around rhythm, and their ability to move a song forward in a way that grooves and breathes despite their usually alienating designation as “math-rock” is an achievement in itself. Many of their songs blossom from a funky drum beat or a clapping or percussive pattern that you can just hear drummer Max Jaffe summoning in the studio. The space over this gets filled from every direction with (depending on their mood) smooth electric piano, quirky horns, barking guitar riffs and, at times, gibberish vocals yelled from a distance which only contributes further to the impression that Afuche are a group of aliens sent from a galaxy farther along in its technological and musical development to rock our faces off.
The group formed in 2008 as the project of composers Zach Ryalls (guitarist) and Ruben Sindo Acosta (keys) with a revolving cast of members playing out the innovative musical experiment. Denny Tek came onboard in 2009 as a permanent bassist with Andrew Carrico blowing baritone sax in 2010, and after the addition of the aforementioned Jaffe, the five-piece ensemble settled into its final form. The band released its first EP Carajo is Worse than Hell in 2008, followed by I Made Dots in 2009. These two albums showcased the ability of the group’s members to compose intricate parts with a wide array of sounds while maintaining a sense that the members of the band, experts at their craft, are entirely in control. Their legendary live performances have taken place from basements to concert halls and they have also showcased them on the festival circuit, including SXSW in Austin, the Next to Last Festival in Athens, GA, and CMJ Marathon in NYC.
Highly Publicized Digital Boxing Match is the band’s third album and their debut on Cuneiform Records. Where many bands in the avant-garde world would have no qualms about using the studio as an instrument, Afuche chose to record it virtually all live in a single day. The album is all composition, intensity, dynamics, music.