Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Africa (Rough Guide)

 |   |  1 min read

Orchestre de la Paillote: Kadia Blues
Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Africa (Rough Guide)

Because the word “psychedelic” has a fairly flexible definition these days (see here) it's almost no surprise that the short opener Let Yourself Go here by guitarist Victor Olaiya's All Stars Soul International band is on the axis of James Brown funk and any notions of tripped-out rock are immediately relegated.

And while the liner notes claim this 10 track collection contains “far-out psychedelic-sounding rock mixed with a thick dollop of deep funk and soul became the sound of a generation” from the Sixties and Seventies in West Africa,  it also includes material as recent as the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo's 2011 track Pardon (rolling boil post-Fela funk) and the re-formed Orchestra Baobab's Nijaay from their 2007 album Made in Dakar

There is some fine but not unfamiliar high-life included also . . . so where's the "psychedelic" stuff promised on the box?

Well, there is the legendary Rail Band's 13 minute laid-back Wale Numa Lombaliya, the extraordinary astral-juju guitar in singer Celestine Ukwu's group, and especially the lazy trumpet and distant guitar on the doped-out Kadia Blues by Orchestra de la Paillote.

Ghanaian guitarist Ebo Taylor's 2010 Nga Nga is also fine and fits the "psychedelic" definition.

But a more convincing argument for the influence of Western psychedelic music on the region would have focused on that vibrant period when African popular music was being eroded and influenced by American tripped-out rock.

Still, this collection does come with a terrific bonus disc by the legendary Ghanaian guitarist Sir Victor Uwaifo from 1971.

And Kadia Blues really is a woozy, lava-lamp nod out.

For more world music influenced by planet rock check this out

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Various Artists The Rough Guide to the Best African Music You've Never Heard (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists The Rough Guide to the Best African Music You've Never Heard (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Smart people don't believe the hype . . . or album titles which overpromise. But surprisingly this one -- which attempts both -- actually delivers quite a number of lower-totem pole African names,... > Read more

Various Artists: Rumba Blues (Rhythm and Blues Records/Southbound)

Various Artists: Rumba Blues (Rhythm and Blues Records/Southbound)

From the same label which has brought the superb 4-CD sets of rhythm and blues (here) comes this equally excellent 26-song collection of post-war material which had soaked in a Latin rumba-shuffle... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

AMY WINEHOUSE: THE BIOGRAPHY 1983-2011 by CHAS NEWKEY-BURDEN

AMY WINEHOUSE: THE BIOGRAPHY 1983-2011 by CHAS NEWKEY-BURDEN

As with many of my acquaintance, when I heard of Amy Winehouse's death it was with mixed emotions: a gloomy sense of the inevitability of it, sadness and then anger. That weird anger we reserve for... > Read more

The Late Pages: Yellow and Grey (Ellamy)

The Late Pages: Yellow and Grey (Ellamy)

Recorded by Louis Bernstone at his Ellamy Studios in Auckland (as was the recent Flaming Mudcats album) this searing album of 11 powerful power-pop, alt.rock and dynamic ballads all come from the... > Read more