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 from Elsewhere articles index

Rachid Taha: Je Suis Africain (Believe/digital outlets)

Rachid Taha: Je Suis Africain (Believe/digital outlets)

The late Rachid Taha – who died in September last year – has made intermittent appearances at Elsewhere but we single out this posthumous release for an example of this Algerian-born,... > Read more

Various: Colombia! (Soundway/Southbound)

Various: Colombia! (Soundway/Southbound)

Serious ethnomusicologists could analyse this and identify all the various musical styles on display, but that would rather miss the point. This collection -- pulled together oddly enough by the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Del Shannon; The Essential Collection 1961-1991

THE BARGAIN BUY: Del Shannon; The Essential Collection 1961-1991

The dates on this collection look slightly strange: the start date is perfect (his classic Runaway and excellent Hats Off To Larry both date from '61), but a depressed Del  Shannon committed... > Read more

THE RED RIDING TRILOGY based on the novels by DAVID PEACE (Madman DVD)

THE RED RIDING TRILOGY based on the novels by DAVID PEACE (Madman DVD)

For sheer gruesome, grim and compellingly dark viewing this trilogy of made-for-television films based on the novels of David Peace would take some beating: murder is the backdrop; corruption at... > Read more