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World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love’s a Real Thing


(as of 07/12/2017 at 18:06 UTC)

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Amazon.comThe American psychedelic movement was bound to produce unexpected progeny–including the 1970s, which began as a mainstream attempt to absorb the “free love,” recreational drug use, and sartorial eccentricities of the previous decade. But there were parallel repercussions elsewhere in the world, and nowhere was this phenomenon more fascinating than in West Africa. As LPs became cheaper and readily available, local musicians began to incorporate the fuzz and wah-wah guitar vamps, cheesy organ riffs, blatting saxes, and fat, funky bass lines of sixties R&B plus Santana-influenced Latin rhythms and the extended, destination-free guitar solos typical of the San Francisco sound. These were not emulated by rote but freely adapted by younger Africans, mostly students, whose own acoustic traditions had already been transformed by exposure to urban technology. The resulting amalgams, whether they evolved in Benin, Nigeria, Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, or Mali, remain incredibly lively, funny, inventive, and surprising. —Christina Roden


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