Saturday, August 12, 2006

Funky sounds of West Africa

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey : Minsato Le, Mi Dayihome
Tunji Oyelana and the Benders : Ifa
World Psychedelic Classics 3 : Love's A Real Thing (Luaka Bop, 2004)

It's the third volume of the World Psychedelic Classics compilations. Vol. 1 is about Os Mutantes, a brazilian band, Vol. 2 is focused on Shuggie Otis and WPC 3 sounds like afro-delic funk from West Africa in the 70's.

If I had to resume the musical and political context in few words... By the late sixties, in 1967 John Coltrane performed his last live at the Olatunji Center for African Culture (OCAC) in Harlem, psychedelism merged with soul/rock, Marcus Garvey's message crossed the ocean to Africa, some africans musicians studied in London or were recording in Brooklyn studios, a new generation of black artists discovered the music of James Brown and Jimi Hendrix, ..., and, of course, the ideology of the Black Panther Party was contemporary of the anticolonialist rebellion in Africa.

When I listened "Ifa" for the first time, the drum recall me "Slipping Into Darkness" covered by Dayton Sidewinders on the compilation
Cold Heat - Heavy Funk Rarities, Vol. 1: 1968-1974 and the latino-funk "Guajira Bacan" by Azuquita. Ressemblance is probably due to the drum rythm, brass section and guitar riff. By the way, Ifa was performed in 1975 by the Lagos based Tunji Oyelana and the Benders. While "Minsato Le, Mi Dayihome", written by Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey, a band from Benin, which you can see the clip video on youtube, seem to be an Afro-groove which combine James Brown and Hendrix in one.

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