Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Psychedelic Aliens meet Santana

I’ve got a review up now at Blurt of a reissue of all the work (or all the work that could be found) of a 1960s and 1970s African band called Psychedelic Aliens, which has recently been resurrected by Academy Records, with some help from the Voodoo Funk crew. Psychedelic Aliens had a kind of transformational moment in 1971, when they met Santana at a festival and were inspired by the mix of traditional and rock elements in Santana’s music.

Santana's re-imagination of Latin rhythms moved the Psychedelic Aliens to draw on their own musical heritage, the percussion-heavy, hallucinatory high-life of West Africa. You can hear the shift immediately in "Gbe Keke Wo Taoc", in the hard rush of syncopated drums. Now, the organ lines no longer drift and meander, but push forward. Nothing is subdued. Nothing is laid back. Everything drives relentlessly ahead. And when the band lets the drums fly, as it does on the standout "Homowo," it's a frenzied, multi-tonal tour-de-force.


Fred found this really fantastic video/collage type thing.


cuddlefish said...

Thanks Jennifer! This is a reissue I'll be on the lookout for. Cheers!

jenniferpkelly said...

It's a really good one, Clif. How's Denver treating you? Seen any decent shows there?