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World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love's a Real Thing

Wednesday, May 4 2005
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Luaka Bop's third volume in this series -- following discs devoted to Brazil's Os Mutantes and Santa Rosa's Shuggie Otis -- is subtitled "The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa." That's a far better descriptor than "world psychedelia," because, while fans of the Grateful Dead and the Quicksilver Messenger Service may dig the jazzy, percussive workouts included here, they're bound to miss the transgressive freakiness of traditional psych. (The recent Love, Peace, & Poetry: African Psychedelic Music fills in the gaps a bit.) James Brown and Fela Kuti appreciators, however, will go apeshit over these tracks. From the propulsive, sax-fueled strut of Tunji Oyelana & the Benders' "Ifa" to the crazed vocal exulting of Moussa Dombia's "Keleya" to the cascading guitar of Sorry Bamba's "Porry," the tracks seamlessly blend traditional African music with Western sounds of the '70s. This collection may be more bong hit than blotter acid, but when was the last time you danced while tripping, anyway?

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Dan Strachota

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