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Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro-Rock & Fuzz Funk in 1970's Nigeria

A 15 track funk rock album (1h 8m 30s) — released May 12th 2008 on Soundway Records Ltd
Soundway Records presents 'Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro-Rock and Fuzz Funk in 1970s Nigeria', a fascinating look at the underground Rock scene in 1970s Nigeria. Nigeria Rock Special shines a light on the flipside to the well-documented sounds of Highlife and Afrobeat coming out of Nigeria in the 1970s – young bands caught up in the wave of Psychedelic & Progressive Rock that was sweeping Europe and the States in the late 60s and early 70s. In the early 1970s the sound of Jimi Hendrix & bands like Santana had started to seep into the mainly soul –based sets of a handful of young bands playing western influenced pop. Spurred on by Cream drummer Ginger Baker's visits to Lagos and his band Airforce (featuring many Nigerian musicians), the sound of fuzzed out Rock reverberated around the Universities and nightspots of Lagos and Ibadan. The craze that followed hit the youth & student population of Nigeria hard - mixing fuzz-guitar & heavy African rhythms with elements of Led Zeppelin, Traffic & the Chambers Brothers. Featuring tracks from cult bands like Mono Mono, Ofege, The Action 13, The Elcados and Tunji Oyelana amongst many others, this album contains 15 of the best cuts from the scene, available for the first time in 30 years. It might seem hard to imagine Nigeria as a country that produced convincing psychedelic rock in the 1970s, but the evidence is right here. Fifteen tracks that stand out against the best garage psych to come out of America or England -- although just a decade later. In fact in some ways it's even better, because of the polyrhythmic percussion on each track that gives it a swing rather than the leaden beat that sometimes weighs down Western psychedelia. The linchpin was Cream's Ginger Baker, who used Nigerian musicians in his Airforce group and exposed them to this music, which they disseminated when they returned home. But the Nigerians certainly lapped it up, and there's a wonderful wildness to this, with funky Hammond organs and guitar solos that owe more than a passing debt to Carlos Santana. Kudos to Miles Cleret who put this together with scholarship and joy, and included the biggest names like BLO and Mono Mono. A warning, though: this is dangerously addictive, one of those pleasures that you'll repeat often! The booklet puts it all in context, but the music, ultimately, speaks for itself. ~ Chris Nickson, All Music Guide
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