Various Artists "Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro-Rock and Fuzz Funk in 1970's Nigeria"
It's always more difficult to review something with some serious cultural history behind it. I've got the vocabulary to talk about the latest bedroom drone album with ease, but throw something like this in front of me and I feel like I need to do a little research. So, let me start off by saying that I most definitely love this compilation. It's wonderful, joyous music that makes you want to move, while still maintaining a certain layered complexity. If you're familiar with Fela Kuti, then that's a good jumping off point. A lot of the bands on "Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic..." have a heavy dose of the afro-beat sound that made Fela's music so infectiously danceable. The difference here is that these groups are mixing that sound with a decidedly more American/British psych-rock influence. The result is a phenomenal mix of African rhythms, fuzzed out guitar solos, Doors-esque organs, and funky bass lines. Each of the bands here are completely unknown to me, but the beautifully laid out liner notes gives a good history of the formation of these groups and the influence of producers like Odion Iruoje who pushed the acts to go beyond mimicking western pop music and create a unique sound for themselves. This music deserves to be rediscovered, and this is a great compilation to do the job- there simply isn't a bad track to be found. I know Sound Way has a couple other Nigeria compilations as well. It looks like they're going to be launching a new website soon, so check it out for more good stuff. 10/10 -- Charles Franklin (10 December, 2008)