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On March 8, 2005, Luaka Bop Records startles the music world from its slumber once again with the release of Love's A Real Thing, World Psychedelic Classics 3:   The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa, a hip-shaking, foot-tapping compilation of psychedelic West African rock music.   Delving deep into West Africa's funky polyrhythmic take on psychedelia, this album is the third in the critically and commercially acclaimed World Psychedelic Classics series.

The twelve tracks on the record explore West Africa's groove-heavy assimilation of the psychedelic revolution, albeit a few years (and a couple thousand miles) removed from 1967's Summer of Love.   Spanning countries such as Mali, Gambia, Benin, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon, this collection spotlights a time of incredible creative fermentation, reflecting on colonialism's more fortunate byproduct:   the fascinating and unique intersection of hallucinogenic, distorted Western psychedelia and local, traditional African music.   This phenomenon of Afro-Rock is what lies at the heart of Love's A Real Thing.

The record kicks off with the funk/soul inflections and James Brown-style shrieks of Benin's Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou Dahomey , followed by Gambia's Super Eagles , with their electric keyboards, sitar-like guitar and affinity for pedal effects, updating progressive fusion with African roots in the title track.   Known for wearing Sergeant Pepper-style uniforms, Super Eagles was a hugely popular group Ů their cover of Hey Jude was as well known in Gambia as the original. Cameroon's Manu Dibango provides insight into the altered state element of psychedelic music through a moody, atmospheric marimba-based theme from the Senegalese film žCeddo.Ó   Representing Mali, Sorry Bamba 's masterful arrangement of keyboard, brass, and electric guitar, žPorry,Ó modernizes a comic, self-aggrandizing drinking song.  

No. 1 de No. 1 de Guinea 's elaborates a transcendentally rhythmic groove with Cuban-influenced trumpet and Hendrix-styled guitar, and, given the time, an unusually restrained and effective use of the wah-wah pedal in žGualira Ven.Ó   From Nigeria, Lagos-based William Onyeabor 's žBetter Change Your MindÓ juxtaposes politically conscious lyrics condemning the imperial powers of the time with a thumping bass and soaring keyboards. A frequent collaborator with ex-cream drummer Ginger Baker in the early 70s, Nigeria's talking drum specialist Gasper Lawal concocts a dreamy percussion-heavy chorus-chanting paean with žAwon-Ojise-Oluwa.Ó Closing out the record, ten-piece Malian band Orchestre Regional de Kayes, led by Harouna Barry, hint at yet another cultural transmigration with the Arabic-tinged vocal rounds of žSanjina.Ó

Luaka Bop's celebrated World Psychedelic Classics series began in 2000 with Volume 1: Brazil, a compilation of the inimitable genre-melding Brazilian band Os Mutantes, entitled Everything Is Possible!   Volume 2:   California Soul , released in 2001 as the third solo record from multi-instrumentalist Shuggie Otis (Inspiration Information) , successfully reintroduced Shuggie to the world at large.


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Album Cover Susana Baca
Produced by Craig Street, ESPIRITU VIVO was recorded in front of an invited studio audience in downtown NYC the week of September 11th, 2001.  Featuring her own Peruvian band with special guests John Medeski and Marc Ribot, Susana Baca once again bares her sould to the world.  Interpreting both traditiona Afro-Peruvian folk songs and international classics with a rare sincerity - ESPIRITU VIVO sings of love, loss, and life.

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