These twelve tracks are drawn from a broad spectrum of early 70s West African psychedelic classics.
Musically, the transatlantic links are strong and obvious; from the urban black American soul and funk of James Brown, through the West Coast sounds of Hendrix, to the deeper grooves of Cuban rumba and Latin percussion. During these years a nod in the direction of Detroit, Los Angeles or Havana was still more important than learning the latest lines from Lagos, Kinshasa or Accra. But by the early 70s the transition from the direct imitation of western pop was well underway, and if the period of ‘authenticité’ had not yet arrived, there was certainly sufficient experimentation by a younger generation of musicians, producers and studio engineers to mark out this era as something special.
Yet, in purely musical terms, it was not a simple, one-dimensional, transition from foreign to local styles. For while the same external forces were influential across the region, they interacted with an enormous variety of indigenous traditions.
By the late 60s the earlier synthesis of western popular music and African idioms, purveyed by such luminaries as E.T. Mensah, Bobby Benson, the Star Band and Alfa Jazz was wearing thin. A younger generation of musicians, more confident and self-assured in its African roots, with plenty to react against, was establishing itself as the authentic voice of African rebellion and black power.