Tuesday April 20, 2021

Trees bloom, flowers grow wild in the grass as Bicycle Day gives way to 4/20. Cardinals alight on branches, visiting throughout the day. I delve again into World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love’s a Real Thing. The cover notes describe the compilation as “an African assimilation of the psychedelic revolution — distorted, political, hallucinogenic, and, of course, danceable. Thousands of miles from the Summer of Love’s utopian origins, yet somehow, not so far away…” It’s an amazing collection: twelve tracks of funky West African psychedelia from the early 1970s. Tracks like Moussa Doumbia’s “Keleya.”

External influences interact with indigenous traditions and vice versa. “Acid rock as something familiar if not entirely home-grown,” writes Ronnie Graham, who hears on the album “the African beats missing from Monterey and which Woodstock lacked.” One longs for a transnational history of psychedelia. Brazil, Japan, Germany, the countries of West Africa: let us tell of how minds manifested in these countries. In the meantime, though, let Luaka Bop and its World Psychedelic Classics series serve as our guide.

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