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Various Artists

Love's a Real Thing

Luaka Bop's third volume in this series -- following discs devoted to Brazil's Os Mutantes and California's Shuggie Otis -- is subtitled "The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa." That's a far better descriptor than "world psychedelia," because, while fans of the Grateful Dead and the Quicksilver Messenger Service may dig the jazzy, percussive workouts included here, they're bound to miss the transgressive freakiness of traditional psych. (The recent Love, Peace & Poetry: African Psychedelic Musicfills in the gaps a bit.) Appreciators of James Brown and Fela Kuti, however, will go apeshit over these tracks. From the propulsive, sax-fueled strut of Tunji Oyelana & the Benders' "Ifa" to the crazed vocal exulting of Moussa Doumbia's "Keleya" to the cascading guitar of Sorry Bamba's "Porry," the tracks seamlessly blend traditional African music with Western sounds of the '70s. This collection may be more bong hit than blotter acid, but when was the last time you danced while tripping, anyway?

 
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