That being said, even the music that Hung and Power create isn’t really radio ready. Over its first full length, dating from last year, Fuck Buttons assembled enough disparaging noise as to make almost anyone stick a finger in their ear. That doesn’t mean the disc was bad – and in fact Street Horrrsing not only made those year end best of lists, but mine specifically.
Entrenched in academia as I currently am, the situation allows me to hear random thoughts of the supposed enlightened. A professor, who I respect to no end, in referring to art said something to the effect of “Africa’s in right now.” It was a comment made in less than a glowing tone of voice, but not intended to denigrate the continent. Of course, the fact that this woman is an adherent to all things Motown and RnB, her perspective seemed amusing. But she’s not wrong.
Over the last decade, there have been countless compilations issued the serve to explain a country’s music, culture or political awareness. And for the most part, each of those discs is pretty good, if not funky fantastic. That being said, I stumbled upon the two discs below relatively recently and neither has left the ole rotation in just about a week. That’s an endorsement.
Ghana Special Modern Highlife (Afro-Sounds and Ghanaian Blue)
As one might guess, this here platter focuses on the sounds of Ghana, a West African nation with a sizable coastline meeting the Atlantic. These are sounds rife with funk and polyrhythmic stuffs that one would generally associate with afro-pop of various varieties. With that understood, The Barbecues’ “Ohiani Sua Efir” comes off as some deep funk track. Its vocals, obviously give it away as some imported piece of finery, but in that very fact, the Barbecues seem to be able to interpret American sounds and turn ‘em around to suit its needs.
There’s still some material here that sounds a bit dated due simply to the instruments that were available at the times of these recordings. Vis-à-vis’ “Obi Agye Me Dofo” remains a stone cold funkster of an offering, but that keyboard line sound's primed for a sci-fi adventure. Regardless of the intermittent reminders of technology, Ghana Special Modern Highlife needs to be considered alongside offerings like the World Psychedelic Classics discs in its ability to cull amazing and would-be lost tracks.
Columbia – while still probably best known for coffee and narcotics – was host to a few groups during the decade that would take up the mantle of psych purveyors. The stifling political and economic climate didn’t make for an all too hospitable place, but a few acts were able to reel off successful discs.
Regardless of that fact, what does Disappears have to do with Daughters of the Sun? Nothing too much actually. Whereas the Chicago band is indebted to the likes of Spacemen 3 and its cohort, Daughters of the Sun are much more of an obtuse act, the one unifying commonality being reverb – both bands rely upon it almost to a fault.
(Groove Attack, 2005)
Before we even get things started, this release is boring, but in a very soothing and reassuring manner (that should make sense).The band is tight, the lyrics are well thought out and written, but there’s just nothing there. Paul Armfield works in a book store and is probably a pretty solemn guy on a day to day basis. Even at shows, I’d imagine the guy and The Four Good Reasons (his band), put on an exercise in blatantly planned musics with a rather bland tone of voice. Without question though, if you like Van Morrison (minus any sort of intensity), then go and pick up this disc. There’s nothing flashy here, just sad songs created and produced in an authentic and almost urgent way.