Wednesday, July 18, 2007


King Britt Presents The Cosmic Lounge Vol. 1* (BBE/Rapster)
In the early '70s, jazz got spacey, Afro-spiritual, and overwhelmingly weird. From Sun Ra to Alice Coltrane to Pharoah Sanders to Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, artists began incorporating synths, African percussion, flutes, chanting, tablas, mbiras, and all manner of other exotic instruments into album-side-long pieces with titles often in Swahili or Hindi. DJ King Britt has compiled 11 relatively concise and lesser-known examples of this decade-long musical left turn and sequenced them (without mixing) into a trance-inducing yet thrilling glimpse of the way things used to be. [Read the rest here.]

*(I think compilations should never be titled Vol. 1; you're just setting folks up for disappointment. Put the thing out, and if there's demand - which, in this case, I don't think there will be, except from me and the readership of, say, Destination: Out and Church Number Nine - release a Vol. 2. But don't get my hopes up straight out of the gate. And if you're a band whose career is on the skids, don't flatter yourselves by exiting your major label deal with a "Greatest Hits, Vol. 1." Seriously. Come on. Anyway, my point is that this is a terrific compilation, I'm just disappointed in their use of the "Vol. 1" gambit.)

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