Tuesday, 3 November 2009

BLO: Chapters and Phases in Sweden's Sonic magazine

The most recent RPM International CD collects the first two albums by Nigeria's Blo on one disc. They're an incredible band: a psychedelic African take on western rock that sounds like nothing else: http://www.cherryred.co.uk/rpm/artists/blo.php

It's just been covered in Sweden's Sonic magazine, in an 8 out 10 review!
Here's a translation:
“Nigeria was a popular haunt for the British Rock elite at the beginning of the 70's. Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney went to the country, which was at the time ruled by a military dictatorship, with his band Wings to record “Band on the Run”. Ginger Baker moved to Lagos where he opened his own recording studio and also recruited members for his band Salt, who then toured around the world with him. After this, two of the members of Salt (who had their roots in the sixties band The Clusters) formed the band BLO, whose first two albums have long been coveted by connoisseurs of psychedelia and stone-hard Afro-funk . Chapters and Phases contains “Chapter One” (1973) and “Phase II”

Two days before Christmas Eve 1972 BLO played their debut concert for 10,000 people at Lagos City Stadium, and contemporary newspaper articles say they took the crowd by storm. This is easy to understand when you hear songs like the hypnotically flowing “Chant to Mother Earth” and “Preacherman”, the latter sounding like James Brown if he had been an LSD-tripping hippy in San Francisco 1967 and had “Tago Mago”
-era Kraut-Rock group Can as his backing band. “Miss Sagitt” is spiced with brutal fuzz-guitar and brings to mind the sound that might have been produced if the market in Marrakech had opened a branch in Haight Ashbury and booked Country Joe and the Fish as band in residence. After some changes in personnel BLO recorded four more albums before the band split up at the beginning of the eighties. Those four albums are more in a straight disco and funk vein.”

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