Africa, So Cal doo-wop musicians' surprising detour into Latin psych
December 5, 2018 8:09 PM   Subscribe

Just when you thought it was safe to listen to your records again, along comes another roller coaster ride through the torturous labyrinth of West Coast group members. This is the story of the Sabers, Chavelles, Valiants, Untouchables, Electras, Alley Cats, Africa, and a few other things along the way. Just the intro to the story of The Valiants, from Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks, based on interviews with Rip Spencer .... except as Africa, a bunch of former doo-wop cats came together to make some slinky Latin-tinged psychedelic soul covers on the album Music From "Lil Brown", putting their own twists on The Rolling Stones and The Doors, mashing up Richard Berry and Bobbie Gentry, and spinning some original cuts (YouTube; Spotify). [via Johnny Wallflower].
posted by filthy light thief (3 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
"Wait," you might say, "how is this album streaming, apparently officially, if there's no official CD release?"

"Good eye," I'd say. It looks like Kismet, who bootlegged* the album on CD in 2014 (Discogs) also got it onto streaming and digital platforms, including Apple Music and Amazon, where it's labeled as "remastered."

* Discogs has flagged Kismit as a bootleg reissue label, and as such, you can't sell or buy Kismet CDs there.

And if you're into J Dilla, Light My Fire might catch your ear now as a short edit of Africa's cover of Light My Fire.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:17 PM on December 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

What an incredible find! This is absolutely my jam.
posted by sleeping bear at 10:10 AM on December 6, 2018

Whoa. I need this and a lot more! That article really named it... it seems so improvisational but perfect and amazing at the same time. It kind of reminds me of a lot of reggae and stuff that came out of Ethiopia, with more fuzz. Any more recommendations for music like what Africa put out?
posted by Snowishberlin at 7:03 PM on December 6, 2018

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