The 1960s and 1970s across Africa were decades defined by bright optimism and clashing sensibilities. Music plunged through the heart of this dynamic time and was a powerful tool of expression. Far-out psychedelic-sounding rock mixed with a thick dollop of deep funk and soul became the sound of a generation.

On this Rough Guide Nigerian guitar maestro Sir Victor Uwaifo employs the sweet harmonies and gently lilting textures of highlife, mixed with echoing horns and distorted guitar lines, resulting in a heady psychedelic brew. His seminal track ‘Guitar Boy’, included on this album, was a huge hit in 1966. Celestine Ukwu’s gentle track ‘Obialu Be Onye Abiagbunia Okwukwe’ also includes a highlife groove, played at a laid-back tempo and teasingly interspersed with swooping, bent notes played on a pedal steel guitar. On ‘Let Yourself Go’, Olaiya rasps and growls his vocals above tightly stacked horn lines that, along with the percussion, pound out a straight-ahead groove.

East African psychedelic music often has a darker, jazzier feel, inferred from the use of traditional modes and harmonies. Hailing from Ethiopia, Alèmayèhu Eshèté’s music is brooding Ethio-jazz with a splash of psychedelia in the form of a winding high-pitched guitar, a booming amplified bass line and interjecting keyboard figures.

This Rough Guide also includes music from musicians who have successfully re-launched their careers on the contemporary ‘world music’ scene. Enjoy the revived retro sounds of Orchestra Baobab, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo and Ebo Taylor.

To top it all off this original compilation comes with a full-length bonus album from none other than Sir Victor Uwaifo himself. First recorded in 1971, enjoy Ekassa in fully re-mastered splendour.