Saturday, July 7, 2007

Dick Van Dyke One Man Band Machine: Ofo & The Black Company

The Dick Van Dyke One Man Band Machine is a very irregular feature on this blog, where I write about a song that I have on repeat and can't stop listening to. I had this one all planned out, I was going to write about the song that up until an hour ago, I had been listening to on repeat, "King Of The Hill" by Parts & Labor. But then that got completely blown out of the water. Today, I watched The Last King Of Scotland, until somewhere towards the end, the DVD got stuck at one point, and wouldn't go on. Rather than fuck with it, I got up and started downloading some songs from the movie that were blowing me away. The most amazing one of these downloads was "Love Is You" by Ofo & The Black Company. It's amazing. I haven't been able to find any substantial information on them. I don't know what country they come from, I have a general idea of their time line. The only tidbits I could find on them were that they were on a compilation called "World Psychedelic Classics Volume 3- Love's A Real Thing" that Luaka Bop put out, which sounds like the most amazing record I have never heard. West African psychedelic rock... holy shit. And that they had a seven inch on London Records, that's selling on Ebay right now, and I don't have any fucking money. Bastards!
Oh. So what does this song sound like? What am I losing my shit over? Imagine The Stooges, Fela Kuti, Cream, James Brown, Funkadelic, and every dream of some great song that you've never heard before. This song hits you full force from the first second, a thin distorted guitar puts it's foot on your throat, like the first seconds of "I Wanna Be Your Dog". Grunts and shout outs to Africa, and then that initial squall hits that perfect riff, the locomotion of a Fela Kuti album is distilled into three minutes. Then the song gets harder, a thick slab of rhythm guitar and organs... it's rhaspsodous, it's the Stooges, in Africa. It's everything I ever wanted in a song that's new to me. It's invigorating and different, unlike anything I've heard before with these touchstones to the music I love. It's the perfect song.
The Last King of Scotland is a hugely flawed movie. A movie about Idi Amin would have been more interesting if it were about Idi Amin, and not about some fictional white guy who gets thrown into the mix. I wonder if when this movie was proposed, did some executive say, "sounds good, Oscar-worthy for whomever we pick to play Amin, but we need to have a white guy. good looking, and have him come in and fuck some of his wives, and then, we'll have a movie on our hands". All that aside, though, I have to thank this movie for giving me this awesome song. Now, I just gotta go digging for everything else that Ofo & The Black Company ever did.

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