Talkhouse Weekend Playlist: A Guide to Afro-Rock

Golden Dawn Arkestra takes us on a cosmic journey through the essentials of afro-rock.

Golden Dawn Arkestra looks and sounds a bit like the reincarnation of Sun Ra. So, it comes as no surprise that the band holds him in high regard. They take that cosmic jazz to an even higher plane with shimmering psychedelic and thumping afro-rock elements to round out their distinctive sound. To celebrate Golden Dawn Arkestra’s third album, Darkness Falls on the Edge of Time (out October 11 on 11A Records), the band has created an introduction to afro-rock. Enjoy!
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Operations Manager

Fela Kuti — “Water No Get Enemy”
When I first heard Fela in high school, it was like a religious experience. From that day on all I wanted to do was join a large afro-beat band and travel the world. Fela is probably most people’s intro to afro-beat and afro-rock, and for good reason.

Rob — “Boogie On”
Rob is the best name ever for a band and he rocks so hard. I don’t know who he is or where he comes from; he’s just Rob, and he fucking rocks.

Vaudou Game — “Pas Contente”
Vaudou Game is my favorite current afro-rock band.

Francis the Great — “Look up in the Sky”
I don’t have words for this. Just spark a spliff, sit back, and look up in the sky.

Ebo Taylor — “Love and Death”
Of course we have to include Ebo Taylor — my favorite afro-rock guitarist. This song is so beautiful and sad. Take note of the lyrics.

Quintette Guinéenne — “Mansane Cissé”
I feel like this song shows the strong influence African music has had on the current psychedelic scene, especially on Goat.

The Funkees — “Breakthrough”
The Funkees, Colomach, and Witch are basically quintessential afro-rock originators.

Colomach — “Ottoto Shamoleda”
Colomach was led by the Northern Togo musician Gneni Mamadou but this album was recorded in Nigeria. This song is so hypnotic and so weird — I love it!

Tinariwen — “Matadjem Yinmixan”
The Tuareg band Tinariwen has been instrumental in bringing afro-rock and dessert blues into the public consciousness.

Witch — “Chifundo”
Witch was part of the Zamrock movement — a ’70s afro-rock movement in Zambia. This track is epic.

(Photo Credit: Daniel Patlan)