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Psycho On Da Bus: Psycho On Da Bus

Tony Allen, former drummer and musical director for Afrobeat groundbreaker Fela Kuti, and Doctor L, renowned French producer, released Black Voices in 1999. While riding the big tour bus in support of that record, Allen and L jammed extensively, the Doctor programming his iBook and Allen percussing on whatever came to hand. They liked what they were hearing, and a few additions from other musicians later, a new album was ready: the half-disingenuously self-titled Psyco on da Bus. The resulting soundscape is quite a seductive place to spend some time: instruments unfamiliar to Western ears played with total authority, half-formed but seductive melodies and mantralike vocals, all driven by some of the most sinewy, deliberate, forceful bass you’ll ever hear. With this bass beating you silly, the extra items in the kit, like the flute and oud dueting on “Many Questions” or the plucked grand piano on the first track of the “Time to Take a Rest Suite,” etch themselves all the more sharply into your consciousness. Would that all touring was this productive; Psyco on da Bus, at its best, is truly transporting.

Originally Published