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Various Artists

Psych Bites Volume Two

(Past and Present; US: 6 Jul 2010; UK: 5 Jul 2010)

Unlike the first compilation in this series, which focused on the freak-rock vibrations emanating out of Oz between 1967 and 1974, Psych Bites Volume Two transcends geographical location and takes a trip around the world during the same period. There’s trance-inducing delights from Chicago’s Athanor (“Urizen”) and Canadian songbird Madeleine Chartrand’s Native American chant “Ani-Kuni” replete with sign-of-the-times sitar, while both West and East Germany provide some heavy-lidded stoner distortion by Blackbird 2000 and Rote Gitarren respectively. Elsewhere, Richie Haven’s “Indian Ropeman” gets an excellent Hammond organ workout by Dutch band the Revells before Nigeria’s Ofo the Black Company steals the show with two numbers, the screeching acid funk ‘n’ fuzz of “Beautiful Daddy” and progressive afro-rocker “Allah Wakbarr”.


Overall, this 20-track collection is a blast, with only a piece of self-conscious experimentalism courtesy of reformed German beat group the Rattles from 1971 and the howlingly awful novelty song “Psycho” by Janie of ‘Janie Jones’ Clash fame causing a finger to hover precariously over the skip button

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