Monday, March 2, 2009


BLO stands for B for Berkely Jones, L for Laolu and O for Mike Odumosu. BLO is a Nigerian band from the 1970’s that were amazing. And from the country of Africa no less the white colonialist oppressor man from the USA said.

Blo - Chapter One

Regardless, the debut album Chapter One is truly a voyage to the center of the limbic system. Songs on this release are amazing unintentional funk which more or less was a document of the feeling in many parts of Africa at the time – revolution, liberation and freedom. It captures the principles much like the part of Gillo Pontecorvo's movie (starring Marlon Brando) BURN! when the character Jose Delores looks Sir William Walker in the eye and proclaims “You may know how to sell sugar but WE are the ones who cut the cane!” and swooshes his machete towards the Englishman (insert machete sound here).

In comes the year 1975 and with it the BLO album Phase Two which is less psychedelic freak-funk than Chapter One but more in melodic-funk mode. The band added congas, organ and electric piano instrumentation which made it rawer music. This piece of musical history is worth checking out because it gets into a different state of mind, one that is trying but not trying, and one that grooves with utmost seriousness.

Native Doctor is a 7 minute (or so) song that revs up and down in tempo and it took my virginity to the concept of “poly rhythm” (which for a
musical prostitute is a rarity). The parts overlap and segue in the most tasteful ways. BLO transcended the roots of Rock and Funk with this contribution.

Liner notes indicate that “Phase Two was recorded in 9 sessions of 12 hours each from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. It was so strenuous that on the 9th session Engineer Emma Akpabio decided to go on strike because of "too many worries by BLO" whose drive for perfection remain unmatched.” BLO did not want to suck apparently.

For noise-rock addicts these albums are the opening to new pathways, ones taken by the likes of Liquid Liquid, Arto Lindsay and others who branched into internationalism with their music taste. In my opinion, the water is from the same oasis and if you can find it the desert is a nice place to be.

1 comment:

  1. great track , and the images of the soccer player are priceless.