According to Mr Bongo, the label responsible for reissuing this manic gem, “Akira Ishikawa was not messing around when he recorded the Uganda (Dawn of Rock) album with his band the Count Buffaloes.” That checks out on our end. Originally released in 1972, following the equally mental (though comparably tame?) African Rock, Uganda is four enveloping tracks, clocking in just under 40 minutes, of deep-fried blues-rock sludge, ecstatic free-jazz abstractions, dizzying African percussion, and psychedelic maelstrom.
For a taste, check out the track two: “動物達と夜明け (Wanyamana Mapambazuko).” Across an almost twelve-minute run-time, Ishikawa and his spartan crew of freaks seesaw between charged, prog-rock righteousness and tribal, call-and response rhythms, Ishikawa leaning deeply into traditional African roots music almost as a smooth chaser to the incandescent burn of Kimio Mizutani’s electric guitar. Bottoms up. | c depasquale