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Review: Fania Goes Psychedelic

Want to wake up your neighbors, or your wife?! On a boring night, blast Fania Goes Psychedelic, a rare compilation from the Fania record label, a mainstay of all things Latin, with druggy lyrics from the stalwarts of that psychedelic scene.
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Various Artists
Fania Goes Psychedelic
Craft Recordings Latino 

3 out of 5 stars

In the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, the hippie counter-culture infested all avenues of endeavor, including the Fania record label, a mainstay of all things Latin. That’s when Afro-Cuban dance rhythms and American Funk collided in a musical trend called Boogaloo.

The 15 songs on this rare compilation of druggy lyrics from such stalwarts of the scene like Ray Barretto (“Acid”), The Lebron Brothers Orchestra (“Let’s Get Stoned”), The Latin Blues Band Featuring Luis Aviles (“Take A Trip”), George Guzman (“Banana Freak Out”), Orquestra Harlow (“Freak Off”) and Jimmy Sabater (“Kool It Here Comes The Fuzz”) are examples of how percolating percussion, slide-pump syncopated horns, lyrics in English about getting high and staying high combined with meticulous charts of fast-paced action-packed drum’n’bass and stinging electric lead guitar to produce a rebel yell from El Barrio (the Spanish-speaking neighborhoods of New York City).

Highlight? Tough to choose but “Electric Latin Soul,” by Flash & The Dynamics, has all the requisite ingredients. Want to torture your neighbors or your wife?

Blast this sucker loud!

– Mike Greenblatt