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***"It's dark and still in the chief's village protected by mountains of the great southern regions of Africa..." so begins the seventeen minute epic 'African Day' that kicks off the greatest Afro-psychedelic concept album ever made—first released on Parlophone in 1971. Hawk’s music on this epochal album is a fusion of tribal African rhythms with acoustic hippie music elements—long solo jams, saxophone breaks, percussion—sounding at times like an African version of Embryo fronted by Tim Buckley!
In Johannesburg, bursting, like Durban, with musicians aeons ahead of their time, Hawk added the sunburnt, brown prairies of Africa to the genre of the concept album—the heady, steady beat of drums, and enough cross-rhythms to make you dizzy. Add the mesmerizing voices—and the telling of a story. Tuck in the ranging flute, the saxophone. The deep bass buzz. And the hypnotic talking drums. Music the African way: earthy stuff—virile, extraordinary, substantial.
Hawk were listening to a lot of Hugh Tracey tapes (the Afro-musicologist who traveled Africa capturing sounds and music on tape for posterity). They went to Swaziland and came back with their own sounds: drums and a burning desire to make their own brand of African music. From all of this came African Day. Our Lion/RTA reissue comes with an LP-sized 12-page booklet which includes a complete band history by music writer Owen Coetzer, packed with photos, plus the story of the re-discovery of the multi-track master tapes and the transfer of those newfound tapes that resulted in this very reissue. 150 hand-numbered copies on Transparent Strawberry Pink vinyl.