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Dorothy Ashby – Afro-Harping

Cue up “Soul Vibrations,” the first track on Dorothy Ashby’s Afro-Harping, and revel: a one-note syncopated bassline over a slamming drumbeat that you’re sure you’ve heard sampled somewhere. Enter the double-tracked theremins, followed by swoopy strings. Next, over the relentless beat, an echo-plexed harp solo by Ashby, during which the strings return with 16-notes; then the theremins run the groove into a fade-out. And there you have it: 3’15’’ of pure aural time capsule in all its mod glory.

Afro-Harping was arranged by producer Richard Evans and recorded by Ashby with unknown musicians for Cadet Records in 1968. An unbeatable groove-heavy slice of late-’60s lounge. Actually, there are two styles on the album: a heavy funk, psychedelic groove showcased on the two side-openers, “Soul Vibrations” and “Afro-Harping”; and a genial, insinuating pop-jazz feel with more extensive displays of harp prowess. ~ Joshua Weiner

Dorothy Ashby – Afro-Harping; Cadet, 1968

Dorothy Ashby - Afro-Harping

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