During the 1960s, George Harrison accomplished a wonderfully inventive and beneficial feat for the state of mainstream music: he integrated a completely alien music style into the flawlessly catchy pop that he and the Beatles became legends for. The proclaimed Hare Krishna found inspiration in the intoxicating sitars and whining melodies from the Far East, helping him to produce some of the most original and refreshing amalgamated music in the band’s brief-yet-prolific span.
Cross-continental rock quartet Extra Golden may not have been directly influenced by the Beatles, but it definitely exercises the same experimental initiative and musical pioneering as Harrison. A collaboration between Kenya’s Orchestra Extra Solar Africa and Washington D.C.’s Golden, Extra Golden grew out of band member Ian Eagleson’s doctoral research on Benga music in Kenya. Its debut album, Ok-Oyot System is a pleasant, trance-inducing blend of technical guitars, subtle drums and tribal vocals. Imagine watching a subdued jam band serenade mainstream radio into submission with an African lullaby.
Extra Golden style is characterized by lively, swinging guitars layered into danceable Congo beats. While this aesthetic can sound monotonous on paper, it’s really meant to be appreciated for its holistic appeal. After multiple listenings, Ok-Oyot System’s pristine texture and superior composition can easily suspend time and take its audience on a subliminal journey via exotic Savannah soundscapes.