Having left the Bronze label after recording two albums with them, Osibisa were left without a contract. Since Bronze had steered the band in a more commercial direction for "Welcome home" and "Ojah awake", the band decided to use their new found freedom to create some recordings which were more in tune with their preferred style.
Once completed, they negotiated a deal with Pye records and licensed the tracks to them. The result was "Mystic energy", which was released on the Pye subsidiary label Calibre. (Negotiations with Pye were through the band's management company "Flying elephant", hence the striking image on the album cover).
The resulting album is simultaneously more in tune with the band's earliest work, while also indicating an ongoing desire to remain in touch with the singles market. The most obvious attempt to secure further commercial success is "Celebration", which is a thinly veiled facsimile of their earlier "Sunshine day". “(I feel) Pata Pata” also enjoyed singles success, but the two tracks are not representative of the album as a whole. “Mystic energy” relies much more on the ethnic rhythms of West Africa and the repetitive chants which go along with such music.
The band appear to be enjoying themselves on this album, reverting to a far greater extent to their roots. This gives the album a happy, relaxed feel. From a prog perspective though, there is little on offer here to satisfy the palate. “Mystic energy” finds Osibisa in full retraction mode, getting back to basics and sticking to the knitting.
On a side note, for me “Oreba (mystic people)” is significant as the opening chant is highly reminiscent of the long forgotten single “Sultana” by Titanic.
The CD version of the album was significantly expanded from the original LP, with four additional songs. Of these, “Sunset” is a lilting six minute piece with fine relaxed guitar and a softer rhythmic backing.
For those who enjoy the purer aspects of the band’s Africa roots though, worth a go.
01. Meeting Point
03. Africa We Go Go
04. Oreba (Magic People)
05. Moving On
06. Mama (I Will Be Back)
07. (I Feel) Pata Pata
09. That's Life
10. Living Loving Feeling
11. Bum To Bum
13. Spirit Up Above (Live)