08 August 2004

Terence McKenna

First in an occasional series on musical psychedelic gurus. Terence McKenna was an explorer, a shaman (i am), a great theorist, amateur botanist (he seemed to know less about plants than he did about botanists) and all round good-guy guru who had one of those fantastically expressive voices that worked brilliantly on record.

He was a great showman, spouting theories on everything from the origins of language to his encounters with the 'self-transforming machine elves' under the influence of DMT and psilocybin.

His books are all worth a read (though the cynically minded ought to take a few deep breaths; irony's not really his thing), but for starters try True Hallucinations which works as a pretty funny travelogue as well or maybe Food of the Gods which is a decent attempt to put mushroom use into a social, political and archaeological framework or The Archaic Revival which gets a bit wilder in it's speculations about mankind and the future of the planet.

And so, the music:

Terence McKenna and Spacetime Continuum - time wave zero

Terence McKenna, The Shamen and the Future Sound of London

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