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The Shamen

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The Shamen were an experimental acid house/techno band, initially formed in Aberdeen, Scotland by Colin Angus (b. 24 August, 1961), Derek McKenzie (b. 27 February, 1964), Keith McKenzie (b. 30 August, 1961) and Peter Stephenson (b. 1 March, 1962) in 1985 as a psychedelia-influenced indie rock act. They found underground credibility as an acid house act and a pioneer of the dance/rock crossover, before moving on to international commercial success with Ebeneezer Goode and the Boss Drum album.

The Shamen were preceded by Alone Again Or, the Love-inspired name under which they recorded their first singles. After their name change, further singles picked up airplay from John Peel. Released in June 1987, The Shamen’s first album Drop illustrated their love of 60s psychedelia, with influences such as Love, Pink Floyd and the 13th Floor Elevators.

By mid-1987, frontman Colin Angus was discovering the sounds of early house music pioneers such as S-Express and M/A/R/R/S and increasing his knowledge of the latest studio gadgetry. By September 1987, the Shamen were applying these techniques to their own music, mixing rock guitars, techno and hip-hop rhythms and sampled radio voices to create the prototype rock-dance sound which was to prove so influential to other indie dance groups like Pop Will Eat Itself, Jesus Jones and EMF. However, the newfound sound proved too radical for co-founder and vocalist Derek McKenzie, who the left the band in late 1987 to study at university. The Shamen were suddenly one crucial player short.

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