Bionic dread

Richard Prince, Canal Zone

"Perhaps the most truly psychedelic post-sixties art movement of all was not an art movement but a religion that governmental authorities occasionally confused with a street gang: Rastafarianism. Actually the Dread movement couldn't be called psychedelic in the conventional sense. Marijuana was its sacrament. It was anti-acid and anti-pharmaceutical. But in dub it created the most coherent body of psychedelic art. Its deconstructed, sculptural music with hypnotic rhythms and trippy ambient improv expanded sensory consciousness while espousing a radical neo-gnostic philosophy, combining the Bible, Marcus Garvey, and Freemasonry into a religion that makes total sense into the sensual. Here, finally was a religion that incorporated getting high into a holistic noble philosophy. It offered a tempered version of psychedelics based on nature. Dillinger summed it up in the lyrics to 'Bionic Dread': 'Babylon psychedelic, natty dread bionic'

–Glenn O'Brien, from Tate Modern Summer of Love catalog, 2005

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