The late Dr Timothy Leary – arguably the most famous advocate for hallucinogens in popular culture – was quite prolific in terms of musical (and spiritual) output in the late 60s and early 70s, through releases such as
Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out and You Can Be Anyone This Time Around.
In 1990, however, the psychedelics guru teamed up with the newly-established The Grid, comprised of David Ball (formerly of Soft Cell) and Richard Norris, to release Origins of Dance, a single that combined ethereal electronica with Leary’s words of cosmic wisdom.
“Dance was originally a psychedelic way of expressing yourself; a way of getting high,” Leary intones, over some lo-fi bleeping rhythms. “The movements can be in tune with your ancient cellular mythic pattern…”
As Discogs user David68Turner notes, the track, released on Rhythm King offshoot Evolution Records, was very much part of the London “conscious raving scene” in the late 80s and early 90s, particularly at the “orbital raves, Rage, End or Whirly-Gig club nights”.
The same year, The Grid released debut album Electric Head, which included tracks such as Floatation and Intergalactica, cementing the duo’s reputation as one of the most exciting new electronica acts to emerge out of the UK at that time.
Dr. Leary, meanwhile, would go on to have a further dalliance with the embryonic techno scene on From Psychedelics To Cybernetics, alongside System 01 (they of the classic Drugs Work) before getting truly cosmic with a posthumous release, Beyond Life With Timothy Leary, released a year after his death in 1996.
Now that’s what we call far out… 🙂