jeudi 29 avril 2010

Sitar Beat ! - Indian Style Heavy Funk Vol. II (Guerilla Reissues - 2007)

Sitar Beat ! - Indian Style Heavy Funk Vol. II

The volume 2 of the CD edition of the Sitar Beat ! serie has not that much sitar or even beat in it. If volume one was full of psychedelic breakbeats, volume 2 is more a compilation of 70's Bollywood songs, sometimes vaguely influenced by psyche funk or soul but with a lot of Morricone style trumpet and accordion in it. In fact, the greatest default of this record is just that, if the songs are not edited, they nonetheless lacks the crazy pictures and dances that accompany them. Bollywood songs and shrill voices can sometimes be a little bit repetitive and formulaic when they stand alone for my non initiated ears, even if they are classics written by Kalyanji or Anandji. But when you have a Amitabh movie with them, they just make you have a good day.

mardi 27 avril 2010

The O'Jays - Back Stabbers (Philadelphia International Records - 1972)

The O'Jays - Back Stabbers

Back from my previous psychedelic posts for a record that is largely considered like a stunning soul classic, Back Stabbers. The success of Back Stabbers allowed Gamble & Huff to launch for good Philadelphia International Records and made of The O'Jays (Walter Williams, William Powell and Eddie Levert) stars after nearly 10 years of checkered career. They still tour today thanks to songs like Back Stabbers, Time To Get Down or a song that sum up Philly soul by itself, Love Train. Every song on Back Stabbers is just a miracle of delicacy and uplift. The O'Jays, despite a couple of other excellent records, never reached that creative peak again. One curious thing is that Back Stabbers songs have not been that much sampled. Another curious thing is that their stage clothes for TV shows were the same than on their record cover.

lundi 26 avril 2010

Sitar Beat ! - Indian Style Heavy Funk Vol. 1 (Guerillas Reissues - 2006)

Sitar Beat! - Indian Style Heavy Funk Vol. 1

The first volume of the CD version of this famous breakbeat serie is more a producer or DJ tool than a proper compilation. Most of the tracks are exhumed from Bollywood soundtracks of the 70's but are edited: vocal parts are cut and the emphasis is put on the beats and the fuzzy funky psychedelic sitar heavy instrumentation. Amidst the like of Indian music moguls Sapan Jagmohan, Kalyanji Anandji, R.D. Burnan or Usha Khanna, Bollywood style curiosities from Klaus Doldinger, Serge Gainsbourg or Michel Colombier can be found. Volume 2 will be posted soon, I promess.

lundi 19 avril 2010

The Lovin' Spoonful - Daydream (Kama Sutra - 1966)

The name of the label on the cover is pretty cool. And the music on this record too. Hailing from New-York, The Lovin' Spoonful were brilliant musicians, able to rivalize with the greatest of their times. Their lead single, Daydream and its trademark whistle, may have been too much heard, even in commercials, it stays nonetheless infectious. The rest of the album reach the same level, one feet in country and blues, clearly influenced by Sun Records, and the other one on the other side of the ocean in (Swingin') London and the British (Beat) Invasion. The best songs on the albums are two samplable beautiful gems, Didn't Want To Have To Do It and You Didn't Have To Be So Nice that will both make a gorilla drop its tear.

Link in the comments.

dimanche 18 avril 2010

Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas - Tropicalia Psychedelic Masterpieces - 1967-1976 (Tropicalia In Furs Records - 2010)

Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas - Tropicalia Psychedelic Masterpieces - 1967-1976

Egon is my new hero, as it is the second post in row I write about a compilation produced by the man. This time, with the help of Joel Stones, they explore the brazilian psychedelic scene from 1967 to 1976, avoiding to select any title that sound... brazilian. No bossa nova or samba roots here: except the portuguese lyrics, those ultra rare excellent raw psychedelic songs could have been produced anywhere in the US or England at the same time. Brazilian music aficionados will be disapointed but funky fuzzy rare groove diggers will appreciate the originality of the selection. In the rich liner notes, Joel Stones precize that most of the artists here featured only released one or two 7" before vanishing into obscurity.

mercredi 14 avril 2010

Forge You Own Chains - Heavy Psychedelic Ballads And Dirges - 1968-1974 (Now Again - 2009)

Forge Your Own Chains Heavy - Psychedelic Ballads And Dirges 1968-1974

I wanted to keep this one relatively secret and only post it in a couple of years. But it's just impossible. Forge Your Own Chains is so good that I couldn'it wait to to share it with the rest of the world. It's one of the only compilation on the market where the artists featured go by the names of Ana Y Jaime, Kourosh Yaghmaei or Shadrack Chameleon. Egon, who created this compilation of rare 60's and 70's psychedelia from all over the world , is a true magician with golden ears. This time I don't want to be hypocrite: download the compilation, listen to it and if you like it then BUY IT. It's only worth the price of two beer in most Western countries but will stay with you for the reste of your miserable life.

dimanche 11 avril 2010

Freddie Hubbard - Straight Life (CTI - 1970)

Jazz can sometimes be a little impressive: with its 17:27 minutes length, Straight Life title song seems a bit scary and, being absolutely not a jazz specialist, I was expecting to hear musicians masturbating their instrument during endless solos, even if those musicians are Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Joe Henderson on Saxophone, George Benson on guitar, Herbie Hancock on piano or even Ron Carter on bass. No killing jazz funk breaks ready to sample here but a real, dynamic and demanding maestria taking the songs in every possible direction without losing its edge, letting you breathless and hypnotized. The second track, Mr. Clean, will clean your ears from all the autotuned shit the same way. The last track, Here's A Rainy Day, makes you want to spend it with a lovely lady on a leopard skin in front a fireplace. Jazz heads call Straight Life a masterpiece. You won't easily get into it but when it grabs you, you just don't come back.

Link in the comments.

samedi 10 avril 2010

Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz (Stax - 1961)

Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz

This album is a real curiosity. First try of the future Stax queen of southern soul, Gee Whiz absolutely doesn't sound like a average Stax album or even a southern soul record. Instead of the horns and strings fury the label will be reknowned for, Carla Thomas delivers the most middle of the road and pop oriented album of her career. Her voice is already recognizable but the production is a bit too syrupy. The cover and the title stay nonetheless pretty cool.

jeudi 8 avril 2010

Taggy Matcher - Hip Hop Reggae Series Vol 1 (Stix - 2009)

Taggy Matcher - Hip Hop Reggae Series Vol 1

Blending hip hop tunes with reggae riddims is as original as creating a music blog. But Taggy Matcher does it better, with as much talent as the French king of the exercice, Grant Phabao ( Each riddim has been created on purpose for each hip hop track, often interpolating the main melody on keyboards or sampling the bassline. I usually don't post new records but this bootleg is so good I just couldn't resist. From Busta Rhymes to The Beastie Boys, from Biggie Small to Roots Manuva, everybody (even the Stax logo on the cover) enjoys for the best the jamaican vacations treatment.

lundi 5 avril 2010

State Of Micky And Tommy (Magic Records - 2008)

State Of Micky And Tommy

Born in England, Micky Jones and Tommy Brown left their country for France in the mid 60's, looking for a success that was denied to them at home. They became quickly adopted by the cream of the crop of French pop singers that were trying to modernize their sound copying the British Invasion artists. They probably saved Sylvie Vartan and Johnny Halliday careers, crafting them irresistable beat songs. Micky and Tommy became reknowned songwriter and session musicians in France but never really succeed as perfomers despite numerous EP's released under several monikers: Micky & Tommy, The Blackburds, Nimrod or The J&B. From pop to R&B or psyche, they followed every trends but staid in the shadow. Micky finally left France the US where he created Foreigner. This compilation, released in France, gather all their French period EP's and singles as well as their contributions to a couple of soundtracks.

samedi 3 avril 2010

Otis Redding - The Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul Complete & Unbelievable (Volt - 1966)

Otis Redding - The Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul Complete & Unbelievable

The last time I did a post about Otis Redding, nobody gave a shit. In fact, I think that Otis is a victim of his popularity. Everybody possess at least one Otis Redding Greatest Hits album but only a few actually bought an entire Otis Redding album. His songs are so popular that you just wonder why spending time and money to buy them once more.The answer is maybe because if Greatests Hits are useful to discover an artist repertoire, they reduce him to his main hits and ignore the richness of his complete albums. Released on Stax subsidiary Volt in 1966 The Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul Complete & Unbelievable features Otis at his best. Southern soul in fact never sounded this good, with a perfect backdrop created by Memphis finest (Booker T and the MG's, Isaac Hayes and The Memphis Horns). It was just impossible to me not to mention this record.