Tuesday, 31 March 2009

April in Managua - The Central American Peace Concert 1983

I'm a bit upset that I won't be able to show my face at the G20 actions in London over the coming week, but I'm sending all my best wishes to all those who do attend. I do think its important to remember though, that this 21st century activisim is not a new phenomena. The struggle for an egalitarian society has been ongoing since...well, since hierarchies first emerged. These protests are a part of that history, and so is the music on today's post.

The album I'm posting today was picked up in my local YMCA charity shop a couple of months ago. I had no idea what it was at the time but it looked interesting so I paid my money and took my chance. It turns out that this is a fantastic recording of a historic concert that took place in the capital of Nicaragua in 1983. The concert was organised by the revolutionary Sandinista government at the time when the country was coming under more intense attacks from the US backed right wing Contra guerrillas. The concert, which featured a some of the biggest names in the Latin American 'nueva cancion' movement (Chico Barque, Mercedes Sosa, Silvio Rodriguez, Amparo Ochoa), was therefore a show of solidarity with the emancipatory desires of the Nicaraguan people, the heart and soul of a people in the midst of an intense struggle for change.

Documentary footage of the concert, complete with some great interviews with members of the crowd, can be viewed over here, in the meantime you can check this breathtaking performance by Argentinian singer, Mercedes Sosa:

I've posted the album as 4 separate mp3s rather than break it into individual tracks. I feel the concert is worth listening to as a whole.

You can download it HERE.

And here's the tracklist:

Luis Enrique Mejia Godoy - Yo Soy De Un Puebla Sencillo
Gabino Polmares & Amparo Ochoa - La Maldición De Mailinche
Luis Rico - El Salvador
Amparo Ochoa - Para Amar En Tiempo De Guerra
Amparo Ochoa - Quién Tiene La Voz

Ali Primera - El Sombrero Azul
Chico Buarque - O Que Será
Chico Buarque & Raymundo Fagner - Nao Existe Pecado...
Silverio Pérez & Quintento Puertoriqueno - Canción De Pueblo
Silvio Pérez & Quintento Puertoriqueno - Qué Bonita Bandera

Daniel Viglietti - Declaratión De Amor A Nicaragua
Daniel Viglietti - Canción Para Mi América
Adrián Goizueta & Grupo Experimental - Eugenia
Silvio Rodríguez - El Dulce Abismo
Silvio Rodríguez & Manguare - Canción Urgente Para Nicaragua

Carlos Mejía Godoy & Los De Palacagüina - Nicaragua Nicaraguita
Carlos Mejía Godoy & Los De Palacagüina - Chilotito Tierno
Carlos Mejía Godoy & Los De Palacagüina - No Passarán
Mercedes Sosa - Solo Le Pido A Dios
Mercedes Sosa - Cuanda Tenga La Tierra

Friday, 27 March 2009

Something Weird - Two more 'free' singles.

I quite like these odd little interludes where confusion can reign for a few moments. This first mp3 is both sides of another single that came with a 1992 issue of Bananafish. The magazine and the record sleeve are long lost, but the record's a winner...warped, outsider sounds that turn the head to soup.

Tracks: Eye Yamatsuka - Untitled/Merchants of the New Bizarre - Jimmy Carter/Lee Ranaldo - Deva, Spain Fragments/The Easygoings - Bigfoot & Popcorn Medley/Dead C - Puberty/Gate - That's Gate/Dead C - This Map/Mr Freeman's Pink Underwear - Untitled

As if all that wasn't enough, here's another 'free' record that came with an issue of a muso rag called Chemical Imbalance back in 1993. This one has non of the charming garbled tape hiss and crazed skits that grace the bananafish records, just a bunch of tracks by:

Kicking Giant - Rapid C/ Faust - Live, Hamburg 10-90/ Kicking Giant - Background, Moving Quickly/ Pavement - My Radio/ Sun City Girls - Swing of Kings/ T.V. Personalities - Girl on a Motorcycle

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Daudi Kabaka & His T.B. Eagles - Kenyafrica! (Playasound 1977)

I think this may be a compilation of Benga sounds from '60s Kenya. It's beautiful, lilting stuff with great guitar playing and a latin feel, sweet like the rumba of Congo. Strangely, the first song here 'Helule Helule' was covered by Essex beat group The Tremeloes. Their version hit number 14 on the hit parade in 1968 and must have been popular on Dagenham dancefloors with its freaky blend of afro breaks, harmonies and Byrds-ish rickenbacker:

Don't let that stop you checking out Daudi Kabaka...


01 Helule Helule
02 Njoo Mpenzy Mary
03 African Twist
04 Msichana Wa Elim
05 Nyama Kilo Moja
06 Bachelor Boy

07 Second Hand Material
08 Kujisifu Ulevini
09 Mirija Ya Mapenzi
10 Safari Ya Nigeria
11 Kazi Ngumu
12 Spare Tyre

Get it HERE.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Simon Jurad - Ambiance Des Antilles

Zouk is (or was) the party music of the French Antilles, the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. It is a hybrid music combining influences from Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and western pop, funk and jazz. The dizzy mix is sometimes disorientating on this great, funky album by Simon Jurad.


01 Ambiance Nous
02 Critique
03 Deception
04 Changement
05 Colette
06 Mi Bel Jounee
07 Experience

Get it HERE.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Famous Indian Film Music sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Mahendra Kapoor & Sulakshana Pandit (1969)

Great album of songs from Hindi films by some of Bollywood's best known singers. Nice crackly, charity shop sounds from the films of 1968 and 1969. Here is a clip from the 1968 movie, Shikar featuring Asha Bhosle's song 'Parde Mein Rahne Do':


01 Lata Mangeshkar & Mohd. Rafi - Main Hoon Saqi Tu Hai Sharabi
02 Mohd. Rafi - Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe
03 Lata Mangeshkar - Parai Hoon
04 Mohd. Rafi - Na Aadmi Ka Koi Bharosa
05 Asha Bhosle & Chorus - Parde Men Rahne Do
06 Lata Mangeshkar - Mere Jeevan Saathi
07 Mohd. Rafi - Aaj Purani Rahon Se

08 Asha Bhosle & Mohd. Rafi - Aulad Walon
09 Mohd. Rafi - Mere Pairon Men Gungharoo
10 Lata Mangeshkar & Mahendra Kapoor - Ye Kali
11 Mohd. Rafi - Babul Ki Duayen Leti Jaa
12 Lata Mangeshkar - Rama Duhai
13 Mohd. Rafi - O Nanhe Se Farishte
14 Mohd. Rafi & Sulakshana Pandit - Jab Jab Apna Mel

Get it HERE.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Soweto - Various Artists (Zensor/Rough Trade 1982)

This compilation from 1982 is a total treasure. Here's what Robert Christgau had to say back when the album was released:

"It's fair to assume that these fourteen crude, tuneful little singles, released six or seven years ago out of a Johannesburg record shop and featuring a writer-producer named Wilbur Dlamini and a backing band of Jo'burg Zulus called the Bamalangabis, are typical of nothing. They're apolitical except by their sheer existence, mostly small-group instrumental, with guitar, sax, and organ leads. Not too clearly recorded, either. And they're delightful. It's possible Dlamini is a lost genius. It's also possible that when I've heard more music from South Africa's hellish black urban work zones I'll find him minor or derivative. But what's certain is that a lot of very talented people are getting lost in black South Africa. Ain't capitalism grand?"
Check out this fuzzy monster from the album:


A1 New Lucky Boys Jane
A2 Kid Bera-Bera And Mister King Jerroo Katanga Country

Backing Group - Bamalangabis, The
A3 Unknown Artist Nobamba
A4 Unknown Artist Wilburforce

Backing Group - Bamalangabis, The
A5 S. Tshabalala Bonakele

Backing Group - Bamalangabis, The
A6 Unknown Artist Saulsville

Backing Group - Bamalangabis, The
A7 New Lucky Boys Indoda
B1 Steven Phiri Malangabi D-One

Backing Group - Bamalangabis, The
B2 S. Tshabalala Ukwenza Kwendoda

Backing Group - Bamalangabis, The
B3 John Motha Zulu Boy
B4 Unknown Artist Queen Shikwambani
B5 Elfas Zondi Umkumbani

Backing Group - Bamalangabis, The
Saul Malapane And Mister King Jerroo
Here We Come

Backing - Abafana Bamalangabi
B7 A.M'Kosane Amaswti Special

Backing Group - Bamalangabis, The

Get it HERE.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Sun Ra & His Arkestra - Out There A Minute (Blast First 1989)

I thought it was a bit of a tease to mention Sun Ra in the last post without including some of his music, so here is the compilation of unreleased recordings that was released on the infamous noise label, Blast First, back in 1989. These tunes were all recorded in some New York loft apartment sometime in the late '60s, yet this is a strangely accessible and coherent album, its various styles and textures being held together by the murky lo-fi quality of the recordings. If you've never heard Sun Ra, then this album is a really good springboard into his amazing soundworlds.

In the Kool Keith post I touched upon some stuff about Kool Keith's use of alter egos, something also important in Sun Ra's artistic and spiritual life. While many people often think of Sun Ra as a jazz crackpot with a thing about Saturn, in 'reality' he was something of a mystic, a deeply knowledgeable trickster who constantly tried to bring heaven and earth closer together and who attempted to marry knowledge of ancient African spirituality with space age rhetoric in order to promote the kind of human understanding that could free humanity from its home-made chains. Here's an excerpt from John F. Szwed's excellent biography, Space is the Place: The Life and Times of Sun Ra, in which Sun Ra discusses his change of name from Herman 'Sonny' Blount, and his reemergence as an Egyptian god:

""Sun Ra is not a person, it's a business name...it's a certificate which was gotten in New York City; they didn't notice that I didn't have down there what my business was. They stamped it, notarized it, and they filed it. So therefore, it's a business name, and my business is changing the planet. If Jesus had done that, gone and gotten himself a business certificate, he'd have had the right and he wouldn't have had to go up there on the cross"

...So Sun Ra was a stage name, in the tradition of jazz royalty, but no one, not even the most desperately ambitious entertainer, had ever assumed the name of a god, and defied mortality.

He was well aware of the implications of his choice, and the African-American tradition of naming which lay behind it. Once, while speculating on why black people were treated as property in the United States...he saw that they were considered as goods, a word he in turn traced to the Middle English "god". And as gods (as with kings and queens) they had no last names. When these names bacame necessary they were given or took those of their white owners.

"That's why I don't use no name except Ra because I saw that, and I'm not going to go and take somebody else's name, I'm not going to do that. I got my name, the Creator gave me my name.""

John F. Szwed (1997) Space is the Place
Edinburgh: Payback Press

Here is Bill Sebastian's incredible film for 'Calling Planet Earth' which is the source of the cover images on 'Out There A Minute':


1. Love in Outer Space
2. Somewhere in Space
3. Dark Clouds With Silver Linings
4. Jazz and Romantic Sounds
5. When Angels Speak of Love
6. Cosmo Enticement

7. Song of Tree and Forest
8. Other Worlds
9. Journey Outward
10. Lights on a Satellite
11. Starships and Solar Boats
12. Out There a Minute

Get this great album HERE.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Kool Keith - Black Elvis/Lost in Space (1999)

Kool Keith is to hip hop what Sun Ra is to jazz and George Clinton to funk. A weirdly liminal figure, Kool Keith exists both within and outside of the hip hop world, occupying an artistic space that encompasses depictions of the realities of life in the modern urban world, bizarre counterfactual alternate realities and wildly imagined intergalactic futures.

Over the years, Kool Keith has taken on a number of identities, twisted misfit personas who come on like comic book villains or characters from a William Burroughs novel: Dr Octagon is a rogue gynecologist, Dr Doom a crazed killer, Rhythm X, Mr Nogatco...the list goes on. Black Elvis is however, the world's greatest rapper, a rhyming phenomenon bringing the world the sounds of the future. Kool Keith says of his multiple personality disorder: "I have a lot of ideas. I'm not like the average rapper stuck with an image. A lot of these rappers are uncomfortable. They're stuck with an image that they have to maintain." In these terms, Keith is an hip hop anomoly. Not tied to the gold chains, baggy pants and bad attitudes associated with mainstream hip hop, he becomes mobile, able to shift co-ordinates to occupy different levels and parallel universes.

Black Elvis is a great album, chunky sci-fi beats and electro noise create queezy backdrops for Keith's heavier than uranium rhymes. 'The Girls Don't Like the Job' is a particular favourite of mine. Here, Keith flips the rap cliches, taking on the role of tough office manager to bring us an ironic rhyme on the impossible economic position of female office workers.

Before you get to that, here's the hugely entertaining video for 'Livin Astro':


1. Intro
2. Lost in Space
3. Rockets on the Battlefield
4. Livin' Astro
5. Supergalactic Lover
6. Master of the Game
7. I'm Seein' Robots
8. Static

9. Intro 2
10. Black Elvis
11. Maxi Curls
12. Keith Turbo
13. Fine Girls
14. Girls Don't Like the Job
15. Clifton
16. All the Time
17. I Don't Play

Get record 1 HERE and record 2 HERE.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Soul...In the Beginning - Various Artists (Avco 1970)

Its been a while since I posted the Staple Singers album, so I thought it was high time for a bit more blues. This great compilation came out in 1970 and is excellent from start to finish. Lightning Hopkins rambles his way through a couple of great tunes...his banter is almost as entertaining as the songs themselves. Billy Biser's 'Tell Me Where You Stayed Last Night' is dark and hypnotic, laced with railroad harmonica and anger.

Here's Lightning Hopkins doing 'Mojo Hand' and looking hip in his shades and black shirt...

And here's a great bit of footage of T-Bone Walker playing his electrifying blues guitar...

This clip from a documentary about zydeco music has Clifton Chenier appearing throughout. And its worth a look for the evocative footage from zydeco dances in Louisiana...looks like a great time was had by all.


01 Lightning Hopkins - December 7, 1941
02 Lightning Hopkins - Mojo Hand
03 Billy Biser - Tell Me Where You Stayed Last Night
04 Calvin Loudmouth Johnson & Johnny Winter - Down and Out
05 Calvin Loudmouth Johnson & Johnny Winter - Lein On Your Body (Mortgage on your Soul)
06 Clifton Chenier - Trouble in Mind
07 Clifton Chenier - Be My Chauffer
08 T-Bone Walker - Please Come Back To Me
09 T-Bone Walker - Treat Your Daddy Well

Get the album HERE.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

More Scratchy Old Persian Pop from Pre-Revolutionary Iran

The last batch of Persian pop 45s that I posted here proved very popular, so here's a few more for your listening pleasure. All 3 of these great records feature unknown male vocalists. The first two are kind of urgent and quite hectic, while the last (which has the beautiful label artwork) has a kind of languid, melancholic psychedelic beat sound going on.

As before, I'd really appreciate some help finding out who the artists are because I can't read Farsi. And many thanks to those who took the time to find out about the last lot, all info about them can be found in the comments for that post.

UPDATE (04/03/09):

Many thanks to Iranian blogger, Jadi for the information about these great Persian songs.

These two songs are by Aghasi and side 1 is called Amene:

These two are also by Aghasi and side 1 is called Leily.

Having done a bit of digging, it seems that Aghasi was very popular across Iran and appeared in a number of films. This clip of the man in action is great:

This one is by Artik while the song title is Matrood.

This is the b side of the Artik single and its called Vaghti Del Khosh Nabashe (When you do not feel good in the heart). The label artwork belongs to the Shah's Ministry of Economy and the Empire of Iran's logo is printed at the top...every object has a story to tell, and this record came dancing to the market just like Marx's table.


Here is a zip file containing all 6 tracks:

Pops Sounds from Pre-Revolutionary Iran Volume 2

Chief Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister - Barry Wonder (1987)

Chief Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister and his African International Music Ambassadors were one of the leading Fuji groups in Nigeria. They played a style that came to rival Juju in popularity amongst the country's Yoruban speakers, although fuji is a much tougher sound that is more connected with the music and arts of pre-Christian and pre-Islamic Africa. Barry Wonder is a frantic listen...frenetic percussion, wonky brass, some amazing one finger casio playing and the Doctor's urgent calls make for a great time.


Side 1 Subu-Ana-Lahi / Barry Wonder / Ruru Fun Mi Gangan / Alhaja Mulika Da Silva / Alhaji Mufutau-Olanihun / Bobaje-Tolorin

Side 2 Bafefe Nfe / Akola Orin / Opon Tanke / Alhaji Shittu Sanni / Lefe Lawa / Mesonu

Get the zip HERE.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey & His Inter-Reformers Band - Womanhood (1991)

I picked up a handful of African records at a flea market yesterday, so here's the first of them, it's some gloriously cosmic juju from Chief Commader Ebenezer Obey. Along with King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey was Nigeria's most famous and successful juju musician and this album from the early '90s is just beautiful...exquisite vocal harmonies, intricate layers of mesmerising guitars, a chorus of talking drums, all these things work together in the construction of some really wonderful melodies. The whole thing sends me into raptures! Each side of the album is dedicated to a famous or powerful public figure, so side 1 goes to Mrs Maryam Babangida who was Nigeria's first lady at the time of the record's release. Here, Mrs Babangida is praised by Obey for her involvement in efforts to alleviate poverty through the introduction of the Better-Life Programme (I don't know much about this, presumably it involved the redistribution of some of Nigeria's oil money...get in touch if you know more).


Side 1 Iba Lo Ye Ka Se / Woman Deserve Better Treatment / Better Life For Women / Happiness Of Mothers / I Love You For Ever

Side 2 Ori Lafi'N Meran Lawo / Bashorun M. K. Abiola (14th Aare Onakakanfo) / Orun I'Osupa Ti Muyi Wa / Ologbo To Fe Peja Ninu Omi / In The Continent of Africa

Get it HERE.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Ali Chouhad & Archach - Tamgra Wochn

This is another of the cds we brought back from the Anti-Atlas mountains. It is Amazigh music from the Souss Valley in the south of the Morocco and it's very beautiful...great drumming and fantastic banjo. It's also a bit more mellow than the Fatima Tabaamrante album that was posted in January. As you might guess from the photo on the cover of the cd, Ali's music is a bit more reflective and maybe philosophical than Fatima's righteously angry songs of injustice and indignation. Anyway, check it out if you're interested. Here's a little taster:


01 Igudad Nwihrane
02 Tamgra Wochn
03 Todr Toudrt
04 Akal N'Touzont
05 Agadir Ninflass
06 Bab N'Tarwa

Get it HERE!