Sunday, 20 June 2010

Farid el Atrache - Awal Hamsa (1972)

This is an awe-inspiring live recording from 1972 of Farid el Atrache, 'the King of the Oud', which captures the fevered atmosphere of one of his concerts. Farid is considered to be one of the greatest oud players in the world and one of the most important Arabic artists. He was born in 1915 in Syria, but moved to Egypt as a child. His musical career started in the 1930s and then in the 1940s he embarked on a career in the movies, acting and composing soundtracks.

Farid was something of a playboy and refused to marry arguing that marraige kills art. There's more info to be found HERE and a bunch more mp3s over HERE.

Here's a great clip from one of his films:

The oud solos on this recording really are something special and I hope you enjoy this as much as I am.


01 Awal Hamsa (Part 1)
02 Awal Hamsa (Part 2)

Get it HERE.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The Marvelettes - The Marvelettes (1967)

A couple of weeks ago Dominic from Gigante Records posted a comment warning us that Motown Meltdown Volume 2 was about to be released as a freely downloadable album. Well, thank you Dominic for getting in touch, I've now had the chance to check out the music and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. If you're interested in hearing some seriously demented re-workings of classic old Motown tunes, then this is the album for you...and its all free and fun.
And if all that lunacy whets your appetite for a little more Motown, then you could do worse than to check this out:

In the early '60s, The Marvelettes were one of Tamla's biggest girl-groups scoring the company's first number 1 single in 1961 with 'Please Mr Postman'.
This 1967 album features killer versions of Robert Parker's 'Barefootin' and the Velvettes 'He Was Really Sayin' Something'. The real classic here though, is the gorgeous 'The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game' which has some beautiful lyrics and a really soulful feel as well as fantastic backing from the Funk Brothers:


1. Barefootin'
2. Message to Michael
3. The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game
4. When You're Young and in Love
5. I Know Better
6. I Can't Turn Around
7. He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'
8. The Day You Take One (You Have to Take the Other)
9. When I Need You
10. Keep Off, No Trespassing
11. Tonight Was Made for Love
12. I Need Someone

Get it HERE.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Pandit Ram Narayan - Inde Du Nord (Ocora)

I really know very, very little about Indian classical music, but there's lots of information about Pandit Ram Narayan, the master sarangi player, to be found over here. This album was recorded in 1971 and features Suresh Talwalkar on tabla and Jhorna Bose on tambura. The music is totally kaleidoscopic and sends the mind spinning off in all kinds of directions.

Here is Raga Kirvani:

The melancholic sound of the sarangi makes for some dark moments in the music and reminds me that the counterpoint to splendour of India's temples and palaces is the naked dancer in the embers of the funeral pyre, that the beauty of the Ganges is coloured by the presence of the dead who float in its waters.


01 Râga Bairagi-Bhairav
02 Râga Madhuvanti
03 Râga Kirvani

Get It HERE.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Marjono & his Boys - Salina VII

Can't find much info about Marjono or his boys, other than Marjono was/possibly is an Indonesian flautist and saxophonist who appeared to be active throughout the '60s and '70s. I think I really like this album, although I haven't quite made up my mind. Marjono's sax playing is like treacle, thick and sweet and sugar-coating all of the other sounds, but when you listen deeper, there are these beautiful keyboard and bass things bubbling away in the background. In my fevered imaginings, I see Marjono and his boys playing underneath the lights and glitterballs of the basement bars of expensive Kuala Lumpur hotels, while disinterested ex-colonels sip cocktails and try to ignore their extravagantly coiffured wives.


01 Es Lilin
02 Ani - Ani
03 Sapu Tangan
04 Renunganku
05 Midnite Serenade
06 Djali Djali
07 Tidurlah Intan
08 Sapu Lida
09 Djauh Di Mata
10 Selalu Disampingmu
11 Derita Tjinta
12 Selendang Sutra

Get it HERE.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

La Sonora Dinamita - !Mirala Como Va!

"...'drug effects' are manifest in many forms and are discernible across the body of culture in general, in the subjective movements of expressed thought, and in the objective consequences of culture's being on drugs in the first place - something reflected in all the cultural products and events, and the social and political practices engendered or orchestrated by them...As drugs are as ubiquitous to modern culture as they were to ancient and premodern cultures, just about any aspect of that culture is, at least in principle, approachable from the point of view of its articulations with or by drugs"

(D. Boothroyd - Culture on Drugs: Narco-Cultural Studies of High Modernity p2-5)

Today's album seems a million miles from the previous cumbias I posted back in September last year. Is it the sound of a people high on the profits of the cocaine industry? Clean and shiny, all shimmering surface and glittering smiles, this music could only have been made at the height of the era of neo-liberal economics and rough possessive individualism, when the city of Medellin was humming with the euphoria of easy money and the blood of the unfortunates caught in the crossfire.

A little like cocaine, this music is also fascinating and irresistable:


01 Mirala Como Va
02 Se Acabo Mi Amor
03 El Morraito
04 El Ciclon
05 No Mi Digas Que No
06 Pa La Cumbia
07 La Suerte Para
08 El Cheveron
09 Maluca
10 Te Pille, Pilla
11 Que Viva el Amor
12 A Orillas Del Rio

Get it HERE.