Friday, 29 October 2010

A.R. Kane - 69 (1988)

A.R. Kane dubbed their sound dream-pop, and that's about as good a description as I can think of. This music has the strange and elusive quality of something you might hear during sleep, its a bizarre and wonderful mix of disparate sounds that create something unique and surreal. There are elements of shimmering melodic pop, fragments of reggae and funk, ghostly smears of electronic noise and washes of atonal guitar. Echoes of echoes of echoes. And like in dreams there are disembodied and seemingly random scraps of the real creeping around - the song Baby Milk Snatcher may or may not be a song about Margaret Thatcher.

Check out the gorgeous Spermwhale Trip Over:


A1 Crazy Blue
A2 Suicide Kiss
A3 Baby Milk Snatcher
A4 Scab
A5 Sulliday
B1 Dizzy
B2 Spermwhale Trip Over
B3 The Sun Falls Into The Sea
B4 The Madonna Is With Child
B5 Spanish Quay (3)

Get it HERE.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

An apology and an explanation.

I acquired a new laptop recently (hooray!), unfortunately it has no line input to record sounds from vinyl or cassette (boo!). I certainly wasn't brought up around digital technology and I have this kind of blind faith that things should just work. As such, when I plugged my mixer into the mic input of said new laptop, I just expected that the recordings would be fine. How wrong I was, the last post sounds absolutely terrible. My apologies for that, and a rerecorded version will be posted as soon as possible as I have now found a solution to the recording conundrum.

Thanks for your patience people!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Your Favourites from Laxmikant Pyrelal (1974)

Laxmikant Pyrelal were a duo who composed over 500 songs for Hindi films between the early '60s and the '90s. They worked with all the great Bollywood playback singers over the years. This compilation album that I picked up at a local boot sale features songs recorded between 1969 and 1974 and features great singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh and Mohd. Rafi, but its Asha Bhosle who takes my top prize with this inspired piece of musical mania:


01 El Pyar Ka Naghma Hai
02 Sharafat Chhod Di Main Ne
03 Mere Dil Men Aaj Kya Hai
04 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa
05 Khilona Jan Khar
06 Bindiya Chamke Gi
07 Chabi Kho Jae
08 Hangama Ho Gaya
09 Yeh Jeevan Hai
10 Achha To Hum Chalte Hain
11 Jal Bin Machhli
12 Sawan Ka Mahina

Okay, the poorly recorded tracks have been replaced with nice clean recording which you can get HERE. My apologies to those of you who downloaded the first attempt.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Warped Sounds from an Old Cassette of Arabic Music

I picked this up at a boot sale a couple of weeks ago and was initially disappointed that the tape doesn't play 'properly'. The sounds coming from my old walkman were twisted and warped and chunks of sound kept dropping out - suddenly all the bass is gone, or there's a weird flanging effect. It didn't take long for my disappointment to turn to delight and curiosity, I've now played this a few times and suspect that it might sound better now than it did when it was initially released. This is urgent, percussion heavy, bellydance music from somewhere in the Middle East, though I have no idea where. A period of neglect has done some strange things to the cassette, and this music now sounds like time has played at being King Tubby at the controls of some celestial mixing desk. Exciting stuff and I hope you enjoy it. As usual, any information about this music would be greatly appreciated.


Side One
Side Two

Get it HERE.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Musiques De L'Asie Traditionelle Vol. 18: Inde - Musique Religieuse: Le Bhakti Yoga

These beautifully evocative recordings of Bhajans were made in Rishikesh on the River Ganges. Bhakti is a Hindu practice in which the believer takes an active role in worship and expresses their love and devotion through participation in acts which will help to attain unity with the universal. Here, the music is a form of yoga, it is a vehicle to transport the performers into the arms of the gods; the songs themselves are incredibly complex and require single-minded concentration, their performance is regarded as a form of Hatha-Yoga.

These songs all ebb and flow into each other, with recurrent phrases and melodies dancing around a constant, hypnotic key note. On side two, the music slows and becomes incredibly languid. The air thickens and a crow can be heard cawing somewhere in the distance.


Side One - Hare Rama, Hare Krishna / Yaya Ganesha / Bhajore Bhaiya Rama Govinda Hari / Namastestu Gange

Side Two - Manasa Sanghara re Brahmani / Mano Bhuddhyahankara-Chittani Naham / Mangalam Song / Santi Mantram /Sarvam-Brahmarparpanam

Get it HERE.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Atahualpa Yupanqui - Campesino (Le Chant du Monde 1968)

I hadn't heard the of this man before I found this wonderfully packaged album in a charity shop a few weeks ago, but it turns out he is considered to be one of Argentina's most important folk musicians. He was a member of the Argentinian Communist Party and many of his songs were stories of the struggles and concerns of the country's workers and the indigenous population. You can read all about him over here.

Or you could just listen to the gentle sound of his voice and virtuoso guitar playing:


01. Duerme, Negrito
02. El Arriero Va
03. El Tulumbano
04. El Arbol Que Tú Olvidaste
05. Campo Abierto
06. Punay
07. Campesino
08. La Finadita
09. Los Ejes De Mi Carreta
10. Vidala Religiosa
11. Pobrecito Soy

Get it HERE.