Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Guy Beart - Futur*Fiction*Fantastique (1977)

This is a strange recent boot sale discovery - I was instantly attracted by the beautiful Moebius imagery adorning the gatefold sleeve. I had no clue as to what the music might sound like, but thought I'd give it a try for a pound. French chanson wouldn't normally be my cup of tea, but with its wibbly synth soundscapes and songs all about outer space, this one's a real curio.

I'd never heard of Guy Beart previously, but it turns out he was one France's most popular chanteur's for a number of years, so he's probably well known to some of the French speakers out there. Like many ignorant and poorly educated English folk, I do not speak any French and so am unable to understand anything that Guy is singing about, but it all sounds very interesting.


01 Etoiles, Garde-A-Vous
02 Les Temps Etrangers
03 Les Enfants Sur La Lune
04 Alphabet
05 De La Lune, Qui Se Souvient
06 L'Avenir C'Etait Plus Beau Hier
07 Annees Lumiere
08 Les Collines D'Acier
09 Voyageur De Rayons
10 La Terrien
11 La Lune Est Verte

Get it HERE.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

REPOST: L'Afrique Danse Presents Orchestre Stukas (1976)

I originally posted this lost classic back in 2009, but I'm posting an entirely re-recorded 320k version as someone recently pointed out that the old zip file was no longer available for download. All you folks who downloaded the old version might want to check this one out as I think its a much better recording, and all those who never heard it before will definately want to check it out now because it's completely wonderful!

Glorious Rumba/Soukous from the mid-'70s. This is frantic, psyched-out stuff, twitchy drums and madly phased, wah-wah guitars. Here's what Gary Stewart had to say about the band in his great book Rumba on the River:

"The Stukas Boys had gotten their start as a neighbourhood band doing James Brown covers in 1968, nearly two years before their more successful competitors Bella Bella and Zaiko came along. In 1970 the group had improved to the point that it was able to secure a booking at the prestigious Para Fifi night club...and the next year it cut some records. By than a fairly stable core had evolved that included singers Lita Bembo, Lomingo Alida, Kisola Nzita, and Suka Bola, guitarists Samunga Tediangaye and Bongo Wende, and drummer Bakunde Ilondjoko

Like the Trio Madjesi, The Stukas Boys were known less for their music than for theirgreat live performances. And Zaire's developing show system was made to order for their front man, the incredible Lita Bembo. Young and athletic, Lita...had a workmanlike voice but the instinctive moves of a premier dancer. Once on stage, he alone commanded the audience.

Samunga, barely into his twenties, anchored the band with a flashy lead guitar which he sometimes plucked with his teeth a la Jimi Hendrix. But when the 'showman' Lita Bembo appeared, no one else had a chance. 'The young man will literally dominate the scene,' reported. 'He will make the mike "suffer." Dropping to his knees like a voodoo man in a trance, exhibiting his sacred dance...Lita Bembo proves his skill by showing off his impossible postures.' After his stellar performance at Zaire 74, Salongo declared 'he set the tone for the evening. And the concert he presented to the public brilliantly confirmed his rank as a great star of Zairean music'"
Here's a clip of this great band in action on a Saturday night variety show:


01 C'est La Vie
02 Esta Bibisha
03 Colombo
04 Awuti Poto

Get it HERE.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Lata Mangeshkar - Sings Meera Bhajans (1968)

Musical Direction: Hridnayath Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar should need no introduction - she is one of the Indian sub-continent's most famous voices, the vocal star of a thousand Bollywood movies over the years. On this beautiful album, the music is divorced from the movie industry, these are not songs for gaudy technicolour dance routine's, they are songs of devotion - music as a form of meditation - a way to become closer to the gods - a pathway to a deeper understanding, all written by Meera, a 16th Century Rajput mystic singer and poet.

The sleevenotes state:

"Meera rightly belongs to the world tradition of women mystics, and a variety of legends have grown around her life. Meera was, by all accounts, a Rajput princess who flourished in the 16th Century. Widowed while still in her teens and with nothing to look forward to in the world, she consecrated herself wholly to religion. Immersed in her holy love of Lord Krishna, she soon forsook the splendour of palace life in quest of a personal God. Her restless, unyielding spirit led her to far-flung places. Bare-footed, the erstwhile princess spanned the vast expanse of North India, singing lyrical songs that were full of devotion, surrender and abandonment to Lord Krishna, and she attracted a vast following wherever she went. Legend has it that Meera sang her way to union with the flute-playing cowherd God at Dwarka, the earthly abode of Lord Krishna, in Gujarat State."
The music here is beautifully tranquil and Lata's voice is flawless. Enjoy!


01 Sanvaro Nanknandan
02 Kinun Sang Khelun Holi
03 Mhara Re Girdhar Gopal
04 thane Kanee Kanee Sunava
05 Maee Mhano Supnama Parnare Dinanath
06 Oji Hari Kit Gaye
07 Ramaiya Bin Nind Na Aave
08 Sanvara Mari Preet Nibhajonji

Get it HERE.