Thursday, April 28, 2011

V/A - Beat der Sozialisten, Vol. 2

Pop Overbite is going on vacation for a month or so, but here's one for the road, another compilation to keep your ears occupied for a bit... This one is all bands from the former Eastern Bloc. There's the requisite amount of typical period fare here, but there is enough Bolshevik brilliance to make this one worth your while. Check out the broken amp fuzz of Krzysztof Klenczon (below), Hungary's General flexing their heavy pop chops with some Rob Halford-like banshee wailing from their frontwoman, some funky drumming from fellow Magyar lady of rock Kati Kovacs, a bit of early Scorpions-esque proto-metal from the DDR, with what sounds like (but I suspect is in fact not) a Jew's harp, courtesy of Puhdys... And the list goes on. Check it out for yourself!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pugh Rogefeldt - Ja, Dä ä Dä (1969)

Album number one from this glassy-eyed Swedish rockstar of yesteryear, "Ja, Dä ä Dä" may be more readily recognizable to many as the source of that DJ Shadow sample from "...Endtroducing." Make no mistake, though, Mr. Rogefeldt's idiosyncratic and sometimes whimsical pop is worth a listen in its own right. His later albums sort of wandered off down a less-appealing boogie-rock path, and you can see it coming at times here, but the guy's charisma makes up for it.... The first three tracks, including a cover of Kurt Weill's "Surabaya Johnny," are a lead-off 1-2-(3) punch that could make anybody jealous.

The Grodeck Whipperjenny - S/T (1970)

This seems to be pretty readily available on the Internet, but it was new to me so I thought I'd share it... Cincinnati's The Grodeck Whipperjenny was led by writer/arranger Dave Matthews, a favorite of James Brown, who even put this out on his own label. This is their first and last album under their own name (although they backed up JB on another fine LP) and, to my ears, is a minor psychedelic soul gem. And psychedelic is how we like our soul. There are a few clunkers on here, but I think basically what you need to know is that there's a song called "Put Your Thing On Me" and it's as good as its name would suggest.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

V/A - Sinhala Pop!: 15 Golden Oldies from Sri Lanka

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... the first official Pop Overbite compilation! I became a bit obsessed with Sri Lankan pop music after running across a group called The Super Golden Chimes over on the mighty Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Annexe blog, and I just had to hear more. But... even in the Age of Internet, some things are still not easy to come by. I'm guessing that, like many places, whatever limited runs of vinyl once existed in Sri Lanka have long since been lost to time and lack of care. The only stuff I was able to track down were '90s synthesizer-heavy remakes of a few classic tunes. And then I hit Youtube... So what we have here are 15 songs recorded between 1959 and 1974(ish), ripped from Youtube and cleaned up as best as I could manage. The sound quality is rough in places, but I've been a-begging, so guess I shan't be a-choosing.

So just what does Sinhala pop sound like? For the short answer, check out the video below. The long answer is that it's a breathtaking mix of influences from around the globe, from the requisite '60s surf guitars to Bollywood film music to Hawaiian slide to Sri Lanka's homegrown baila, a folky type of dance music drawing on the influences of the island's Afro-Sinhalese community as well as its former colonizers, the Portuguese. For an example of baila in a purer form, check out "Irene Josephine" by Wally Bastiansz, the "Godfather of Baila." M.S. Fernando, on the other hand, mixed baila with more modern influences. And of course I've included plenty of Super Golden Chimes, known as the Sri Lankan Beatles, though I guess that comparison may be apt only in terms of importance for the music scene there, rather than the actual sound. Judge for yourself!

Sinhala Pop!: 15 Golden Oldies from Sri Lanka
1. Udarata Niliya - The Super Golden Chimes
2. Nelum Malae Pethi Kadalaa - M.S. Fernando
3. Sande Yaame - Priya Suriyasena 
4. Ran Masu Ne - Milton Mallawarachchi
5. Hada Giley Ama Mihirey - Mohideen Beig & Rukmani Devi 
6. Sayuru Theraedee - Milton Mallawarachchi
7. Gamen Liyumak - The Super Golden Chimes
8. Gana Anduray - Milton Mallawarachchi
9. Rathnamaaliye - J.A. Milton Perera
10. Kandasurinduni Kataragama - Clarence Wijewardane & The Super Golden Chimes
11. Guwan Kumari - The Samanalayo
12. Irene Josephine - Wally Bastiansz
13. Maaniyani - The Super Golden Chimes
14. Madaraa Mal - Clarence Wijewardane
15. Mata Men Ohutada - Milton Mallawarachchi

Monday, April 18, 2011

V/A - Las Raíces de la Chicha, Vol. 1

Poking around blogland, I came across this fine compilation of psychedelic cumbias from Peru! Get it over at Garage Latino. Lots of other ridiculously rare stuff to check out, too. This has to be one of the better collections of chicha out there, which may be explained by the fact that it seems to have been put together by some Peruvian collector nerds, and is thus more representative of the scene in general than some of the other compilations. Lots of tunes I hadn't heard. The bigger names, like Los Destellos and Los Mirlos and Juaneco, are well represented, with a bunch of songs which I don't think have been comped yet, along with much more random and obscure stuff, like Los Zheros from Iquitos, Los Claveles and Popi y Sus Pirañas. There's even a cover of Simon and Garfunkle's "Sound of Silence," done up chicha-style. Don't miss Volume 2, while you're at it... Psychedelic cumbia or bust!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Moraes Moreira - S/T (1975)

Moraes Moreira (left) and friend, 1979
The first solo album from ex-Novos Baianos member Moraes Moreira, and it's a good one! Like so many others, Moreira seems to have devolved into some seriously glossed up schlock (and the occasional Carnaval party anthem) post-1980, but rest assured, on this LP he brings some manic Brazilian folk-prog-pop for the ages. File it next to that Brazil '70: After Tropicalia comp.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Los Kipus - Y Sus Voces

Genaro, Carmen and Paco: the original Los Kipus
A collection featuring some of the incredible singers who have passed through the ranks of these Peruvian waltz heavy hitters. If you haven't heard Peruvian waltz, now is the time to right that wrong: mix virtuoso fingerpicking and the traditional Peruvian percussion instrument known as the cajón (later incorporated into Spanish flamenco) in 3/4 time with some histrionic singing about lost loves, the occasional organ and other flourishes, and you've got a new favorite record to cry into your beer to...

And here's a low-quality sample of what you can expect from this gem of a disc:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Edip Akbayram - "Yapraklara Dallara" (1982)

I wanted to follow up  Las Grecas with something sonically related, if geographically distant. While there are a host of compilations (almost all of them outstanding) devoted to the Turkish rock scene of the '60s and '70s, and the majority of Istanbul's major musical figures and many of its minor ones have had their albums reissued and made available in the West, I think the year 1980 has been a bit of a cutoff point, and maybe not entirely without reason. Unfortunately, it would be a mistake not to give this 1982 LP a listen. It's got all of the synth-driven, ethnic dancefloor glory and Arabic modal melodies that make Catalan rumba so fascinating, except here Mr. Akbayram applies this tried and true treatment to Turkish folksongs, with equally enthralling results. Check it out:

Las Grecas - Gipsy Rock (1974)

I've had this Catalan rumba stuff on heavy rotation here thanks to the Captain Entropy blog (via the always quality Holy Warbles). My favorite song on the compilation there was credited to an "unknown artist," who, after a bit of investigating, I discovered was none other than these ladies right here, Las Grecas. This, I believe, is their first album, from 1974. It's a bit lighter on the flamenco in places than some of the tunes on the Acid Rumba compilation, but it's got plenty of fuzzy (bordering on Sabbathy) guitars! Based on the video below, it looks like if you lived in Catalonia in the mid-1970s, rather than glam and and disco, this is what you were into:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Los Pekenikes - Grandes Éxitos

Formed in Madrid in 1959, Los Pekenikes started off playing surf-inspired instrumental covers of the English-language hits of the era. They stuck together through the '60s, opening for the Beatles and picking up other influences along the way: classical, spaghetti westerns, waltzes and more, all melded with that original echoey surf guitar and backed by ambitious orchestral arrangements and rampant multi-instrumentalism. The material here dates from 1966 through the early ´70s, the point when they really found their own voice and started putting out records of their own special genre-melding brand of pop genius. Don't sleep on it!

The audio in this video's a bit muddy, but it's worth a look to see just how they pulled these songs off live. Insane.