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

1 comment:

  1. is there any chance of a re-up of this> This look amazing!