Richie Havens – Stonehenge (1970)

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Richie Havens
STONEHENGE
Released 1970, Stormy Forest

    Open Your Eyes     2:48
Minstrel     3:28
It Could Be The First Day     2:15
Ring Around The Moon     2:05
Baby Blue     4:50
There’s A Hole In The Future     1:59
I Started A Joke     2:51
Prayer     2:54
Tiny Little Blues     1:57
Shouldn’t All The World Be Dancing     7:58

    Richie Havens – guitar, autoharp, sitar, koto, vocals
Warren Bernhardt – organ
Daniel Ben Zebulon – drums, conga
Monte Dunn – guitar
Donny Gerrard – bass
Ken Lauber – piano
Bill Lavorgna – drums
Eric Oxendine – bass
Bill Shepherd Singers – string arrangements
Paul “Dino” Williams – guitar

“To all the temples built by man of stone and other transient material: I wish to live to see them all crumble into truth and piles of light!
    And to the temple where divinity resides, even with all your newcomers: How quiet!
    To divinity: (the socio-physio-spiritus-harmonious-concludus) It is a pleasure to know you!


     And least and last, to the body, the substance, the hull, the distinguished main portion, the vessel of molecular pilots and passengers, and its power receiving, transmitting, perceiving, transcending equipment: The truth temple, I’ve seen your face, the earth and its inhabitants, a magnanimous collection.  Concentrate on your heartbeats, regulate your breathing even so that flowers may live.
 – Richard P. Havens “

On Monday
April 22, Richie Havens passed away.  I
saw Richie play a few times in small clubs and was lucky enough to have talked with him briefly one such occasion.  He was always approachable and interested in
talking to his fans after a performance.
Here was this man who was a living legend of his generation, with an
instantly recognizable style and always-evocative musical presence, and he
seemed genuinely just grateful that people came to hear him sing.  In a way it seemed this fact was all that
mattered – that people were still listening.
   Note that I did not say “grateful that people still came to hear him sing” because
this had nothing to do with his age – he was well into his 60s the last time I saw him perform – or out
of some pop-singer’s vanity to feel relevant.
It mattered that people were still listening because he still believed
in the urgency of his message as much as he did when he started out.  His message
and his music had not changed much in a half century of recording and
performing, and he put them both across to us in a voice that never
wavered.  He had a wise voice, ageless
and now quite literally eternal.  You can listen to his singing on “Mixed Bag” (1967) and follow it with “Wishing Well” (2002) and be forgiven for thinking they were recorded around the same time.
     He will forever be associated with the opening scenes of the Woodstock film that captured him improvising the tune “Freedom” at the end of a nearly three-hour set, killing time for the rock bands to get their gear to the stage.  And he continued to represent the best utopian qualities of that historic moment soon to be overshadowed by the excesses of the era.  As most of his contemporaries succumbed to various combinations of self-destruction, greed, madness or mediocrity, he continued waging peace for the rest of his career.  He became the most refreshing of anachronisms.  A person who believed – really believed – that music could change the world one person at a time.  A figure who seemed incapable of cynicism in his music or his life.  Hell, he could even make promotional work for the cotton industry sound noble.
You can’t go wrong with any of Richie’s first ten or so albums, and Stonehenge is lodged right in between two of my favorites – the double album “1983” and “Alarm Clock.”  The latter LP was his highest charting success, largely on the heals of an inspired version of ‘Hear Comes The Sun.’  While Richie was a fantastic songwriter he sort of became known for his covers of other peoples’ hits and giving them his personal stamp.  Usually songs associated with sixties counterculture folk/rock icons like Donovan, The Beatles, and Dylan.  Here he tackles “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue,” a song so good it is probably impossible to do a bad version of it, and the Bee Gee’s “I Started A Joke,” which also happens to be one of my favorite tunes (as I mentioned when blogging about Ronnie Von’s Portuguese adaptation of it over here).  The album opens with a tune by gospel artist Leon Lumkins, “Open Our Eyes,” also recorded by Funkadelic and which would  become the title track of an Earth, Wind and Fire album a few years later.  Havens version is better than both and more moving, as well as truer to the original.  It’s a lovely prayer to begin a recording.
    I won’t give a song-by-song account because if you have never sat down and listened to it then you should just enjoy your own subjective impressions.  “Minstrel From Gaul” is a recognized classic and a song he never stopped playing live.  He shifts from the tender “It Could Be The First Day” to the angular “Ring Around The Moon” seamlessly.  The song “Prayer” brings us back to gospel territory and reminds us of Richie’s roots singing in vocal groups and doo-wop.  It’s a Havens composition and the last one on the album to feature real vocals; it also seems that Richie may have overdubbed all the harmonies himself, if the album jacket credits are trustworthy. The instrumentation throughout the LP is changed up constantly, presenting new textures, and the arrangements are all excellent.  Also, unlike his first couple of LPs – and I mention this only because I was just listening to them yesterday and today – this one was recorded and mixed really well, which helps things a lot.  The record kind of tapers off a little towards the end with the rather disposable instrumental “Tiny Little Blues” (dobro fans will be pleased by an unexpected appearance from David Bromberg) followed immediately by an eight-minute freakout jam (lyricless but with some spoken word) that closes the proceedings.  It is tempting to think they needed to fill ten more minutes and had no more songs left, but Havens often managed to insert something experimental or vaguely improvisatory into his early records.  And this intense finale, “Shouldn’t All The World Be Dancing” is shot through with Havens ecological, spiritual, and anti-war sentiments.  It is a surprisingly dissonant way to close a record, perhaps the musical rendering of his call in the liner notes to see “all the temples built by man… crumble into truth and piles of light.”  Richie Havens didn’t live to see that vision come to fruition here on Spaceship Earth.  But he did leave us a huge body of work through his searching.
Listen to a little piece of it today.
Also: MORE AUTOHARP!
I could post a YouTube clip to something off this album but why not share the original recording of that Lumkins tune:

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George Harrison – Wonderwall Music (1968) & Electronic Sound (1969)

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If it’s obligatory to have a favorite Beatle, mine has always been George Harrison.  Today he would have been 70 years old.  He is the only one out of the Fab Four who I still listen to with any regularity.  If you have never sat down and listened to the All Things Must Pass album, go out and find an original copy of it (*not* the butchered remaster/remixed version he put out a year or two before he passed away.  I’ve owned a few pressings so trust me on avoiding that one..).  And then do yourself an additional favor and seek out the demo recordings of these tunes pre-Wall of Sound, previously circulated on bootlegs (Acetates and Alternates and Beware of ABKCO to name a couple), some of which received an official release last year as “Early Tracks Vol.1”  I prefer the track choices and sequencing on Acetates andAlternates in case you’re wondering.    Particularly on the demos cut with just acoustic or electric guitar and voice, it’s screamingly obvious how much Harrison was chafing at the bit in the two-songs-per-record cage where he was kept in the Biggest Band Ever.

Before that epic album was even in the works, however, George had two ‘solo’ albums away from his band.  He was the first of them to do so, and the Wonderwall album was the first release by Apple Records.   It is a largely instrumental soundtrack to a film I’ve never seen, and on which George doesn’t take any instrumental credit (although I suspect he must have played something on it at some point) but rather writing, arranging and producing credits.   Dominated by droning pieces steeped in Indian instrumentation and a large handful of musicians from the subcontinent, this record is probably responsible for my interest in Indian classical and folk music.    It definitely proves to any doubters that his interests pushed beyond ‘Within You, Without You’.  These textures blend with manipulated tape experiments and sound
collage, with zithers and trumpets and Mellotrons and strange wind
instruments wafting in and out of its short tracks, all presented here
without gaps as one continuous experience.  But there are also a few choice forays back into psychedelic rock territory.  The saturated Ski-ing’ is the best candidate for featuring an uncredited Eric Clapton,  and the gliding ‘Party Seacombe’ sounds like an alternate version of “Flying” from the Magical Mystery Tour record.

The following year’s ELECTRONIC SOUND album is one of the stranger things ever released by a Beatle, a bit of musique concrète made on an early Moog analog synthesizer with some overdubbing.  It’s nothing mind blowing but worth a listen and having it in the stack with your other G.Harrison records.

I have vinyl copies of both of these, although if I remember correctly I am pretty sure my Electronic Sound is a much later reissue.  Rather than rip my own copy of Wonderwall, which is buried somewhere in stacks of LPs, I took the liberty of sharing an excellent job done by one Son-of-Albion, who has done a bunch of great needledrops over the years.  There was also a legit CD release of this (and plenty of bootleg CD in the 80s and early 90s, I owned one for a time that sounded sketchy indeed).  I’ve included the liner notes from that along with everything else here.

Well, whatever bardo or astral plane you’re currently on, George, you are missed.  Happy 70th in absentia.

 WONDERWALL MUSIC
Apple Records 1968 – SAPCOR 1

A1         Microbes     3:39
A2         Red Lady Too     1:58
A3         Tabla And Pakavaj     1:04
A4         In The Park     4:05
A5         Drilling A Home     3:08
A6         Guru Vandana     1:02
A7         Greasy Legs     1:27
A8         Ski-ing     1:37
A9         Gat Kirwani     1:15
A10       Dream Scene     5:33
B1         Party Seacombe     4:20
B2         Love Scene     4:15
B3         Crying     1:12
B4         Cowboy Music     1:22
B5         Fantasy Sequins     1:43
B6         On The Bed     1:03
B7         Glass Box     2:15
B8         Wonderwall To Be Here     1:23
B9         Singing Om

 

Artwork – Alan Aldridge, Bob Gill, John Kelly
Bass – Philip Rogers
Drums – Roy Dyke
Flugelhorn – John Barham
Flute – S.R. Kenkari
Guitar, Steel Guitar – Colin Manley
Harmonica – Tommy Reilly
Harmonium – Rij Ram Desad
Pakavaj – Mahapurush Misra
Shanhais – Hanuman Jadev, Sharad Jadev
Tabla-tarang – Rij Ram Desad
Thar-shanhai – Viniak Vora
Photography By – Astrid Kemp
Piano – John Barham
Piano [Jangle], Organ – Edward Antony Ashton
Santoor – Shiv Kumar Shermar
Sarod – Ashish Kahn
Sitar – Indril Bhattacharya, Shambu-Das
Sitar [Bass] – Chandra Shakher
Tabla – Mahapurush Misra

Producer, Arranged By, Written-By – George Harrison

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Electronic Sound
1969, Zapple 02

01.    “Under the Mersey Wall” – 18:41
Recorded in Esher, England, in February 1969 with the assistance of Rupert and Jostick, the Siamese Twins
02.    “No Time or Space” – 25:10
Recorded in California in November 1968 with the assistance of Bernie Krause

 

Satwa – Satwa (1973)

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SATWA (s/t)
Self-released 1973
Reissued on Time-Lag Records (019)

I just heard, a week late, that local undergronud semigod Lula Cortes passed away. An important figure in the “udigrudi” (Portuguese bastardization of the word ‘underground’ and used exclusively to refer to the psychedelic scene of Recife, Pernambuco, in the early 70s), he is best known outside Brazil for making the legendary Paêbiru album with Zé Ramalho. Ramalho would get more and more mainstream and increasingly just plain awful: for evidence I refer you to recent unlistenable albums dedicated entirely to covering Bob Dylan (with bad attempts at translating the untranslatable poet Zimmerman), and — perhaps more shamefully – butchering his own countryman and fellow northeasterns like Jackson do Pandeiro or Luiz Gonzaga. Lula Cortes, on the other hand, at least stayed true to his own weirdness, regardless of how you feel about his actual music. He also made a respected name for himself as a painter. Below is a write-up I posted a long time ago (somewhere else that was not here) that may possibly upset devoted fans of this fan or of Lula. I was planning on posting it here someday, but there were too many better records out there to talk about and listen to… Still definitely worth a spin, though, and better to have it in LOSSLESS than in some awful low-bitrate version..

An album that is more fun, in my biased opinion, is his Rosa de Sangue from 1980. Just say the word, and it shall be done…

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(old pre-death review)
In my personal opinion, this record (like a lot of obscure psych and psych-folk) is a bit overrated. It’s cool enough, and psych-heads will probably love it, but it doesn’t get me too terribly excited. It’s obscurity makes for a good story, and places like Dusted Magazine can make romanticized statements about how they sang in wordless vocalization because of the military dictatorship. Bullshit. Milton Nascimento eliminated the lyrics from his album `Milagre dos Peixes` (also 1973) because the government sought to censor them, and so he sang in wordless vocalizations. Satwa sings in wordless vocalizations because they don’t have all that much to say to say, or were too stoned to write any articulate lyrics. Some of it is very beautiful, and has a nice vibe, but also no more or less special than various free-form acoustic jams I myself have participated in as a musician, with the exception that Lula Cortes had built his own odd acoustic sitar-guitar instrument. This was recorded in 1973 and hardly anyone heard it. It’s also worth mentioning that this record is impossible to find in any form in the city it was originally released in (Recife, Pernambuco), and changes hands elsewhere for far more money than the music is actually worth, so this is quite a rarity.

Includes full artwork at 300 dpi in TIF and JPG, m3u, log, cue, and a spliff.

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Satwa biography
Brazilian 70’s dreamlike, acid-folk guitar project. It’s largely an acoustic guitar orientated “trip”. Their eponymous album (a private press LP originally released in 1973) provides emotional, luminous Latin psych vibes with omnipresent “raga” harmonies. The duet is composed by Lula Cortez (on guitar and popular Morocco sitar) and Lailson de Holanda Cavalcanti (12 strings guitar, voice). One composition feature Robertinho Do Recife on electric guitar (see picture on the right). Constantly imaginative with dense buzzing ragas, this one is definitely essential for fans of progressive folk, eastern sonorites and peaceful ambiences. An other highway to Heaven!

“Written, recorded and released just as Brazil’s military dictatorship reached the climax of its long black arc, the one and only album by Satwa is a divinely subtle protest. Now issued for the first time in America through the venerable Time-Lag Records in Maine and the stewardship of freeform fixture Erika Elder, Satwa, often cited as Brazil’s first independent record, is a mellow starburst of acoustic jangle.
— Prog Archives
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Formed after the return of Lula Côrtes and Lailson from their respective foreign excursions – the former a beardo home after the requisite Moroccan sojourn, the latter a young long-hair back from the States – Satwa lasted only a year, perhaps due to their differing stripes. Lailson was from the verdant former Dutch colony of Pernanbuco, while Côrtes hailed from the wild badlands of Paraiba. But for 11 days in January 1973 the pair jammed cross-legged and produced the folk trance gems that adorn this self-titled debut.

At a time when censors caused newspapers to run cake recipes on their front pages in place of rejected news stories, Lailson only lets the occasional throat drone slip through his lips. Largely void of voice and word, the songs – Côrtes plucking steely leads from his sitar while Lailson’s 12-string thrums crystalline chords – are loose and lovely. The sole interference in these glistening arabesques is the hoary electric fretwork of one Robertinho on “Blues do Cachorro Muito Louco,” the most explicitly fried track. Otherwise, Côrtes and Lailson are left to experiment in musty silence. Seemingly taped live, each track is a dry documentation of the duo’s gently rambling improvisations. Far from the recombinant psychedelia of tropicalismo that reigned over the pre-hippie underground in Brazil’s bustling metropolises five years earlier, Satwa play bed peace bards. In double-mono, or fake stereo, Satwa is raw, untreated mentalism translated into pure songflow. At times exhausted and dusty – “Atom” – or archaically splendorous – “Valse Dos Cogumelos” – the duo’s spiraling scrolls etched in rustic timbres unfurl gracefully.

Côrtes, now a graying painter, would go on to record the more explicitly weird Paêbirú (also recently reissued) with Zé Ramalho. A concept album about extraterrestrials in Paraiba’s arid backwoods, it had long been anointed a masterpiece of the era. After dabbling in rock outfits, Lailson broke into the mainstream as a newspaper cartoonist, a job he has kept to this day. Neither were or will probably ever be Satwa again, but during those few days and from now on, Satwa is a quiet triumph.

-Bernardo Rondeau, dustedmagazine.com

Karma – Karma (1972) {O Terço, Arthur Verocai)

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Karma
“Karma”
Released originally on RCA-Victor 1972 (103.0046)
This reissue Selo Cultural 2010

01. Do Zero Adiante
02. Blusa de Linho
03. Você Pode Ir Além
04. Epílogo
05. Tributo ao Sorriso
06. O Jogo
07. Omissão
08. Venha Pisar na Grama
09. Transe Uma
10. Cara e Coroa

Jorge Amiden – vocals, “tritarra” (3-neck guitar), 12-string electric guitar, nylon and steel-string acoustics, 12-string ‘viola’, electric and acoustic guitars, arrangements
Luiz Junior – vocals, acoustic and electric guitars
Allen Terra – vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, 12-string “viola”

with
Oberdan Magahlães – flute
Gustavo Schroeter – drums
Bill – drums
Ian Guest – cravo
Rido Hora – harmonica

Arrangements and orchestrations by Arthur Verocai

Album cover – Bartholo

Recordgin technicians – Emiliano, Eugenio, Dilson, Ademar
Mastering and acetate cut by Milton Araújo

Reissue supervision, research, and liner notes by Charles Gavin
Remastered from the original tapes by Ricardo Garcia at Magic Master (Rio)

A decent review in Portuguese from the extinct blog “Som Barato”

Quote:

Esquecido num sítio na periferia do Rio, o compositor, guitarrista e fundador de O Terço e do Karma, Jorge Amiden, tenta recuperar a saúde abalada pelo uso de drogas e das (pouquíssimas) viagens que fez com LSD no início dos anos 1970. “Foram muito boas, mas custei a voltar delas”, diz o nosso afável Syd Barrett. Jorge é o compositor da inesquecível ‘Tributo ao Sorriso’ (em parceria com Hinds) e de tantas outras canções geniais do repertório de O Terço (1970 a 1971) e do Karma (1972). Era ele o principal arquiteto dos vocais harmoniosos de ambas as bandas. Além do mais, gravou um antológico LP com o Karma, participou do disco ‘Sonhos e Memórias’ de Erasmo Carlos e integrou a banda de Milton Nascimento. Depois, com o cérebro golpeado, se afastou dos palcos. Seguiu-se, então, um longo e indesejável ostracismo. Mas Jorge quer voltar, quer a música “viva” de volta a sua vida. E nós, órfãos de sua brilhante musicalidade, torcemos para que ele encontre o fio da meada, a luz no fim do túnel, a glória de um final fez.

Após romper com O terço, Amiden logo encontrou novos parceiros. Com Luiz Mendes Junior (violão e vocal) e Alen Cazinho Terra (baixo e vocal), irmão de Renato Terra, o guitarrista daria início a sua trajetória de pouco mais de um ano como líder do Karma. Ramalho Neto, da RCA, não teve dúvidas em contratar a banda antes mesmo de ouví-la. Reconhecia o talento de Amiden e antevia um belo disco do Karma para a RCA.

E foi o que aconteceu. Pouco tempo depois, a RCA distribuía na praça o LP homônimo do Karma, uma obra antológica que merece constar de qualquer lista dos melhores discos da história do rock brasileiro. Com uma sonoridade predominantemente acústica servindo de base para a primorosa vocalização do trio, ‘Karma’ é recheado de canções brilhantes, como ‘Do Zero Adiante’ (Amiden e Mendes Junior), ‘Blusa de Linho’ (Amiden e Rodrix) e a revisitada ‘Tributo Ao Sorriso’ (Amiden e Hinds). Esta, levada quase até seu final em a capela, servia para realçar ainda mais a força vocal do conjunto. Vale destacar a participação do baterista Gustavo Schroeter (então integrante da Bolha), que ajudou a abrilhantar o disco com sua batida sempre consistente, arrojada e precisa.

E foi com Gustavo na bateria que o Karma fez o show de lançamento do disco no Grajaú Tênis Clube. Lamentavelmente, este pequeno tesouro concebido por Amiden jamais foi reeditado. Possivelmente hiberna nos arquivos da RCA desde o seu lançamento, em 1972, como hibernam tantas outras obras importantes nos arquivos das gravadoras brasileiras.

Em sua curta vigência sob a liderança de Amiden, o Karma ainda participou do VII Festival Internacional da Canção Popular, em setembro de 1972. Foi quando defendeu ‘Depois do Portão’ (Amiden e Mendes Junior). Em 1973, nos primeiros meses do ano, durante um show no Clube de Regatas Icaraí, em Niterói, depois de misturar bebida com drogas, Amiden perde o controle do próprio cérebro. O solo de guitarra parece interminável… Depois, sentado à beira da praia com Mário, se perde em plano existencial paralelo, vagando inseguro e solitário pelo lado escuro da lua.
Jorge só encontra a saída do enovelado e desconhecido labirinto no dia seguinte, quando percebe que o mundo não é mais o mesmo, o Karma não é mais o mesmo, a música não é mais a mesma…E nem sua vida seria mais a mesma. Dos palcos, se afasta…para na calma do tempo, quem sabe uma luz como guia, em dado momento, conceda algum dia seu retorno sereno.

In a musical universe where psychedelic, progressive, and psych-folk “lost gems” are unearthed on a fairly regular basis, I may have found myself growing complacent and, yes, even skeptical about such discoveries and the praise heaped upon them. But this record is worth every superlative, hyperbolic, histrionic descriptor that has been thrown at it over the years. Long available as crappy mp3s around the interwebs, I am finally delighted to own a legitimate and great-sounding copy.

I enjoy the early O Terço albums just fine, but they didn’t prepare me for this. To my ears this is on a whole other transcendent level. It is also the swan-song of co-founder Jorge Amiden, who put together this band after leaving O Terço only to record this one album and then basically retire from music. The review above in Portuguese, although well-written and respectful, plays on the ‘acid casualty’ legend of Amiden, comparing him as ‘our’ Syd Barrett, and relating an apocryphal tale of a famous final show in 1973 where Amiden mixed heavy drinking with unspecified drugs (presumably of a psychedelic variety) that resulted in one endless guitar solo and a night spent sitting on the beach traveling to other dimensions upon return from which he would never be the same. Well, ok. That very well might have happened but honestly it doesn’t concern me much. People quit playing music for all kinds of reasons. Other people love to tell stories about why they did so. Some of them are true. Some of them miss the point. In some cases we never know the ‘why’ or ‘how’ of it. All I know is this is one HELL of an album. And Charles Gavin, whose taste is impeccable and who tends to base what he writes on actual research and factual knowledge, attributes the end of the band to internal differences and conflict within the band. Obviously that’s not mutually exclusive from drug-related issues but it relocates the emphasis.

Jorge Amiden plays the “tri-guitar” all over this record, an invention of his own that was a triple-necked guitar with varying numbers of strings and tunings, as well as a hell of a lot of other instruments. From the rather cheesy album-cover, you would think this group was a trio. Officially that’s the case but they had a lot of help from some fine musicians. Oberdon Magalhães gives a fantastic flute solo on “Blusa de linho.” One other particular stand-out is drummer Gustavo Shroeder, who manages to play HEAVY in a delicate way — I can’t really articulate it, but somehow he manages to balance on the high-wire of these delicate, melodic songs without crapping all over them, and he has a drumming style that is very individual. And I love the way the drums are recorded. The bass of Allen Terra is also very well articulated here, punchy (Rickenbacher?) and melodic. The whole album is recorded and mixed extremely well, and the arrangements of strings are top notch — all of which can be credited to the presence of Arthur Verocai in the studio.

The songs mix angelic harmonies (often Beatle-esque) with a hypnotic acoustic passages some rocking as well. The album is sequenced almost, but not quite, like a type of song-cycle – the transitions between the tunes on the first half are breathtaking, deliciously moody, and near-perfect. By which I mean, can someone who owns the original vinyl tell me if the two notes at the beginning of “Você pode ir além” as they appear here are a TRUE false-start, or is this a mastering error? I’m curious because it throws off the rhythm of what would be a triumphal transition from the previous tune, but then again I can find that kind of charming as well. A very angular, progressive “Epilógo” gives way to “Tributo ao sorriso” (Tribute to a smile) that is sung as a cappella harmony for two-thirds of is length before drifting into a lush, wordless, full-band coda replete with relaxed, strummy guitar melodies (I hesitate to call them solos), astral plane string arrangements, and harpsichord. Less stalwart bands, such as any band without Arthur Verocai around to help them, probably would have resorted to mellotron on this track. Which would have sounded pretty damn cool, in truth, but having real strings only adds to the velvet tapestry here.

I am running out of hyperbolic superlatives here. The rest of the album continues at the same level of transcendent bliss. They even manage to pull off an intense instrumental, “Transe uma” that pushes the psychedelic envelope without tipping the balance they’ve struck with the rest of the compositions, before going out on one final melancholic song with full vocal harmonies.

Perhaps Jorge Amiden just managed to trascend samsara while creating this masterpiece and step off the wheel of karma, thus eliminating the need to keep recording music. Well, that is MY story and I am sticking to it.

Can this even be called a “lost” gem? It was praised in its time by critics and public alike (as Gavin states) but the bands demise and changes in musical fashion have made the original record all but impossible to find and given it legendary status. Big kudos to the Selo Cultural label (run by the bookstore Livraria Cultura in partnership with Sony) who have made this available again. Enjoy!

in 320kbs em pé tré

in FLAC LOSSLESS AWDIO

Sidney Miller – Línguas de Fogo (1974)

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LÍNGUAS DE FOGO
Sidney Miller
1974 Som Livre 403.6037
Reissued 2005 under direction of Charles Gavin
Remastered by Luigi Hoffer

1 Cicatrizes
2 Um dia qualquer
3 Línguas de fogo
4 Dos anjos
5 Alô
6 Pala palavra
7 No quarto das moças
8 Sombrasileiro
9 Espera
10 Alento
11 Dois toques

This record is as compelling and enigmatic as Sidney Miller himself. The only other thing I have by him is one song a soundtrack record for the 3rd Festival da Músical Popular Brasileira from 1967, in which he sings his “A Estrada e o Violeiro” with Nara Leão, a song for which he won an award for the lyrics. Miller was somewhat set up to be “the next Chico Buarque”, with his compositions being lauded by the likes of Nara who recorded a ton of his songs on her “Vento de Maio” (1967) album. Miller would release his own album on Elenco that year on the strength of the single “A Estrada e o Violeiro”. That album is something of a rarity to track down, but not as hard as his second LP, the quasi-Tropicalista-post-bossa-nova album “Do Guarani ao Guaraná” which had some heavy friends on it like Paulinho da Viola and Jards Macalé. Released in `68, that would be his last album for the next six years. He would spend the following years doing some arranging for Nara Leão’s famous (and also famously rare) “Coisas do Mundo” album, and composing for theatre and cinema, some songs of which became hits on Trilhas Sonoras (soundtracks) to telenovelas. And then in 1974, he puts out this completely weird album.

The record is dreamy, hazy, psychedlicized, progressive MPB that evokes early Lô Borges, or Beto Guedes, or the first Nelson Angelo/Joyce album. In fact it sounds like a ‘lost’ album from the whle Mineiro bunch surrounding the Clube de Esquina, but is actually out on a whole other trip once you start listening closer. The arrangements are all great, balancing his relaxed, almost sedated vocal lines against taught double-tracked flute harmonies or funky electric piano or keyboards or fuzzy electric guitars that sometimes sound like it was plugged straight into the mixing board and using the input as an overdrive. His voice is gorgeous, and while his lyrics may not be as Buarqueian as some of his earliest champions may have been hoping for, they are sophisticated, resonant, and beguiling. This album is very deserving of that tag of “lost masterpiece” that gets thrown around a little too freely these days. Because this really is an exceptional work of music supported by great audio mixing, smart lyrics, and solid experimental folk-rock arrangements that occasionally goes off on some crazy guitar jams. I love everything on this album with the exception of ‘Dos anjos’.

This was the last album Sidney Miller would ever make. He worked for the arts foundation known as FUNARTE for a few years, had plans to make another record, but died at the age of 30 from an apparent cardiac arrest. Rumors were that he had committed suicide. Not sure what to make of that. The melancholic beauty here is stunning, and hints at a soul that had a lot more to say to us.

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password: vibes

Selda Bagcan – Vurulduk Ey Halkim Unutma Bizi (1976)

selda
selda

Review of the original album:

Vurulduk Ey Halkim Unutma Bizi
(Turkuola 305) 1976

A. 1. Vurulduk Ey Halkim Unutma Bizi 2. Utan Utan 3. Karaoglan 4. Aciyi Bal Eyledik 5. Askerin Turkusu 6. Maden Dagi
B. 1. Maden Iscileri 2. Gardasim Hasso 3. Bundan Sonra 4. Gozden Gezden 5. Arpaciktan 6. Ecoya Donder Beni 8. Zamani Geldi


A very good folk album with some nice folkrock tracks, for progressive music lovers especially is “Utan,Utan” (in a more prog folk way with some fuzz) & “Karaoglan”. “Askerin Türküsü” is also interesting for its “mediaeval” arrangements. “Maden Dagi” is also very beautifully, very emotionally sung. A protest album forbidden at those days, so hard to find. It is however the same as the vol 3 CD (or “Türkülerimiz 3”), with again other order in tracks. Her singing is beautiful. (The photoraph you see here was also included on Türkülerimiz 3).

Bio found on the interwebs:

Selda Bağcan or Selda, was born in Muğla, Turkey in 1948, is a well renowned Turkish folk music singer, composer and politic activist.

She has been one of the most effective names in Turkish Folk and Folk Rock music for years. Her protest style and leftist, socialist political views both in lyrical and activist means brought her a great support from the public yet caused many troubles with the military and governmental authorities. Selda Bağcan’s lyrics demonstrate a political struggle as well as the problems and demands of working class and the public. Her satirical lyrics make critical references to contemporary politicians from both left and right-wings yet mostly criticizes the right-wing governments and imperialism.

She both composed her own songs and covered Turkish Folk songs. Bağcan’s covers involves the usage of western instruments like acoustic guitar as well as traditional ones like saz or bağlama. Her modern and universal style in covering the traditional folk songs, involving a wide variety of musical styles from progressive and psych rock to traditional folk catches the attention of many music lovers who are into different genres of music. And because of her powerful and emotional voice, she is known as (and she calls herself) bitter sound of Turkish people.

Biography

She has started his musical career when she was a student at Ankara University, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Engineering Physics. The first two singles had sold around one million and following this success she somehow had to choose music as a profession. She had gave concerts in many countries including Germany, Netherlands, France, England, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, and Australia. Also attended to the Golden Orpheus 1972 representing Turkey with the request of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She mainly performed on activities mainly organized by left wing foundations and initiatives. In 1973, for the first time she toured the Western Europe.

After the 1980 Turkish coup d’état, her activities were limited by the military junta and she had been arrested and jailed three times between 1981 and 1984. She couldn’t attend to The WOMAD (Word of Music and Dance) Foundation Festival 1986, which was supported by Peter Gabriel, just because her passport had been seized. But the festival committee decided to add one of her songs to the official record of the festival. This record has helped her to receive many international invitations for festivals around the world. With the hard efforts of the WOMAD Foundation, the government returned Bağcan’s passport in 1987. At the same year, she attended Rotterdam Art Festival (June 13), WOMAD and Glastonbury Festival (June 19), Jubile Gardens (June 20), Eurls Court (June 25), Capital Radio Festival (June 26). After her Western Europe tour in 1988, she gave local public concerts during 1989 and 1990. These concerts were free and hundreds thousands of people were gathered.

In year 1990, she was invited to Netherland by Rasa Organization (Interkultureel Centrum) and gave public concerts in Utrech, Jmegen, Tilburg cities and later on in Prizren ve Pristina, Yugoslavia. She also traveled to Israel and Denmark for concerts and festivals, at the same year.

In 1992, she recorded the film musics for Kurşun Adres Sormaz.

She lives in İstanbul and runs her own business under the name Majör Müzik Yapım (Majör Music Production)
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Singles

* Katip Arzuhalim Yaz Yare Böyle/Mapusanede Mermerden Direk, 1971
* Tatlı Dillim Güler Yüzlüm/Mapusanelere Güneş Doğmuyor, 1971
* Çemberimde Gül Oya/Toprak Olunca, 1971
* Adaletin Bu Mu Dünya/Dane Dane Benleri, 1971
* Seher Vakti/Uzun İnce Bir Yoldayım, 1971
* Yalan Dünya/Kalenin Dibinde, 1972
* Eyvah Gönül Sana Eyvah/Zalim Sevgililer Bu Sözüm Size, 1972
* Bölemedim Felek İle Kozumu/Bülbül, 1973
* Gesi Bağları/Altın Kafes, 1973
* Nem Kaldı/Rabbim Neydim Ne Oldum, 1974
* Aşkın Bir Ateş/O Günler, 1974
* Anayasso/Bad-ı Sabah, 1974
* Dostum Dostum/Yuh Yuh, 1975
* Kaldı Kaldı Dünya/İzin İze Benzemiyor, 1975
* Görüş Günü/Şaka Maka, 1976
* Almanya Acı Vatan/Kıymayın Efendiler, 1976
* Aldırma Gönül Aldırma/Suç Bizim, 1976
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Albums

* Türkülerimiz 1, 1974 (reissued in 1995)
* Türkülerimiz 2, 1975 (reissued in 1996)
o See also: Selda (Album), 2006
* Türkülerimiz 3, 1976 (reissued in 1998)
* Türkülerimiz 4, 1977 (reissued in 1999)
* Türkülerimiz 5, 1978 (reissued in 2001)
* Türkülerimiz 6, 1979 (reissued in 2006)
* Türkülerimiz 7, 1980
* Türkülerimiz 8, 1982
* Türkülerimiz 9, 1983
* Türkülerimiz 10, 1985
* Dost Merhaba, 1986
* Yürüyorum Dikenlerin Üstünde, 1987
* Özgürlük ve Demokrasiyi Çizmek, 1988
* Felek Beni Adım Adım Kovaladı, 1989
* Anadolu Konserleri: Müzikteki 20 Yılım, 1990 (Live)
* Ziller ve İpler – Akdeniz Şarkıları 1, 1992
* Uğur’lar Olsun, 1993
* Koçero, 1994 (With Ahmet Kaya)
* Çifte Çiftetelli – Akdeniz Şarkıları 2, 1997
* Ben Geldim, 2002
* Denizlerin Dalgasıyım Ben, Halkımın Kavgasıyım, Yarınların Sevdasıyım… Ben Ölmedim ki!, 2004
* Güvercinleri de Vururlar, 2008

SELDA on the web:
Progressive Homestead site
Finder’s Keepers page on Selda

This is not nearly as funky as the album from 1975 reissued on Finders Keepers, but its a damn cool slab of psychedelic tinged folk-rock. Plenty of vibe to go around here. Selda has received a bit of attention with a surge of interest in Turkish rock, psychedelia, and funky beats, the “Anatolian invasion” among record collectors. This album, reissued by the sketchy ‘World Psychedelia’ label in Korea deserves a good listen. The liner notes are badly translated and not terribly informative. There is a full set of lyrics, however, for those who can read them. Selda’s songs really make me wish I knew what the hell she was singing about.

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