Banda de Pifanos de Caruaru (1979) Discos Marcus Pereira (MPL 9394)

This is a repost of an old post that mysteriously disappeared. It’s only a few days before the feast of São João but the bonfires have been kindling in Northeast Brazil for the entire month of June, so this is a late start. With any luck I might have a new post with actual new content before the 24th.

Banda de Pífanos de Caruaru
Released 1979 on Marcus Pereira (MPL 9394)

1 Vira-folha
(J. Biano, Sebastião Biano)
2 Pipoquinha
(Sebastião Biano)
3 A briga do cachorro com a onça
(Sebastião Biano)
4 Marcha dos bacamarteiros
(J. Biano, Sebastião Biano)
5 Xamego dos “pife”
(Sebastião Biano, Gilberto Biano)
6 Feira do troca-troca
(J. Biano, M. Alves)
7 As espadas
(Sebastião Biano, Amaro Biano)
8 Pipoca moderna
(Sebastião Biano, Caetano Veloso)
9 Os Tupinambás
(O. Almeida)
10 Cavalinho, cavalão
(O. Almeida)
11 Valsa da pastora
(Sebastião Biano, Benedito Biano)
12 Alvorada
(Sebastião Biano, Benedito Biano)
13 Novena
(Sebastião Biano, Benedito Biano)

Vinyl original pressing -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply) > Creek Audio OBH-15 -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard -> Adobe Audition 3.0 at 24-bits 96khz -> Click Repair light settings, additional clicks and pops removed in Audition -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced -> ID Tags done in foobar2000 v.1.0.1 and Tag & Rename.

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I am not so conceited that I can’t admit that the first time I ever heard these guys was in the opening to Gilberto Gil’s “Expresso 2222” album. It blew me away then and still ranks among one of the best album openers of all time for me. I had never heard anything quite like it. So when Gil receives a shout-out in the liner notes from Marcus Vinícius, it’s a deserving one (although he is careful to point out that Gil didn’t “discover” them). The band was founded in the 1920s, and allegedly was made to play for Lampião and his band of merry murderers / folk-heroes during the days of cangaço, and was always a ‘family venture.’ The early seventies were a particularly busy time for the group, as they got picked up by one of the large music festivals, courtesy of the enigmatic Sidney Miller (who had more or less withdrawn from writing and performing at this point), and also being included in the early volumes of the vaguely-ethnomusicological series of albums put out by Marcus Perreira that began with four volumes dedicated to “Música Popular do Nordeste.” At this point they began recording their own long-players for a handful of labels, and by 1979 had arrived at this one, their fourth LP, and this time for Marcus Perreira once again. The rest of the album does not disappoint, even if the inclusion of ‘Pipoca Moderna’ here seems like gratuitous (albiet appreciated). The final tune is a novena, bringing the ensemble back to some of its roots when it played at such religious festivities in their native city of Caruaru and its environs. I’ve split the track up into two parts from the original single-banded version on the LP, with the second half beginning during the ‘auction’ section of people taking up a collection for São Sebastião.

These tunes are surprisingly varied and fresh coming from an ensemble based on such a relatively simple sound. When you pay attention you realize just how damn TIGHT these guys are and the levels of improvisation that are worked into the compositions. The real show-stealer here, the one that will make you “a believer”, is “A briga do cachorro com a onça”, whose seven intense minutes also make it the longest track on the record. The dynamics at work are pretty unbelievable. And the title (The fight between the dog and the jaguar) is hinted at musically without my having glanced back at the album jacket — I was sure I was listening to a sound track of a ‘fight scene’ involving at least ONE animal.

Not an ‘audiophile’ vinyl transfer here, folks – this is a well-played copy. But I hope you enjoy it.

on to the comments…

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24bit

Selda Bagcan – Selda (1976) *Repost*

Back by popular demand! This is in fact one of the most visited and commented-upon albums featured on this blog since it was posted a year and a half ago. Now it comes complete with a FLAC set for my fellow audiofreaks. I have sort of drifted away from the idea of sharing or writing about the interesting Anatolian psych scene in favor of focusing on other musics, but I might revisit that territory more often this year. Who knows.

Don’t let the folky cover fool you, the music is much more far-out psychedelic folk (of the Turkish variety) than it would lead you to believe. Fuzzy guitars, electric oud, Moog and other analog synths are all layered over and under her powerful voice. In fact most of Selda’s subsequent records are apparently more in the traditional vein of pop/folk songstress. Quite a bit of this is still psychedelic-tinged dreamy folk, sometimes wading into prog-rock waters (which is okay by me), and occasionally downright funky. My personal favorites in this set are ‘Yaz Gazeteci Yaz’ and ‘Yaylalar’ but the whole record is extremely engaging and ’tis hard to chose. I wish I could understand the lyrics because this IS protest music, engaged with the social problems of life under the oppressive right-wing regime of the mid 70s. I prefer to contextualize the posts on this blog in their historical context but this one is a bit outside my reach.

So here are some reviews and info:

Selda Bagcan – Selda (1976) [FLAC]
2006, Finders Keepers Records/B-Music BMS004

1. Meydan Sizindir (3:39)
2. Yaz Gazeteci Yaz (2:45)
3. Mehmet Emmi (3:21)
4. Nasirli Eller (3:38)
5. Ince Ince (3:42)
6. Gine Haber Gelmis (4:54)
7. Yaylalar (3:48)
8. Dam Ustune Cul Serer (3:47)
9. Dost Uyan (3:02)
10. Gitme (4:12)
11. Niye Cattin Kaslarini (3:15)
12. Kizil Dere (3:41)

Bonus Tracks:

13. Utan Utan (2:52)
14. Karaoglan (4:00)
15. Eco’ya Donder Beni (2:57)
16. Anayasso (3:03)
17. Nem Kaldi (3:47)

Total: 60:23

(REVIEWS)

Embodying all the aesthetic watermarks of a private press country LP, Selda’s
debut long player from 1976, Istanbul, has masqueraded as lamb dressed as mutton
throwing many a discerning wolf from the gourmet scent. Behold! Space age,
Anatolian, electronic, progressive-protest, and psych-folk-funk-rock from the
Middle-East.

Fusing Selda’s radical prose with equally radical musical gestures from some of
the most lorded musical mavericks was a match made in psychedelic heaven.
Artists such as Andalou beat combo Mogollar (Also known to a growing French
audience as Les Mogol) along with the talents of Turkish rock stalwart Arif Sag
and master electronic producer and pioneer Zafer Dilek (whom would later gain
critical acclaim amongst collectors of Turkish library music.) Each of these
artists involved in the recording of this album are considered the cream-of-the-
crop amongst Eastern Psych aficionados. In recent years, the legacy of Turkish
progressive rock has been gaining popularity amongst DJs, producers and record
collectors as an unrivalled source for unique sounds rarely found in other
genres of international music and, until now, rarely heard outside their native
environment.

——————————–another review—————————-

Finders Keepers continues in it’s mission to unearth some of the finest
treasures the Western world has never seen with this incredible 1976 album from
Turkish radical folk singer Selda Bagcan.

Part of Finders Keepers’ ‘Anatolian Invasion’ series, this particular record
stirred up quite a fuss among the world’s Turkish communities on it’s release,
achieving a certain notoriety for Selda herself as she proclaimed unashamedly
her thoughts on freedom of speech and quality of life.

So it’s political, we’ve got that down, but since most of us don’t speak any
Turkish we need to get hooked on the music itself, which mercifully isn’t a
tough task. Harnessing the genre-bending talents of a number of Turkish musical
free-thinkers she managed to conjure up a record that was equal parts
experimental and pure Middle Eastern pop, blending elements of folk, psych,
rock, prog and proto-electronica.

To be quite honest this is a record that simply has to be heard to be believed,
Selda’s voice is a marvel and complemented by such peculiar backing tracks
produces a record that stands head and shoulders over the competition.

There seems to be a bubbling of interest in Middle Eastern psych at the moment,
but I must say that Selda’s debut album is a real eye-opener. You don’t have to
know anything about psychedelic folk or Middle Eastern pop to glean enjoyment
from Selda, this is inclusive, intense, hugely enjoyable music and is as
essential as they come. Just buy it.

password: vibes