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

Jorge Ben – Negro é Lindo (1971) {Salve, Jorge! Boxset}

01 – Rita Jeep
02 – Porque é Proibido Pisar Na Grama
03 – Cassius Marcelo Clay
04 – Cigana
05 – Zula
06 – Negro é Lindo
07 – Comanche
08 – Que Maravilha
09 – Maria Domingas
10 – Palomaris

Original release:
Produced by Paulinho Tapajós
Recording technicians: Toninho and Mazzola
Studio: C.B.D.P.
Arrangements by Arthur Verocai
Photo: Wilney Cover design: Aldo Luiz

2009 reissue credits
Supervision: Alice Soares
Project conceptualization: Carlos Savalla
Liner Notes: Ana Maria Bahiana
Coordination: Rodrigo Faour
Remastering: Luigi Hoffer at DMS Mastering Solutions
Restoration of original LP covers and adaptation for CD: Leandro Arraes at LAStudio
Editing: Luiz Augusto
Graphic design: Geysa Adnet

————————–

Interestingly, the bilingual texts on the new CD jackets do not actually have the same information, both containing some tidbits of info that the other doesn’t have. In the interest of globalization I am going to do a quick free translation here (all errors are my own..):

Jorge Ben Jor’s trilogy of albums with Trio Mocotó closes with the powerful “Negro É Lindo” (Black is Beuatiful) in 1971, in a phase of the Brazilian culture industry where blacks began to be perceived as potential consumers. Negro é Lindo delivers an homage to Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali) and also to João Parahyba, nicknamed Comanche. It has delcarations of love for his beloved wife Maria Tereza Domingas and, at the same time, proposes a pact of goodwill and unity to Rita Lee, responsible for his trips to and from the studio to his house in Brooklin (*southside neighborhood of São Paulo, not the one in New York…).

One difference in relation to the other LPs is the fact that this one was to be more centered on the acoustic guitar in its arrangements, possibly the fruit of his partnership with Paulinho Tapajós, who directed Ben’s recordings between 71 and 75. In the studio, Tapajós prefered to record Jorge one his own and on stop of a platform, under which were placed microphones that captured the time-keeping beats of the artists’ shoes and foot-tapping, and the scrape of his pick across the guitar strings. Beginning with this base, the arrangements were built around him. “With the pulse of the foot-taps, his, voice, and the guitar pick, Jorge transformed himself into a machine of rhythm. Afterward, I embellished this with the other instruments in arrangements (of scale and tone) that wouldn’t conflict with what he was doing. We recorded 30, 40 songs for one single album and I believe there must be a lot of unreleased material. It was the best way to work, because the coolest thing about Jorge is the freedom. He does not have discipline. Therefore, we had to follow along after him.” One could analyze this liberty and freedom as a certain kind of alienation between the techniques and artifices of the studio and the process of practicing as a group. There are classic moments calling for the bridge, or the end of a sing, same as LPs recorded live (“Em cima!”, “Miudinho!”). Add to this the fact that Ben, aside from composing the lyrics and music for the vast majority of the songs he created, did not do arrangements for other instruments: in this era, he played his guitar and sang, and the arranger (or Trio Mocotó) did their work on top of this.

——————————————————–

Side note from Flabbergast… Interesting that Arthur Verocai, who at this point in time is probably more famous outside Brazil than within it, does not get any mention in these liner notes even though he was responsible for the arrangements as much or more so than producer Tapajós…

The notes also sidestep Ben’s involvement with and importance to the movement(s) variously referred to as Black Rio, Black Power, Samba Soul, Movimento Negro, in the 1970s. An embracing of black identity in an allegedly colorblind ‘racial democracy’ where bring up something like “Black Pride” is likely to spark an argument. In fact doing so led to just such an argument for me TODAY — one has to remember this was even more polemical in the early 70s. It’s not the first foray into this territory in Ben’s music or lyrics, by any means, but probably the first where he is self-consciously integrating his work around Afrocentric ideas, making him part of a global phenomenon happening at the same time in the US, the Caribbean, in other parts of Latin America, and in Africa itself. The liner notes would almost imply that this was a marketing strategy (the black woman or man as potential consumer), an interpretation which I hope is just me being reactionary and radical and indignant as I sometimes tend to be… Because if that IS the implication, then its an insult to Jorge Ben and the massive accomplishments of his music during this period.

This pressing hails from the 12-CD boxset released just a week ago. There will be more of it to come…

With complete artwork, m3u playlist, and proper ID-tags

Jorge Ben – Negro é Lindo (1971) in 320 kbs em pee three

Jorge Ben – Negro é Lindo (1971) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO