Today we’ll have a short entry, The Corporation might not have done the expectedsuccess at its time, but they’re not complete strangers when it comes to psychedelic culture, rediscovered and praised by the bloggers’ network since the mid-2000s. Therefore, this could be called a B side from a major label (Capitol), with paramount importance if we look at what was being produced back then; bands like The Power of Zeus, Autosalvage, Fifty Foot Hose, Kalacakra, amongst others, somehow failed to achieve national recognition, however, after more than 40 years since their respective releases we can see how ahead of time they were, let’s stick with them!?
Let’s go to our artist:
Formed in Milwaukee in 1968 at Cudahy’s Galaxy Club, where the Kondos brothers joined up with members of an outfit called Eastern Mean Time. Some months later they were heard by Capitol reps at another club The Bastille, which the band had bought into. With a contract for an album, the band journeyed to Detroit to record at Tera Shirma studios with producer John Rhys. Even though the record ended up not being a huge commercial success, the band continued to write with hopes of a follow-up record on Capitol, this material was eventually spread across twoLPs released by Age of Aquarius label, subsequently, Get on Our Swing and Hassles in My Mind.
Perhaps more extensive touring might have propelled their first album to greater heights, but except for Chicago and St Paul, the band remained local. There were no television appearances and nothing else to build a greater audience; a European tour was in the plans, but it fell apart along with disagreements with Capitol Records.
Nick Kondos recalls about it: ‘They treat you like kings, they even set you up with the hottest girls, we went to a jam featuring Jimi Hendrix, and then they get the drugs out. But we found out that the album was selling and we didn’t get a penny. We had an argument with Capitol and that’s how the contract ended. Maybe we were a little impatient. You give it everything you’ve got and, if you want to be a star, you have to let them use and abuse you for a while, and THEN worry about the money.’ (!)
Let’s go to our album:
Released in February 1969, with some serious writing on side one by the Kondos brothers, the Lp is notable for the side-long psych rework of John Coltrane’sIndia, along with heavy fuzz, flutes, harmonica, andvigorous vocals in a trippy overall!
Straight and simple, the ‘IM’ highlights are Smile and India (fantastic).
A1 I Want To Get Out of My Grave (John A. Kondos, Nicholas A. Kondos)
A2 Ring That Bell (John A. Kondos, Nicholas A. Kondos)
A3 Smile (John A. Kondos, Patrick D. McCarthy)
A4 Highway (Gerard J. Smith, John A. Kondos)
A5 Drifting (John A. Kondos)
B1 India (John Coltrane)
Bass, Backing Vocals: Kenneth Bernard Berdoll
Drums, Backing Vocals: Nicholas Alexander Kondos
Guitar, Flute, Harp, Piano, Backing Vocals: John Alexander Kondos
Vodou, also spelled Voodoo, Voudou, Vodun, or FrenchVaudou, it’s an official religion of Haiti, together with Roman Catholicism. Vodou is a creolized religion forged by descendants of Dahomean, Kongo, Yoruba, and other African ethnic groups who had been enslaved and brought to colonial Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) and Christianized by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The word Vodou means spirit or deity in the Fon language of the African kingdom of Dahomey (Benin). European mysticism, Freemasonry, is also in the practice. With an encompassing philosophy, medicine, justice, and religion, its fundamental principle is that everything is a spirit, humans are spirits who inhabit the visible world.
The unseen world is populated by lwa (spirits), mystè (mysteries), anvizib (the invisibles), zanj (angels), and the spirits of ancestors and the recently deceased. All these spirits are believed to live in a mythic land called Ginen, a cosmic Africa. (!)
The primary goal and activity of Vodou are to sevilwa (serve the spirits), to offer prayers and perform various devotional rites directed at God and particular spirits in return for health, protection, and favor. Spirit possession also plays an important role in Afro-Haitian religion, as it does in many other world religions.
During religious rites, believers sometimes enter a trancelike state in which the devotee may eat and drink, perform stylized dances, give supernaturally inspired advice to people, or perform medical cures or special physical feats; these acts exhibit the incarnate presence of the lwa within the entranced devotee.
Vodou ritual activity is aimed at refining and restoring balance and energy in relationships between people and between people and spirits of the unseen world!
Nevertheless, Vodou has often been associated in popular culture with Satanism, Zombies and Voodoo Dolls (sic). Zombie creation has been referenced within rural Haitian culture but is not a part of Vodou. Such manifestations fall under the auspices of the bokor or sorcerer, rather than the priest of the Loa.
The practice of sticking pins in voodoo dolls has a history in folk magic. Voodoo dolls are often associated with New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo as well the magical devices of the poppet and the nkisi or bocio of West and Central Africa.
Let’s go to our artist:
The today’s entry is made with a little doubt, although some sources say that (mighty)Davy Jones and Janko Nilovic are the responsible behind this single, we see no indication on the stamps, unlike other releases from Ju Ju Recordslabel. This one is a bit different (and better) from these releases and we believe that the real credit should be given to another famous arranger and composer: Roland Vincent.
Roland Vincent is a pianist, conductor, composer, musical arranger known French, among others, for his compositions and arrangements made for Michel Delpech in the years 1960-1970. He is also a composer of musicals Athon, with texts by Jean-Pierre Lang and morethan 100films, TV movies and plays!
Here he supposed to sign under the pseudonym Reynaldo Pultek! (?)
Let’s go to our album:
‘His works have gained international recognition for their beauty, lyrical scope, and imagination. I am sure that whatever he endeavors in the music industry, he will handle his field with unusual success’ / Quincy Jones. L.A. 1981
Another obscure lo-fi rip, but take further on this exploitationafro-psych party!
Unfortunately, today’s record does not presently have any information about their singer, apparently, she released this single and disappeared!
We will leave to talk about the famous Nouvelle Chanson, its composers, lyricists and main artists in future posts. Here we already see the collaboration of the great Etienne Roda-Gil in these hallucinated lyrics and the legendary Hubert Rostaing in exquisite arrangements! With haunted female voices, exotic grooves, organ, tabla and a dark psychedelic scenario that drives this amazing 7”. ボン·ヴォヤージュ!
A Angel of Sin (Chloe Walters, E. Roda-Gil)
B Fleurs de Pavots Bleus (H. Rostaing, E. Roda-Gil)
Orchestra, Conductor – Hubert Rostaing
Les Industries Musicales Et Electriques Pathé Marconi
Pathé – 2C 006-10609 M / Nov 1969
Fleurs de Pavots Bleus
Fleurs de pavots bleus, au cœur de nos villes
Fleurs de pavots bleus, au cœur de nos villes
Chardons venimeux, au sein des principes
Chardons vénéneux, dans nos républiques,
Voyages monstrueux, dans la nuit des songes, de nos songes
Voyages monstrueux, dans la mer des songes
Sous les pavots bleus, sous les pavots bleus
Coulent les villes, nos villes, nos villes, nos villes.
Armenia. Beginning in the eleventh century, a long series of invasions, migrations, conversions, deportations, and massacres reduced Armenians to a minority population in their historic homeland on the Armenian Plateau. A large-scale Armenian diaspora of merchants, clerics, and intellectuals reached cities in Russia, Poland, Western Europe, and India. Most Armenians remaining in historical Armenia under the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth century survived as peasant farmers in eastern Anatolia, but others resettled in Constantinople and other cities in the empire. There they became artisans, moneylenders, and traders.
In the nineteenth century, the political uncertainties that beset the Ottoman Empire prompted further insecurity in the Armenian population. During the WWI, Armenians from the Caucasus formed volunteer battalions to help the Russian army against the Turks. Early in 1915, these battalions organized the recruiting of Turkish Armenians from behind Turkish lines. The Young Turk government reacted by ordering the deportation of the Armenian population to Syria and Palestine.
More than 1 million(!) died from starvation, were killed by Arab or Kurdish tribes along the route, eithermassacredor forcibly removed from the eastern Anatolian provinces, what became known as the (forgotten)Armenian Genocide.
(Due to the graphic content of this little-known Holocaust, we decided not to show these horrors committed on the page, there are links in the text for this.)
Aside from the historical persecution and diaspora, Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. The Satrapy of Armenia was established in the 6th century BC, after the fall of Urartu. In the first century BC, the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height extension under Tigranes the Great.
Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in the early years of the 4th century (301 AD). They got their own distinctive alphabet and language, invented by Mesrop Mashtotsin 405 AD, a fundamental step in strengthening the Armenian statehood and the bond between the Armenian Kingdom and Armenians living in the Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire.
Located between the East and the West, a place of collisions between great empires of antiquity and the Middle Ages such as Rome, Iran, Byzantium, Arabs, Seljuks, Mongols crossed Armenia and destroyed it interrupting its cultural development leaving behind nothing but the smoking ruins. Having managed to resist each of the powerful newcomers, the people have saved fidelity to their culture which nevertheless underwent some changes. As a result, the national culture of Armenia acquired some features characteristic to both civilization then: Eastern and Western.
Sergei Parajanovwas a Soviet film director and artist who made significant contributions to Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian cinema, with an own cinematic style, which was totally out of step with principles of socialist realism.
This, combined with its controversial lifestyle, led Soviet authorities to consider him a persona non grata, persecuting, imprisoning and banning its films!
Let’s go to our artist:
John Berberian(October 9, 1941) was born in New York City.Berberian’s parents were Armenian immigrants that came to America in the early 1920s with a rich musical culture. His father was an accomplished oud player, as well as an instrument maker. Oud masters of Armenian, Turkish, Arabic and Greek heritage frequented his family’s home. He first recorded traditional oud music with violinist Reuben Sarkisian, when a student at Columbia University in the mid-1950s. John subsequently recorded for a variety of labels including MGM, RCA, Roulette, Verve and Mainstream Records, two recordings from this series, Expressions East and Oud Artistry, were record-breaking in sales expanding beyond the ethnic market.
As a younger member of the longstanding Armenian community of Massachusetts, Berberian worked on a musical style known as Taksim(improvisation), a firm deeply rooted in traditional Middle Eastern folk music. Berberian has commanded the respect of musicians worldwide, he has been featured in numerous concerts and dances throughout the USA, Canada, and South America, and is one of only a handful of musicians worldwide given the title of Udi(oud master) (!). He presently lives in Massachusetts and maintains a very active performance schedule, up to this day.
Let’s go to our album:
In 1969, two producers from the Verve label, Peter Spargo and Harvey Cowen, tried to do for the oud what others did for the sitar. Spargo knew Berberian, having used him in various sessions. They hired him, with other Armenian musicians from New York and two jazzmen, including Joe Beck; they mostly did not know each other and rehearsed and recorded the same day they met for the first time. Verve fired the two producers before they could make of Berberian the new (sic)Ravi Shankar.
‘The Oud and The Fuzz’ is an original sound derived from the Druze tribe of Northern Africa. ‘Chem-OO-Chem’ is a popular Armenian song, 6/8 is the traditional rhythm for Armenian dances. This features lead vocalist Bob Tashjian. ‘Flying Hye’ (with hye referring to flying in Armenian) starts in 9/8 which changes to 6/8 and has a melody taken from the (famous) Greek dance form of Tsamiko.
Also ‘3/8 + 5/8= 8/8’ refers to how complex Middle Eastern melodies can build up, based upon Turkish classical music. ‘The Magic Ground’ is a based upon A minor (or Kurdi for Arab music), which takes off in 2/4, then breaks into a swing.
Once again do not be fooled by this tacky cover art! Released originally in 1969, Middle Eastern Rock is a unique, compelling fusion record from Armenian-American oud player John Berberian. The results, which blend elements of psychedelia, free jazz, klezmer, African, and Middle Eastern textures, are dazzling, and are sure to thrill anyone with a taste for outside albums, be ready and Բարի ճանապարհ:!
The ‘IM’ highlights are The Oud & The Fuzz and 3/8 + 5/8 = 8/8.
A1 The Oud & The Fuzz (Berberian) (4/4)
A2 Tranquility (6/8)
A3 Chem-OO-Chem (6/8)
B1 Iron Maiden (2/4)
B2 Flying Hye (9/8)
B3 3/8 + 5/8 = 8/8
B4 The Magic Ground (Berberian, Baronian) (2/4)
A2 To B3: Traditional
Art Direction – Sid Maurer
Artwork (Cover Art) – Jim O’Connell, Sandy Hoffman
As promised, we came back at least for now in a slightly smaller format, we intend to return to the old layout, with historical facts and further analysis in another cycle of our wide galaxy. We will improve the tag system, increase our rotativity(with the same quality) and start bringing exclusive rips, like this wonderful Brazilian gem today.
Vanusa Santos Flores(22/9/1947, Cruzeiro, São Paulo) on its only second LP release is somewhat between romanticism, psychedelia, souland a bit of experimentalism, Tropicalia like, though their composers aren’t top-notch stars, this is the testament that even Brega(tacky) artists always subjugated by critics and the so-called intelligentsia produced fantastic examples of vanguard inside the commercial musical market (Universal, Sony, Warner, EMI).
Vanusa’svisceral performance throughout the album is simply dazzling, a foxyJanis Joplin on its peak moments, accompanied by a garage band brushstrokes with a beautiful brass and strings arrangements by maestro Portinho.
Radical 1969, post-AI-5 scenario.
Though she appeared with the Jovem Guarda movement, Vanusa circulated freely by all spheres of Brazilian popular music to long-70s, slowed the pace in the ’80s and now in 2014 is up to release a new album in more than 10 years!
The ‘IM’ highlights are for Sunnyand Caminhemos. Relish all spices and शुभ यात्रा!
A1Meu Depoimento (Fábio / Paulo Imperial)
A2Que Você Está Fazendo Neste Lugar Tão Frio (Tom Gomes / Luis Vagner)
A3O Que É Meu É Teu (Sílvio Brito)
A4Teu Regresso (Fábio / Paulo Imperial)
A5 Espere (Carlos César / Alexandre Cirus) A6Hei Sol (Dom)