Yoshiko Sai – Mikkō (1976) [Repost]

Due to the great success of Yoshiko Sai’s first entry, simply the most viewed during this year, today we present another album of this incredible haunting artist!

Let’s go to our history:

Edo (modern Tokyo) became the seat of government for the military dictatorship in the early 17th century Japan, the so-called Edo period (1603–1867). With an ‘everlasting’ peace and prosperity, the merchant class at the bottom of the social order found themselves the greatest beneficiaries of the city’s rapid economic growth. Other classes were the samurai and the craftsmen. Many indulged in the entertainment of kabuki theatre, courtesans, and geisha of the pleasure districts.

The term Ukiyo (floating world) came to describe this hedonistic lifestyle. Printed or painted ukiyo-e images of this environment emerged in the late 17th century, the merchant class, who had become wealthy enough to afford to decorate their homes with such brilliant works. Depictions of beautiful women, kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica were amongst the popular themes. (!)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1844
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1844

The peak period in terms of quantity and quality was marked by portraits of beauties and actors by masters such as Kiyonaga, Utamaro, and Sharaku in the late 18th century. This peak was followed in the 19th century by a pair of masters best remembered for their landscapes: Hokusai and Hiroshige. Following the deaths of these two, and against the technological and social modernization that followed the Meiji Restoration of 1868, ukiyo-e production went into steep decline.

Some ukiyo-e artists specialized in making paintings, but most works were prints. Artists rarely carved their own woodblocks for printing; rather, production was divided between the artist, who designed the prints; the carver, who cut the woodblocks; the printer, who inked and pressed the woodblocks onto hand-made paper; and the publisher, who financed, promoted, and distributed the works.

Hokusai, 1830-32
Hokusai, 1830-32

Japonisme, or Japonism, is a French term that was first used (theorized) by Jules Claretie in his book L’Art Francais in 1872, it refers to the influence of Japanese art on Western art. In 1854, Japan re-opened trade with the West (after 265 years of isolation) and Japanese artworks including fans, porcelains, woodcuts, and screens were introduced in huge numbers to Europe, mainly France and the Netherlands.

The 1862 World’s Fair in Europe brought even more attention to Japanese art, during the 1860’s ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints, became very popular and were a source of inspiration to many impressionists and post-impressionist artists in the west including Monet, Manet, Degas, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. (!)

Utamaro, 1793
Utamaro, 1793

Let’s go to our album:

Released on July 25th, 1976, Mikkō was Sai Yoshiko’s second album, a wonderful acid-folk register on which she gets assisted by a string of big-name musicians such as Kuni Kawachi on arrangements. At times the disc draws in Indian influences (sitar and tabla), but once she gets to singing, the listener is lulled into her own private, mysterious sonic world, through which one gets sucked in by her wide-ranging vocalizations. At the time of this recording, she was merely 23 years old.

This is a quieter, entrained album, compared to Taiji No Yume, with less variety of styles, making a melodic somber entry. I really would like to know more details about the lyrics, will any Japanese friend could help us? This is such a stunner voyage of consciousness, welcome to the unique realms of Yoshiko Sai, be ready!

1977's Promo
1977’s Promo

The ‘IM’ highlights are Tenshi no Yōni and Mikkō.

Bonum Cursum!

Tracks Include:

A1 Theme ~ 母さまのうた (Theme ~ Kāsama no Uta)

A2 鏡地獄 (Kagami Jigoku)

A3 (Haru)

A4 絹之道 (Kinu no Michi)

B1 人のいない島 (Hito no Inai Shima)

B2 眠りのくに (Nemuri no Kuni)

B3 天使のように (Tenshi no Yōni)

B4 漂流船 (Hyōryūsen)

B5 密航 (Mikkō)

Translations, respectively:

Theme – Mother’s Song, Hell of Mirrors, Spring, Silk Road, Desert Island

Land of Sleep, Like an Angel, Ship Adrift and Stowing Away

Credits

  • Acoustic Guitar: 吉川忠英, 野間義男
  • Cello: 阿部雅士
  • Drums: 山下秀夫, 田中清司, 武田光司
  • Dulcimer: 生見慶二
  • Electric Bass: 江藤勲, 高水建司
  • Electric Guitar: 高中正義, 津村泰彦
  • Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Sitar (E. Sitar): 矢島賢
  • Flute: 中川昌三
  • Piano, Keyboards: 大谷和夫, 松岡直也
  • Strings: 新音楽協会
  • Tabla: 瀬上養之助
  • Vibraphone: クニ河内
  • Arranged: クニ河内 (Kuni Kawashi)
  • Lyrics, Music: 佐井好子 (Yoshiko Sai)
  • Engineer伊豫部富治
  • IllustrationYoshiko Sai
  • Design (Cover Design) – Teichiku Design Section
  • Directed: 春名勇

Companies

  • Made: Teichiku Records Co., Ltd.
  • Recorded: Sound Creation Studio
  • Mixed: AMS Studio

Recorded at Teichiku No.1 Studio and Sound Creation Studio.

Mixdown at AMS Studio from March to May 1976.

Black ‎– BAL-1018

Yoshiko’s Painting Cover Art

Yoshiko Sai – Mikkō (1976)

Due to the great success of Yoshiko Sai’s first entry, simply the most viewed during this year, today we present another album of this incredible haunting artist!

Let’s go to our history:

Edo (modern Tokyo) became the seat of government for the military dictatorship in the early 17th century Japan, the so-called Edo period (1603–1867). With an ‘everlasting’ peace and prosperity, the merchant class at the bottom of the social order found themselves the greatest beneficiaries of the city’s rapid economic growth. Other classes were the samurai and the craftsmen. Many indulged in the entertainment of kabuki theatre, courtesans, and geisha of the pleasure districts.

The term Ukiyo (floating world) came to describe this hedonistic lifestyle. Printed or painted ukiyo-e images of this environment emerged in the late 17th century, the merchant class, who had become wealthy enough to afford to decorate their homes with such brilliant works. Depictions of beautiful women, kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica were amongst the popular themes. (!)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1844
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1844

The peak period in terms of quantity and quality was marked by portraits of beauties and actors by masters such as Kiyonaga, Utamaro, and Sharaku in the late 18th century. This peak was followed in the 19th century by a pair of masters best remembered for their landscapes: Hokusai and Hiroshige. Following the deaths of these two, and against the technological and social modernization that followed the Meiji Restoration of 1868, ukiyo-e production went into steep decline.

Some ukiyo-e artists specialized in making paintings, but most works were prints. Artists rarely carved their own woodblocks for printing; rather, production was divided between the artist, who designed the prints; the carver, who cut the woodblocks; the printer, who inked and pressed the woodblocks onto hand-made paper; and the publisher, who financed, promoted, and distributed the works.

Hokusai, 1830-32
Hokusai, 1830-32

Japonisme, or Japonism, is a French term that was first used (theorized) by Jules Claretie in his book L’Art Francais in 1872, it refers to the influence of Japanese art on Western art. In 1854, Japan re-opened trade with the West (after 265 years of isolation) and Japanese artworks including fans, porcelains, woodcuts, and screens were introduced in huge numbers to Europe, mainly France and the Netherlands.

The 1862 World’s Fair in Europe brought even more attention to Japanese art, during the 1860’s ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints, became very popular and were a source of inspiration to many impressionists and post-impressionist artists in the west including Monet, Manet, Degas, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. (!)

Utamaro, 1793
Utamaro, 1793

Let’s go to our album:

Released on July 25th, 1976, Mikkō was Sai Yoshiko’s second album, a wonderful acid-folk register on which she gets assisted by a string of big-name musicians such as Kuni Kawachi on arrangements. At times the disc draws in Indian influences (sitar and tabla), but once she gets to singing, the listener is lulled into her own private, mysterious sonic world, through which one gets sucked in by her wide-ranging vocalizations. At the time of this recording, she was merely 23 years old.

This is a quieter, entrained album, compared to Taiji No Yume, with less variety of styles, making a melodic somber entry. I really would like to know more details about the lyrics, will any Japanese friend could help us? This is such a stunner voyage of consciousness, welcome to the unique realms of Yoshiko Sai, be ready!

1977's Promo
1977’s Promo

The ‘IM’ highlights are Tenshi no Yōni and Mikkō.

Bonum Cursum!

Tracks Include:

A1 Theme ~ 母さまのうた (Theme ~ Kāsama no Uta)

A2 鏡地獄 (Kagami Jigoku)

A3 (Haru)

A4 絹之道 (Kinu no Michi)

B1 人のいない島 (Hito no Inai Shima)

B2 眠りのくに (Nemuri no Kuni)

B3 天使のように (Tenshi no Yōni)

B4 漂流船 (Hyōryūsen)

B5 密航 (Mikkō)

Translations, respectively:

Theme – Mother’s Song, Hell of Mirrors, Spring, Silk Road, Desert Island

Land of Sleep, Like an Angel, Ship Adrift and Stowing Away

Credits

  • Acoustic Guitar: 吉川忠英, 野間義男
  • Cello: 阿部雅士
  • Drums: 山下秀夫, 田中清司, 武田光司
  • Dulcimer: 生見慶二
  • Electric Bass: 江藤勲, 高水建司
  • Electric Guitar: 高中正義, 津村泰彦
  • Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Sitar (E. Sitar): 矢島賢
  • Flute: 中川昌三
  • Piano, Keyboards: 大谷和夫, 松岡直也
  • Strings: 新音楽協会
  • Tabla: 瀬上養之助
  • Vibraphone: クニ河内
  • Arranged: クニ河内 (Kuni Kawashi)
  • Lyrics, Music: 佐井好子 (Yoshiko Sai)
  • Engineer伊豫部富治
  • IllustrationYoshiko Sai
  • Design (Cover Design) – Teichiku Design Section
  • Directed: 春名勇

Companies

  • Made: Teichiku Records Co., Ltd.
  • Recorded: Sound Creation Studio
  • Mixed: AMS Studio

Recorded at Teichiku No.1 Studio and Sound Creation Studio.

Mixdown at AMS Studio from March to May 1976.

Black ‎– BAL-1018

Selda Bağcan – Selda (1976)

cover

Is with great pride that I present my favorite Turkish singer today, leaving aside the innoxious pop from the Pekkan sisters, this is definitely one of the most haunting vocals per se, creating an extraordinary hybrid folk album you are ever likely to hear! Singer, composer, and political activist when Selda Bağcan first released her long-awaited Lp, she was enduring her hiatus as one of the most politically outspoken popular singers to hail from Turkey. During the 70s she had made a household name as a traditional Anadolu protest singer with a spectacular emotive vocal capacity.

Artists such as Mogollar (also known to a growing french audience as Les Mogol), had previously recorded a run of singles with the singer in a traditional folk style. After fusing jazz, funk and electronically treated instruments, Selda in recent years had enjoyed a Western recognition, thanks to Finders Keepers re-release.

Moğollar
Moğollar

Let’s go to our history:

Selda Bağcan Resmi Sayfası was born in 1948. She grew up in a well-educated family, where she showed interest in music at an early age. She played the guitar for pleasure until her first two singles recorded in 1971 sold almost a million copies! That was the turning point, and step by step, she became one of the most influential female figures in the Turkish folk scene. She recorded a single with Mogollar in 1972.

The same year, she was sent to Bulgaria by the Turkish government to participate in the Golden Orfeus Festival. The 70s were the peak years of Selda’s career as she heavily toured Turkey and Europe while she was building up a large fan base.

Selda, Live
Selda, Live

But before we continue, let’s return to the political and social context?!

The 1970s were marked by right-wing/left-wing armed conflicts, often proxy wars between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, respectively. To create a pretext for a decisive intervention, the Turkish military allowed the conflicts to escalate, some say they actively adopted a strategy of tension. The violence abruptly stopped afterward, and the coup was welcomed by some for restoring order.

For the next three years, the Turkish Armed Forces ruled the country through the National Security Council before democracy was restored. The 12 September 1980 Turkish coup d’état, headed by Chief of the General Staff, General Kenan Evren, was the third coup d’état in the history of the Republic after the 1960 and 1971 coups.

September 12, Coup
September 12, Coup

To date, no one has been punished in Turkey for crimes including 650,000 people detained & 230,000 people prosecuted in military courts. Over 300 people died in prison, including 171 who died as a result of torture. Hundreds of thousands were tortured, 14,000 were stripped of citizenship, thousands are still missing, a total of 1,683,000 people were blacklisted. There were 49 executions & hangings, including a 17-year-old student named Erdal Eren who said he looked forward to death to avoid thinking of the torture he had witnessed. (!!)

The military junta dictated the terms of a phony return to democracy in 1983 when the murderous General Evren retired, he moved to a Mediterranean resort town. Now 96-years old, it took the Turkish courts over 30 years to press charges against the generalissimo and the only other surviving general.

1980 Victims
1980 Victims

To close the matter, a small addendum of U.S. participation. Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Washington had lost its main ally in the region, while the Carter doctrine, formulated on 23 January 1980, stated that the U.S. would use military force if necessary to defend its national interests in the Persian Gulf region. (sic)

Turkey received large sums of economic aid, mainly organized by the OECD, and military aid from NATO, but the USA in particular. Between 1979 and 1982 the OECD countries raised $4 billion in economic aid to Turkey.

Erdal Eren, in Prision
Erdal Eren, in Prison

Let us return to her biography and its tragic developments.

After the infamous military coup in 1980, her passport was seized by the government and she couldn’t leave the country until 1987. Meanwhile, she missed the opportunity to attend the WOMAD Foundation Festival. She was imprisoned in 1982 and again in 1984. (!) After 1987, Selda took the stage in numerous festivals in both Turkey and Europe. In 1990, she bought the rights to her own recordings.

In 1994, she started re-releasing them in a series of albums named Turkulerimiz from her own record company Major Muzik. Her most recent album of original material, Halkım was released in 2011. After surviving a serious accident in 2000 while she was touring, Selda was relatively lucky in the new millennium with the rediscovery of Turkish psychedelic-era music by European and American collectors!

70s Portrait
70s Portrait

Let’s go to our album:

Released in 1976 to huge critical acclaim and skepticism in equal parts, the album smashed new boundaries both lyrically and musically. With electronically treated Saz and proto poly-phonic synthesizers, Selda was one of the few female voices to adopt the use of such cutting edge techniques. Frowned on by the paranoid Turkish authorities, songs like Meydan Sizindir and Ince Ince were viewed as calls to revolt by the working classes. She would face the threat of imprisonment due to her desire for freedom of speech and a demand for the quality of human life.

After this introduction, I would like to say that the today’s album is very similar to the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul: a myriad of corners, colors, spices, and people such as this striking record, capable of countless moments and tinges!

Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar, Peep

The ‘IM’ highlights are: Nasirli Eller, close to a Tarantino’s soundtrack, this unique flash, with a sentimental performance, orchestral arrangement, plus eerie synths, leads us to an epic and surprising outcome. Resembling Shirley Bassey’s acts, back in the 60s! And Gitme, an electronic pop voyage through Mount Ararat, with a sticky chorus, oriental scales and much credit to the impressive band that accompanies her.

It is evident the importance of Ince Ince who entered in the famous collection Love, Peace and Poetry, so even though we emphasize other sounds, however the social queries present in the lyrics still remain unanswered!

‘Istanbul’un benzemiyor neden o Urfalara,
yoksul Maraş, susuz urfa, ya Diyarbakırların?
yandık yandık, öldük öldük, bir yudum su,
etme ağam, n’olur…’

Tracks Include:

A1 Kızıl Dere

A2 Mehmet Emmi

A3 Nasırlı Eller

A4 Ince Ince

A5 Gine Haber Gelmiş

A6 Yaylalar

B1 Dam Üstüne Çulserer

B2 Dos Uyan

B3 Yaz Gazeteci

B4 Gitme

B5 Niye Çattın Kaşlarını

B6 Meydan Sizindir

Credits

  • Backing Vocals: Dadaşlar
  • Leader: Arif Sağ
  • Perfomer: Moğollar
  • Performer, Vocals: Selda Baǧcan
  • Producer: Zafer Dilek

Originally recorded at Yeni Studios.

Türküola ‎– Tr. St. 304

‘We would like to thank: Dün – Bugün – Yarin Ork. Dadaşlar and Moğollar groups with Arif Sağ and Zafer Dilek, Studio Şat, studio Elektronik and Yeni studio, Çikita Doğan E. Ayyıdız and Ferhan Uçoklar for their advertising and Erhan Printer, Thank You for all their valuable help and contributions for this Long Play.’

İstanbul Eventide
İstanbul Eventide