Tafo Brothers – Plugged in Pakistani Pops (2009)

foto cópia

The history of Pakistan film industry is interspersed with many vicissitudes. Starting almost from a scratch soon after the political division of the Sub-continent (1947), it gradually progressed to achieve self-reliance and prosperity, and a time came when it could proudly and successfully compete with quality films made across the border in India, matching them in (almost) all departments of cinematography.

The golden era of Pakistan cinema was the period between the ’60s and ’70s, although a number of good movies had already been produced in Lahore studios during the second half of the ’50s. A large number of dedicated movie-makers, who had made names during their stay in Mumbai, like producer-directors Nazir, Shaukat Hussain Rizvi and WZ Ahmad (their actress-wives Swaran Lata, Noor Jahan, and Neena); directors Nazir Ajmeri, Luqman, S Fazli and Masud Parvez.

Noor Jahan
Noor Jahan

And lastly, play-actors of the caliber of Shah Nawaz, Shakir, Alauddin, Charlie, Ghauri, Himaliyawala, Sadiq Ali, Shameem, Najma, and Ragni contributed to the evolution of Pakistan film industry during the formative years of the new state.

Lollywood ranks among the top twenty film producing nations with an average of 60 full-length feature films per year. Lollywood should take pride in achieving two distinct accolades. The first relates to Noor Jehan, also known as ‘Melody Queen’, she is the country’s most celebrated singer and actress, enjoying popularity in a career spanning about sixty years! Followed by actor Sultan Rahi was yet another phenomenon with a total number of 670 films, playing key roles in 525 films in a period of almost forty years between 1956 to 1995, averaging 16.75 films a year!

Nayyar Sultana
Nayyar Sultana (Malka-i- Jazbaat – Queen of Sentiments)

In spite of all, almost all Pakistani films cater to the local market and no serious effort has been made to broaden the audience base of its films or to enter these at international festivals. Very little, therefore, is known or heard about Lollywood outside the country, the indifference and timidity as evinced by this industry have a lot to do with the peculiar history of the (difficult) evolution of cinema in Pakistan.

The strategy of prolonged protectionism has failed to solve its main problems, along with the loss of East Pakistan territory, the inception of television, and the infiltration of non-artistic financiers, who had no or little background, either in the arts, or business. Consequently, senior film-makers, directors and composers went into voluntary exile and the industry was taken over by rich people who invested money for purposes other than artistic ends, much based only on profits.

These factors contributed to the ultimate decline of Pakistan film industry. (!)

Nimmi (Nawab Banoo)
Nimmi (Hindustani Vamp)

Let’s go to our artist:

As leading exponents of Lahore’s vibrant film industry, the Brothers Tafo gave Lollywood its first rock group in the form of expanded Sextet commonly known as Tafo or Taffoo to Punjabi and Urdu listeners. Mostly instrumental in composition, the sibling writing team emerged in 1970 providing incidental music and sonic variations for Lollywood love stories, with equivalence to the works of RD Burman, Mr. M.Ashraf or Sohail Rana. They would enjoy over a decade of film scoring and musical experimentation at the hi-tech EMI funded recording studios in Lahore.

Echo-plexes, primitive drum machines, analogue synths, fuzz pedals and such, provided many mundane film-scenes with playful/infectious freak-rock courtesy of these uber-legends who were the first Lollywood group to record their own LP!

Tafo Soundtrack
Tafo 70’s Soundtrack

Let’s go to our album:

The Tafo Brothers were let loose in the EMI studios in Lahore and were seemingly intent on playing every keyboard, stringed instrument and sound effect in the place. All tracks overflow with ideas, constantly shifting mood and sound as though played by these hyperactive geniuses. A delightful mix of Eastern grooves, vintage electronics, psych, and pop combined with a half-ton of charm and a dash of wit.

Once again, this entry must thank the work of Hindustani Vinyl and splendid releases from Finders Keepers, re-discovering Lollywood scene, with its spaced out and funky grooves. This amalgamation of sounds may be leftover in Pakistan cinema nowadays, but we’ll be alert for more of these mighty artists, as Tafo Khan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan works, be in touch, and Maayo Nga Biyahe!

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

The ‘IM’ highlights are Bijli Bhari Hai and Tere Siwa Dunya Men.

Tracks Include:

A1 Yeh Aaj Mujh Ko

A2 Tut Tooro Tooro Tara Tara

A3 Oh My Love

A4 Bura Honda Juwariyan Da

A5 Par Kahin Aankh Laraee

A6 Bijli Bhari Hai

B1 Dilon Man Laee

B2 To Shamae-Mohabbat

B3 Mera Mehboob Hai Tu

B4 Lakh Karo Inkar

B5 Tere Siwa Dunya Men

B6 Munda Shahr Lahore Da

Credits

Finders Keepers’ Disposable Music library imprint.

Disposable Music ‎– DiM001

Neelam Valley
Neelam Valley

French-Oriental Female Ep (2014)

ann sorel cópiaThis Ep is an attempt to present some artists who will enter soon in our galaxy, today will address exclusively two countries: France and Japan. Great arrangers, actresses singers, side B, and even famous ones, (feel free to) leave us a comment and enjoy!

France

1968

Brigitte Fontaine – Je Suis Inadaptée / Est… Folle, 1968 (arr. Jean Claude Vannier)

June 24, 1939 / The diva of French underground music.

Brigitte Fontaine made a series of increasingly strange and eclectic art-pop in the ’70s that gathered a lot of acclaim in France, although she remains obscure to an international audience. Initially, she was an eccentric but accessible pop singer, presenting melodic and orchestrated material, working with (living legend) arranger Jean Claude Vannier; on subsequent records, she got jazzier, and then into avant-gardism and art song, her albums were commendably wide-ranging and erratic.

With an active career and 2013 last release, albums like Est…Folle, Barbara’s Madame, and even less known Jean Constantin’s Le Poulpe, are some of the wonderful panoramas that Vannier conducted throughout the ’70s.

A dreamy arrangement, with delicacy, strong pace and multiple colors!

nicoletta 2 cópia

Nicoletta & Zoo – Dieu Est Negre / Visage, 1970 (arr. Zoo)

April 11, 1944 / Nicole Chappuis-Grisoni

She was considered as part of what is known as the French yé-yé generation heavily influenced by American music, particularly R&B, rock and roll and beat music, mostly known for her version of ‘Mamy Blue’ with her very specific, bluesy voice, she certainly gained a special place in French pop music, with many radio and television appearances, where she had a number of hits in the ’60s and the ’70s.

Her material after the ’70s is somewhat dubious, with that sugar chanson feel, returning to top form from mid-’90s and recently launched Ici Et Ailleurs.

Honestly, these recordings with Zoo are certainly Nicoletta’s best moment, a passionate diva interpretation with an incredible escort by these guys, check it!

ann sorel 2 cópia

Ann Sorel – L’Amour à Plusieurs / Single, 1972 (arr. Jean Claude Vannier)

Ann-Chantal Sorel, 71 years (more info ?). She released a few pairs of singles during the ’60s and ’70s, early on yé-yé and then, precious moments like this magistral one under Vannier’s tutelage. Banned (!) on radio, with a scandalous lyrics from Fréderic Botton, Ann’s sexy voice guides us through an unusual encounter.

Wrapped in a simple deep red cover, this is a fantastic erotica re-discover!

Japan

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Chinatsu Nakayama (中山千夏) – 砂漠 (Desert) / Single, 1971

July 13, 1948 / Actress Singer

Former wonder actress, TV personalitysinger and later established writer. She released a few singles during the ’70s and stopped its singer career in early ’00s, to fully devote herself as a writer, human rightscivil and feminist activist.

A B side soul-psych bomb with tons of brass, fuzz and nicely chorus!

rumi koyama 3 cópia

Rumi Koyama (小山ルミ) – 恋人の記念日 / Sasurai No Guitar, 1971

August 11, 1952 / Actress Singer

Another famous actress and Tv star, Rumi released a bit more singles and albums through the ’70s. A swinging one, with western brass, percussion, mellow strings and that Tarantino’s Kill Bill homage. Like Meiko Kaji tunes, expect some more entrances from Rumi Koyama, too, she sings with grace and got a real nice 1971 Lp!

rabi cópia

Rabi Nakayama (中山ラビ) – 夢のドライブ (Drive of a Dream) / Hira Hira, 1974

The one (and only) who helped Yoshiko Sai in his first years, Rabi Nakayama is probably one of the most famous singers from Japan, the female Bob Dylan often called, started its career in early ’70s with a dozen of releases, very active until 2009.

Here she catches a heavier side, with a furious backing band, this is almost a B side in Hira Hira’s album, totally folk-oriented. Even being unknown worldwide, Rabi’s career is pretty solid, with diverse moments and bands, soon she’ll enter here!

Hyvää matkaa!

Blind Woman's Curse, 1970 (Meiko Kaji)
Blind Woman’s Curse, 1970 (Meiko Kaji)

Ramesh (رامش) – Ramesh (2013)

capa cópia

The 1953 Iranian coup d’état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad Coup, was the overthrow of the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the United Kingdom’s MI6 (Operation Boot) and the United States’s CIA (TPAJAX Project).

Mossadegh had sought to audit the books of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), a British corporation (now BP) and to renegotiate the terms of the company’s access to Iranian oil reserves. Upon refusal of the AIOC to cooperate with the Iranian government, the parliament (Majlis) voted to nationalize the assets of the company and then, expel their representatives from the country. (!)

The Military Junta Awaits exiled Mohammad Reza Shah, 1953
The Military Junta awaits Mohammad Reza Shah, 1953

Following the coup, a military government under General Fazlollah Zahedi was formed which allowed exiled dictator Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran (Iranian king), to effectively rule the country as an absolute monarch.

By the ’70s, there was growing unrest with the Shah’s autocratic and repressive government along with its infamous police: the SAVAK. In January 1978 the first major demonstrations against the Shah occurred. After a year of strikes, clashes and millions of people on the streets, the country, and its economy were paralyzed.

1979 Revolution
1979 Revolution

The Shah fled Iran in January 1979, then Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to Tehran to establish the Islamic Republic, becoming the supreme leader.

Let’s go to our artist:

The golden age of Iranian pop music took place on a westernized and liberal Tehran of the ’60s and ’70s. This market offered an unprecedented way of artists for all tastes, the classically-trained Ramesh Azar Mohebbi (November 13, 1946) was part of it.

Playing the serious, quiet marquess in contrast to Googoosh’s languorous pop princess, both singers made the papers every time they changed their haircuts and appeared on TV frequently. Ramesh’s appearance though was not as gay and colorful as the blond-haired and joyfully dancing singer-actress mate!

Iranian Singers (Ramesh, Aref)
Ramesh, Giti, Aref,?

Ramesh appeared dark-haired, with stiffer hairstyles, always with a certain distance, never showing much of her emotions, except a somewhat melancholy of silence.

Belying what Light in the Attic promo-release says about the artist, Ramesh isn’t dead! Iranian Wiki, Youtube (!) and some musical blogs deny the fact. Its last song recording ‘Rumi’ (and album?) comes from 2003. Nowadays, she retired from the music business and glamorous spots to devote (only) to its family and daughter. (!)

Let’s go to our album:

I must admit, I’m very thrilled by the artist of today, this compilation by Pharaway Sounds is arguably one of the best, presenting us with a very rich scene that was the Iranian pre-revolution period. Other singers will be debuting here soon, ok?!

Ramesh & Aref
Ramesh & Aref

A funky queen whose rich voice sits like a mink coat, twirling its a melancholy way around long-necked lutes, sleazy Western brass, strings, synths and goblet drums. Luckily, the collection of videos with her ​​performances on TV programs and Festivals are vast! You can appreciate them at the following links, check it out!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Mondanam Az Bodanet and Aroose Noghreh Poosh.

بن سفر!

Tracks Include:

A1 Nago Na

A2 Goftehgoye Sabz

A3 Zoj

A4 Mondanam Az Bodanet w/ Fereidoon Farrokhzad

A5 Roodkhoneha

A6 Sharm-E Boos-E

B1 Afsoos

B2 Aroose Noghreh Poosh

B3 Asmaar Asmaar

B4 Delakam

B5 Labe Daryaa

B6 Ghoroobaa Ghashangan

Pharaway Sounds ‎– PHS009

Vakil Mosque
Vakil Mosque

Eastern Female Mixtape ~ 2014

Prague Dreamers, 1968

After three Mixtapes last year, I was already missing a new one, and you? Whenever we try to do it, we try to leave a distinct mark either in the choice of artists or the era approached, well, this time we’ll leave the extensive biographies and contexts aside, these artists should appear soon in our galaxy, along with their full contents.

So, let’s get right to it: our dámské and its songs.

Halina Frąckowiak

1969
1969

Halina Frąckowiak & SBB – W Powszednie Dni / Geira (1977) / Polskie N. Muza

Halina Frąckowiak – Ide Dalej / Idę (1974) / Polskie Nagrania Muza

aka Sonia Sulin, born April 10, 1947, Poznán, Poland.

Singer, Composer, and Songwriter. Ex-Grupa ABC!

Kati Kovács

70's

Kati Kovács & Juventus – Add Már Uram Az Esöt! / Single (1972) / Pepita

Kati Kovács & Locomotiv GT – Szólj Rám, Ha Hangosan Énekelek / Kovacs, Kati (1974) / Pepita

Born Kovács Katalin, October 25, 1944, Verpelét, Hungary. Singer, Actress, Lyricist, Songwriter. Probably the most famous singer of Hungary, with dozens of recorded albums, awards, and presentations indoor/abroad, international recognition and a very active career until today. Hungarian musical critics have praised her raspy and strong voice, calling her ‘The Voice of Hungary’!

Marie Rottrová

70's

Marie Rottrová – Tisíc Tváří Lásky / Single (1971) / Supraphon

Marie Rettrová – Poslední Hemingwayova Fotka / Pěšky Po Dálnici (1977) / Supraphon

Born November 13, 1942OstravaHrušov, Czech RepublicSinger, Pianist, Composer, TV Presenter. The so-called Lady Soul!

Ex-The Majestic and Flamingo!

Marta Kubišova

1969, Clip
1969, Clip

Marta Kubišová – Tak Dej Se K Nám A Projdem Svět / Single (1969) / Supraphon

Marta Kubišová – Svlíkám Lásku / Single (1969) / Supraphon

Born November 1, 1942, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. Singer, Actress and TV Presenter. She was the most popular female pop singer in Czechoslovakia in the late ’60s. In 1967 she won Zlatý Slavík award (Golden Nightingale). Her song ‘Prayer for Marta’ became a symbol of national resistance against the occupation of Warsaw Pact troops in 1968. During the Prague Spring, she recorded over 200 (?!!) single records and one LP, Songy a Balady in 1969, which was immediately banned from stores. In 1970, the government falsely accused her of making pornographic photographs leading to a ban from performing in the country until 1989. (!)

Ex-Golden Kids!

Sarolta Zalatnay

sarolta zalatnay

Sarolta Zalatnay & Skorpio – Hadd Mondjam El / Same (1973) / Pepita

Sarolta Zalatnay & Metro – Zold Borostyán / …Ha Fiú Lehetnék (1970) / Qualiton

aka Charlotte Sachert, December 14, 1947, Budapest, Hungary. Famous controversial Singer, Actress, Writer, already known from previous posts here in ‘IM’check out our exclusive. Known as the Hungarian Janis Joplin!

We have an interesting study about the Rock development in the Eastern Bloc, from our homonyms friends which eventually will form the basis for other posts.

Be charmed by these mighty girls and bon vitage!

Metró, 1969
Metró, 1969

Salah Ragab (صلاح رجب) & The Cairo Jazz Band – Egyptian Jazz (1968-73)

folder cópia

At the time of the fall of the Egyptian monarchy in the early 1950s, less than half a million Egyptians were considered the upper class and rich, four million middle class and 17 million lower class and poor (!). Fewer than half of all primary-school-age children attended school, and most of them being boys. Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdel Nasser led Egypt through a victorious revolution in 1952. He was a proponent of cultural nationalism as a means of political independence.

Land reform and distribution, the dramatic growth in university education, and government support to national industries greatly improved social mobility and flattened the social curve. From 1953-54 through 1965-66, overall public school enrolments more than doubled. Millions of previously poor Egyptians, through education and jobs in the public sector, joined the middle class.

Doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, journalists, constituted the bulk of the swelling middle class in Egypt under Nasser.

Faten Hamama & Omar Sharif
Faten Hamama & Omar Sharif

Famous realist director, Kamal Al Sheikh became known for making compelling thrillers such as House Number 13 (1952), a film noir about a psychologist who tries to use his friend to commit a murder; Life or Death (1955), which unusually for the 50’s was shot on location in Cairo, and The Last Night which was nominated for the Golden Palme at the Cannes Film Festival in 1964!

The ’50s and ’60s saw the appearance of accomplished realist films from Youssef Chahine, most notably The Blazing Sky (1954) nominated for the Grand Prix at the Cannes. It’s the second film, Son of the Nile (1951) showed an early work of Social Realism, that started his international fame. The film focused on relations between traditional classes and elites, depicting the hard lives of peasant classes. Previous representations of peasants had used them largely as romanticized symbols of national identity.

El-Andaleeb El-Asmar
El-Andaleeb El-Asmar

Let’s go to our album:

Born Salah Eldin Ahmed Ragab (25/07/1935 – 03/07/2008) in Cairo. A Major in the Egyptian Army through the ’60s, and an avid jazz fan and drummer, Ragab first attempted to form a jazz band in 1964, with American saxophonist Mac X. Spears. The group didn’t get very far, then, on December 1966, Ragab met Hartmut Geerken and Eduard Vizvari at a reception following a Randy Weston Sextet show. The three hit it off and decided to form the Cairo Jazz Band (القاهرة الفرقة موسيقى الجاز).

The year that he became the head of the Egyptian Military Music Department, in 1968, The Cairo Jazz Band began to take-off. They were Egypt’s first big band, mixing American jazz with North African music, combining jazz instrumentation with indigenous melodies/instruments, like the Nay (flute) and the Baza (ramadan drum).

The Cairo Jazz Band
The Cairo Jazz Band

Such musical cross-fertilization was not unusual in itself; American musicians from Sun Ra to Yusef Lateef had long been fascinated by the music of Islam and North Africa, incorporating both the instruments and musical forms into their work. But Salah Ragab’s music presents a view from the other side of the musical equation of West meets the Middle East. Aligning himself with the compelling currents of American jazz music, to later be revered as the Godfather and pioneer of Egyptian jazz music!

Let’s go to the pinnacle of Egyptian instrumental music, beyond the barriers of jazz and folk, the refinement and creativity here is frightening! Enjoy this superb voyage, with luxuriant arrangements and also 5 (unmissable) bonus tracks present on the 2006 CD edition, without further ado the great master Salah Ragab.

Sun Ra & The Maestro - 80's
Sun Ra & The Maestro – 80’s

The ‘IM’ highlights are Egypt Strut and The Kings Valley – Upper Egypt. 

Trevlig Resa!

Tracks Include:

1 Ramadan In Space-Time

2 Dawn

3 Neveen

4 Oriental Mood

5 Kleopatra

6 Mervat

7 Egypt Strut*

8 The Crossing (Oubour)

9 Calling You

10 The Kings Valley – Upper Egypt

11 A Farewell Theme

12 Kleopatra (Alt. Take)

Credits

  • Alto Saxophone: El Saied El Aydy, Farouk El Sayed
  • Baritone Saxophone: Abdel Hakim El Zamel
  • Bass: Moohy El Din Osman
  • Bongos, Drums (Ramadan – Baza): Sayed Ramadan
  • Conductor, Piano, Drums, Congas: Salah Ragab
  • Drums: Sayed Sharkawy
  • Flute (Bamboo Nay): Abdel Hamd Abdel Ghaffar (Toto)
  • Piano: Khmis El Khouly
  • Tenor Saxophone: Fathy Abdel Salam, Saied Salama
  • Trombone: El Sayeed Dahroug, Mahmoud Ayoub, Sadeek Basyouny
  • Trombone (Bass): Abdel Atey Farag
  • Trumpet: Ibrahim Wagby, Khalifa El Samman, Mohammad Abdou
  • Trumpet, Flute: Zaky Osman
  • Tuba (Bass): Mohammad Abdel Rahman

* Bass: Esmat Abbas / Electric Guitar: Mohammad El-Tobgy 

Mizmar (Mozmar): Aly Abdel Mohsen, Aly Hassan, Hany Awad

Piano: Alaa Mostafa

  • Reissue Producer: Peter Dennett
  • Remastered By: Peter Beckmann

Recorded in Heliopolis, Egypt between 1968 and 1973 (tracks 1 to 7).

Egypt Strut was originally released on the Sono Cairo record label as a 45 rpm single.

Art Yard ‎– ARTYARD CD006

Hind Rostom
Hind Rostom