Another brief entry, as we previously talked about Léonie and its (surprising) short career, based on 45singles, started in the late-60’s amidst the french yé-yé scene. The dossier from this unknown singer can be checked in Hero Culte blog, don’t miss out the detective work from tiny noggin and other curiosities about French stars!
Let’s go to our album:
This time, she is backed up with the mighty arrangements/compositions by the number one french maestroJean Claude Vannier. Léonie’s peculiarsensual voice stands out on its 5th release, she knows how to be pop and cult simultaneously.
A side has a characteristic (slower) charleston piano/xylophone pace, playedby Vannier, along with strings andwizardry guitars in a vintage delicate atmosphere.
B side are my favorite, this fuzzy psych ballad has a magic cadency that sticks to the head, an example of how you can be pop without neglecting good aesthetic choices!
I really would like to count on better quality rips, but the fact is none of her singles were duly re-released on CD, this and other entries are a good invitation to meet the B-side on what is called Pop Jerk, somewhat ahead from the naive (early) works of France Gall,Sylvie Vartan, Céline, Françoise Hardy, Séverine, and many others.
We’ll leave for an upcoming entry, more details about the yé-yéscene and its powerful independent girls, for now, keep it up with this lovely obscure pearl.
The music of Japan includes a wide array of performers in distinct styles both traditional and modern. The word for music in Japanese is 音楽(ongaku), combining the kanji 音 ‘on’ (sound) with the kanji 楽 ‘gaku’ (enjoy). Many instruments, as the koto, were introduced in the 9th and 10th centuries, the accompanied recitative of the Noh drama dates from the 14th century and the popular folk music, with the guitar-like shamisen, from the 16th century. Western classical music, introduced in the late 19th century, now forms an integral part of Japanese culture. The imperial court ensemble Gagaku has influenced the work of many modern Western composers.
Notable classical composers from Japan include Toru Takemitsu and Rentarō Taki.
Popular music in post-war Japan has been heavily influenced by American and European trends, which has led to the evolution of J-pop (popular music). Japan is the second-largest music market in the world, with a total retail value of over 3 billion dollars in 2013, dominated by Japanese artists. Karaoke is also the most widely practiced cultural activity, ahead of flower arranging (ikebana) or tea ceremonies. Traditional Japanese music is quite different from Western music as it’s based on the intervals of human breathing rather than mathematical timing. (!)
Let’s go to our artist:
Osamu Kitajima(February 3, 1949) was born and raised in the beach town of Chigasaki(Kanagawa Prefecture), as a young man he studied classicalguitar and piano;his first band the Launchers, was led by pop idol and actor Yuzo Kayama, the group disbanded in the late ’60s, after Kitajima began to work on his own.
After graduating from Keio University, and already a successful composer of TV and advertising jingles, he moved for one year to the UK in 1971, which brought him in to contact with British folk and psychedelia. Inspired by The Beatles, T. Rex, andSyd Barrett, he dubbed himself Justin Heathcliffand issued a lone eponymous album.
His firstsolo album in 1974, Benzaiten, was a mix of modern pop and traditional Japanese music, and was well received in Japan and later released abroad (Antilles label in U.S.)where it received some underground radio airplay and sold moderately. Also in 1974 Kitajima relocated to the Los Angeles area and later opened East Quest Studios; the late ’70s and ’80s saw the establishment of its career, with more than a dozenLp’s, he has become one of Japan’s biggest selling artist internationally!
During the decades, Osamu Kitajima expanded his work to include commercial and soundtrack work, he provided part of the music to the blockbuster mini-seriesShogun and contributed to the soundtrack of Sharkey’s Machine. He also arranged the scores for PBS documentaries on Japan, Chinese/Japanese film Mandala and produced a number of artists. Nowadays, inside East Quest Records, he continues to release his own albums (new and re-issues), as well as works by countless artists.
Let’s go to our album:
This is truly a melting pot of Western rock and Japanese traditional music, very few have pulled it off so well as Kitajima does here. Either they usually fall prey to new age sappiness or move towards amateurishexploitation, fortunately, it does not happen here, a real serious work, the type of rock-influenced world music that still hasn’t been much explored at all. The album also featured Haruomi Hosonoand it utilized various electronics: synthesizer, rhythm machine, andelectronic drums.
A bit different from our previous entry Buddha Meet Rock, this is a more elaborate record, with brilliant musicians and cinematic feelings, being a cornerstone of Japanese folklore, be enlightened by Kitajima’s masterful work and Bono Trinus!
The ‘IM’ highlights are Taiyo (The Sun) and Benzaiten (Reprise).
Gamelan is traditionalensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments are metallophones played by mallets as well as a set of hand-played drums called kendhang which registers the beat. It also includes xylophones, bamboo flutes, bowed instrument called rebab, and even female vocalists called sindhen.
The popularity of gamelan has declined since modern pop music, though gamelan is still commonly played at formal occasions and in many traditional ceremonies. For most Indonesians, gamelan is an integral part and a symbol of Indonesian culture.
They are distinguished by their collection of instruments and use of voice, tunings, repertoire, style, and cultural context. In general, no two gamelan ensembles are the same, and those that arose in prestigious courts are often considered to have their own style. Certain styles may also be shared by nearby ensembles, leading to a regional style. The varieties are grouped geographically, with the principal division between the styles favoured by the Balinese, Javanese, and Sundanese peoples.
Typically, players in the gamelan will be familiar with dance moves, poetry, while dancers are able to play (along) in the ensemble. In wayang, the dalang (puppeteer) must have a thorough knowledge of gamelan, as he gives the cues for the music.
Certain gamelans are associated with specific rituals, such as the Gamelan Sekaten, which is used in the celebration of Mawlid an-Nabi (Muhammad‘s birthday), other pieces are also believed to possess magic powers, and can be used to ward off evil spirits!
The gamelan has been appreciated by several western composers (Colin McPhee, Béla Bartók, Francis Poulenc, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, Benjamin Britten, Steve Reich, Phillip Glass, György Ligeti and John Cage), most famously Claude Debussy who heard a Javanese gamelan in the premiere of Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray‘sRapsodie Cambodgienne at the Paris Exposition World’s Fair of 1889.
The gamelan that Debussy heard in it was in the slendro scale and its equal-tempered whole tone scale appears in his music. A Javanese gamelan-like heterophonic texture is emulated on occasion, particularly in Pagodes, from Estampes (solo piano, 1903), in which the great gong‘s cyclic punctuation is symbolized by a prominent perfect fifth.
There is a famous Javanese saying that sums up Gamelan’s role importance in Indonesian habitual daily life: ‘It is not official until the gong is hung’. (!)
Let’s go to our artist:
Chrismansyah Rahadi(16 September 1949 – 30 March 2007) was born in Jakarta, as the second of three brothers from Laurens Rahadi and Hana. He graduated from high school in 1967 and had the opportunity of studying Architectural Engineering in APP Trisakti, but he dropped out on its third year. Chrisye initiated his career in music by joining the Sabda Nada Band in 1968, the short-lived group morphed into Gipsy (later famous Guruh Gipsy) in 1969 along with some change of personnel.
Gipsy became a well-respected band from Jakarta and had the most luxuriousequipment of the day. In 1971/1972 they flew to New York and played in the Ramayana Restaurant for about a year. Back to Indonesia, Chrisye managed to popularize the song Lilin-Lilin Kecil (Small Candles) winning the Youth Contest Prambors Songwriting Contest in 1977. His first albums Badai Pasti Berlalu and Sabda Alam managed to be very popular and successful in the domestic market.
This would only be the beginning of a highly consolidated career through the ’80s and ’90s, he’s merely one of the biggest record sellers from all-time in Indonesia!
Let’s go to our album:
In May 1978 Chrisye began work on his first (solo) album Sabda Alam (Nature’s Order), incorporating several songs by other artists and some written by himself, including the title song, which he recorded it after locking himself in the studio. The album, greatly influenced by Badai Pasti Berlalu(OST Lp) and drawing on the double-tracking technique (the vocals are recorded twice to achieve fuller sound), was released in August that year. Heavily promoted in a campaign during which Chrisye was interviewed on the national television station TVRI and on the radio.
The album eventually sold more than 400,000 copies! (phew)
This renowned artist(still) remains unknown to most of the Western public, today we exclusively present one of his greatest releases, full of melodic and harmonic beauty, Chrisye’s soulfulinterpretation is quite something. Supported by a sharp band withthe always welcome participation of Yockie on keyboards, once more splitting the arrangements with Chrisye, the Lp got prog ballads, folk, disco, a fantastic version of Smaradhana (Guruh Gipsy’s song), female chorus, and one of the greatest Indonesian songs in my opinion, Anak Jalanan, this album is no joke!
The ‘IM’ highlights are Cita Secinta and Anak Jalanan.
The music of South Korea has evolved over the decades since the end of the fourthKorean War (1953) and has its roots in the music of the Korean people, who have inhabited the Korean peninsula for over a millennium. Contemporary South Korean music can be divided into three different main categories: Traditional Korean folk music, popular music, or K-pop, and Western-influenced non-popular music.
The first evidence of Korean music is old, and it has been well documented by surviving written materials from the 15th century and was brought to heights of excellence during the Yi Kings of the Joseon Dynasty. Imperial Japan’s annexation of Korea (sic)eliminated Korean music from 1905 to 1945. (!)
A brief post-war period reawakened folk and patriotic music, by 1951, Korea was split into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North)and the Republic of Korea (South),from which emerged two completely different approaches to music.
Korean traditional music includes kinds of both folk and classical, including genres like sanjo, pansori, and nongak. The three types of Korean court music are Aak (oldest), Dang-ak (less known) and Hyang-ak (extant form). Today, the Korean Wave, or hallyu (한류), is the word used to discuss the influence of contemporary Korean popular culture on the rest of Asia, and also the rest of the world!
Let’s go to our artist:
T’onga guitar(tong guitar) is a form of Korean folk and folk-rock music developed in the early 60’s/70’s. It was heavily influenced by American folk music, artists in the genre were then, considered Korean versions of American folk singers, such as Joan Baez or Bob Dylan. Notable early Korean folk musicians include the American-educatedHan Dae-sooand Kim Min-ki. Hahn and Kim recorded socially and politically conscious songs, and both had their work censored/banned by the (aforementioned) autocratic Park Chung-hee 1970sdictatorialgovernment (sic).
Despite the government’s efforts to censor political music, popular folk songs increasingly came to be used as rallying cries for social change within Korea, leading to the term norae undong (노래운동), or literally, song movement, being coined to describe songs targeted at social change. In the midst of this turmoil, our today artist flourished thanks to the (irreplaceable) presence of Shin Joong Hyun.
At the dawn of the ’70s, South Korea’s rock music scene was at its zenith, much of the reason for this was the god-like musical touch of guitar wizard, songwriter, producer, and arrangerShin Joong Hyun. In 1971, he took a girl named 김정미 or simply Kim Jung Mi, and transformed her from a wallflowerstudent into a (famous)folk-psych chanteuse in record time, like a Korean Francoise Hardy.
Born on April 23, 1953, they worked together intensively in six albums until the fateful year of 1975 where the Korean rock was shut down! Only to reinvent itself with the entry of San Ul Lim in 1977. Kim Jung Mi came back that same yearwith a different sound style and the last effort in 1978,to finally retire from the music business.
I really would like more information about her, like interviews and curiosities, about its life, or even recent news, but so far i (still) haven’t had much success reading and translating in Hangul, could our Korean friends give us any help?!
Let’s go to our album:
The rockier side of her, again thanks to Shin Yung-Hyun’s participation along with the Yupjuns, this certainly defined the Korean psych-rock sound; plus the addition of horns, organ, and even a string section. Still owing a decent reissue, unlike the recent hyped Now (1973), pressed by Lion Productions, and distributed by Light In The Attic, this groovy folk-funk are possibly her best work! With a famous cover from Janis’sMove Over (!), this one sprinkled pepper along with her folk, trot work!
Lastly, this rip comes from the Korean cd re-release, butbelieve me, the sound is identical to the few versions we have available in Soulseek, etc, terrible!!
But in any matter, this will disparage the appreciation of a beautiful B side from SouthKorea, let us enjoy another great artist and Udhëtimi i Mirë!
The ‘IM’ highlights are 너와 나 (You & Me) and 너를 갖고파 (I Want You).
Hello everyone! Today’s entry will be very short due to the lack of information available from this curious artist. An Indian(raised?) in Italy, who played with important members of the progressive scene from there. We thank our colleagues from Boxes of Toys for the rip and remember that this is an obscure album, the supposed lack of sound quality should be tolerated. Many of you may already know the funkySkinny Woman, but this album has much more to offer, let’s check!
Let’s go to our artist:
In 1974 a new incarnation of Garybaldi was formed by Bambi Fossati along with old cohort Maurizio Cassinelli, bassist Roberto Ricci, and Indian percussionist Ramasandiran Somusundaram as Bambibanda & Melodie. The percussionist previously active as a session musician also released an album and no less than three singles (in a more commercial vein) between 1974 and 1976 on the Magma label.
Let’s go to our album:
The A-side have a funky (non-stop) party atmosphere, with heavy percussion, cosmic keyboards, insane flutes, lo-fi brass, all wrapped in an exploitation feel. On B side things slow down a little bit, we see some influences of Ramasandrian homeland, with oriental tinges, melodic ballads, in a very peaceful Hindu atmosphere. (!)
It’s strange to imagine that this is the same artist from the beginning, the songwriting, a bit iffy on side A, convinces us in B-side, along with the tight band that accompanies him. The overall feeling at the end of the album is of surprise and contentment!
The ‘IM’ highlights are Electronic Heart and Chan.