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

Sarolta Zalatnay – Tükörkép (1980)

cover

Hungary. Following periods of successive habitation by Celts, Romans, Huns, Slavs, Gepids, and Avars, the foundation of Magyarország was laid in the late 9th century by the Hungarian grand prince Árpád. His great-grandson Stephen I ascended to the throne in 1000 AD, converting the country to a Christian kingdom. Hungary became a middle power and part of the Western world by the 12th century. After the Battle of Mohács and about 150 years of partial Ottoman occupation, Hungary became part of the Habsburg, and later formed part of the Austro–Hungarian Empire.

Hungary’s current borders were first established by the Treaty of Trianon (1920) after WWI. The country lost 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, and 32% of ethnic Hungarians. (!) On the side of the Axis Powers, Hungary also suffered great damages in WWII, during its four decades-long communist dictatorships (1947–1989), the country gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956 and the seminal opening of its border with Austria in 1989, previously restricted by the Iron Curtain, which accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc.

Traditional Dance and Costumes
Traditional Dance and Costumes

On 23 October 1989, Hungary again became a democratic parliamentary republic, and now it is a developed country, only standing behind Austria and Slovenia (its bordered countries) in HDI indices. Nowadays, Hungary is a very popular tourist destination attracting 10.2 million tourists a year!

Let’s go to our history:

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the government of the People’s Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956. It was the first major threat to Soviet control since the USSR’s forces drove out the Nazis at the end of WWII and occupied Eastern Europe. Despite the failure of the uprising, it was highly influential and came to play a role in the downfall of the Soviet Union decades later.

Public Demonstrations
Public Demonstrations

The revolt began as a student demonstration, which attracted thousands as they marched through central Budapest to the Parliament building, calling out on the streets using a van with loudspeakers via Radio Free Europe. A student delegation entering the radio building to try to broadcast the students’ demands was detained. When the delegation’s release was demanded by the demonstrators outside, they were fired upon by the State Security Police (ÁVH) from within the building. As the news spread, disorder and violence erupted throughout the capital.

The revolt spread quickly across Hungary and the government collapsed. Thousands organized into militias, battling the ÁVH and Soviet troops. Pro-Soviet communists and ÁVH members were often executed or imprisoned and former prisoners were released and armed. Radical impromptu workers’ councils wrested municipal control from the ruling Hungarian Working People’s Party and demanded political changes. A new government formally disbanded the ÁVH, declared its intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact and pledged to re-establish free elections. By the end of October, fighting had almost stopped and a sense of normality began to return.

Women's Militia
Women’s Militia

After announcing a willingness to negotiate a withdrawal of Soviet forces, the Politburo (Central Committee of the Communist Party) changed its mind and moved to crush the revolution. On 4 November, a large Soviet force invaded Budapest and other regions of the country. The Hungarian resistance continued until 10 November. Over 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed in the conflict, and 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees. (!) Mass arrests and denunciations continued for months thereafter, by January 1957, the new Soviet-installed government had suppressed all public opposition. These Soviet actions, while strengthening control over Eastern Europe, alienated many Western Marxists.

Stalin's Head
Stalin’s Head

But how music has been influenced over the years that followed? Let us understand a little that other context.

Hungarian popular music in the early 20th century consisted of light operettas and the Roma music of various styles. Nagymező Utca, the Broadway of Budapest, was a major center for popular music and boasted enough nightclubs and theaters. In 1945, however, this era abruptly ended and popular music was mostly synonymous with the patriotic songs imposed by the Russian Communists.

In 1956, however, liberalization began with the three Ts (tűrés, tiltás, támogatás, meaning toleration, prohibition, support), and a long period of cultural struggle began, starting with a battle over African-American jazz. Jazz became a part of Hungarian music in the early 20th century but did not achieve widespread renown until the 1970s, when Hungary began producing internationally known performers like the Benko Dixieland Band (below) and Bela Szakcsi Lakatos.

BDB
BDB

In the early 60s, Hungarian youths began listening to rock in droves, in spite of condemnation from the authorities. Three bands dominated the scene by the beginning of the 70s, Illés, Metró, and Omega, all three of which had released at least one Lp. A few other bands recorded singles, but the Record-Producing Company, a state-run record label, did not promote these bands, which quickly disappeared.

In 1968, the New Economic Mechanism was introduced, intending on revitalizing the Hungarian economy; in the 70s, however, the Russians cracked down on subversives in Hungary, and rock was a major target. (!) Illés was banned from performing and recording, while Metró and Omega left for exile. Some of the members of these bands formed a supergroup, Locomotiv GT, that quickly became very famous. Bands like Piramis and Skorpio kept the underground prog-rock scene alive. These bands also succeeded to get more in the mainstream by supporting female singers like Kati KovácsZsuzsa Koncz and Sarolta Zalatnay on their albums.

Locomotiv GT, 74
Locomotiv GT, 74′

But further, rock bands in the late 70s mostly had to conform to the Record Company’s demands and ensure that all songs passed the inspection of the Song Committee, who scoured looking for ideological disobedience (sic). Locomotiv GT was the most prominent band of a classic rock style, along with Bergendy. Meanwhile, the disco style of electronic music produced such performers as the officially-sanctioned and praised Neoton Familia and Judith Szűcs.

The following decades saw the entrance and growth of punk, new wave, clubbing, electronic dance, as well as the end of the (infamous) Record Production Company and with the fall of the wall greater freedom of expression and paths.

Let’s go to our album:

Sarolta Zalatnay born on December 14, 1947, as Charlotte Sacher, grew up in Budapest. At the age of 16 she auditions as a singer with the folk/jazz band Bergendy. They started recording old fashioned melodies but soon changed into more modern material. With the band she appeared in the Hungarian Television’s song contest named Táncdalfesztivál in 1963 with the song Hol Jár Az Eszem?

Mid 60s
Mid 60s

The band developed a style that would be known as Beat Ablak and Zalatnay was pushed forward as lead singer. In 1967 under her nickname Cini she won the contest with the song Nem Várok Holnapig, which was accompanied by the Hungarian rock group Omega. It gave her a chance for a study/trip to Paris and London in 1968-69 during which she got acquainted with the members of the Bee Gees group.

Back in Hungary in 1969 the musical climate already changed and with Metro, she records some singles before state label Qualitation releases her debut album Ha Fiú Lehetnék in 1970. Her breakthrough came when she performed in the alternative musical movie Szép Lányock, Ne Sírjatok. In 1971 she wins first prize in the Dance Song Contest with Fák, Virágok, Fény. With Locomotiv GT she started recording two follow up albums. Hitherto, her albums sold over 400.000 copies. (!)

70s Look
The 70s Look

In 1973 she broke with the LGT team to switch to Skorpio with whom she recorded the album Hadd Mondjam El including elements of funk, beat and synthesizer experiments. Responsible for this was pianist Gyula Papp. LGT meanwhile started to record with singer Kati Kovacs which turned competitive with Zalatnay. In 1974 she got married to Sándor Révész (singer of Piramis), but they divorced later on.

At the start of the eighties Zalatnay’s star started to fade next to a whole new musical scene, she turned to write an autobiography called New Vagyok En Apaca. In 1987 she married László Benedek and got a daughter in 1989. Since 1995 she also became active as chairman of the Hungarian Animal Protection and Nature Federation.

In 1995 she married her third husband Márton Csaba, a porn director. Although not a very faithful husband he swept Sarolta into a TV-production venture called CiNN TV, he also persuaded her to pose for Playboy! In 2004 she appeared in the Hungarian Big Brother days before she had to sit out a three-year prison sentence for tax fraud. This also was the end of her marriage. In prison she worked in a new book and in 2009 she performed again for a documentary about her life. In February 2009 she released a second biography with a new album Magadat Vállalni Kell.

After this little lesson, we will stick to the album, perhaps her last great commercial success from the 70s, again she is accompanied by a great band: Karthago. Headlong into the Disco wave his romantic side also emerges in certain moments, in whole this is a bit different from Hadd Mondjam El but still deserves your care.

Lately
Lately Portrait

Sarolta has the voice of Janis Joplin with a Hungarian temper, a nose for good bands and a lascivious body. She was there at the forefront in the sixties and seventies with bands like Omega, Locomotiv GT and Skorpio. A phenomenon in Hungary and hardly known outside. Her career after 1990 has been laced with dodgy marriages, uncontrolled TV appearances and being prey for the paparazzi. Lately, she gets some recognition abroad due to a finders-keepers re-press released in 2009.

The ‘IM’ highlights are: Add Vissza a Babaruhát, a heavy clavinet funky-disco with Sarolta’s harsh voice, boogie chorus, synth-strings, light percussion and an invitation to not leave the dance floor, get down! And Karnevál a Hungarian attempt to portray the carnival, this stimulant song brings us a little of folklore guitars, woodwinds and a great performance from the diva by the end. Jó Utat!

Tracks Include:

A1 Széttört Tükörkép

A2 Mondd Nekem

A3 Életképek

A4 Add Vissza A Babaruhát

A5 Mindig Kell Egy Barát

B1 R’ And R’

B2 Százszor Visszaadok Mindent

B3 Karnevál

B4 Hozzám Tartozol (feat. Máté Péter)

B5 Tükörkép

Credits

  • Backing Band – Karthago
  • Conductor (Orchestra) – Bolba Lajos
  • Directed by (Musical Director) – Kószás László
  • Engineer – Szita István
  • Written by – S. Nagy István, Máté Péter (A1 to A3, B1, B2, B5)
  • A4, A5, B3 and B4 by – Zalatnay Sarolta

Pepita ‎– SLPX 17612

Released in December, 1979

Budapest, Look On
Budapest, Look On

Turkish Female Mixtape ~ 2013

kamuran akkor cópia

Turkey. A country that divides two continents, Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) is localized at the Bosphorus Strait, the legendary bridge that divides the European continent of Asia. This geographical division ended up influencing the Turkish customs and its diverse and rich ancient culture. By owning the shortest route in intercontinental passages, historically the only way between the civilizations of East and West, the country became an important center of trade and constant migration transit. With several occupations throughout his history, such as Hittites, Assyrians, Hellenization, and Byzantine Empire, Mongols, and lastly, the Ottoman Empire, Turkey mainly thanks to its rebirth to one single individual: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Atatürk
Atatürk

Credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey, after defeating the Ottoman Empire in WWI, Atatürk embarked upon a program of political, economic, and cultural reforms, seeking to transform the underdeveloped country into a modern, secular and democratic nation-state. Under his leadership, thousands of new schools were built, primary education was made free and compulsory, while the taxation on peasants was reduced. The constant economic growth continued until WWII, based upon a blend between liberalism and state interventions.

He died in 1938, and the so-called single-party period ended with the war, then, a multiparty democracy emerged and so the development from the post-war period began to fade. The usual tensions from the period strengthened in 1960 with the first of four military coup d’états, that lasted more than 35 years. (!)

Adnan Menderes, 1960 Coup
Adnan Menderes, 1960 Coup

Let’s go to our history:

Anatolian Rock (Anadolu Rock) arises on the mid-’60s, as in many other countries, with the definitive entrance of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and many other bands. That western invasion would influence the basis of the movement along with Turkish folk traditions, instruments, and tunes.

From 1968 to 1975 multiple artists/bands popped through the radio airwaves and television to became nationally acclaimed, during this time Turkey saw the golden age of psychedelic, prog, folk and pop acts (sung in Turkish) such as Cem Karaca, Edip Akbayram, Baris Manço, Erkin Koray, Mogollar, Apaslar, and Kardaslar.

Mustache Rock
Mustache Rock

With dozens of records and singles, this movement had some tolerance with the military governments, though, after 1975, the situation changed and repression tightened. Not that this period did not leave death and repression in their wake, quite the contrary, as seen in the invasion of Cyprus and the strifes between ultra-nationalists and communists. A lot of artists were arrested, banned or boycotted, until the ’80s more than 5000 Turkish were killed in many different conflicts!

But none of these artists had women on the front, that’s why we’ll have a dedicated post to some of these bands later (including the legendary Selda Bagcan), with deeper biography and info; today we focus on an unusual side of Anatolian Rock, with some other influences, like disco, synth-pop, jazz and sugar ballads.

Cyprus Invasion
Cyprus Invasion

Let’s go to our mixtape:

The Turkish pop scene always has kept its exotic character mixing influences from the Ottoman, Anatolian, and Arabesque culture. Combined with western pop it makes music that, for western ears, is build on the atonal orchestral melodies and western sounding blues and pop. On the other hand, you had the Turkish folk music (Türk Halk Müziği) has combined the distinct cultural values of all those civilizations which have lived in Anatolia and the Ottoman territories in Europe and Asia.

Now, this is an umbrella genre since there are many forms of folk like Türkü (folksongs), Destan (epic) or instrumental dance music like Halay, Bengi, Karşılama or Zeybek. And lastly was the traditional music of the Middle East and the Raqs Sharqi (belly dance) influence to the forming of Turkish pop music!

Arabesque Music
Arabesque Music

Here is our Kadin!

Asu Maralman

asu maralman cópia

Bal Gibi Olur (1977 single) /// Yollar (homonym 1980 Lp)

With Armenian blood in the lineage, Silva Bursalıoğlu, began his musical studies on piano and chant at the age of 5. The youngest daughter of three, his mother was an opera singer and helped her to debut on musical stages alongside with his sister on the early ’60s. Performing, in the beginning, on weddings, university festivals and later as the main singer in a professional orchestra. After his first marriage, in 1968, she changed her name to Asu Maralman. Its first single came out in 1971 and her career was characterized by the release of several singles throughout the ’70s.

Toured across Germany, USA, and Canada on the ’80s, after this period the pace of its career slowly wane. Recently the Eski 45’likler (Best of) re-release and some blogs revival made it known again. With a synth-pop and disco tinges!

Kâmuran Akkor

kamuran akkor single cópia

Ikimiz Bir Fidaniz (1974 single) /// Dogrumu Dogrumu (1977 Lp)

This beautiful blonde may be considered one of the first foxy-romantic singers, in Turkey. With incandescent as a surname, alongside with his sister Gonul Akkor, the two were in the minds of many, thanks to their bodies and latent sexuality. With few Lp’s released domestically, once again, the 45′ singles are the majority of its career.

Debuting in 1969, these AMAZING electric grooves, unfortunately, can only be seen here, his romantic shift taken from the ’80s made her a very popular corny diva. But here, she flirts with some soul, fuzzy guitars and heavy synths. Currently, she still performs live shows and TV appearances, her last album was released in 2010.

Neşe Karaböcek

nese karabocek cópia

Asik Olamiyorum (1972 single) /// Bahcenizde Gul Var Mi (1979 Lp)

From a very early age, she displayed his vocal and theatrical qualities, debuting on live stages and theaters with only three years old. (!) With scholar music formation, the brilliant soprano sang opera until their teens, to finally start on vinyl in 1965. Probably the most famous of all, Neşe is internationally known and has an extensive career with more than 8 Lp’s and numerous singles. Starring as an actress too, she takes part (leading or not) on more than 10 films throughout a noted biography!

She’s the best selling female artist in Turkey, with more than 6 million records and multiples prizes! Leaning on a folk romantic source, some Latin colors and synths are heard from our selections, the sound quality may vary, but his vocal techniques and instrument tones worth the trip. She continues to record and recently released a book and an exhibition of his personal paintings and thoughts.

Nilüfer Yumlu

nilufer capa

Kim Arar Seni (1978 Lp) /// Ayrilik Hasreti (1974 Lp)

A consolidated career, this phrase defines well this singer. With more than 20 albums and a myriad of singles, Nilüfer is one of the few to achieve success in all decades, changing its sound and aesthetics once in a while. Singer, the songwriter, and producer, discovered in the late ’60s after winning a Golden Voice student contest, in Istanbul, she debuted at musical charts on 1972 and participated in 1978 at the Eurovision Song Contest. The mid 90’s (pinnacle of its career) saw his nomination as a Turkish ambassador of UNICEF and also honored with the State Artist title.

Recently she adopted a rock posture, releasing its last album in 2013. Deeps synths, nice percussion and a disco-pop overall. The other one it’s a mellow cover from the world hit ‘Killing Me Softly with His Song’, check it!

Tülay German

tulay german cópia

Mecnunum Leylami Gordum (1964 single) ///  Kizilciklar Oldu Mu (1965 single)

The oldest and experienced all, the founder of Turkish pop music, Tülay studied music and graduated in 1956 at the Uskudar American Academy. Even forbidden by his father to sing at night, her stage debut in 1960 starts a new role in Turkish pop music, singing at many radio programs, she was awarded best singer prize in 1964 at Balkan Music Festival, held in Yugoslavia.

From then on, she went to France in 1966 and played along with names like Charles Aznavour and The Moody Blues, releasing successful singles by Phillips. She also made many TV shows and toured around the World in late ’60s, early ’70s!

Her folk ballads overstepped the boundaries of any Turkish singer, turning it into a legend in his country. Retired since the mid-’80s, living in France, Tülay’s music has a distinguishing mark, passing through jazz and deep folklore traditions.

Iyi Yolculuklar!

Van Kahvaltı Evi
Van Kahvaltı Evi

Mikael Ramels Musikband – Rycker Dej I Svansen (1979)

capa

Sweden. Despite being known worldwide by its pop mass bands such as ABBA, Roxette, and Ace of Base, this Scandinavian rich country saw the usual rock development throughout its 60’s and 70’s in a very special way.

The so-called Progg scene, a left-wing and anti-commercial heterogeneous movement that paved the path for bands who didn’t want to sign with major labels, intended their own distribution methods and organized numerous music festivals and forums along the country’s decade. This unique attitude, unthinkable in many countries that would still suffer from military coups or persecution, featured a broad spectrum of musical styles, such as pop, folk, psych and prog

Artists like Bo Hansson, Mikael Ramel, Kebnekajse, Hoola Bandoola Band, Nationalteatern and Samla Mammas Manna vied for the attention of anarchists, communists, and socialists audiences in the very early of the ’70s. (!)

Steampacket
Steampacket

The movement was closely connected to similar fronts in arts, theatre, design, and to alternative lifestyles; most lyrics were in Swedish and had a strong criticism against the governing Social Democratic Party. There was also a movement in support of the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam, for instance.

And the famous protests to stop tennis matches against tennis players from the Pinochet-ruled Chile in Båstad 1975. At the end of the decade, however, the movement started to decline, as many of the bands disintegrated and the music forums were closed. The left-wing ideals became less dominating among youngsters, and rock/folk were being replaced by hard rock and electronic music.

Steampacket, At Ease
Steampacket, At Ease

On the other hand, since the end of the ’90s and the saturation from the vanguards of yore, many Progg bands have experienced some renaissance, reuniting for concerts, and new records/DVDs. The film Together (2000), directed by Lukas Moodysson goes through that era, with a satirical view of socialist values, tied with a bittersweet comedy, it also offers some brilliant soundtrack, check it!

Let’s go to their history:

Mikael Ramel is the son of the legendary Povel Ramel, whose witty tunes from the ’40s and onwards have made him one of the Swedish national treasures, probably the greatest one! With influences from Beatles, Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and Dr. John, they recorded a single together in 1965 before Mikael formed Steampacket the same year.

Recording, 70's
Recording, 70’s

He played all the instruments himself on his first solo Ep, released on January 1967, special note to the track ‘Bara Ett Par Dar’. Ramel started working on his first solo album in 1969, painstakingly putting it together in his home studio, he wasn’t done until three years later. At the time of the release of Till Dej, Ramel was an also a member of Flasket Brinner, Sweden’s prolific progg / jazz band!

Till Dej (1972) is a great effort of inventive and gracious Swedish-language folk-psychedeliaExtravagansa (1974) features more experimentation and was made by the same core musicians. 3:Dje Skivan (1977) is more polished but the experimenting is kept at bay. The album features the rhythm section of Kaj Söderström (bass, keyboards) and Hempo Hillden (drums). Both were members of Splash, the band plays on half of the tracks on Ramel’s last 70’s album, Rycker Dej i Svansen.

Mikael Ramel continues making music, although he’s a music therapist.

Portrait
Portrait

Let’s go to our record:

A bit aside from the whole scène, Mikael stands out as one of the most famous and talented artists from Sweden, imagine yourself being a son from the greatest artist of its country, it shouldn’t be easy, but Mikael was not complexed with that, aside from early comparisons, he traced its own path and sound. His first two records got a straight folk-rock direction that was completely dissolved in this one, again this is a marvelous point outside the curve of someone’s career!

Mikael: ‘This Lp was made with two different bands. I came in contact with the group Splash from Söderhamn. I had heard them and liked very much for their experimental and crazy folkloric music. After a period of contact, we agreed on an exchange, I promised to record an Lp with them on my existing mobile studio, for letting me use them as musicians in the whole production. They were nine people in the band, it was one of life’s absolute peaks! Earnings eventually became the Splash (1978) Lp.’

Today
Today

With a beautiful voice, tight band, arrangements and a fabulous mix of genres, the ‘IM’ highlights are Förpackningar, a megaton reggae that could be perfectly played by The Wailers!. And Jag Rycker Dig I Svansen, a crazy disco-funk with some prog tinges that flourishes into guitar solos and Latin percussion. Aside from these two, the album offers moments that will surely surprise you, this is also an exclusive rip!

Ha En Trevlig Resa!

Tracks Include:

A1 Mr. Stand-In

A2 Utflykt – A) Samling B) Karusellsväng C) På Väg

A3 Förpackningar

A4 Toner

B1 Jag Rycker Dej I Svansen

B2 Hon Och Han

B3 Jönsson Med Lien

B4 En Ton För Ett Don

B5 Mr. Byråkrat

B6 Djupt Till Roten

All songs and lyrics: Mikael Ramel

Mikael Ramel Band

1~5 recorded in May 1975 by Mikael Ramel Musikband and guest musicians.

Mikael Ramel & Splash

5~10 recorded in Villa Splash, Söderhamn, April 1978 with Splash.

Credits

Tomas Jutterström: keyboards / Kenny Håkansson: guitar

Bruno Råberg: bass / Bosse Skoglund: drums

Guest Musicians

Bengt Dalén: guitar / Tony Ellis: organ, guitar / Bill Ohrstrom: congas

Splash

Leif Halldén: trumpet, flugelhorn / Lennart Löfgren: bass trombone

Torbjörn Carlsson: tenor sax, flute, oboe

Christer Holm: baritone saxophone, clarinet, bassoon

Christer Jansson: guitar / Kay Söderström: bass / Hempo Hillden: drums

Sonet SLP – 2650

Stockholm Sight
Stockholm Sight

Grazia (גרציה) – Grazia! (1978)

Koliphone Cover
Koliphone Cover

Israel. Jaffa in the late ’60s and early ’70s had an exciting and exotic sound to offer, where folk musicians performed live at its taverns seven nights a week. It was far from the mainstream hit-parade of swinging Tel-Aviv but close enough geographically to attract listeners from across the Tel-Aviv / Jaffa metropolis. The scene got bigger and wilder, as it embraced the Middle Eastern celebration style known as Hafla, involving heavy drinking, local food, and music of course.

Standing at the center of old Jaffa and its vibrant music scene was the record store and label, Koliphone Records. Owned by the Azoulay brothers, Koliphone tirelessly recorded these artists and sold their records to the growing masses. At first, they released mostly Greek and Turkish music, shortly followed by Yemenite, Moroccan and Hebrew records, showcasing the cultural melting pot of this ancient town.

Pradisiac Jaffa
Paradisiac Jaffa

The biggest and most influential artist of the time was Aris San. A singer and guitar virtuoso, San created the Israeli-Greek style and introduced the drums-bass-guitar rock combo to folk audiences. His fans thought they were listening to traditional bouzouki melodies, but in fact, San’s music was a lot heavier, strongly influenced by American surf, verging on the psychedelic. San’s huge popularity attracted many other artists to record the new style he had pioneered. Artists such as Trifonas, Levitros, Nino Nikolaidis and many more began to appear on Jaffa’s record stands. Among them was a young girl who sang in Turkish. Her name was Grazia Peretz (גרציה פרץ)!

Grazia was a wonder kid in the early ’70s. She started singing at the age of nine, performing at Turkish weddings and Mediterranean nightclubs, sharing a stage with Aris San and Trifonas. Soon, she became an in-demand act for events up and down the country, landing herself a weekly TV spot on the Channel 1 music segment!

Let’s go to our record:

Psych Portrait
Psych Portrait

For her 16th birthday, her father sent her to record a full-length Hafla style album at the Koliphone Studios. Marko Bachar, who was the label’s in-house producer, arranger, and keyboard player, was in charge of the project. Bachar had just sold his organ and bought a monophonic Moog synthesizer. Grazia wanted to break free from the conformities of Greek and Turkish folk music and introduce the early sounds of disco she and her peers were getting so much into.

When the album finally hit the shops it sold… nothing! Hard funk drums, pounding bass coupled with synth blips and psychedelic Turkish guitars, well… it was all a bit too much for the unsuspecting folk audience. At the age of 18, disheartened by the music industry and the undue touring environment she had to endure at such an early age, she stopped singing and never returned to the studio or the stage.

The ‘IM’ highlights unfold us a distinctive tinge from the east, beautifully sang in Turkish, with utmost moogsSoyle Beni, with an eerie sci-fi feel, this Israeli disco prog shows us the kind of sound that people used to dance, back on Jaffa nightclubs. And Rampi Rampi, an upbeat with broken pace, key winds solos, luscious chorus and the usual Arab/oriental scales with its minor harmonics. A Rocky feel at its best!

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Tracks include:

A1 Kemangi

A2 Soyle Beni

A3 Artik Sevmeyegegim

A4 Istemen

A5 Elveda Meyhanec

B1 Rampi Rampi

B2 Muhabbet

B3 Olmek Var

B4 Arkadas

B5 Gidis O Gidisse

Licensed courtesy of Azoulay Brothers.

Recorded in Jaffa, 1978.

Koliphone ‎– 46407

Reissue by ℗ & (C) Fortuna Records 2013.