San Ul Lim (산울림) – Hourglass at Noon (한낮의 모래시계) [1979]

capa cópiaSan Ul Lim aka Sanulrim, is a South Korean power trio combo, the name is the combination of words, San (, mountain) and Ullim (울림, echo). The band is considered one of the most influential figures in the Korean Rock scene, its musical experiments varied from songs for children to progressive and psychedelic rock.

They broke up after the death of the drummer, Kim Chang-ik (김창익), in 2008 (RIP). Upon its release in 1977, their first LP sold over a half-million copies and paved the way for many further volumes. The songs are full of fuzz guitar, tinny keyboards, unique timbres, and simple production, reminding one of the American garage and pop-psychedelic groups from the ’60s, but with a very special Asian flavor. (!)

Let’s go to our artist:

The three members of San Ul Lim are brothers, they were Kim Chang-wan (김창완, 1954-), Kim Chang-hoon (김창훈, 1956-), and Kim Chang-ik (김창익, 1958-2008).

San Ul Lim, 70's
San Ul Lim, 70’s

The band, formed when the three were university students, was initially called Mui and was never meant to be professional. Kim Chang-hoon’s other college band, named Sand Pebbles, won the MBC College K-pop Festival with their song, What Shall I Do?; Mui was initially nominated to win with their song, Please Open the Door but wasn’t qualified because Chang-wan had already graduated from the university.

Gaining confidence, the band looked for a music agency, changing the name into San Ul Lim by their new manager’s demand. At first, they recorded a demo tape, the brothers had already over one hundred songs written before its debut, to then finally arrive at SRB label. Willing to sound like AC/DC heavy guitars, they’ve stumbled into insufficient technological know-how, thus, only depending on psychedelic ad-lib or fuzz guitar, this ironically made their sound unique, founding a longlasting stamp!

Live
Live

Their first album entitled Vol.1 아니벌써 (What, Already?) came out in December 1977, the Lp largely impacted the Korean music scene, becoming both critically and commercially successful, revealing a new type of music which Koreans had never heard before, people were totally absorbed with the psychedelic/hard rock sound.

San Ul Lim’s stellar appearance was significant because they vitalized the Korean popular music scene, which was currently devastated after several musicians were charged and arrested for marijuana possession. The dictatorial government of Park Chung-hee leaded mass boycotts on pop/rock music around 1975. (!)

During 1977-1984, they released more than 10 albums, ending in the middle of the disco boom (a bit late in South Korea) in 1984. With the K-pop retrospective revival during the ’90s, all of their Lp’s were reissued and a tribute album was released.

K-Rock Portrait
K-Rock Portrait

They performed in Seoul on July 5th, 2007 for their 30th anniversary and planned to release a vol. 14 album within the same year, unfortunately, on January 29, 2008, drummer Kim Chang-ik was killed in a work-related accident in Vancouver, Canada. Ever since, Kim Chang-wan announced the end of the band, though he recently reformed it and occasionally plays with another formation. He also has been actively performing as a musician, painter, actor, writer, and broadcast celebrity!

Let’s go to our album:

Today we’ve got a very special album, of an extremely important band! Still unknown to large Western audiences, (still expecting an official re-release of their albums), but thanks to the blogosphere work from Gold Korea Vinyl (for instance), Vol. 1 and 2 can be easily heard on youtube, soundcloud, etc. Here, let’s go a little further.

Last Revival
Last Revival

Together with Vol. 3, this Vol. 5 are my favorite, even if the compositions seem a bit naive in terms of harmony and arrangements, this power trio REALLY understands about colors and effects, maximizing the (holy) punk aesthetic of less is more.

There’s a previously unseen disco offshoot here, San Ul Lim’s vision and concept of it are quite unique, embracing multiple passages and genres. Lastly, Arirang’s cool series of documentaries, are available with legends in English, scrutinizing every detail of the rock development in the country, with an exclusive chapter on the band, its history, and idol status. Needless to say, more, check it out and ການເດີນທາງທີ່ດີ!

The ‘IM’ highlights are 무녀도 (No Women Island) and 백자 (White Porcelain).

Tracks Include:

A1 한낮의 모래시계 (An Hourglass in the Afternoon)

A2 오솔길 (A Trail)

A3 (The Spring)

A4 포도밭으로 가요 (Let’s Go to a Vineyard)

A5 무녀도 (No Women Island)

B1 이렇게 갑자기 (All of a Sudden)

B2 띄워라 (Fly a Kite)

B3 왜가 (Why, Leave)

B4 백자 (White Porcelain)

Credits

Chang Wan Kim (김창완): guitar, keyboards, vocals

Chang Hoon Kim (김창훈): bass

Chang Ik Kim (김창익): drums

Released on September 1979

SRB SR-0171

Bibimbap (Korean Cuisine)
Bibimbap (Korean Cuisine)

Léonie – Le Jardin Anglais / Mozart (1973)

capa cópiaAnother brief entry, as we previously talked about Léonie and its (surprising) short career, based on 45 singles, 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 maestro Jean Claude Vannier. Léonie’s peculiar sensual 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, played by Vannier, along with strings and wizardry 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!

Léonie (Martine Collet)
Léonie (Martine Collet)

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, CélineFrançoise HardySéverine, and many others.

We’ll leave for an upcoming entry, more details about the yé-yé scene and its powerful independent girls, for now, keep it up with this lovely obscure pearl.

Haerenga Pai!

Tracks Include:

A Le Jardin Anglais (J.C. Vannier, Roda Gil)

B Mozart (J.C. Vannier)

Credits

  • Orchestra: Orchestre J.C. Vannier
  • Photography: Thierry Vincent
  • Producer: Thierry Vincent
  • Published: Editions Suzelle (A)
  • Published: Editions Labrador (B)
  • Distributed: Discodis
  • Printed: Dillard et Cie. Imp. Paris

Les Disques Motors ‎– MT 4030

Sylvie Vartan & Françoise Hardy
Sylvie Vartan & Françoise Hardy

The Corporation – The Corporation (1969)

folderToday we’ll have a short entry, The Corporation might not have done the expected success 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 two LPs released by Age of Aquarius label, subsequently, Get on Our Swing and Hassles in My Mind.

1969 Promo
1969 Promo

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’s India, along with heavy fuzzflutes, harmonica, and vigorous vocals in a trippy overall!

John Coltrane, a Navy Reserve
John Coltrane, U.S. Navy Reserve

Straight and simple, the ‘IM’ highlights are Smile and India (fantastic).

კარგი მოგზაურობა!

Tracks Include:

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)

Credits

  • Bass, Backing Vocals: Kenneth Bernard Berdoll
  • Drums, Backing Vocals: Nicholas Alexander Kondos
  • Guitar, Flute, Harp, Piano, Backing Vocals: John Alexander Kondos
  • Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals: Gerard Jon Smith
  • Lead Vocals: Daniel Vincent Pell
  • Organ, Trombone: Patrick Daniel McCarthy

Recorded: Tera Shirma Studios, Detroit

Engineers: Milan Bogden and Les Chasey

Produced: John Rhys

Capitol Records ‎– ST 175

Summer of Love, 1967
Summer of Love, 1967

Kim Jung Mi (김정미) – 이건 너무 하잖아요 (It’s Too Much Unfair) [1974]

capa cópiaThe music of South Korea has evolved over the decades since the end of the fourth Korean 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. (!)

Traditional Music Ensemble
Traditional Music Ensemble

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!

Traditional Dance
Traditional Dance

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-educated Han Dae-soo and 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 1970s dictatorial government (sic).

Han Dae-soo
Han Dae-soo

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 arranger Shin Joong Hyun. In 1971, he took a girl named 김정미 or simply Kim Jung Mi, and transformed her from a wallflower student into a (famous) folk-psych chanteuse in record time, like a Korean Francoise Hardy.

Kim Jung Mi, 1972
Kim Jung Mi, 1972

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 year with 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’s Move Over (!), this one sprinkled pepper along with her folk, trot work!

Korean Gipsy
Korean Gipsy

Lastly, this rip comes from the Korean cd re-release, but believe 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 South Korea, let us enjoy another great artist and Udhëtimi i Mirë!

The ‘IM’ highlights are 너와 나 (You & Me) and 너를 갖고파 (I Want You).

Tracks Include:

1 이건 너무 하잖아요 (This Does So)

2 생각해 (Think)

3 난 정말 몰라요 (I Do Not Know Really) – Move Over

4 담배꽁초 (Cigarette Butt)

5 너와 나 (You & Me)

6 갈대 (Reed)

7 당신이 (You)

8 나는 바보인가 봐 (I’m Like a Fool)

9 너를 갖고파 (I Want You)

10 셋방살이 (Living in a Rented Room)

11 너를 보내고 (Send You)

Credits

Performer: Kim Jung Mi

Performed, Composed: Shin Joon Hyun & The Yupjuns

Jigu / JLS 120920

World Psychedelia / WPC6-8499

Psych Foxy
Foxy

El Alamo – Malos Pensamientos (1971)

el alamo cópiaThe music of Peru is an amalgamation of sounds and styles drawing on Peru‘s Andean, Spanish, and African roots. Andean influences can be best heard in wind instruments and the shape of the melodies, while the African side can be noticed in the rhythm and percussion instruments, and European tinges are watched in the harmonies and stringed instruments. Pre-Columbian Andean music was played on drums and wind instruments, not unlike the European pipe and tabor tradition.

Andean tritonic and pentatonic scales were elaborated during the colonial period into hexatonic, and in some cases, diatonic scales. (!)

Folklore
Folklore

Let’s go to our artist:

The group was formed in Magdalena, rehearsing all along the year of 1970. Consisted of Luis Iturry on vocals and rhythm guitar, Tino Pow-Sang solo guitar, Ricardo Allison on drums and Arturo Montenegro on bass, their first tests were conducted at Luis Iturri’s family home in Magdalena. In the beginning, they did progressive rock, expanding through psychedelic rock, hippie Latin styles such as Jefferson Airplane and Santana. In April 1971, officially calling El Alamo they played with PAX and other bands in different parts of Lince, Magdalena, Pueblo Libre, and Jesús Maria.

Album Photos
Album Photos

In December 1971 they recorded their debut LP entitled Malos Pensamientos, the whole recording took it to place in just one day! That very day also had the support of Peruvian musician Aníbal López in congas and timbales. The art photo on the cover was made by Estanislao Ruiz, director of the legendary Rock magazine. Many of their songs had a lot of publicity in radios like Radio Miraflores, though the military dictatorship used to ban summarily (sic) all rock groups from that era. (!)

Thus, the band had to present yourself only in small venues such as El Embassy or La Fontana; right after a solo 45 RPM the band broke up in 1972, with all its members except for ‘El Chino’ Pow-Sang, retired from music, leaving a harmoniously Latin psychedelic print, being one of the many forgotten gems of Inca Rock scene.

Santana, Live At Woodstock, 1969
Santana, Live At Woodstock, 1969

Let’s go to our album:

Peru’s rock scene is really surprising, owing nothing to their close brothers such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile, acts such as Traffic Sound, Laghonia, Gerardo Manuel, Black Sugar, Pax, El Polen, We All Together, amongst (many) others grew domestic success in the 70’s and are continually being rediscovered in this century by Western audiences. With a sweet Latin rhythm, lots of fuzz and a melodic feeling, there’s a resemblance to the Telegraph Avenue entry, ready to fall in love?!

There are some live videos from nowadays presentations, but I couldn’t find more info, anyhow, it’s good to see Tino Pow-Sang rocking with these new guys, check it out!

The ‘IM’ Highlights are Pusher Men and Malos Pensamientos.

Jauku Ceļojumu!

Tracks Include:

A1 Candy

A2 Can You See Me

A3 Pusher Men

A4 Good Night

A5 Sweet My Woman

B1 Listen to Me

B2 I Cry

B3 Borgoña

B4 Malos Pensamientos

Credits

  • Bass: Arturo Montenegro
  • Drums: Ricardo Allison
  • Guitar (1ra): Tino Pow-Sang
  • Guitar (2da): Luis Iturri
  • Organ: Jaime Salinas
  • Percussion (Gran Tumbador Peruano): Anibal López
  • Photography: Lorenzo Figueroa
  • Design (Desiños): E. Ruiz Floriano
  • Coordinator: Luis Rivera B.
  • Engineer: Jorge Avalos Vera
  • Producer: José Sardón, Victor Paz

Decibel ‎– LPD-1143

Alamo, 1960 Film
Alamo, 1960 Film