Magic Carpet – Magic Carpet (1972)

folder cópiaThe emotion provided by Raga (classical India music) is not only effective, it’s a real message, an aesthetic of nature, of the divine, a virtue able to guide the listener to a state of emotional trance. In the ’60s, with the launch of the international success of raga, masters such as Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, leaded European and American artists to become more and more captivated by the dynamical relation between mystical emotion, spirituality, and music. The emergence of Raga schools from everywhere (still perpetuating the ancestral musical traditions), and initiatory travels of Western minimalist-modern jazz composers (Terry Riley, Don Cherry) to India, founded a growing interest for this (transcendental) musical universe.

George Harrison & Ravi Shankar
George Harrison & Ravi Shankar

The emphasis on circular rhythms, ornamentation (gamaka), the use of acoustic stringed patterns, the sense of beatific endurance and lengthy improvisation are the central characteristics of this music in term of practice and sound aestheticism. Emotionally, the function on the listener is hypnotic, voluntary trying to reach him into a higher state of consciousness, modulating his perception of time and space. (!)

The basic conception of drone (continuous sound form) will be taken back in popular music and turned into kosmische electronica (70’s Berlin underground). After Seventh Sons’ first original but rather discreet effort simply called Raga (1964) and Malachi’s Holy Music (1967), famous bands such as The Beatles in Revolver (1966) and Traffic in their album Mr. Fantasy (1967) were seduced by the sonorities of Indian raga music, they also occasionally incorporate sitar elements to their music.

Raga Megha, Kailash Raj
Raga Megha, Kailash Raj

Let’s go to our artist:

Way back in the early ’70s in London, three friends came together to play some unusual music: Sitarist Clem Alford, guitarist Jim Moyes, and tabla player Keshav Sathe, formed a unique Anglo-Indian fusion, calling themselves Sargam (the name of a note in an Indian scale). They made one album under the name Sagram, misspelled by the Windmill recording company and inappropriately entitled Pop Explosion Sitar Style. This album was released without the band’s permission, with a ludicrous cover photograph bearing no relation to any band members or anything about them. (!)

In 1971, soon after the release of Sagram, the Sargam trio was offered another Lp recording contract by Mushroom Records, with the proviso that they find a singer. Having met her when they were both at Chelsea School of Art, Jim Moyes contacted Alisha Sufit. She busked in street markets, singing and playing at the London Underground by day, and did gigs around the clubs and colleges at night.

Cheesy Cover!
Cheesy Cover!

Jim Moyes invited her to play and the four musicians soon renamed themselves Magic Carpet, forming a unique Anglo-Indian musical collaboration, facilitated by the fact that Alisha was writing songs set in open modal tunings on the guitar making them instantly compatible with the tuning of the sitar. The band recorded the Magic Carpet album in the winter of 1971/1972 on Mushroom Records label.

The four stayed together for nearly a year, doing a few prestigious gigs, at the 100 Club in London, Wavendon (Cleo Laine, John Dankworth’s venue), several festivals, Sounds of the Seventies on BBC Radio, but they finally parted company in 1972.

Magic Carpet
Magic Carpet

After a considerable gap, the four met up again. Jim was no longer performing and Keshav had retired, but Clem and Alisha were still playing professionally and it was a natural step to do another album, in 1996 they recorded the album Once Moor (subtitle Magic Carpet II) released on the Magic Carpet Records label. It consists of songs written/sung by Alisha, plus some instrumental tracks, with Clem Alford on sitar/tamboura, Alisha on guitar, and Pandit Dinesh and Esmail Sheikh on tabla.

Let’s go to our album:

Originally published in 1972 for Magic Carpet records, the Lp shows a dynamic mixture of original folk inventions, psych-Hindu sitar gems and gorgeous, omnipresent, accentuated female vocals by Alisha. Lyrically all the album is about east mysticism, love, spirituality, time of Creation and such. The music itself is poetic, combining simplistic folk guitar motifs to raga scales, in spiritual Hindu-folk experience, with soft psychedelic flavor floating all along with the album!

Alisha Sufit
Alisha Sufit

There’s a fantastic interview with Alisha Sufit with long details about them made by our friends from It’s Psychedelic Baby, with a track by track comments, and more!

The ‘IM’ highlights are: Father Time and Take Away Kesh.

बॉन यात्रा!

Tracks Include:

A1 The Magic Carpet (Alisha, Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

A2 The Phoenix (Alisha)

A3 Black Cat (Alisha)

A4 Alan’s Christmas Card (Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

A5 Harvest Song (Alisha)

A6 Do You Hear The Words (Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B1 Father Time (Alisha, Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B2 La La (Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B3 Peace Song (Alisha)

B4 Take Away Kesh (Alisha, Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B5 High Street (Alisha)

B6 The Dream (Alisha)

Credits

  • Electric Guitar: Jim Moyes
  • Sitar, Esraj, Tambura: Clem Alford
  • Tabla, Percussion: Keshav Sathe
  • Vocals, Acoustic Guitar: Alisha
  • Design (Cover Design)Alisha
  • Photography: Gabriel Weissman
  • Producer, Engineer: Vic Keary

Magic Carpet Records ‎– MC 1001 LP

Fantastic (Pulp) Magazine
Fantastic (Pulp) Magazine

Léonie – En Alabama / Wahala Manitou (1971)

capa cópia

France. Unlike our last entryLéonie has a slightly extensive career based on singles, film themes and also as an actress/model in the 70’s. Nevertheless, it remains a little-known singer outside its country; to our surprise, she is backed by a top-notch team of composers (Cristophe, Jean Claude Vannier), lyricists (Étienne RodaGil) and arrangers (Karl Heinz Schäfer, Jean Claude Vannier).

This first single count on the participation of mythical Vannier only in A side, the arrangements here are from another great maestroKarl Heinz Schäfer a German settled in France. In future entries, we will see other works (with or without Léonie) that I consider the greatest French pop arranger from all time!

Let’s know a little more about him.

JCV
JCV

A vitally important figure on the French music scene, Jean Claude Vannier is best known for the work he’s done with other people, but his list of collaborators is stellar, and includes Serge Gainsbourg, Michel Legrand, Johnny Hallyday, Jane Birkin, Mort Shuman, Françoise Hardy, Sylvie Vartan, and many more!

Vannier was born in 1943 in Courbevoie. A self-taught musician, he began playing the piano when he was 18, and learned the basics of arranging and orchestration from reading a book in the Que Sais-Je? (What Do I Know?) series of instruction manuals (!). A meeting with flutist Roger Bourdin led to a job working at the Pathé Marconi recording studio, where he was an assistant/session musician, and soon put his skills to work writing and arranging material for pop singers Alice Dona / Michel Magne.

By the early ’70s, Vannier was one of the top arrangers and studio players in French pop music, composing and orchestrating Serge Gainsbourg’s La Histoire de Melody Nelson, Jane Birkin’s Di Doo Dah, Françoise Hardy’s Message Personnel, and dozens of other recordings of note. Vannier also enjoyed a successful career writing music for films, movie scorestelevisiontheatre, and conductor projects.

Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin
Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin

In 1972, he recorded his first solo album, an eccentric avant-garde instrumental song cycle titled L’Enfant Assassin des Mouches, the album went unreleased for years but became an underground legend thanks to the distribution of a handful of promo copies, and finally received an official release in 2003. Vannier continued to record in a more traditional singer/songwriter fashion through the ’70s and ’80s, and as French pop gained a new audience among record collectors and tastemakers, Vannier’s work slowly began to find an appreciative audience in the United States.

Lately, he released two albums stateside: Electro Rapide, a collection of unreleased recordings from the ’60s and ’70s, and Roses Rouge Sang, his first studio recording of new material since 1990! Check out an interview with the master in 2011.

Vannier, Presently
Vannier, Presently

Let’s go to our album:

Léonie Lousseau (Martine Collet), was born on 8 May 1947, Saint-Malo. She went to high school in Vitry, where her parents lived, and then studied Arts and Music at Sèvres University. We must emphasize the work that our friend from Hero Culte already made, trying to track down every scarce info about Léonie, little of what was written here about her was done by them, ok?!

Besides the two songs, we will add a beautiful extra track present on ‘Les Gants Blancs du Diable’ OST (1973), composed and conducted once more by Karl Heinz Schäfer.

Léonie Lousseau
Léonie Lousseau

Let’s embark once again in the b-side world of chanson française, dáccord? 

బాన్ వాయేజ్!

Tracks Include:

A En Alabama (J.C. Vannier, S. Poitrenaud)

B Wahala Manitou (Cristophe, E. Roda-Gil)

Bonus Track: Couleurs (K.H. Schäfer)

Credits

  • Arranged by: K.H. Schäfer and Cristophe (B)
  • Design: Studio Beaugendre/Lassemblée
  • Photography: Tony Frank
  • Producer: Christophe, T. Vincent
  • Recorded: J.C. Charvier

Companies

  • Distributed: Discodis
  • Made in France

Released: 30 September 1971

Les Disques Motors ‎– MT 4014

Nice, Cote d'Azur
Nice, Cote d’Azur

Ofege – Try and Love (1973)

cover

Nigeria. The British colonized the country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, setting up administrative structures and law while recognizing traditional chiefs. Nigeria became independent in 1960. Several years later, it had civil war as Biafra tried to establish independenceMilitary governments in times of crisis have alternated with democratically elected governments (two military juntas through the 70s and 80s). Known as ‘the Giant of Africa’, is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous nation in the world!

Nigeria is roughly divided in half between Christians, who mostly live in the south and central parts of the country, and Muslims, concentrated mostly in the north. A minority of the population practice traditional and local religions, including the Igbo and Yoruba religions. Its oil reserves have brought great revenues to the country, being the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter.

Lagos Market
Lagos Market

It was there that a complex combination of traditional styles (Yoruba, Jazz, Highlife, Funk, and Chants) was created: the Afrobeat.

Both Nigeria and Ghana has its share on the creation, but is certainly through Fela Anikulapo Kuti that the rhythm became known, famous and multiplied; hand in hand with political activism and big band formations, the social criticism of his lyrics always was a tool for social changes!

His message can be described as confrontational and controversial, which can be related to the political climate of most of the African countries in the 1960s, many of which were dealing with political injustice and military corruption while recovering from the transition from colonial governments to self-determination.

We will turn to the subject soon with a dedicated post to the genre, its characters and   (of course) the black president. Curiously today’s album got no Afrobeat influences, it can be described as an Afro Rock with tons of psychedelia, instead of horn sections or heavy percussion we got a usual rock combo. Shall we?!

Revolutionary Gesture
Fela Kuti’s Revolutionary Gesture

Let’s go to our history:

Our friends from Afrobeat, Afrofunk, Afrojazzz, Afrorock, African Boogie had already made a dossier about our juvenile stars, but we’ll try to filter all these info. Credited as The Ofege Phenomenon, they were formed in a 70s school from St. Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos. His music was largely influenced by the guitar solos of Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck and the criss-cross rhythms of Osibisa (Ghanaian band formed in London). At home they were influenced by the music of BLO, Monomono, and Ofo the Black Company, the greatest rock acts from the period.

Recorded while the band members were still in high school (average age of 16), Ofege’s debut album Try And Love was originally recorded and released in 1973. Due to their vibrant combo of sweet harmonies, hooks & fuzz, they would become one of the most legendary Nigerian groups of all time, with expressive sales and national stardom.

However, with only four albums released until 1978 and no recognition outside Nigeria, Ofege’s short career would only be rediscovered with the turn of the century.

Monomono
Monomono

The renewed interest and world compilations about psychedelic music brought them to international acknowledgment, releases like Love, Peace and Poetry and Nigeria Rock Special has in its tracks different moments from the band (early psych, late funk/disco) and should be properly enjoyed.

Let’s go to our album:

Always when it comes to Africa, we immediately think of Afrobeat or traditional music, not always based on electrical resources. This is a very common ethnocentric view that minimizes or excludes the great musical accomplishments of this continent.

The Afro Rock pioneered in the late 60s (Osibisa, Assagai) subverted this condition leading the western pop into a new tinge of elements, the boys from Ofege were aware of all this when they decided to make a band.

Lagos Slums
Lagos Slums

The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Gbe Mi Lo, a wild and uncompromising instrumental tune with bits of funky elements that are dissolved into a psychedelic effect, the overall guitar work here are insanely great, with heavy fuzz and swinging rhythm.

And Lead Me On a closing track with naive lyrics and straight rock pace, delivering some raw solos and the usual beat that accompanies the whole album. The ingenuity allied with the inexperience of its members makes this album a real treasure.

Buon Viaggio!

Tracks Include:

A1 Nobody Fails

A2 Whizzy Ilabo

A3 Gbe Mi Lo

A4 Try And Love

B1 It’s Not Easy

B2 Ofege

B3 You Say No

B4 Lead Me On

EMI Nigeria – NEMI (LP) 0032

Credits

  • Bass: Paul Alade
  • Drums: M-Ike Meme
  • Rhythm Guitar: Felix Inneh
  • Lead Guitar: Berkley Jones
  • Lead Vocals: Melvin Ukachi
  • Vocals: Felix Inneh, M-Ike Meme, Paul Alade
  • Lyrics by: Melvin Ukachi
  • Written by: M-Ike Meme
  • Producer: Odion Iruoje
  • Engineer (Recording): Emmanuel Odenusi, Kayode Salami

Aguaturbia – Psychedelic Drugstore (1970)

Controversial Cover
Controversial Cover

Operation Condor was a campaign of political repression and terror involving intelligence operations and the assassination of opponents, officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America. The program was intended to eradicate communist or Soviet influence and ideas and to suppress active or potential opposition movements against the participating governments. Due to its clandestine nature, the precise number of deaths directly attributable to Condor is highly disputed, estimates are that at least 60,000 deaths can be attributed to it. (!)

Condor’s key members were the governments in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil. The United States along with the CIA provided technical support and supplied military aid to the participants until at least 1978, and again after Ronald Reagan became president in 1981.

By Lattuf
By Lattuf

Chile. This alliance of terror was the icing on the cake that was already being prepared since the beginning of the 60s. The 1964 presidential election of Eduardo Frei Montalva (Christian Democrat), made the country embarked on a far-reaching social and economic programs, particularly in education, housing, and agrarian reform, including rural unionization of agricultural workers.

By 1967, however, Frei encountered increasing opposition from leftists, who charged that his reforms were inadequate, and from conservatives, who found them excessive. At the end of his term, Frei had not fully achieved his party’s ambitious goals.

After three attempts to run the country, Salvador Allende finally succeeded on September 4, 1970 elections with a narrow plurality of 36%, the candidate from the Unidad Popular (Popular Unity) became the first Marxist president of a Latin American country through open elections. The Chilean way to socialism was finally tangible: the nationalization of industries (Copper Mining), income redistribution, collectivization and economic-diplomatic approach with the socialist/communist countries, promised to break all the obstacles from the status quo, leading to a more equal life.

Allende Elected
Allende Elected

But the socialist dream did not last long, an economic depression that began in 1972 was exacerbated by capital flight, plummeting private investment, and withdrawal of bank deposits in response to Allende’s socialist program. Production fell and unemployment rose, simultaneously, opposition media, politicians, business guilds and other organizations helped to accelerate a campaign of domestic political and economical destabilization, some of which was helped by the United States (sic).

By early 1973, inflation was out of control.

Revolutionary Poster
Revolutionary Poster

The crippled economy was further battered by prolonged and sometimes simultaneous strikes by physicians, teachers, students, truck owners, copper workers, and the small business class. On 26 May 1973, Chile’s Supreme Court, which was opposed to Allende’s government, unanimously denounced the Allende disruption of the legality of the nation. Although illegal under the Chilean constitution, the court supported and strengthened Pinochet’s seizure of power. A failed attempted coup occurred in June, known as Tanquetazo helped to accelerate the process.

On September 11, 1973, Chile would go into his darkest period of its history, a military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet, took over control of the country and overthrew Allende. As the armed forces bombarded the presidential palace (La Moneda) Allende made its last speech and apparently committed suicide. The first years of the regime were marked by many human rights violations. On October 1973, at least 72 people were murdered by the Caravan of Death. At least 2,115 were killed, and at least 27,265 were tortured (including 88 children younger than 12 years old). (!!)

La Moneda Under Attack
La Moneda Under Attack

A hallmark of terror was the countless detainees kept in the National Stadium, one of those tortured and killed was a teacher, theatre director, poet, singer-songwriter and political activist Victor Jara. He was brutally tortured, fatally shot in the head and its body was later thrown out into the street of a shantytown in Santiago.

Site of Torture / Death
Site of Torture / Death

This is obviously a small summary of a much more complex situation, Patricio Guzman’s The Battle of Chile develops into three parts the full details of the story, check it!

Let’s go to our history:

Aguaturbia was a unique experience in the history of rock, even today his name is associated with the roots of the movement in Chile. With a hippie inspiration, psychedelic characteristic and recognized authentic imitation in style and appearance of musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were the ingredients that gave life to this quartet, perhaps the first local cult band. Its existence did not exceed five years and never achieved massive success, however, both musical quality and the irreverence of his discourse are recognized today as forces managed to shake Chilean society.

1970
1970

Established in May 1968, at the height of the 60s new libertarian tendencies, their leader Carlos Corales, was one of the most important guitarists of the local environment (The Tickets, Pat Henry and The Blue Devils and Los Jockers), which together with Denise on vocals, Willy Cavada on drums and Ricardo Briones on bass, shaped a band that never stopped looking at what the U.S. and England produced to expand his blues-rock and psychedelic music.

Denise, whose real name is Climene Puleghini Solis was a young Brazilian from higher sectors of society, fascinated with R&B and rock, despite having no musical training whatsoever. His parents did not authorize his bold idea of ​​forming a rock band with her boyfriend, and, to that refusal, she married with Corales!

Controversial Cover 2
Controversial Cover 2

They started playing covers in small clubs in Santiago, but eventually were encouraged in their own compositions (sung in English, like most local rock bands of the time). The themes concerning love, peace and the defense of their appearance held their debut album in 1970. Before recording, Corales traveled to the U.S. to buy new instruments.

However, this well-planned debut, recorded in just three days, would get sparks between the public, though not precisely for its musical arguments. Aguaturbia’s cover showed the four musicians naked, sitting in a circle with a neutral expression on their faces.

1973 Comeback
1973 Comeback

The album, released under the RCA label, had an acceptable sale and just a few months later, they released his successor Aguaturbia II (or Aguaturbia Volume 2), which created a new uproar, this time, for a photograph that appeared Denise crucified, inspired by Dali’s (magnificent) Christ of Saint John of the Cross.

The controversy was mixed with political and social upheavals from Popular Unity (Allende’s party) and the activity of the group lowered its intensity.

Carlos: ‘There came a very strong rejection of certain people, who even wanted to excommunicate us. Suddenly, there were these folks who wanted to beat us and cut our hair. They shouted fags, drug addicts! We played a time of change that was terrible in many ways. If the first album censorship failed to say anything, in the second, it was a complicated situation. Imagine a woman on the cross, is something very special.’

Pinochet + The Junta
Pinochet + The Junta

On late 1970, after been invited to participate in the famous Red Rock festival in Santiago (due to the general chaos that afternoon did not even get onto the stage), the band decided to try his luck in the U.S. They settled in New York to work and study, and formed a group called Sun, where his music was welcomed in some quarters and allowed them to survive. The band returned to Chile in 1973, with a different formation, after participating at the Viña del Mar festival the band finally ends in mid-74.

Let’s go to our album:

This 1993 re-release containing songs from the (only) two albums, helped to revive the interest of its music not only in Chile. The re-issue from the albums are now available via Light in The Attic site and since the mid-2000 Aguaturbia made its comeback to Chilean stages with the same energy from that era. Unfortunately, the drummer Willy Cavada died of a heart attack on early October 2013. (RIP)

Denise Nowadays
Denise Nowadays

After this long post, the ‘IM’ highlights for this HEAVY psychedelic-blues band are: Somebody To Love and Aguaturbia, don’t miss this little gem.

Bonan Vojaĝon!

Tracks Include:

1 Somebody To Love (Darby Slick)

2 Erotica (Carlos Corales)

3 Rollin’ ‘N’ Tumblin’ (M. Water)

4 Ah Ah Ah Ay (Corales, Cavada)

5 Crimson & Clover (Tommy James, Peter Lucia Jr.)

6 Heartbreaker (Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham)

7 Blues On The Westside (Nick Gravenites)

8 Waterfall (Carlos Corales)

9 E.V.O.L. (Carlos Corales)

10 I Wonder Who (Carlos Corales)

11 Aguaturbia (Carlos Corales)

Bass: Ricardo Briones

Drums: Willi Cavada

Guitar: Carlos Corales

Vocals: Denise Corales

Background ‎– HBG 122/15 (1993)

Today
Today

He 6 (히식스) – Go Go Sound ’71 Vol.1 & 2

 

Korea. After the formation of Add4 by Shin Jung-Hyun in 1962, Korea saw the development of Rock music, obviously thanks to the world entrance of The Beatles. 1964 would mark the very birth of K-rock, bands like Key Boys and He 5 turned into a national success, the images seen in A Hard Day’s Night became a common point between these bands. The ’60s was presented with dozens of records, tours, television appearances and mass hysteria by the legion of fans avid for the Korean Beatles!

The leader and guitarist of He 5 was Kim Hong-Tak, one of the predecessors of the electric guitar alongside Shin Jung-Hyun; after the triumph of Merry Christmas Psychedelic Sound in 1969, including famous covers and versions of traditional songs, with the turn of the decade, the group decided to add flute and clarinet to their sound, thus He 6 was formed. Predicting this success formula, Korea would saw a definitive entrance of psych, garage, and soul in its musical charts.

1972 Promo
1972 Promo

Let’s go to our history:

Since the late ’60s they played hard psychedelic songs on live shows (At Seven Club in I-Tae-Won, a small quarter of Seoul which is now well known even internationally for its diverse markets, restaurants, and bars) but they couldn’t make this music style on albums because of record company’s pressures. They gave them some discretionary power to have them created the results which they had first on Merry Christmas Psychedelic Album and later on (fabulous) He 6 Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

But most their fans couldn’t understand the tracks of these albums, so they were forced to change to more popular styles, like trots and romantic ballads. (!)

At least they had their chances to make some albums with the music style they wanted after they became a nationally recognized pop-rock group. The band throughout their career launches only 8 albums, with the aforementioned difficulty to moving on after 1975 (second last Lp) and the definitive end in 1980.

Album Booklet
Album Booklet

Let’s go to our album:

This amazing set shows an excellent mixture of psychedelicblues-oriented hard rock and soul in a very laid back improvisation feeling. Kim Hong-Tak’s heavy fuzz guitar all-over the set with best funky rhythm set (Cho Yong-Nam and Kwon Yong-Nam, later entered in SJH & Yup Juns!) and beautiful flute passages.

The ‘IM’ highlights are Running Man, a furious 9-minute track coming out of a Blaxploitation movie, with tons of fuzz, swinging guitars, breakbeats, percussion and flutes in a variety of moods. A psychedelic shell! And In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, the cover from Iron Butterfly’s megaton hit stands out to be a better version than Shin Joong Hyun’s live album, including the whole drum solo! Kim Hong-Tak’s abilities at guitar must be heard, this is no ordinary beat sound and deserves respect.

תיהנה בטיול!

Tracks Include:

Vol.1 Grand Records (GH-00020)

A1 Introduction Music

A2 4/4 For Guitar

B1 Running Man

B2 Percussion Theme

Vol.2 Grand Records (GH-00021)

A1 The World of 6/6

A2 The Storm

A3 Come On A Baby

B1 In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

Credits

Kim Hong-Tak: guitar

Hun Choi: vocal

Kwon Yong-Nam: drums

Cho Yong-Nam: bass

Yoo Sang-Yoon: flute, organ, clarinet

Lee Young-Deok: guitar, piano

Released in July 1971, Limited Press (300)

Freshly
Freshly