It is amazing how in just one year, the amount of live footagefrom JAGATARA appeared on youtube, either as excerpts or full audio/video performances of this amazing band that still remains unknown to most of the Western public.
However, all this novelty occurs only in the musical field, with regard to information, interviews or photos we still rely on the detailed post made last year and seek help from Japanese readers to translate the material available on the official website!
Let’s go to our album:
After a bombastic and controversial start at the beginning of the ’80s, Edo Akemi (lead frontman, lyricist, composer) suffers a nervous breakdown during the tour and ends up in a hospital at the end of 1983. The band goes through a gap of almost three years.
In the interim, they released a live album in 1985 (君 と 踊 り あ か そ う 日 の 出 を 見 る ま で), the band’s fourth record and make occasional presentations on Japanese TV, always with medical guidance. Akemi’s recovery occurs in Shikoku.
From June 1986, a more willing and energetic Akemi returns to Tokyo and start to work with the band on new material. They return to perform live at the end of the year and begin to record Hadaka No Osama. On 21/03/1987 the fifth LP is released with positive reviews and remarkable evolution of the band.
The year 1987 is marked by memorable shows of up to four hours (!), long tours, and the launch of their third Home Video, entitled Hey! Goggle Tour!
In future entries, we will cover their other albums, now, enjoy a rare clip from one of their great successes, Tango. And appreciate what I believe be their best album!
At the time of the fall of the Egyptian monarchy in the early 1950s, less than half a million Egyptians were considered the upper class and rich, four million middle class and 17 million lower class and poor (!). Fewer than half of all primary-school-age children attended school, and most of them being boys. Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdel Nasser led Egypt through a victorious revolution in 1952. He was a proponent of cultural nationalism as a means of political independence.
Land reform and distribution, the dramatic growth in university education, and government support to national industries greatly improved social mobility and flattened the social curve. From 1953-54 through 1965-66, overall public school enrolments more than doubled. Millions of previously poor Egyptians, through education and jobs in the public sector, joined the middle class.
Doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, journalists, constituted the bulk of the swelling middle class in Egypt under Nasser.
Famous realist director, Kamal Al Sheikhbecame known for making compelling thrillers such as House Number 13 (1952), a film noir about a psychologist who tries to use his friend to commit a murder; Life or Death (1955), which unusually for the 50’s was shot on location in Cairo, and The Last Night which was nominated for the Golden Palme at the Cannes Film Festival in 1964!
The ’50s and ’60s saw the appearance of accomplished realist films from Youssef Chahine, most notably The Blazing Sky (1954) nominated for the Grand Prix at the Cannes. It’s the second film, Son of the Nile (1951) showed an early work of Social Realism, that started his international fame. The film focused on relations between traditional classes and elites, depicting the hard lives of peasant classes. Previous representations of peasants had used them largely as romanticized symbols of national identity.
Let’s go to our album:
Born Salah Eldin Ahmed Ragab(25/07/1935 – 03/07/2008) in Cairo. A Major in the Egyptian Army through the ’60s, and an avid jazz fan and drummer, Ragab first attempted to form a jazz band in 1964, with American saxophonist Mac X. Spears. The group didn’t get very far, then, on December 1966, Ragab met Hartmut Geerken and Eduard Vizvari at a reception following a Randy Weston Sextet show. The three hit it off and decided to form the Cairo Jazz Band (القاهرة الفرقة موسيقى الجاز).
The year that he became the head of the Egyptian Military Music Department, in 1968, The Cairo Jazz Band began to take-off. They were Egypt’s first big band, mixing American jazz with North African music, combining jazz instrumentation with indigenous melodies/instruments, like the Nay (flute) and the Baza (ramadan drum).
Such musical cross-fertilization was not unusual in itself; American musicians from Sun Ra to Yusef Lateef had long been fascinated by the music of Islam and North Africa, incorporating both the instruments and musical forms into their work. But Salah Ragab’s music presents a view from the other side of the musical equation of West meets the Middle East. Aligning himself with the compelling currents of American jazz music, to later be revered as the Godfather and pioneer of Egyptian jazz music!
Let’s go to the pinnacle of Egyptian instrumental music, beyond the barriers of jazz and folk, the refinement and creativity here is frightening! Enjoy this superb voyage, with luxuriant arrangements and also 5 (unmissable) bonus tracks present on the 2006 CD edition, without further ado the great master Salah Ragab.
The ‘IM’ highlights are Egypt Strut and The Kings Valley – Upper Egypt.
Unfortunately, today’s record does not presently have any information about their singer, apparently, she released this single and disappeared!
We will leave to talk about the famous Nouvelle Chanson, its composers, lyricists and main artists in future posts. Here we already see the collaboration of the great Etienne Roda-Gil in these hallucinated lyrics and the legendary Hubert Rostaing in exquisite arrangements! With haunted female voices, exotic grooves, organ, tabla and a dark psychedelic scenario that drives this amazing 7”. ボン·ヴォヤージュ!
A Angel of Sin (Chloe Walters, E. Roda-Gil)
B Fleurs de Pavots Bleus (H. Rostaing, E. Roda-Gil)
Orchestra, Conductor – Hubert Rostaing
Les Industries Musicales Et Electriques Pathé Marconi
Pathé – 2C 006-10609 M / Nov 1969
Fleurs de Pavots Bleus
Fleurs de pavots bleus, au cœur de nos villes
Fleurs de pavots bleus, au cœur de nos villes
Chardons venimeux, au sein des principes
Chardons vénéneux, dans nos républiques,
Voyages monstrueux, dans la nuit des songes, de nos songes
Voyages monstrueux, dans la mer des songes
Sous les pavots bleus, sous les pavots bleus
Coulent les villes, nos villes, nos villes, nos villes.
The Brazilian music scene from the 70s was not very favorable to Rock, much seen with reservations by the Generals of the time; Brazil was still a country devoted entirely to the MPB (phonographically speaking), even with names like Rita Lee and Raul Seixas, rock did not have a dedicated ground for the public, marginalized, without many projections in the mass media and also without a show-business structure that favored them. But with the turn of the decade, it began to assert itself and during 1981/82, the beginning of a new generation no longer restricted to the MPB arose. More open to the world musical context, as the ideal of the punk movement (do-it-yourself) and the colorful entertaining bands from the New Wave.
Youngsters who were born under the years of lead, dreamed of a freer style of music, by the time psychedelia and progressive rock with their remote themes and 15 minutes trips, little or nothing dialogue with the backdrop of the beach, sun, and Rio’s sea. Note that in São Paulo (concrete jungle) those same longings became the Vanguarda Paulista and the birth of the punk movement, not as accessible as their brothers in Rio (these and other developments will be addressed in future posts).
The precursors of so-called BRock were the Cariocas from Gang 90, and his debut at the MPB-Shell festival in August 1981 with the song Perdidos na Selva. From there, three factors contributed to the formation and dissemination of a new musical explosion with its apex culminating in the realization of the first Rock in Rio in January 1985.
They are: the foundation of Circo Voador (a playhouse) in January 82 in Ipanema, the premiere of Fluminense FM (Maldita), first radio to play (solely) rock in national territory, and the organization of the first punk festival, Começo do Fim do Mundo on November 82, at the newly inaugurated SESC Pompeia.
Some BRock bands: Gang 90, Blitz, Paralamas do Sucesso, Barão Vermelho, KidAbelha, Lobão, Lulu Santos, Legião Urbana, Ira!…
Let’s go to our history:
The political opening exhaustively repeated by the militaries as slow, gradual and safe, began at the end of the 70s, under strong repression of the right sectors that were contrary to the process initiated by the Amnesty Law in 1979. Numerous bombings throughout 1980 and 1981 attempted to cause a climate of political and social instability, culminating with the Rio Centro case: a bomb exploded in a parking lot inside a Puma car, killing the sergeant Guilherme Ferreira do Rosario and seriously injuring the captain Wilson Luís Chaves Machado, both linked to DOI-CODI (sic).
The bomb exploded while being handled, and prepared to be detonated near the Rio Centro lightbox in order to cut power and generate panic among the regulars of the show which was held in celebration of Labor Day, more than 20,000 people participating along with numerous music artists!
On occasion, the government blamed the radical left for the attacks. This hypothesis had no support at the time and has been debunked, including a confession, proved that the attack was an attempt of more radical sectors of government (the CIE and SNI) to convince more moderate sectors that were required a new wave of repression in order to paralyze the slow political openness that was in progress. (!)
Let’s go to our album:
After a trip to the U.S. in the early 80s, Kodiak Bachine decides to start a band inspired by punk and new waves groups that had watched and heard. With a new look, Kodiak has teamed up with guitarists Miguel Barella(Voluntários da Pátria) and Eduardo Amarante(Zero). Beyond them were part Lyses Pupo (bass) and drummer Elias Glik. The quintet had a strong line with the Talking Heads, B-52’s, Kraftwerk, Blondie, Devo, Gary Numan, and Brian Eno. The seminal group pioneer in Brazil’s new-wave movement incorporated elements of electronic music and minimalist, making extensive use of icons and scenery that aided in the spread of brand new musical ideas and concepts in the emerging Electro-Pop of the 80s.
Kodiak sang, he said, in eletrotranzlyric, a dialect of his own invention that mixed Portuguese, English, German, and extraterrestrial languages. (!) After the release of the first single, the band performed three shows in 1982, the first on 25 September at Ilhas do Sul theater. Soon it became a cult among youngsters in São Paulo, taking a loyal following of admirers who filled the places where the band performed. With only five shows in one year, they left a lasting impression on the scene. With no label support or sponsorship, the band was hampered and cannot make more shows.
The Agentss recorded only two compacts being the first, in 1981, an independent production, released in 1982. The second was released by WEA label with musical production by Pena Schmidt in 1983. The group broke up amicably at the end of 1983 for philosophical reasons, Miguel Barella formed Voluntários da Pátria, Eduardo Amarante and Thomas Susemihl formedAzul 29 (also a pioneer in Electro-Pop). Later, Eduardo joined Guilherme Isnard and formed Zero, while Kodiak went solo.
This is one of those bands where you wonder why you haven’t known them before (?!), their leader Kodiak Bachine, is one of the most underrated keyboardists, a specialist in short bands but with great importance in the Brazilian context. With its futuristic synths and a vanguard proposal for the time, the band, unfortunately, did not achieve much publicity, being limited to São Paulo. A curious fact from the second compact is its cover, the first produced entirely on a computer, being photographed and reproduced because there was no way to print the same!
As it is only 4 songs, let’s give a chance to all of them, but let me advance you something, the title track Agentss is something beyond the expectations, being modern and exciting even to this day. With satyrical and humorous lyrics about radiation, robots, and computers this domestically unknown band goes way off our traditional psychedelia so far, get ready for AGENTSS. நல்லபயணம்!
Some more BRock bands: Inocentes, Capital Inicial, Titãs, RPM, Violeta de Outono, Plebe Rube, Camisa de Vênus, Ultraje A Rigor, Cólera…
Brazil. A country of only 500 years, geographically privileged, with multiple natural resources, tropical climate, different biomes and a distinct formation of its society. The three genetic fronts that formed this multicultural country: the Portuguese (European), the indigenous (Amerindian) and the black (African). Since the XVI century these cultural strands live together under rules that went from Colony to Empire and then Republic; apart of all conflicts and slavery past the black heritage in Brazilian culture was dominant in at least two aspects, the religious and the musical.
Religion in Brazil has a higher adherence level compared to other Latin American countries and is more diverse. The dominant religion of Brazil historically was and still is Christianity. Brazil possesses a richly spiritual society formed from the meeting of the Roman Catholic Church with the religious traditions of African slaves and Indigenous peoples. This confluence of faiths during the Portuguese colonization of Brazil led to the development of a diverse array of syncretistic practices.
Afro-Braziliansyncretic religions, such as Candomblé(with many followers) are concentrated mainly in large urban centers in the Northeast, such as Salvador, Recife or Rio de Janeiro in the Southeast. In addition to Candomblé which is the survival of West African religion, there is also Umbanda which blends Spiritism, Indigenous and African beliefs. There is prejudice about African cults (called ‘Macumba’) in Brazil’s south, but there are Catholics, Protestants and other kinds of Christians who also believe in the Orixás, and go both to Churches and Terreiros.
These two religions were originally brought by black slaves shipped from Africa (Angola, Congo, Ghana, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, etc.) to Brazil, these black slaves would summon their gods, called Orixás, Voduns or Inkices with chants and dances (Capoeira) they had brought from Africa. These cults were persecuted throughout most of Brazilian history, largely because they were believed to be pagan or even satanic. However, the Brazilian republican government legalized all of them on the grounds of the necessary separation between the State and the Church in 1889.
Brazil is well known for the rhythmic liveliness of its music, this is largely because Brazilian slave owners allowed their slaves to continue their heritage of playing drums, unlike U.S. slave owners who feared the use of the drum for communications. (!) These chants and dances evolved naturally and ascended into all spheres of society, influencing rhythms like Samba and Maracatu. Today’s album shows us in a pioneered way the study and understanding of this musical evolution.
Let’s go to our history:
For almost thirty years the conductor Abigail Cecílio de Moura led the Orquestra Afro-Brasileira, donating their effort as if it were a religious devotion. Before each presentation, he acted like a priest giving thanks, raising the stage for sacred space. The Orchestra was founded on April 10, 1942, with the purpose of studying and disseminating folk music and Brazilian customs, using sociology and anthropology to disseminate it. Mainly based on percussion instruments, at the time called barbaric, plus the civilized instruments: piano, sax, trombone.
In their research, the conductor Abigail incorporated percussive originals: agogô, adejá, urucungo, afoxé, atabaques and angona-puíta, kind of ancestor of the Brazilian cuíca. The contemporary school, relying on the harmonic instruments, would be the observation of the evolution in Afro-Brazilian music. An indispensable figure, whose name confuses itself to the Orchestra, Abigail Moura, was from Minas Gerais and died in 1970. By the end of his days led an honorable poor life, cherishing the dream of seeing his orchestra return to the brilliance of the great days. (RIP)
The Orchestra aroused interest because it was considered exotic at the time and many went to concerts by curiosity, his musical diversity would go to Maracatu, Frevo, Jongo, Folklore themes, Umbanda and Candomblé chants. Favoring the Nagô and Bantu legacies, passing through the Portuguese catholic and also the indigenous presence.
Let’s go to our album:
With a distinct brand from everything that has appeared in our galaxy until now, this obscure record brings the purest roots of Brazilian music. Passing away from the Afro-Cuban clichés that were so common to the international audiences and foreseeing the allure of the Exotica genre, this is closer to the ethnographic music since Malinowski or Levi-Strauss studies.
Exceptionally today I will not highlight any track, I believe in the strength of this album as a whole; the prejudice and difficulties that the African traditions passed (and still passes) throughout the eras deserves your full attention and respect!
The second album released by the Orchestra in 1968 is a bit more accessible, with western harmonies and arrangements, though it didn’t have the deserved commercial success as its predecessor and was followed, by Luciano Perrone’s series of Batucada Fantástica.
Lately, the Orkestra Rumpilezz led by the maestro Letieres Leite made a revival of African chants and traditions, with Afro percussion, modern harmonics and under the influence of jazz. The path started more than 70 years by Abigail Moura is now accessible to all. Geras Kelioné!
A1 Apresentação Paulo Roberto / Chegou o Rei Congo (Batuque)