Šarlo Akrobata – Bistriji Ili Tuplji Čovek Biva Kad… (1981)

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Šarlo Akrobata (Charlot the Acrobat, a Serbo-Croatian version of Charlie Chaplin‘s name) was a seminal Yugoslav post-punk band from Belgrade. Short-lived but extremely influential, being one of the most important acts of the Yugoslav new wave movement (Novi Talas). The power-trio left an indelible mark on the entire music scene, playing skeletal, energetic ska-core with a post-punk sound reminding of Gang of Four, XTC, The Stranglers, Public Image Limited, and Frank Zappa!

If you want to know a little more about the rock development in Serbia and former Yugoslavia, pay a visit on our last entries, Katarina II and Discipline Kičme.

Let’s go to our artist:

The origin of the new wave scene in Serbia can be found in Belgrade late-70’s bands Zvuk Ulice, Limunovo Drvo, and Hipnotisano Pile. These three featured the future members of milestone groups Idoli, Šarlo Akrobata, and Električni Orgazam.

Električni Orgazam
Električni Orgazam

Guitarists Milan Mladenović and Dragomir Mihajlović performed hard rock for two years in Limunovo Drvo, before adopting the punk rock on the arrival of the bassist Dušan Kojić ‘Koja’ and drummer Ivan Vdović ‘VD’. After the departure of Mihajlović (who would play on Katarina II), they finally renamed to Šarlo Akrobata!

Over 1980-81, its first recordings were released on the compilation Paket Aranžman, today considered one of the most prominent Serbian/Yugoslav rock releases. After a second prize on Subotica Youth Fest and performance on Zagreb Bienalle, they recorded their only album, Bistriji Ili Tuplji Covek Biva Kad… (Brighter or Dumber a Man Gets When…) in April 1981, combining punkish energy with dissonant, avant-garde, and a daring approach both to the playingrecording, and performance.

Milan, Koja & Ivan = Šarlo Akrobata
Milan, Koja & Ivan = Šarlo Akrobata

The band disbanded in the winter of 1981 after a tour in Poland; Milan Mladenovic started a successful and prolific group Ekatarina Velika, and Dusan Kojic formed the progressive punk act Discipline Kičme. The alleged reason was different views on how to continue their musical expression; around 1982, the New Wave scene started to decline, as a large number of acts moved towards a more commercial sound.

During the ’80sĐorđe Balašević, for instance, dominated the mainstream pop scene, but various other rock genres also emerged, such as Jakarta, Oktobar 1864, Beograd, La Strada, Zana, and Rambo Amadeus, starting to develop and gain mainstream popularity, not only in Yugoslavia but all around Eastern Europe!

Pekinška Patkathe, the first Orthodox punk rock band, 1978!
Pekinška Patkathe, the first Orthodox punk rock band, 1978!

Let’s go to our album:

A unique punk record, full of furious guitar riffs, raw bass sound, and wild shouting! Lyrics are either nonsensical, randomly recited, either rebellious, a true example of punk angst, either minimalistic representing an auditive graffiti painting. (!)

This is a record full of studio tricks that are deconstructing a classical approach to the songwriting, gradually (or abruptly) adding/subtracting instrumental layers in the songs, repeating simple one-two-three-four chorus ad nauseam, making at mantra at first, and then deconstructing it by simply adding polyrhythmical pattern on bass, while drums get heavily processed with an echo effect and other modulations.

1981
1981

Lastly, this record is a lot different from everything that we used to hear so far, Avant punk is the perfect title to add to these crazy geniuses, forget about Ekatarina Velika (my personal favorite) and other Serbian entries, this is where it all began, observe closely and plunge forward into it, the one and only Šarlo Akrobata!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Rano Izjutra and O, O, O

Trip Da!

Tracks Include:

A1 Šarlo Je Nežan

A2 Pazite Na Decu (I)

A3 Fenomen

A4 Sad Se Jasno Vidi

A5 Rano Izjutra

A6 Ljubavna Priča

A7 Samo Ponekad

B1 Čovek

B2 Bes

B3 O, O, O …

B4 Problem

B5 Ja Želim Jako

B6 Pazite Na Decu (II)

Credits

  • Bass, Vocals: Koja
  • Drums, Vocals: Ivan Vdović
  • Guitar, Vocals: Milan Mladenović
  • Design, Photography: Goran Vejvoda
  • Photography: Danko Đurić
  • Artwork (Design): Šarlo
  • Producer, Music, Arranged, Lyrics: Šarlo Akrobata
  • Producer: Toni Jurij, Mile Miletić
  • Producer, Recorded: Đorđe Petrović

Notes

Recorded in Studio 5, Beograd, April-May 1981.

  • Recorded: Studio V PGP RTB
  • Printed: GIP Beograd

Jugoton ‎– LSY 66145

Nikola Tesla and its Magnifying Transmitter
Nikola Tesla and its Magnifying Transmitter

Mustafa Özkent Ve Orkestrası – Gençlik Ile Elele (1973)

capa cópiaHello people! Last Wednesday (08/10) a novelty happened and we would like to share with everyone, Gary Sullivan, our friend from Bodega Pop made ​​a radio-webcast program of 3 hours, highlighting the qualities of the Interstellar Medium, along with an extensive tracklist. We wanted to thank Gary and each one who participated and supported during the transmission, the link for you to hear the show is available here.

This was an important step to our history, we ALWAYS count on your opinion! And for those who haven’t yet been familiarized with the page or arrived just now, there’s the About to give you some directions, without further ado let’s get to our entry!

Let’s go to our music:

Ferdi Özbeğen Orkestrası, 60's
Ferdi Özbeğen Orkestrası, 60’s

The Turkish Rock movement is believed to have begun in the late-50’s with the arrival of The Shadows and developed further during the next decade with the increasing popularity of Western music acts. With the coming of The Beatles, small bands sprung up everywhere, this triggered the national newspaper Hΰrriyet to organize a national talent contest under the title Altin Mikrofon (golden mic).

In the ’60s, the youth especially living in big cities were very receptive to new pop music coming from abroad but understandably they also were far from the social impact that this music brought, or we may say a middle-class minority who knew English were aware. Meanwhile, there was unrest amongst young people which translated into an exciting political climate, not fed by rock music exclusively.

Arda Uskan, John & Yoko, Erkin Koray
Arda Uskan, John & Yoko, Erkin Koray

Of all the musical/cultural scenes that happened along the ’60s, psychedelia was the most effective one in Turkey; it started one year later than the USA and Europe but lasted much longer, this music brought a new dimension to Turkish listeners, while the rest of the nation was happy with its oriental overtones, the Turkish music fans found that it was what they felt inside really! So psychedelia influence was at a much different scope than it had on other countries, by 1969 all codes on the birth of a big rock music scene were set and Turkish rock had five more years of prolific kingdom.

After 1975-76, the scene took its toll with changing political, musical and social climates and before 1979 came it was all over (!). The golden age of Anadolu Rock was marked by artists famous until today, such as Baris Manço, Cem Karaca, Edip Ackbyram, Ersen. Bands like Mogallar, 3 Hurel, Erkin Koray and Selda Bagcan.

Baris Manço's Cockade
Baris Manço’s Cockade

Let’s go to our artist:

Mustafa Özkent was a lesser-known but significant figure on the Ankara music scene until his music belatedly found a receptive audience in the West four decades after!

A talented guitarist who was known to modify the design of his instruments to create unusual tonal qualities, he earned a reputation as a gifted maverick and by the dawn of the 70’s was in demand as a session player, arranger, and producer, creating music that fused psychedelicpop and soul influences with jazz-like improvisations.

Mustafa Özkent
Mustafa Özkent

In 1972, he partnered with Evren Records, a Turkish label known for its audiophile recording techniques, Ozkent booked time at Istanbul’s finest recording facilities, and with a mighty team of musicians, he began recording new material dominated by extended percussion jams, hard-grooving organ lines, and funky wah-wah guitars.

The resultant Lp, Genclikle Elele (Hand in Hand with Youth), sounded as if it were designed for hip-hop DJs in search of funky breaks even though it was cut years before the South Bronx scene began to flower! The British Finders Keepers label reissued its masterpiece in 2006, he remains active in Turkey, releasing Dijital Guitar in 2005!

Let’s go to our album:

Cem Karaca's Article
Cem Karaca’s Article

Mustafa went on to invent specially treated guitars with additional frets enabling him to replicate unique notes similar to a saz or lute allowing the musician to emulate the sound of Hendrix’s style wah-wah and fuzz while retaining the versatility of the traditional Eastern sensibilities which ran through many young Istanbul’s veins.

Unlike Zafer Dilek’s entry and its adapted Belly Dance, this time the Turkish folklore really receives a spicy electric treatment, the groove is so infectious that I really doubted it could have come from Turkey. I simply won’t say much about this masterpiece, an instrumental album like Gençlik Ile Elele is virtually unattainable!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Dolana Dolana and Ayaş.

좋은 여행!

Tracks Include:

A1 Üsküdar’a Giderken

A2 Burçak Tarlaları

A3 Dolana Dolana

A4 Karadır Kara

A5 Emmioğlu

B1 Çarşamba

B2 Zeytinyağlı

B3 Silifke

B4 Lorke

B5 Ayaş

Credits

  • Arranged, Performed: Mustafa Özkent
  • Guitar: Cahit Oben, Mustafa Özkent
  • Organ (Hammond): Umit Aksu

All songs Traditional/Anonymous

  • Recorded at Grafson studios, Istanbul.
  • Originally released on LP in 1973Evren Plakları, TÜ 1003

Finders Keepers Records ‎– FKR010LP

Moğollar, Today
Moğollar, Today

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

Pavlos Sidiropoulos (Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος) & Σπυριδούλα (Spyridoula) – Φλου (Flou) [1979]

capa cópiaComposer, lyricist/singer Pavlos Sidiropoulos (July 27, 1948 – December 6, 1990), only lived until the age of 42, though he left behind a remarkable musical legacy and influence amongst young artists. He was the great-grandson of Zorba, nephew of the poet Elli Alexiou and since his early age showed a musical aptitude. A true legend, despite the few musical releases in life, today’s entry is simply considered as the most important rock album of all time in Greece! Fortunately, there’s plenty of information (in greek) available about Pavlos, your site/tribute, deserves a lookout!

Over time other albums will come and we’ll try to bring more details about the life of this fabulous artist, we count on to help from our Greek friends, rest in peace Pavlos.

Let’s go to our artist:

Mural
Mural

Sidiropoulos began his career in 1970 in Thessaloniki, where he was studying maths at Aristotle University. Together with Pantelis Delleyannidis they set up the folk-duo Damon and Phintias; though he does not graduate he returns to Athens, disappointed with the revolutionary youth, where he worked to his father’s factory. He soon met, at Kittaro’sDionysis Savvopoulos and his group Bourboulia, he joined the band and released the 45 release Damis The Tough (Ντάμης ο σκληρός) in 1972. There, he stayed until 1974, and therefore first experimented with combining folklore and rock.

Afterward, Sidiropoulos collaborated with the Greek composer Yannis Markopoulos, singing his compositions with lyrics by the poet Dimitris Varos. In 1976, together with Spiropoulos brothers, he founded the music group Spiridoula. It took three years for their first release, the cornerstone album Flou, with the homonymous theme song that inspired many musicians, opening a completely different path to Greek audience!

Pavlos Sidiropoulos & Spyridoula
Pavlos Sidiropoulos & Spyridoula

In 1975, he made its two film appearances. He had the leading role in the film (and OST) O Asymvivastos, directed by Andreas Thomopoulos, at the same time, he starred with Dimitris Poulikakos another movie by ThomopoulosAldevaran.

Sidiropoulos joined the band Οι Απροσάρμοστοι (The Misfits), in 1980 where he remained until his death. They released 3 studio albums and numerous live performances. En Lef̱kó̱ was published in 82′, and many of the songs were censored!

Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος
Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος

In 1985, Zorba the Freak came out and in 1989 they released (its lastly) Without Make-up, which was recorded live at Metro club in Athens. In the summer of 1990 and after his mother’s death, his left hand started getting paralyzed, as a result of his long term drug use that he was trying to overcome for many years. He continued his live performances but the deterioration of his health had serious implications. On December 6, 1990, he died from a heart attack, caused by heroin overdose. (RIP)

Let’s go to our album:

Considered by many the most important album in Greek rock music, I was completely surprised the first time I heard him a and it touched me really deep!

Live
Live

Pavlos is simply the best, always with a tight band, he delivers nice guitars, horns, elements from progpsychedelic and jazz, folk and (beautiful) classic rock, wow!

The ‘IM’ Highlights are Oi Sovaroi Klooun (Serious Clown) and I Ora Tou Stuff (The Time of Stuff)Safar Wanaagsan!

Tracks Include (polytonic, romanized and translated):

A1 Ο Μπάμπης Ο “Φλου” – O Babis O Flou (The Father Flou)

A2 Μου ‘πες Θα Φύγω – Mou Pes Tha Fygo (You Told Me I Will Go)

A3 Που Να Γυρίζεις – Pou Na Gyrizeis (Where To Turn?)

A4 Ξέσπασμα – Xespasma (Outbreak)

A5 Οι Σοβαροί Κλόουν – Oi Sovaroi Klooun (Serious Clown)

B1 Το ’69 Με Κάποιο Φίλο – To ’69 Me Kapoio Filo (The ’69 With a Friend)

B2 Στην Κ. – Stin K. (In K.)

B3 Η Ώρα Του Stuff – I Ora Tou Stuff (The Time of Stuff)

B4 Τω Αγνώστω Θεώ – To Agnosto Theo (Tm Unknown God)

B5 Εν Κατακλείδι – En Katakleidi (In Conclusion)

Credits

  • Alto Saxophone, Clarinet: Γιάννης Φαναριώτης (John Fanariotis)
  • Bass: Τόλης Μαστρόκαλος (Tolis Mastrokalos)
  • Bass, Guitar (Slide): Νίκος Πολίτης (Nikos Politis)
  • Drums: Ανδρέας Μουζακίτης (Andreas Mouzakitis), Τάσος Φωτοδήμος (Tassos Fotodimos)
  • Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar: Βασίλης Σπυρόπουλος (Vassilis Spyropoulos)
  • Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Flute: Νίκος Σπυρόπουλος (Nikos Spyropoulos)
  • Music, Lyrics: Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος (Pavlos Sidiropoulos)
  • Piano: Δημήτρης Πολύτιμος (Dimitris Valuable)
  • Tenor Saxophone: Μάκης Παπαθεοδώρου (Makis Papatheodorou)
  • Trombone: Ανδρέας Γκαβογιάννης (Andreas Gkavogiannis)
  • Trumpet: Δημήτρης Λεονταρίδης (Dimitris Leontaridis)
  • Violin: Γιώργος Μαγκλάρας (Yorgos Maglaras)
  • Vocals, Percussion: Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος (Pavlos Sidiropoulos)
  • Female Vocals: Dimitra Galani 

Recorded: Γιώργος Κωνσταντόπουλος (George Konstantopoulos)

Engineer (Assistant): Γιώργος Τζάννες (George Tzanes), Εμμανουήλ Ψαρράς (Manolis Psaras)

Cover, Design, Photography: Γιώργος Μανιάτης (George Maniatis), Δημήτρης Αρβανίτης (Dimitris Arvanitis)

Producer: Θόδωρος Σαραντής (Theo Sarantis)

Coordinator: Μάνος Ξυδούς (Manos Xydous)

  • Made, Printed: EMI Greece S.A.
  • Pressed: Columbia, Athens – 7608

Harvest ‎– 14C 062-70913

1984 (Rock On!)
1984 (Rock On!)