Yoshiko Sai – Mikkō (1976) [Repost]

Due to the great success of Yoshiko Sai’s first entry, simply the most viewed during this year, today we present another album of this incredible haunting artist!

Let’s go to our history:

Edo (modern Tokyo) became the seat of government for the military dictatorship in the early 17th century Japan, the so-called Edo period (1603–1867). With an ‘everlasting’ peace and prosperity, the merchant class at the bottom of the social order found themselves the greatest beneficiaries of the city’s rapid economic growth. Other classes were the samurai and the craftsmen. Many indulged in the entertainment of kabuki theatre, courtesans, and geisha of the pleasure districts.

The term Ukiyo (floating world) came to describe this hedonistic lifestyle. Printed or painted ukiyo-e images of this environment emerged in the late 17th century, the merchant class, who had become wealthy enough to afford to decorate their homes with such brilliant works. Depictions of beautiful women, kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica were amongst the popular themes. (!)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1844
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1844

The peak period in terms of quantity and quality was marked by portraits of beauties and actors by masters such as Kiyonaga, Utamaro, and Sharaku in the late 18th century. This peak was followed in the 19th century by a pair of masters best remembered for their landscapes: Hokusai and Hiroshige. Following the deaths of these two, and against the technological and social modernization that followed the Meiji Restoration of 1868, ukiyo-e production went into steep decline.

Some ukiyo-e artists specialized in making paintings, but most works were prints. Artists rarely carved their own woodblocks for printing; rather, production was divided between the artist, who designed the prints; the carver, who cut the woodblocks; the printer, who inked and pressed the woodblocks onto hand-made paper; and the publisher, who financed, promoted, and distributed the works.

Hokusai, 1830-32
Hokusai, 1830-32

Japonisme, or Japonism, is a French term that was first used (theorized) by Jules Claretie in his book L’Art Francais in 1872, it refers to the influence of Japanese art on Western art. In 1854, Japan re-opened trade with the West (after 265 years of isolation) and Japanese artworks including fans, porcelains, woodcuts, and screens were introduced in huge numbers to Europe, mainly France and the Netherlands.

The 1862 World’s Fair in Europe brought even more attention to Japanese art, during the 1860’s ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints, became very popular and were a source of inspiration to many impressionists and post-impressionist artists in the west including Monet, Manet, Degas, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. (!)

Utamaro, 1793
Utamaro, 1793

Let’s go to our album:

Released on July 25th, 1976, Mikkō was Sai Yoshiko’s second album, a wonderful acid-folk register on which she gets assisted by a string of big-name musicians such as Kuni Kawachi on arrangements. At times the disc draws in Indian influences (sitar and tabla), but once she gets to singing, the listener is lulled into her own private, mysterious sonic world, through which one gets sucked in by her wide-ranging vocalizations. At the time of this recording, she was merely 23 years old.

This is a quieter, entrained album, compared to Taiji No Yume, with less variety of styles, making a melodic somber entry. I really would like to know more details about the lyrics, will any Japanese friend could help us? This is such a stunner voyage of consciousness, welcome to the unique realms of Yoshiko Sai, be ready!

1977's Promo
1977’s Promo

The ‘IM’ highlights are Tenshi no Yōni and Mikkō.

Bonum Cursum!

Tracks Include:

A1 Theme ~ 母さまのうた (Theme ~ Kāsama no Uta)

A2 鏡地獄 (Kagami Jigoku)

A3 (Haru)

A4 絹之道 (Kinu no Michi)

B1 人のいない島 (Hito no Inai Shima)

B2 眠りのくに (Nemuri no Kuni)

B3 天使のように (Tenshi no Yōni)

B4 漂流船 (Hyōryūsen)

B5 密航 (Mikkō)

Translations, respectively:

Theme – Mother’s Song, Hell of Mirrors, Spring, Silk Road, Desert Island

Land of Sleep, Like an Angel, Ship Adrift and Stowing Away

Credits

  • Acoustic Guitar: 吉川忠英, 野間義男
  • Cello: 阿部雅士
  • Drums: 山下秀夫, 田中清司, 武田光司
  • Dulcimer: 生見慶二
  • Electric Bass: 江藤勲, 高水建司
  • Electric Guitar: 高中正義, 津村泰彦
  • Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Sitar (E. Sitar): 矢島賢
  • Flute: 中川昌三
  • Piano, Keyboards: 大谷和夫, 松岡直也
  • Strings: 新音楽協会
  • Tabla: 瀬上養之助
  • Vibraphone: クニ河内
  • Arranged: クニ河内 (Kuni Kawashi)
  • Lyrics, Music: 佐井好子 (Yoshiko Sai)
  • Engineer伊豫部富治
  • IllustrationYoshiko Sai
  • Design (Cover Design) – Teichiku Design Section
  • Directed: 春名勇

Companies

  • Made: Teichiku Records Co., Ltd.
  • Recorded: Sound Creation Studio
  • Mixed: AMS Studio

Recorded at Teichiku No.1 Studio and Sound Creation Studio.

Mixdown at AMS Studio from March to May 1976.

Black ‎– BAL-1018

Yoshiko’s Painting Cover Art

Halina Frąckowiak ‎– Geira (1977)

Halina has already appeared here on a 2014 post about multiple female artists, but today she deserves a full entry, another Pole legend to grace us with all her talent!

Let’s go to our artist:

Halina Maria Frąckowiak (born April 10, 1947, in Poznań) is a Polish pop/rock singer, composer, and songwriter. She debuted in 1963 at the Young Talents Festival in Szczecin, where she competed with future polish legends such as Czesław Niemen, Zdzisława Sośnicka and Krzysztof Klenczon, and became the winner of the so-called “Golden Ten”.

Then she won further awards at song festivals in Opole and in Kołobrzeg in the years 1969, 1976, 1977, 1988, 1991 and 1993 (!). Working with such bands as Czerwono-Czarni, ABC Group, Tarpany, they launched a plethora of hits throughout the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Halina & Grupa ABC – 1972

In 1972 Halina outset in a solo career, it was then that she won the plebiscite for the most popular singer, several times took part in foreign festivals (Ostend, Rostock, Dresden), where she received the most important awards, including “Golden Microphone” of the Polish-American Artistic Agency. Halina has recorded over 20 discs and cassettes, and her concerts have been seen in many places in Europe as well as in the US and Canada. She performed, at the Musical Theater in Gdynia, the Grand Theater in Łódź and Warsaw.

Halina’s 1977 Grace

The album Ogród Luizy (Luisa’s Garden) from 1981 was created as a result of Halina Frąckowiak’s fascination with the poetry of Kazimierz Wierzyński, this is the effect of the gradual change of the singer’s repertoire to a more serious and lyrical one conception since its debut with the renowned Idę in 1974. The last decade only saw re-releases of her past records and many live presentations until today, its last record is from 2006.

Let’s go to our album:

Let us present you Halina’s second (and better) entry, a fantastic collaboration between the singer and the almighty prog-trio SBB, here in a way that some fans might not know:

Zespół SBB – Made In Poland

“The three musicians that revolutionized Polish rock” or “Beyond doubt the most prominent representatives of progressive rock in Poland” with these credentials it’s easy to drool out with this magnificent record. The trio changed their groove in some nice ways for the album, mostly known for their long-form, fusion-styled jams, here, they compact that energy into shorter, tighter songs that often have a funky rock style or ambient jazz-pop that draws equally from the vocals in the lead, and from the keyboards of Jozef Skrzek!

Believe me, you don’t want to miss this one…

The ‘IM’ highlights are Wzejdę Polnym Makiem and Śnij Tylko Szczęście.

Tracks Include:

A1 Jesteś Spóźnionym Deszczem
A2 Myśli Twoje Śnić Zaczynam
A3 Wzejdę Polnym Makiem
A4 Otwieram List – Brązowy Wrzesień
A5 W Powszednie Dni
B1 Śnij Tylko Szczęście
B2 Pieśń Geiry
B3 Chcę Być Dla Ciebie
B4 Brzegi Łagodne

Credits
Featuring: Zespół SBB

Backing Vocals: Alibabki
Lyrics By: J. Matej
Music By: J. Skrzek

Design – Rafał Jasionowicz
Engineer: J. Złotkowski, M. Gola
Photography By: Marek Karewicz

Companies
Record Company: Polskie Nagrania
Printed By: Łódzka Drukarnia Akcydensowa

Polskie Nagrania Muza ‎– SX 1428

Presently

Alpha Beta – Astral Abuse (1971)

7″ / 45 RPM

Today’s presentation is an obscure record released without the alias that made him a worldwide famous composer, producer, and musician: Vangelis.

Let’s go to our artist:

Born in Volos, Greece on the 29th of March 1943 Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou (Ευάγγελος Οδυσσέας Παπαθανασίου) was a self-taught prodigy who avoided most formal piano lessons. Apparently, a gifted painter as a child his schooling was based on a formidable memory that enabled him to learn by intuition rather than by rote.

In the ‘60s he was part of the popular groups The Forminx and Aphrodite’s Child who hit big with “Rain and Tears” and the double album 666, selling more than 1 million copies over the four years of the band’s duration of rising stardom in Europe and US!

A Beardless Vangelis in 1965

A significant figure during turbulent times in Greece Vangelis began his score work in 1970 and then released his first proper solo disc – Earth – in 1973. After moving to London Vangelis’ distinctive electronic album work took off, acclaimed scores for movies like Chariots of Fire, Conquest of Paradise, Blade Runner, Alexander, and many many more remain perennial best sellers and feature in the American Film Institute’s list of greatest scores of all time(!). He is considered a titan in the electronic field releasing more than 50 albums in a career spanning the period from the 1960s when he was in bands in his native Greece to the present day. A deeply private and guarded individual who rarely grants the press entry into his world Vangelis explains himself best when he says:

“Mythology, science, and space exploration are subjects that have fascinated me since my early childhood. And they were always connected somehow with the music I write.”

Aphrodite’s Child

In 1975 Vangelis looked back:

“I like the whole spectrum of music. Jazz, pop, rock, the classics. I have no taboos, any kind of music is great, so long as it is honest. So I’m glad to help any artist whom I like. You see, I don’t regard myself primarily as a producer. It’s just that I have so many ideas, I can’t put them all on my own records. Production allows me more flexibility, more outlets. I was a prisoner of Aphrodite’s Child for three years, in the end, I was desperate. I was forced into the position of turning out music that didn’t interest me because of our own success. When I first went to Paris, I had lots of ideas that I wanted the group to be. But I realized that, as a new and foreign act, we had to create confidence in ourselves from the record company. And that confidence comes only from proving that you can earn money for them. What I didn’t realize is, that has created a precedent, it’s very difficult to diverge from it. It takes years to change your product. I have no regrets about that period, but it did waste a lot of time.

Synth Genius

Let’s go to our album:

Alpha Beta is probably it’s less known work to date, released on the legendary BYG Records label and distributed by Discodis in France back in 1971, this 7” presents a wild experimentation vibe with haunting vocals, paced percussion, lots of keyboards floating around the psychedelic guitar-synth driven session in a far off trip… απολαμβάνω!

Tracks Include:

A Astral Abuse
Written By: Koulouris, Papathanassiou, Vilma

B Who Killed?
Written By: Papathanassiou, Gomelsky

Credits

Guitar: Argiris Koulouris
Performer: Evangelos Papathanassiou
Vocals: Vilma Lado

Illustration: Evangelos Papathanassiou

Today

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)