Tafo Brothers – Plugged in Pakistani Pops (2009)

foto cópia

The history of Pakistan film industry is interspersed with many vicissitudes. Starting almost from a scratch soon after the political division of the Sub-continent (1947), it gradually progressed to achieve self-reliance and prosperity, and a time came when it could proudly and successfully compete with quality films made across the border in India, matching them in (almost) all departments of cinematography.

The golden era of Pakistan cinema was the period between the ’60s and ’70s, although a number of good movies had already been produced in Lahore studios during the second half of the ’50s. A large number of dedicated movie-makers, who had made names during their stay in Mumbai, like producer-directors Nazir, Shaukat Hussain Rizvi and WZ Ahmad (their actress-wives Swaran Lata, Noor Jahan, and Neena); directors Nazir Ajmeri, Luqman, S Fazli and Masud Parvez.

Noor Jahan
Noor Jahan

And lastly, play-actors of the caliber of Shah Nawaz, Shakir, Alauddin, Charlie, Ghauri, Himaliyawala, Sadiq Ali, Shameem, Najma, and Ragni contributed to the evolution of Pakistan film industry during the formative years of the new state.

Lollywood ranks among the top twenty film producing nations with an average of 60 full-length feature films per year. Lollywood should take pride in achieving two distinct accolades. The first relates to Noor Jehan, also known as ‘Melody Queen’, she is the country’s most celebrated singer and actress, enjoying popularity in a career spanning about sixty years! Followed by actor Sultan Rahi was yet another phenomenon with a total number of 670 films, playing key roles in 525 films in a period of almost forty years between 1956 to 1995, averaging 16.75 films a year!

Nayyar Sultana
Nayyar Sultana (Malka-i- Jazbaat – Queen of Sentiments)

In spite of all, almost all Pakistani films cater to the local market and no serious effort has been made to broaden the audience base of its films or to enter these at international festivals. Very little, therefore, is known or heard about Lollywood outside the country, the indifference and timidity as evinced by this industry have a lot to do with the peculiar history of the (difficult) evolution of cinema in Pakistan.

The strategy of prolonged protectionism has failed to solve its main problems, along with the loss of East Pakistan territory, the inception of television, and the infiltration of non-artistic financiers, who had no or little background, either in the arts, or business. Consequently, senior film-makers, directors and composers went into voluntary exile and the industry was taken over by rich people who invested money for purposes other than artistic ends, much based only on profits.

These factors contributed to the ultimate decline of Pakistan film industry. (!)

Nimmi (Nawab Banoo)
Nimmi (Hindustani Vamp)

Let’s go to our artist:

As leading exponents of Lahore’s vibrant film industry, the Brothers Tafo gave Lollywood its first rock group in the form of expanded Sextet commonly known as Tafo or Taffoo to Punjabi and Urdu listeners. Mostly instrumental in composition, the sibling writing team emerged in 1970 providing incidental music and sonic variations for Lollywood love stories, with equivalence to the works of RD Burman, Mr. M.Ashraf or Sohail Rana. They would enjoy over a decade of film scoring and musical experimentation at the hi-tech EMI funded recording studios in Lahore.

Echo-plexes, primitive drum machines, analogue synths, fuzz pedals and such, provided many mundane film-scenes with playful/infectious freak-rock courtesy of these uber-legends who were the first Lollywood group to record their own LP!

Tafo Soundtrack
Tafo 70’s Soundtrack

Let’s go to our album:

The Tafo Brothers were let loose in the EMI studios in Lahore and were seemingly intent on playing every keyboard, stringed instrument and sound effect in the place. All tracks overflow with ideas, constantly shifting mood and sound as though played by these hyperactive geniuses. A delightful mix of Eastern grooves, vintage electronics, psych, and pop combined with a half-ton of charm and a dash of wit.

Once again, this entry must thank the work of Hindustani Vinyl and splendid releases from Finders Keepers, re-discovering Lollywood scene, with its spaced out and funky grooves. This amalgamation of sounds may be leftover in Pakistan cinema nowadays, but we’ll be alert for more of these mighty artists, as Tafo Khan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan works, be in touch, and Maayo Nga Biyahe!

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

The ‘IM’ highlights are Bijli Bhari Hai and Tere Siwa Dunya Men.

Tracks Include:

A1 Yeh Aaj Mujh Ko

A2 Tut Tooro Tooro Tara Tara

A3 Oh My Love

A4 Bura Honda Juwariyan Da

A5 Par Kahin Aankh Laraee

A6 Bijli Bhari Hai

B1 Dilon Man Laee

B2 To Shamae-Mohabbat

B3 Mera Mehboob Hai Tu

B4 Lakh Karo Inkar

B5 Tere Siwa Dunya Men

B6 Munda Shahr Lahore Da

Credits

Finders Keepers’ Disposable Music library imprint.

Disposable Music ‎– DiM001

Neelam Valley
Neelam Valley

French-Oriental Female Ep (2014)

ann sorel cópiaThis Ep is an attempt to present some artists who will enter soon in our galaxy, today will address exclusively two countries: France and Japan. Great arrangers, actresses singers, side B, and even famous ones, (feel free to) leave us a comment and enjoy!

France

1968

Brigitte Fontaine – Je Suis Inadaptée / Est… Folle, 1968 (arr. Jean Claude Vannier)

June 24, 1939 / The diva of French underground music.

Brigitte Fontaine made a series of increasingly strange and eclectic art-pop in the ’70s that gathered a lot of acclaim in France, although she remains obscure to an international audience. Initially, she was an eccentric but accessible pop singer, presenting melodic and orchestrated material, working with (living legend) arranger Jean Claude Vannier; on subsequent records, she got jazzier, and then into avant-gardism and art song, her albums were commendably wide-ranging and erratic.

With an active career and 2013 last release, albums like Est…Folle, Barbara’s Madame, and even less known Jean Constantin’s Le Poulpe, are some of the wonderful panoramas that Vannier conducted throughout the ’70s.

A dreamy arrangement, with delicacy, strong pace and multiple colors!

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Nicoletta & Zoo – Dieu Est Negre / Visage, 1970 (arr. Zoo)

April 11, 1944 / Nicole Chappuis-Grisoni

She was considered as part of what is known as the French yé-yé generation heavily influenced by American music, particularly R&B, rock and roll and beat music, mostly known for her version of ‘Mamy Blue’ with her very specific, bluesy voice, she certainly gained a special place in French pop music, with many radio and television appearances, where she had a number of hits in the ’60s and the ’70s.

Her material after the ’70s is somewhat dubious, with that sugar chanson feel, returning to top form from mid-’90s and recently launched Ici Et Ailleurs.

Honestly, these recordings with Zoo are certainly Nicoletta’s best moment, a passionate diva interpretation with an incredible escort by these guys, check it!

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Ann Sorel – L’Amour à Plusieurs / Single, 1972 (arr. Jean Claude Vannier)

Ann-Chantal Sorel, 71 years (more info ?). She released a few pairs of singles during the ’60s and ’70s, early on yé-yé and then, precious moments like this magistral one under Vannier’s tutelage. Banned (!) on radio, with a scandalous lyrics from Fréderic Botton, Ann’s sexy voice guides us through an unusual encounter.

Wrapped in a simple deep red cover, this is a fantastic erotica re-discover!

Japan

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Chinatsu Nakayama (中山千夏) – 砂漠 (Desert) / Single, 1971

July 13, 1948 / Actress Singer

Former wonder actress, TV personalitysinger and later established writer. She released a few singles during the ’70s and stopped its singer career in early ’00s, to fully devote herself as a writer, human rightscivil and feminist activist.

A B side soul-psych bomb with tons of brass, fuzz and nicely chorus!

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Rumi Koyama (小山ルミ) – 恋人の記念日 / Sasurai No Guitar, 1971

August 11, 1952 / Actress Singer

Another famous actress and Tv star, Rumi released a bit more singles and albums through the ’70s. A swinging one, with western brass, percussion, mellow strings and that Tarantino’s Kill Bill homage. Like Meiko Kaji tunes, expect some more entrances from Rumi Koyama, too, she sings with grace and got a real nice 1971 Lp!

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Rabi Nakayama (中山ラビ) – 夢のドライブ (Drive of a Dream) / Hira Hira, 1974

The one (and only) who helped Yoshiko Sai in his first years, Rabi Nakayama is probably one of the most famous singers from Japan, the female Bob Dylan often called, started its career in early ’70s with a dozen of releases, very active until 2009.

Here she catches a heavier side, with a furious backing band, this is almost a B side in Hira Hira’s album, totally folk-oriented. Even being unknown worldwide, Rabi’s career is pretty solid, with diverse moments and bands, soon she’ll enter here!

Hyvää matkaa!

Blind Woman's Curse, 1970 (Meiko Kaji)
Blind Woman’s Curse, 1970 (Meiko Kaji)