Dominic Frontiere and His Orchestra – Pagan Festival: An Exotic Love Ritual For Orchestra (1959)

Together with Yma Sumac’s exquisite records, Russ Garcia’s Fantastica, and the unknown The Markko Pollo Adventures self titled album, our today entry comes with great passion, a personal favorite in the Exotica and Space Age Pop universe. You can check a dossier about the subject here, and with our last entries highlighted on top! We believe that the milestone works from Martin Denny and famous arranger Les Baxter are truly amazing, though due to the high commercial appeal and large number of releases, the musical developments became to dilute throughout the years, climaxing with the death of the genre in the mid-60’s.

folder cópia

Together with Yma Sumac’s exquisite records, Russ Garcia’s Fantastica, and the unknown The Markko Pollo Adventures self titled album, our today entry comes with great passion, a personal favorite in the Exotica and Space Age Pop universe. You can check a dossier about the subject here, and with our last entries highlighted on top! We believe that the milestone works from Martin Denny and famous arranger Les Baxter are truly amazing, though due to the high commercial appeal and large number of releases, the musical developments became to dilute throughout the years, climaxing with the death of the genre in the mid60’s.

Nevertheless, expect to encounter ‘Hypnotique’ and ‘The Passions’ here soon!

Let’s go to our artist:

Dominic Frontiere
Dominic Frontiere

Dominic Frontiere (17 June 1931, New Haven, Connecticut) grew up in a musical family, learning several instruments before adopting the accordion as his main focus. He proved a prodigy, and was travelling to New York for lessons with accordion virtuoso Joseph Biviano at 7 and performing solo at Carnegie Hall at the age of 12. From an early age, its interest in music went beyond just performing, though, and he studied classical music, arranging, and composition through high school and after!

He joined Horace Heidt’s big band in 1949, replacing accordion star Dick Contino and becoming lead arranger as well. He left Heidt in 1952 and moved to Hollywood, where he studied with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco at UCLA and with violinist and studio conductor Felix SlatkinFrontiere was then, taken under the wing of Alfred Newman, music director at 20th Century-Fox studios, and his brother, famous film composer Lionel Newman, who soon had him working on a variety of scoring jobs.

Alfred Newman
Alfred Newman

Frontiere experimented several novelties from his studio work, one was an album for Columbia, Pagan Festival, that is now recalled fondly as one of the prime examples of true exotica. One suspects that he ran Yma Sumac’s albums for a few spins while conceiving on the pieces on this work, which feature titles as ‘Jaguar God’Venus Girl’, with subtitles recalling Mayan or Inca language, as Ixtab, and Tampu-Anca.

Dominic has concentrated on composing for films/television since the early ’60s. His scoring credits include such films as Hang ‘Em High, Incubus, Chisum, The Train Robbers, Brannigan, and The Stunt Man. On television, he composed the theme for the aliens-are-among-us series, The Invaders, science fiction The Outer Limits, and also The Fugitive, The Flying Nun, BrandedMovin’ Onamongst many others.

1968 Film Poster
1968 OST

Along with Art Van Damme and Johnny Hamlin, he ranks among the leading (and only) jazz accordionists, with an active career until the ’90s. Recently many of its soundtracks were available in cd re-releases, where you can check it out here!

Let’s go to our album:

The liner notes on the back cover spoke of the music’s “interpretation of ancient Inca rituals, superstitions, and the romance and mysteries of their colorful civilization“, but the blending of musical styles was not limited to that of the ancient Latin American culture (if anyone knew what that would sound like!). Frontiere let his imagination run wild, and he brought in sounds from the South Pacific to Eastern Europe, e.g.

1963/64 OST
1963/64 OST

So, here a female choir wafted in and out along with string sections, brasses, and reeds, creating a patchwork quilt that somehow held together. Frontiere‘s music charmed like an entertaining Hollywood score for a movie set in some faraway place, it may not have been historically accurate, but it was a lot of fun to listen to, jouir!

The ‘IM’ highlights are House of Dawn (Paccari-Tampu) and Venus Girl (IX-Koben).

Lastly, this is an exclusive release, เดินทางที่ดี!

Tracks Include:

A1 Festival

A2 House of Dawn (Paccari-Tampu)

A3 Temple of Suicide (Ixtab)

A4 Moon Goddess (Ixchel)

A5 Time of Sunshine (Yaxkin)

A6 Goddess of Love (X-Tabai)

B1 House of Pleasure (Tampu-Anca)

B2 The Harvest (Zax)

B3 Corn Festival (Zabacil Than)

B4 God of Seasons (Kukulkan)

B5 Jaguar God (Balam)

B6 Venus Girl (IX-Koben)

Credits

  • Artwork: Irene Trivas
  • Composed, Conductor: Dominic Frontiere

Columbia ‎– CL 1273

Beltrane Fire Festival
Beltrane Fire Festival

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

Alla Pugacheva (Алла Пугачева) – Mirror of the Soul (Зеркало Души) [1978]

capaThe ’60s and ’70s saw the beginning of modern Russian pop and rock music, it all started with the wave of VIA’s (vocal-instrumental ensemble), a specific sort of music bands performing radio-friendly pop, rock, and folk, composed by members of the Union of Composers, approved by censorship. This wave began with Pojuschie Gitary and Pesnyary, popular VIA bands also included Tcvety and Zemlyane.

That period also saw individual pop stars such as Iosif Kobzon, Sofia Rotaru, Alla Pugacheva, Valery Leontiev, Yuri Antonov, many of them remain popular and active to this day. They were the mainstream of Soviet music media, headliners of festivals such as Song of the Year, Sopot, and Golden Orpheus. The year 1977 saw the establishment of Moskovsky Komsomolets hit parade, Russia’s first music chart.

VIA Singing Guitar
VIA Singing Guitar

The term VIA represented a model under which the Soviet government was willing to permit domestic rock and pop music acts to develop. To be able to break through the state-owned Soviet media, a band needed to become an officially-recognized VIA. Each VIA had an artistic director who served as manager, producer, and also state-appointed censor. In some bands the artistic director was the band’s leading member and songwriter, while in others he played the role of an impresario.

Songs varied from pop ballads, dance disco and new wave to mainstream rock (although bands avoided the rock music label until the late ’70s, because rock was considered a bourgeois art and formally banned) (!). The typical VIA consisted of 6 to 10 band members, lead vocalists usually did not play an instrument, virtually every member of a VIA was a professional musician, with formal musical education.

VIA Charivni Guitar
VIA Charivni Guitar

The Soviet government had strict rules governing how members of a VIA were to behave on stage and conduct themselves in public. Performers were only allowed to wear suits, folks costumes, or military uniforms. Movements around the stage were discouraged and anything outside of the conservative norm, such as long hair, tattoos, leather jackets, or metallic accessories were strictly forbidden. Due to state censorship, the lyrics of VIAs were family-friendly, typical topics were universal emotions like love, joy, and nostalgia, or idealized vignettes from usual daily life.

VIA song recordings were done by Melodiya, the State-owned record company, and the concerts/performances were organized by professional associations such as Soyuzkontsert (Union Concerts), Moskontsert (Moscow Concerts), Lenkonsert (Leningrad Concerts), Roskontsert (Russian Concerts), along with regional groups.

Let’s go to our artist:

Alla Pugacheva & Kristina Orbakaitе
Alla Pugacheva & Kristina Orbakaitе

Alla Borisovna Pugacheva (April 15, 1949) started performing when she still was at junior school. In 1965, she composed and recorded The Robot, her first song for the national radio. After high school, Pugacheva continued education in Moscow State Music College, at the department of conducting and choir singing. Later, in 1981 she also got a degree in theatre directing at the (arrant) State Theatre Art College.

Alla Pugacheva started a professional singing career in the early ’70s, as a leading singer of VIA’s Funny Guys, but real recognition only came when she won the Grand Prix of the Golden Orpheus song contest with the song Harlequin in 1975.

Afterward, she went to work in what would be the turning point of its career: the musical film The Woman Who Sings, in 1977. In co-op with the band Rhythm, she played the leading lady, a pop singer who sacrifices her personal life for her career.

60's Alla Pugacheva
60’s Pugacheva

The soundtrack, which was co-written by her, included a myriad of pop songs, the Soviet audience, regarding the film as autobiographical, brought the OST to reach record audience of the year in 1979, as it was bought by 55 million people! (phew)

Though for many she grew to represent the government-pop culture that was forced upon the people, her popularity skyrocketed, and she released many albums throughout the decades. Her contributions to Russian music were recognized when she has bestowed the title of People’s Artist of the U.S.S.R. in 1991. She enjoys an iconic status across the former Soviet Union and has overshadowed a long time rival Sofia Rotaru as the most successful Soviet performer in terms of record sales and popularity. Her last album was released in 2008 and lately, Pugacheva is the main judge on Factor A, Russia’s version of the British X-Factor television series.

Let’s go to our album:

Primadonna
Primadonna

Mirror of the Soul was Alla Pugacheva’s first studio album, published in the Soviet Union in May 1978, as a double album, and later re-released in two parts. The Lp includes songs performed by her, recorded in 1975/1977 primarily composed by (master) Alexander Zatsepin. It became one of the most sold in the USSR in late 70’s early 80’s. By 1983, it had sold 7,753,500 copies, and with a general circulation exceeding 60 reissues, the album approached the terrific mark of 10 million copies!

A collection of singles, which had previously appeared in the film or in separate publications, it firmly stands as a kaleidoscope of genres, ranging from kitschy hits, funk-rock, orchestral ballads, prog synths, art pop, funny marches and much more from a devilishly talented singer and composer, prepare yourself for Alla’s realms.

The ‘IM’ highlights are Приезжай (Come) and Мы Не Любим Друг Друга (We Do Not Like Each Other)хорошая поездка!

Tracks Include:

A1 Бубен Шамана (Tambourine Shaman) / Centerline of The Skies OST

A2 Верю В Тебя (I Believe in You) / Basketball OST

A3 Сонет Шекспира (Shakespeare’s Sonnet)

B1 Приезжай (Come)

B2 Не Отрекаются Любя (Do Not Deny Loving)

B3 Песенка Про Меня (Song About Me)

B4 Женщина, Которая Поет (The Woman Who Sings)

C1 Все Могут Короли (Kings Can Do Everything)

C2 Куда Уходит Детство (Where Does Childhood?) / Fantasy Vesnuhina OST

C3 Волшебник-Недоучка (Wizard-Dropout) / Brave Chirac OST

C4 Полно Вокруг Мудрецов (Fully Sages Around) / Brave Chirac OST

D1 Мы Не Любим Друг Друга (We Do Not Like Each Other) / Cook & Singer OST

D2 Если И Долго Мучиться (If You Long To Suffer) / Cook & Singer OST

D3 До Свиданья, Лето (Goodbye, Summer) / Centerline of The Skies OST

D4 Любовь Одна Виновата (Love One to Blame) / Centerline of The Skies OST

D5 Найди Себе Друга (Find a Friend) / Fantasy Vesnuhina OST

Credits

Conductor: V. Terletsky (B2), A. Avilov (A2, A3, B1, B3, B4), V. Kleynot (A1, C1 to D5)

Ensemble: VIA B. Kleynota (A1, C1 to D5), Rhythm (A2, A3, B1, B3, B4)

Music: Alexander Zatsepin (A1, A2, B3, C2 to D5), Boris Gorbonos (A3, B1, B4), Boris Richkov (C1), Leonid Garin (B4), Mark Minkov (B2)

Lyrics: William Shakespeare (A3), Boris Gorbonos (B1), V. Tushnova (B2), Kaisyn Guliyev (B4), Leonid Derbenyov (A1, B3, C1 to D5), Onegin Gadzhikasimov (A2)

  • Arrangements: Alexander Zatsepin (except B2 and C1)
  • Photographer: Vyacheslav Maneshina
  • Supervised: A. Kachalina

Мелодия ‎– 33 С 60-09799-802

Vasilissa the Beautiful by Ivan Bilibin
Vasilissa the Beautiful by Ivan Bilibin

ВИА Севиль (VIA Sevil) – Севиль (Sevil) [1978]

vagif, azizaIn terms of ethnicity, culture, music, and religionAzerbaijan is much closer to Iran than Turkey, the country has the distinction of being the first Muslim-majority democratic and secular republic of the modern eraTheir music is based on folk traditions that reach back nearly a thousand years! We can list here e.g. the Mugham, Meykhana and Ashiq Art being one of the many musical traditions of Azerbaijan.

Mugham is usually a suite with poetry and instrumental interludes, it belongs to the modal system and may have derived from Persian tradition (Arabic Maqam). In contrast to the mugham traditions of Central Asian countries, Azeri mugham is more free-form and it is often compared to the improvised field of jazz. Its modes are associated not only with scales but with an orally transmitted collection of melodies and melodic fragments that performers use in the course of improvisation.

Nizami Ganjavi, 16th Century
Nizami Ganjavi, 16th Century

The dramatic unfolding in performance is associated with increasing intensity, rising pitches, in a form of poetic-musical communication amid performers/listeners.

In 2003, UNESCO recognized Mugham as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Another curiosity is the presence of the Balaban (national wind instrument) included on the Voyager Golden Record, attached to the Voyager spacecraft as representing (assorted) world music.

Meykhana is a kind of traditional Azeri distinctive folk unaccompanied song, usually performed by several people improvising on a particular subject. Ashiq combines poetry, storytelling, dance, and vocal and instrumental music into a traditional performance art that stands as a symbol of Azerbaijani culture. Based on a mystic troubadour or traveling bard who sings and plays the Saz, this tradition has its origins in the ancient Turkic peoples, surviving to the present day as an emblem of national identity and the guardian of Azerbaijani language, literature, and music. (!)

Azeri Dance
Azeri Dance

Let’s go to our music:

Jazz is extremely popular in Azerbaijan. National Jazz School of Azerbaijan was established with the birth of State Jazz Orchestra in 1938 performing both classic jazz and improvisations on traditional Mugham music. The life of Jazz did not last long as in the ’50s Soviet authorities banned its performance in the country as seditious western music, even music played on the saxophone was outlawed!

Therefore, a blend which came to be known as mugam jazz had originated in Baku.

In the late ’60s, the Azeri jazz music was boosted by such composers as Qara Qarayev and Rauf Hajiyev. It was the era of Rafiq Babayev’s jazz quartet, and later, that of Vagif Mustafazadeh, who pioneered the jazz-mugham variation.

Qara Qarayev
Qara Qarayev

Let’s go to our artist:

Vagif Mustafa-Zadeh (March 16, 1940 – December 17, 1979) is the founder of Azerbaijani jazz mugham movement that emerged in the late ’60s and ’70s in Baku.

Mustafazadeh was born in Old City, the historic core of the Baku, his name was chosen by the renowned poet Samed Vurgun, on the request of his mother, a piano teacher in local music school. The musical prohibitions during the ’40s and ’50s meant that the playing of jazz was banned in USSR countries, including Azerbaijan since there was no opportunity to get jazz records from anywhere, he listened to jazz pieces, learning from movies, the BBC radio and sang the also banned Meykhana.

In 1963, he graduated from Baku State Musical School named after Asaf Zeynally and a year later accepted to Azerbaijan State Conservatoire. He first achieved fame at the music school, giving concerts there, later on performing at the parties and evenings held at the universities and clubs, while performing at the clubs, he mainly played classical jazz, as well as some blues and (even) pop-dance music!

A Young Maestro
A Young Maestro

From the ’60s, prohibitions put on jazz music were gradually lifted and thus the late 1960s and ’70s became a time when Baku was a real center of inspired jazz.

In 1965, he quit the conservatoire and went to Tbilisi to lead the Orero musical ensemble, later he created the Qafqaz jazz trio at Georgian State Philharmonic.

In 1970 he formed the Leyli women’s quartet and followed the formula in 1971 with the (famous) Sevil vocal-instrumental ensemble. The group was founded on the basis of the State TV & Radio of Azerbaijan SSR, with soloists U. Hajibeyov, Dilara Dzhangirova, and Rena TalybovaUntil 1977 he guided tirelessly all of ’em!

Sevil, 70's
Sevil, 70’s

For its composition Waiting for Aziza, Mustafazadeh won first prize at the 8th International Competition of Jazz Composers in Monaco, 1978. He was also elected as laureate at Donetsk All-Soviet Union Jazz Festival in 1977 and elected as the best pianist in Tbilisi-78. Vagif Mustafazadeh is assigned Honored Artist of Azerbaijan SSR and after his death Azerbaijani State Prize. Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack shortly after a concert in Tashkent, and before the birthdays of his wife and daughter. Mustafazadeh was married twice, from the first marriage he had Lala, a classical pianist. His second marriage gave him (famous) Aziza Mustafa Zadeh.

More than three decades since Mustafazade’s passing, a larger number of his recordings are more widely available than at any time during his lifetime. (RIP)

Vagif Mustafa Zadeh
Vagif Mustafa Zadeh (Art)

Let’s go to our album:

This is one of those rare moments when everything goes right! I’m totally rapt about the music of this incredible artist, composer, arranger, and icon. Be blessed by the wonderful vocal harmonies, deep instrumental tracks, folk and even a bit of funk-rock. Today we won’t talk much, the music speaks for itself, despite the quality of the rip, the overall is fantastic, a long-lasting jazz album, appraise it and yaxşı səfər!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Beauty Black Eyebrows and Mugam.

Tracks Include:

A1 Дороги (Roads) / (V. Mustafazade – F. Qoca)

A2 Золотое колечко (Golden Ring) / (T. Quliyev – R. Rza)

A3 Сурьма для черных бровей (Beauty Black Eyebrows) / (V. Mustafazade – Xalq)

A4 От судьбы не уйдешь (No Escaping Fate) / (V. Mustafazade)

B1 Во дворце ширваншахов (In the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs) / (V. Mustafazade)

B2 Любимая (Favorite) / (R. Haciyev – O. Olibeyli)

B3 Мугам (Mugam) / (R. Mirisli)

B4 Сегодняшний день (This Day) / (V. Mustafazade)

Мелодия ‎– С60 10157

Baku by Night
Baku by Night

Embryo – Embryo’s Reise (1979)

capa cópiaThis post is dedicated to German friends, simply, one of our faithful visitors, Vielen Dank! Let’s make another recap on the subject Krautrock, shall we? Years away from the Xhol Caravan entry, Embryo’s galaxy roamed through our World during its existence, influenced by psych, prog, ethio-jazz, fusion, and today’s album are definitely my favorite, a special gem, let’s learn how to cultivate it!?

Let’s go to our music:

Krautrock (Kosmische Musik) is a German avant-garde, experimental rock movement that emerged at the end of the 60’s, intending to go beyond the eccentricities developed by the psychedelic rock of the US, by giving a special emphasis to electronic treatments, sound manipulation and minimal hypnotic motifs (musique concrete/minimalist) Krautrock put the emphasis on extended/ecstatic instrumental epics, neglecting the (trivial) pop universe.

The term Krautrock was first used by the British music press in a very derogatory way, though it rapidly found a better reputation under the underground music circle, gaining (with time) certain popularity, also thanks to the Brain-Festival Essen.

Ash Ra Tempel's Flyer, 1973
Ash Ra Tempel, Bravo’s Magazine / 1973

With their own particular artistic expression, multiple musical collectives supplied psychedelic incantations, mantra-like drones, lugubrious atmospheres, long and convoluted collective improvisations, binary repetitive drum pulses, fuzz guitars, primitive electronic noises, hallucinatory ballads, and garage blues rock trips. Krautrock can be described as an anarchic, intense, acid, tellurian, nocturnal, spacey, dark and oniric adventure through rock music! (phew!!)

The most consistent years of the scene cover a relatively short period from 1970 to 1975. After their first spontaneous, hyperactive and psychedelic efforts, the bands generally split up or declined into other musical sensibilities, more in line with mainstream rock or with ambient soundscapes. Each region develops its particular musical scene, interpreting differently the Krautrock musical structure.

Faust
Faust

For instance, the Berlin school focused on astral synthscapes, weird electronic experimentation and acid jams (Ash Ra Tempel, Agitation Free, The Cosmic Jokers, Kluster), the Munich scene offered fuzzed-out (Eastern) psych rock mantras with some folk accents (Popol Vuh, Amon Duul, Gila, Guru Guru). Cologne and Dusseldorf underground scenes focused on political rock, electronics, pulsating rhythms and clean sounding (Floh de Cologne, La Dusseldorf, Neu!, Can).

Let’s go to our artist:

Embryo is centered around multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, founded in the late ’60s after Burchard had played in several jazz combos and allegedly spent a short time in Amon Düül II. Since then, busloads of musicians have played together with him in Embryo and there are probably not two albums with the same line-up.

Nevertheless, some musicians stayed with Burchard for quite a long time, Roman Bunka and Edgar Hoffman were one of those. Two excellent multi-instrumentalists who both remained for most of the ’70s and 80’s In addition, Embryo has also played constantly with musicians from outside Europe, especially from Asia and Africa. (!)

Multi-Arts Embryo!
Multi-Arts Embryo!

The continuous changes in the band line up and the wide range of musical styles probably typify the musical restlessness of Burchard. Although the band started as a Krautrock outfit, it was clear within a few albums that he had a genuine interest in combining jazz, rock and a large variety of ethnic (different) music styles.

Throughout the ’70s, the jazz and ethnic influences were often embedded in a jazz-rock/fusion format, while in the mid and late 80’s the band often focused on purely ethnic music, especially from Africa. During the ’90s, Embryo developed more or less into an ethnic jazz band, rarely restricting themselves to a strict compositional format, always allowing ample room for spontaneous musical interaction.

70's
Kraut-World

Surprisingly, Embryo still exits after 30 years and the band still play many concerts and festivals, throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. (!)

Let’s go to our album:

This double album is certainly one of the best attempts to fuse progressive-type rock with ethnic/world music and few have succeeded as well as Embryo’s Reise (voyage). Indeed around the departure of the ever-important Roman Bunka, plans had been made to travel from Istanbul to Pakistan and Nepal, while recording their musical encounters with the many people found on their road paths!

Embyo’s Reise
Embyo’s Reise

The group was giving improvised multimedia concerts along the way, including stunning live performance paintings, some of these jams are actually really successful, mixing the European (often electric) rock musicians and the acoustic local musicians (Road To Asia), while others are more ethnic players playing freely along.

Symbolic of the 70’s hippy dream, a real must not only in Embryo’s discography!

Embryo Live, Lately
Embryo Live, Lately

The ‘IM’ Highlights are Kurdistan and Cello Celloਤੁਹਾਡਾ ਸਫਰ ਸੁਰੱਖਿਅਤ ਰਹੇ!

Tracks Include:

A1 Strasse Nach Asien (Christian Burchard)

A2 Paki Funk (Michael Wehmayer)

A3 Lost Scooters (Roman Bunka)

A4 Anar, Anar (Traditional, arr. Burchard)

B1 Es Ist, Wie’s Ist (Christian Burchard)

B2 Kurdistan (Christian Burchard)

B3 Far East (Roman Bunka)

B4 Chan Delawar Khan (Traditional, arr. Burchard)

C1 Farid (Christian Burchard)

C2 Cello, Cello (Christian Burchard)

D1 Rog de Quadamuna Achna (Traditional, arr. Burchard)

D2 Hymalaya Radio (Traditional, arr. Burchard)

Credits

Roman Bunka: guitar, vocals, bass, piano, guitar synth, drums, oud

Christian Burchard: vocals, drums, synth-vibes, percussion, tamtam, marimbaphone, pianet

Remigius Drexler: acoustic & electric guitars

Edgar Hoffmann: violin, soprano saxophone, shinai, dilruba, flute, harmonica

Uve Müllrich: bass, electric guitar, oud, rhubab, electric saz, vocals, percussion

Michael Wehmayer: organ, piano, harmonium

Participations

Abdul Jabar: tula / Friedemann Josh: flute / Abdul Madjid: tambur

Schamsdin Masrur: dotar / Mrs. Ramamani: vocals / Mr. Chandramouli: kanjira

Mr. Chandrasekhar: khol / Mr. Gopalakrishna: tabla / Mr. Rajagopal: dhol

Mr. Ramesh: ghatam / Mr. Ramesh Shotam: tavil / Mr. Ravi: dolki

Mr. Sashikumar: mridangam, top pitch / Mr. Sampath Kumar: morsing

Mr. Satyakumar: dholak / Mr. TS Mani: mridangam / Malang Negrabi: zerbagali

Ustad Mohamed Omar: rubab / Machin Abdul Raschid: saranda

Ashok Roy: sarod / Ustad Salim: dilruba / *Ubekannter Zirkusansager: vocals

Bahul Jazz Group of Calcutta: tam-tam, flute, violin, vocals

  • Cover: Hartmut Bremer, Stefan Rustige, Uve Müllrich
  • Engineer: Etienne Conod, Günter Heidler, Rolf Sylvester
  • Mastered: Rico Sonderegger
  • Photography: Georg Kramer, Michael Wehmeyer
  • Recorded: Brian Greenman, Etienne Conod (tracks: A1, B2, B3, C1),
  • Gunni Heidler (tracks: A3, D2), Rolf Sylvester (tracks: A3, A4, B3, C1, D1)

Recordings from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

Recorded Sept 1978 – May 1979

Remix and playback July 1979 by Sunrise-Studios, Kirchberg, Switzerland.

Notes

Tracks A1, B1 and B2 recorded after returning from the journey in August/September 1979 at Sunrise Studio. Track A2, with vocals from an unknown Circus Announcer*, recorded in November 1978 10 km west of Peshawar, Pakistan in the tent of Jan Bahader Circus. Track A4, B3, B4, C1, D1 recorded March 1979 at Goethe-Institut Kabul, Afghanistan; Playbacks for Track B3, C1 July 1979 at Sunrise Studio.

Track D2 recorded at doon school Dehra Dun, Himalaya, India. Track A3, C2 recorded February 1979 in Bangalore (Heidler, Sylvester), track A3 playbacks July 1979 at Sunrise Studio, KirchbergD4 recorded January 1979 in the docks of Calcutta (Greenman). Track D3 is a ‘field recording’ from December 1978.

Berlin City Nights
Berlin City Nights