Magic Carpet – Magic Carpet (1972)

folder cópiaThe emotion provided by Raga (classical India music) is not only effective, it’s a real message, an aesthetic of nature, of the divine, a virtue able to guide the listener to a state of emotional trance. In the ’60s, with the launch of the international success of raga, masters such as Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, leaded European and American artists to become more and more captivated by the dynamical relation between mystical emotion, spirituality, and music. The emergence of Raga schools from everywhere (still perpetuating the ancestral musical traditions), and initiatory travels of Western minimalist-modern jazz composers (Terry Riley, Don Cherry) to India, founded a growing interest for this (transcendental) musical universe.

George Harrison & Ravi Shankar
George Harrison & Ravi Shankar

The emphasis on circular rhythms, ornamentation (gamaka), the use of acoustic stringed patterns, the sense of beatific endurance and lengthy improvisation are the central characteristics of this music in term of practice and sound aestheticism. Emotionally, the function on the listener is hypnotic, voluntary trying to reach him into a higher state of consciousness, modulating his perception of time and space. (!)

The basic conception of drone (continuous sound form) will be taken back in popular music and turned into kosmische electronica (70’s Berlin underground). After Seventh Sons’ first original but rather discreet effort simply called Raga (1964) and Malachi’s Holy Music (1967), famous bands such as The Beatles in Revolver (1966) and Traffic in their album Mr. Fantasy (1967) were seduced by the sonorities of Indian raga music, they also occasionally incorporate sitar elements to their music.

Raga Megha, Kailash Raj
Raga Megha, Kailash Raj

Let’s go to our artist:

Way back in the early ’70s in London, three friends came together to play some unusual music: Sitarist Clem Alford, guitarist Jim Moyes, and tabla player Keshav Sathe, formed a unique Anglo-Indian fusion, calling themselves Sargam (the name of a note in an Indian scale). They made one album under the name Sagram, misspelled by the Windmill recording company and inappropriately entitled Pop Explosion Sitar Style. This album was released without the band’s permission, with a ludicrous cover photograph bearing no relation to any band members or anything about them. (!)

In 1971, soon after the release of Sagram, the Sargam trio was offered another Lp recording contract by Mushroom Records, with the proviso that they find a singer. Having met her when they were both at Chelsea School of Art, Jim Moyes contacted Alisha Sufit. She busked in street markets, singing and playing at the London Underground by day, and did gigs around the clubs and colleges at night.

Cheesy Cover!
Cheesy Cover!

Jim Moyes invited her to play and the four musicians soon renamed themselves Magic Carpet, forming a unique Anglo-Indian musical collaboration, facilitated by the fact that Alisha was writing songs set in open modal tunings on the guitar making them instantly compatible with the tuning of the sitar. The band recorded the Magic Carpet album in the winter of 1971/1972 on Mushroom Records label.

The four stayed together for nearly a year, doing a few prestigious gigs, at the 100 Club in London, Wavendon (Cleo Laine, John Dankworth’s venue), several festivals, Sounds of the Seventies on BBC Radio, but they finally parted company in 1972.

Magic Carpet
Magic Carpet

After a considerable gap, the four met up again. Jim was no longer performing and Keshav had retired, but Clem and Alisha were still playing professionally and it was a natural step to do another album, in 1996 they recorded the album Once Moor (subtitle Magic Carpet II) released on the Magic Carpet Records label. It consists of songs written/sung by Alisha, plus some instrumental tracks, with Clem Alford on sitar/tamboura, Alisha on guitar, and Pandit Dinesh and Esmail Sheikh on tabla.

Let’s go to our album:

Originally published in 1972 for Magic Carpet records, the Lp shows a dynamic mixture of original folk inventions, psych-Hindu sitar gems and gorgeous, omnipresent, accentuated female vocals by Alisha. Lyrically all the album is about east mysticism, love, spirituality, time of Creation and such. The music itself is poetic, combining simplistic folk guitar motifs to raga scales, in spiritual Hindu-folk experience, with soft psychedelic flavor floating all along with the album!

Alisha Sufit
Alisha Sufit

There’s a fantastic interview with Alisha Sufit with long details about them made by our friends from It’s Psychedelic Baby, with a track by track comments, and more!

The ‘IM’ highlights are: Father Time and Take Away Kesh.

बॉन यात्रा!

Tracks Include:

A1 The Magic Carpet (Alisha, Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

A2 The Phoenix (Alisha)

A3 Black Cat (Alisha)

A4 Alan’s Christmas Card (Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

A5 Harvest Song (Alisha)

A6 Do You Hear The Words (Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B1 Father Time (Alisha, Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B2 La La (Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B3 Peace Song (Alisha)

B4 Take Away Kesh (Alisha, Alford, Moyes, Sathe)

B5 High Street (Alisha)

B6 The Dream (Alisha)

Credits

  • Electric Guitar: Jim Moyes
  • Sitar, Esraj, Tambura: Clem Alford
  • Tabla, Percussion: Keshav Sathe
  • Vocals, Acoustic Guitar: Alisha
  • Design (Cover Design)Alisha
  • Photography: Gabriel Weissman
  • Producer, Engineer: Vic Keary

Magic Carpet Records ‎– MC 1001 LP

Fantastic (Pulp) Magazine
Fantastic (Pulp) Magazine

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!

nicoletta 2 cópia

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!

ann sorel 2 cópia

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

chinatsu cópia

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!

rumi koyama 3 cópia

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!

rabi cópia

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)

Mina – Mina Canta o Brasil (1970)

folder cópiaMina is the greatest Italian singer of all times, but not only. For Italians, Mina is an icon equally as important as the biggest and best-known names about which they boast as proof that Italy has the highest quality everything in the world, like Ferrari, Armani, Fellini or Antonioni. During the ’60s and the ’70s, Mina embodied the very essence of the ultra-talented superstar on stage, in TV and in her records. (!)

She sang Italy’s greatest hits, which for over 40 years have been the leitmotiv of the everyday life of the Italian people. Nowadays Mina releases one record a year.

Let’s go to our artist:

Anna Maria Quaini or Mina Mazzini (25 March 1940)known for her three-octave vocal range, the agility of her soprano voice, and its image as an emancipated woman. In performance, Mina combined several modern styles with traditional Italian melodies which made her the most versatile pop singer in Italian music.

19 Year Old 'Rocker'
19 Year Old ‘Rocker’

Mina dominated the Italian charts for fifteen years and reached an unsurpassed level of popularity in Italy. She has scored 77 albums and 71 singles on the Italian charts!

Mina’s TV appearances in 1959 were the first for a female rock and roll singer in Italy, the public at the timelabeled her as the Tiger of Cremona for her wild gestures and body shakes. When she turned to light pop tunes, Mina’s chart-toppers in West Germany in 1962 and Japan in 1964 earned her the title of the best international artist. Mina’s more refined sensual manner was introduced in 1960 with Gino Paoli‘s ballad This World We Love In’, entering on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961.

Mina & Massimiliano Pani
Mina & Massimiliano Pani

Mina was banned from Italian TV and radio in 1963 because her pregnancy and relationship with the married actor Corrado Pani did not accord with the dominant Catholic and bourgeois morals (sic). After the ban, RAI tried to continue to prohibit her songs, which were forthright in dealing with subjects such as religion, smoking, and sex. Mina’s school act combined sex appeal, with public smoking, dyed blond hair, and shaved eyebrows to create an (unprecedented) bad girl image!

Mina’s voice has a distinctive timbre and great power, her main themes are anguished love stories performed in high dramatic tones. The singer combined classic Italian pop with elements of blues, R&B and soul music during the late ’60s, especially when she worked in collaboration with the singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti.

Live
Live

Top Italian songwriters created material with large vocal ranges and unusual chord progressions to showcase her singing skills, particularly ‘Brava’ (Bruno Canfora) and the pseudo-serial ‘Se Telefonando’ (Ennio Morricone)Shirley Bassey carried Mina’s ballad Grande Grande Grande’ to charts in the U.S. and U.K. in 1973.

Mina’s easy listening duet Parole Parole’ was turned into a worldwide hit by Dalida and Alain Delon in 1974. Then, Mina suddenly gave up public appearances in 1978 but has continued to release popular albums on a yearly basis to the present day.

Let’s go to our album:

Mina is an eclectic, versatile artist completely at ease with a repertoire spanning all musical genres, all of which she has sung with masterful panache!

The Tiger of Cremona!
La Tigre di Cremona!

By 1970 Mina was already an established star, flirting with Brazilian music since the mid-’60s, passing through bossa nova and samba, here she relies on the amazing arrangements of maestro Augusto Martelli to bring a vigorous overview of the so-called MPB (Brazilian popular music). With a stellar team of composers, Mina sings with wild passion, splendid technique and darting Portuguese to our delight!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Todas as Mulheres do Mundo and Tem Mais Samba.

Приятной поездки!

Tracks Include:

A1 Canto de Ossanha (B. Powell, V. de Moraes)

A2 Com Acúcar, Com Afeto (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

A3 Upa Nequinho (E. Lobo, G. Guarnieri)

A4 Todas as Mulheres do Mundo (Erasmo Carlos)

A5 Que Maravilha (Jorge Ben, Toquinho)

A6 A Banda (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

B1 Canção Latina (O. Stocker, V. Martins)

B2 Tem Mais Samba (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

B3 Sentado a Beira do Caminho (E. Carlos, R. Carlos)

B4 A Praça (Carlos Imperial)

B5 Nem Vem Que Não Tem (Carlos Imperial)

Credits

Arranged, Conductor (Orchestra): Bob Mitchell (Augusto Martelli)

PDU ‎– Pld.A.5026

Today
Today

‘If I didn’t have my own voice, I’d like to have the voice of a young Italian girl named Mina’ / Sarah Vaughan, 1968. (!)

R. Pultek – The Voodou Juju Drug (1969)

capa cópia

Vodou, also spelled Voodoo, Voudou, Vodun, or French Vaudou, it’s an official religion of Haititogether with Roman Catholicism. Vodou is a creolized religion forged by descendants of Dahomean, KongoYoruba, and other African ethnic groups who had been enslaved and brought to colonial Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) and Christianized by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The word Vodou means spirit or deity in the Fon language of the African kingdom of Dahomey (Benin). European mysticism, Freemasonry, is also in the practice. With an encompassing philosophy, medicine, justice, and religion, its fundamental principle is that everything is a spirit, humans are spirits who inhabit the visible world.

Vodou masks
Vodou Masks

The unseen world is populated by lwa (spirits), mystè (mysteries), anvizib (the invisibles), zanj (angels), and the spirits of ancestors and the recently deceased. All these spirits are believed to live in a mythic land called Ginen, a cosmic Africa. (!)

The primary goal and activity of Vodou are to sevi lwa (serve the spirits), to offer prayers and perform various devotional rites directed at God and particular spirits in return for health, protection, and favor. Spirit possession also plays an important role in Afro-Haitian religion, as it does in many other world religions.

Ville Bonheur, Saut Deau (Rituals)
Ville Bonheur, Saut Deau (Rituals)

During religious rites, believers sometimes enter a trancelike state in which the devotee may eat and drink, perform stylized dances, give supernaturally inspired advice to people, or perform medical cures or special physical feats; these acts exhibit the incarnate presence of the lwa within the entranced devotee.

Vodou ritual activity is aimed at refining and restoring balance and energy in relationships between people and between people and spirits of the unseen world!

Haitians take a cleansing dip in the Ma bath (Rituals)
Haitians take a cleansing dip in the Ma bath (Rituals)

Nevertheless, Vodou has often been associated in popular culture with Satanism, Zombies and Voodoo Dolls (sic). Zombie creation has been referenced within rural Haitian culture but is not a part of Vodou. Such manifestations fall under the auspices of the bokor or sorcerer, rather than the priest of the Loa.

The practice of sticking pins in voodoo dolls has a history in folk magic. Voodoo dolls are often associated with New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo as well the magical devices of the poppet and the nkisi or bocio of West and Central Africa.

I Walked With a Zombie, 1943 / Jacques Tourneur's masterpieces
I Walked With a Zombie, 1943 / Jacques Tourneur’s classic (in color!)

Let’s go to our artist:

The today’s entry is made with a little doubt, although some sources say that (mighty) Davy Jones and Janko Nilovic are the responsible behind this single, we see no indication on the stamps, unlike other releases from Ju Ju Records label. This one is a bit different (and better) from these releases and we believe that the real credit should be given to another famous arranger and composer: Roland Vincent.

Roland Vincent is a pianist, conductor, composer, musical arranger known French, among others, for his compositions and arrangements made ​​for Michel Delpech in the years 1960-1970. He is also a composer of musicals Athon, with texts by Jean-Pierre Lang and more than 100 films, TV movies and plays!

Roland Vincent
Roland Vincent

Here he supposed to sign under the pseudonym Reynaldo Pultek! (?)

Let’s go to our album:

‘His works have gained international recognition for their beauty, lyrical scope, and imagination. I am sure that whatever he endeavors in the music industry, he will handle his field with unusual success’ / Quincy Jones. L.A. 1981

Another obscure lo-fi rip, but take further on this exploitation afro-psych party!

¡Qué tengas buen viaje!!

Tracks Include:

R. Pultek – The Voodou Juju Drug (1969)

A The Voodou Juju Drug (Part 1)

B The Voodou Juju Drug (Part 2)

Barclay ‎– 62226

Vodou in Benin
Vodou in Benin

Bebi Dol – Mustafa Single (1981)

capa cópiaSerbian culture refers to the culture of Serbia and ethnic Serbs. For centuries straddling the boundaries between East and West, Serbia had been divided among the Eastern and Western halves of the Roman Empire; then between the Kingdom of Hungary, the Frankish Kingdom and Byzantium; and then between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Empire, as well the Republic of Venice in the south. (!)

These overlapping influences have resulted in cultural varieties throughout Serbia: its north leans to the profile of Central Europe, while the south is characteristic of the wider Balkans and even the Mediterranean. Serbs were initially governing the Byzantine frontiers and were later through their sworn alliance gave independence, baptized by Greek missionaries and adopted the Cyrillic script.

Migration of the Serbs, 1896 (Paja Jovanovic)
Migration of the Serbs, 1896 (Paja Jovanovic)

The Byzantine influence on Serbia was profound, firstly through the introduction of Eastern Christianity (Orthodoxy) in the Early Middle Ages. The Serbian Orthodox Church has had an enduring status with the many Serbian monasteries constituting the most valuable cultural monuments left from Serbia in the Middle Ages.

Following Serbia‘s autonomy after the Serbian revolution and eventual independence, the culture of Serbia was restrengthened within its people!

Studenica Monastery
Studenica Monastery

Let’s go to our artist:

Born as Dragana Šarić on 2nd October 1962, Belgrade. Singer and composer Šarić had contact with music since her early years, as her father, Milenko Šarić, was a jazz musician. She started in the late ’70s in the band Tarkus, in 1979 her first studio recordings: as a guest (backing) vocalist on the Igra Staklenih Perli album Vrt VetlostiYU Grupa album Samo Napred..! and also KIM Band’s 1981 release.

In 1981, with the guitarist Goran Vejvoda and the bass guitarist Ivan Vdović, she formed the short-lasting band Annoda Rouge. Soon after, Šarić under the (worldwide known) name Bebi Dol, released her (brilliant) solo debut, Oriental music-inspired single ‘Mustafa’, which she composed together with Saša Habić.

1981
1981

The song featured the recording of Slobodan Konjović‘s voice, he was at the time, Studio B musical editor, and participated the whole production. Mustafa was voted the best pop song in Yugoslavia in 1981 and was re-released, two years later, on her debut album, Ruže I Krv, to great critical acclaim and popular success!

Her next album, Ritam Srca, was released more than a decade later, in 1995, even though she regularly performed as a pop and jazz singer (for three years she lived in Cairo, singing in Sheraton hotels), recording and appearing as a guest artist on the albums of other artists. The second pause in her work came in the late ’90s and her album, Ljuta Sam, was released only in 2002 (with electronic tinges).

Early Promo
Early Promo

Her last releases, Čovek Rado Izvan Sebe Živi, in 2006 and Veče U Pozorištu in 2007, were mainly based on American covers, the last a live album. She also made a famous presentation on Eurovision 1991, with one of its mega-hits, Brazil.

Let’s go to our album:

An excellent vocalist gifted with a soaring voice, ultra-eccentric musical talent and altogether this young lady comes in some adorable, nutty package that we had not seen before or since. Here she was catapulted into the national scene, if not exactly to the stars because this single was way too underground for the mainstream audience.

Mustafa sounds one of those rare songs that simply stand the test of time and it has an original message to the protagonist: forget all those European ladies with flower pots on their heads, who make love shamelessly (!). Na Planeti Uzdaha is her own take on famous Edvard Grieg piece where the chorus of vailing and out-of-this-world voices (multi-recorded Bebi Dol herself) sing her atmospheric siren song!

Bebi Dol, Lately
Bebi Dol, Lately

Thanks to our friends from Jugo Rock Fever and many others through the net, we’re able to discover and admire this fabulous music scene developed since communist times. Here are some fine acts, from the 70’sSmak, YU Grupa, Galija and Korni Grupa (hard and prog). And incredible acts from the ’80sIdoli, Šarlo Akrobata, Električni Orgazam and Disciplina Kičme (new wave and synth-pop).

I cannot stop listening to this obscure little gem, Bebi Doll’s performance is quite something, all abroad the Trans-European rail network and Бон Воиаге!

Tracks Include:

A Mustafa

B Na Planeti Uzdaha

Credits

Arranged: A. Habić

Music, Lyrics: D. Šarić

Companies

Printed: GIP ‘Beograd’

PGP RTB ‎– 1120999

Danube, Belgrade
Danube, Belgrade