Yoshiko Sai – Mikkō (1976)

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

Ramesh (رامش) – Ramesh (2013)

capa cópia

The 1953 Iranian coup d’état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad Coup, was the overthrow of the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the United Kingdom’s MI6 (Operation Boot) and the United States’s CIA (TPAJAX Project).

Mossadegh had sought to audit the books of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), a British corporation (now BP) and to renegotiate the terms of the company’s access to Iranian oil reserves. Upon refusal of the AIOC to cooperate with the Iranian government, the parliament (Majlis) voted to nationalize the assets of the company and then, expel their representatives from the country. (!)

The Military Junta Awaits exiled Mohammad Reza Shah, 1953
The Military Junta awaits Mohammad Reza Shah, 1953

Following the coup, a military government under General Fazlollah Zahedi was formed which allowed exiled dictator Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran (Iranian king), to effectively rule the country as an absolute monarch.

By the ’70s, there was growing unrest with the Shah’s autocratic and repressive government along with its infamous police: the SAVAK. In January 1978 the first major demonstrations against the Shah occurred. After a year of strikes, clashes and millions of people on the streets, the country, and its economy were paralyzed.

1979 Revolution
1979 Revolution

The Shah fled Iran in January 1979, then Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to Tehran to establish the Islamic Republic, becoming the supreme leader.

Let’s go to our artist:

The golden age of Iranian pop music took place on a westernized and liberal Tehran of the ’60s and ’70s. This market offered an unprecedented way of artists for all tastes, the classically-trained Ramesh Azar Mohebbi (November 13, 1946) was part of it.

Playing the serious, quiet marquess in contrast to Googoosh’s languorous pop princess, both singers made the papers every time they changed their haircuts and appeared on TV frequently. Ramesh’s appearance though was not as gay and colorful as the blond-haired and joyfully dancing singer-actress mate!

Iranian Singers (Ramesh, Aref)
Ramesh, Giti, Aref,?

Ramesh appeared dark-haired, with stiffer hairstyles, always with a certain distance, never showing much of her emotions, except a somewhat melancholy of silence.

Belying what Light in the Attic promo-release says about the artist, Ramesh isn’t dead! Iranian Wiki, Youtube (!) and some musical blogs deny the fact. Its last song recording ‘Rumi’ (and album?) comes from 2003. Nowadays, she retired from the music business and glamorous spots to devote (only) to its family and daughter. (!)

Let’s go to our album:

I must admit, I’m very thrilled by the artist of today, this compilation by Pharaway Sounds is arguably one of the best, presenting us with a very rich scene that was the Iranian pre-revolution period. Other singers will be debuting here soon, ok?!

Ramesh & Aref
Ramesh & Aref

A funky queen whose rich voice sits like a mink coat, twirling its a melancholy way around long-necked lutes, sleazy Western brass, strings, synths and goblet drums. Luckily, the collection of videos with her ​​performances on TV programs and Festivals are vast! You can appreciate them at the following links, check it out!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Mondanam Az Bodanet and Aroose Noghreh Poosh.

بن سفر!

Tracks Include:

A1 Nago Na

A2 Goftehgoye Sabz

A3 Zoj

A4 Mondanam Az Bodanet w/ Fereidoon Farrokhzad

A5 Roodkhoneha

A6 Sharm-E Boos-E

B1 Afsoos

B2 Aroose Noghreh Poosh

B3 Asmaar Asmaar

B4 Delakam

B5 Labe Daryaa

B6 Ghoroobaa Ghashangan

Pharaway Sounds ‎– PHS009

Vakil Mosque
Vakil Mosque

Grupo Vocal Argentino – Chango Farías Gómez Presenta (1974)

chango farias cópia

Hola Amigos! Today is a special day, after a tour de force by the Middle East, let’s return to Latin America, our motherland and celebrate the memory, talent, and passion from one of the greatest Argentinian musicians: Chango Farías Gomez!

Characterized by his pioneering and innovative spirit in the way of interpreting the folk music roots and especially for being one of the first musicians who introduced polyphony in the Argentine and Latin American folklore. As we have done in other entries, his complete biography and interviews will be shown in future posts, as we intend to deliver MPA (Musicos Populares Argentinos) and La Manija soon.

Sadly, he died on August 24, 2011, following a cardiac arrest. (RIP)

Today we will focus on Argentinian Folklore!

Let’s go to our history:

La Chacarera
La Chacarera

The word folklore was created by the English archaeologist William John Thomas on August 22, 1846, etymologically derived from ‘folk’ (people, breed) and ‘lore’ (knowledge, science). The date coincides, in Argentina, with the birth of Juan Bautista Ambrosetti (1865-1917), recognized as the father of folk science.

Argentinian folk music has a century-long history which has its roots in the original indigenous cultures. Three major historical and cultural events were molding it: Spanish Colonization (XVI-XVIII centuries), European Immigration (1850-1930), and lastly, but no less important the Internal Migration (1930-1980).

El Pericón
El Pericón

Although folklore is just a cultural expression that meets the requirements of being anonymous, popular and traditional, in Argentina folklore or folk music it’s an author known music, inspired by rhythms and distinctive styles of provincial cultures, mostly indigenous and Afro-Hispanic colonial roots.

The projection folk music began to gain popularity in the 30’s and 40’s, coinciding with a large wave of internal migration from the countryside to the city and the provinces to Buenos Aires, to settle in the 50’s, with the boom of folklore, as the main genre of popular music alongside with the Tango!

Tango, La Boca
Tango, La Boca

In the 60’s and 70’s the popularity of Argentine folklore expanded and linked to similar expressions in Latin America, with the help of various musical and lyrical movements of renewal, as the emergence of the genre in major festivals, including the Festival Nacional de Folclore de Cosquín, one of the largest in this field!

After being seriously affected by the cultural repression imposed by the dictatorship installed between 1976-1983, folk music arose from the Falklands War of 1982, although more related to other genres of Argentina and Latin American popular music expressions, like the Tango, the so-called Rock Nacional, El Cuarteto, and Cumbia.

Atahualpa Yupanqui
Atahualpa Yupanqui

The historical evolution of folk music took shape in four major regions in Argentina: Cordoba-Northwest, Cuyo, The Littoral and Pampa-Patagonian Surera, influenced by, and influential in the musical cultures of border countries such as Bolivia, southern Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Atahualpa Yupanqui, Mercedes Sosa, and Andrés Chazarreta are unanimously considered the most important artists in the history of folk music of Argentina.

Let’s go to our album:

The Grupo Vocal Argentino is a folk music group created in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1966, composed by two stages with different integrations: the first between 1966-1970 led by Chango Farías Gómez and the second from 1974 onwards, led by Carlos Marrodán. In the first stage, the group was a quintet characterized by its modern and innovative style in how to interpret the folklore, being considered the best vocal group in the history of the folk music of Argentina. (!)

They recorded two albums, Grupo Vocal Argentino (1966) and Misa Criolla in (1968), the latter considered as one of the best albums from all-time.

In 1970 the group disbanded.

Carlos Alberto Marrodán
Carlos Alberto Marrodán

Simultaneously, in 1973 the musician Carlos Marrodán, an admirer of Chango Farías Gómez work had attempted to enter the GVA, forming an unnamed octet and invited Chango to witness the first results. Chango was so pleased that he offered the use of the name Grupo Vocal Argentino to Morrodán.

With this composition in the following year, he recorded the today’s album with the following formation: Carlos Heredia, Carlos Fanelli, Roberto Maldonado, José Bravo, Adrián Gómez, Eduardo Curetti, Raúl Bissón and Ricardo D’Agostino.

MPA, 1986
MPA, 1986

Chango has a curious statement that sums up everything we’ve seen so far:

‘I had to always struggle with the dichotomy of whether I do or not folklore. Accept the term folklore was one of the many misfortunes that befall us as a people at the cultural level. I always found that word shifted the concept of evolution possible in our music. All of our historical problems of whether or not this is the folklore was settling in musical terms. So I built the Huanca Huá, which was the foundation stone for the vocal groups were seen, over time, as natural within the genre. In the MPA I got with modern codes that arise in the world and proved that you can keep playing ours. With La Manija showed the excellence of the popular’

The ‘IM’ highlights are Debajo de la Morera and Cholita TraidoraBuen Viaje!

Tracks Include:

A1 La Finadita (Francisco Díaz, Julián Antonio Díaz) / Chacarera

A2 Torcaza, Paloma, Torcaza (Roberto Margarido / Angel Ritrovato) / Cancíon

A3 Debajo de la Morera (Virgilio Ramón Carmona) / Zamba

A4 Chacarera Santiagueña (Tradicional) / Chacarera

A5 Coplas Para la Pena (M. Antonia Barros / Carlos Marrodán) / Zamba

B1 Cholita Traidora (Tradicional) / Carnavalito

B2 Zambita del Caminante (Atahualpa Yupanqui) / Zamba

B3 Añorando (Hermanos Simón) / Chacarera

B4 La Tupungatina (Cristino Tapia) / Tonada

B5 Viva Jujuy (Tradicional) / Bailecito

Raúl Bissón, José M. Bravo, Eduardo Curetti, Ricardo D’Agostino

Carlos Fanelli, Adrián Gómez. Carlos Heredia, Roberto Maldonado

Arreglos y Dirección: Carlos Marrodán

Trova XT-80092

El Ateneu, Library
El Ateneu, Library

Eastern Female Mixtape ~ 2014

Prague Dreamers, 1968

After three Mixtapes last year, I was already missing a new one, and you? Whenever we try to do it, we try to leave a distinct mark either in the choice of artists or the era approached, well, this time we’ll leave the extensive biographies and contexts aside, these artists should appear soon in our galaxy, along with their full contents.

So, let’s get right to it: our dámské and its songs.

Halina Frąckowiak

1969
1969

Halina Frąckowiak & SBB – W Powszednie Dni / Geira (1977) / Polskie N. Muza

Halina Frąckowiak – Ide Dalej / Idę (1974) / Polskie Nagrania Muza

aka Sonia Sulin, born April 10, 1947, Poznán, Poland.

Singer, Composer, and Songwriter. Ex-Grupa ABC!

Kati Kovács

70's

Kati Kovács & Juventus – Add Már Uram Az Esöt! / Single (1972) / Pepita

Kati Kovács & Locomotiv GT – Szólj Rám, Ha Hangosan Énekelek / Kovacs, Kati (1974) / Pepita

Born Kovács Katalin, October 25, 1944, Verpelét, Hungary. Singer, Actress, Lyricist, Songwriter. Probably the most famous singer of Hungary, with dozens of recorded albums, awards, and presentations indoor/abroad, international recognition and a very active career until today. Hungarian musical critics have praised her raspy and strong voice, calling her ‘The Voice of Hungary’!

Marie Rottrová

70's

Marie Rottrová – Tisíc Tváří Lásky / Single (1971) / Supraphon

Marie Rettrová – Poslední Hemingwayova Fotka / Pěšky Po Dálnici (1977) / Supraphon

Born November 13, 1942OstravaHrušov, Czech RepublicSinger, Pianist, Composer, TV Presenter. The so-called Lady Soul!

Ex-The Majestic and Flamingo!

Marta Kubišova

1969, Clip
1969, Clip

Marta Kubišová – Tak Dej Se K Nám A Projdem Svět / Single (1969) / Supraphon

Marta Kubišová – Svlíkám Lásku / Single (1969) / Supraphon

Born November 1, 1942, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. Singer, Actress and TV Presenter. She was the most popular female pop singer in Czechoslovakia in the late ’60s. In 1967 she won Zlatý Slavík award (Golden Nightingale). Her song ‘Prayer for Marta’ became a symbol of national resistance against the occupation of Warsaw Pact troops in 1968. During the Prague Spring, she recorded over 200 (?!!) single records and one LP, Songy a Balady in 1969, which was immediately banned from stores. In 1970, the government falsely accused her of making pornographic photographs leading to a ban from performing in the country until 1989. (!)

Ex-Golden Kids!

Sarolta Zalatnay

sarolta zalatnay

Sarolta Zalatnay & Skorpio – Hadd Mondjam El / Same (1973) / Pepita

Sarolta Zalatnay & Metro – Zold Borostyán / …Ha Fiú Lehetnék (1970) / Qualiton

aka Charlotte Sachert, December 14, 1947, Budapest, Hungary. Famous controversial Singer, Actress, Writer, already known from previous posts here in ‘IM’check out our exclusive. Known as the Hungarian Janis Joplin!

We have an interesting study about the Rock development in the Eastern Bloc, from our homonyms friends which eventually will form the basis for other posts.

Be charmed by these mighty girls and bon vitage!

Metró, 1969
Metró, 1969

Salah Ragab (صلاح رجب) & The Cairo Jazz Band – Egyptian Jazz (1968-73)

folder cópia

At the time of the fall of the Egyptian monarchy in the early 1950s, less than half a million Egyptians were considered the upper class and rich, four million middle class and 17 million lower class and poor (!). Fewer than half of all primary-school-age children attended school, and most of them being boys. Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdel Nasser led Egypt through a victorious revolution in 1952. He was a proponent of cultural nationalism as a means of political independence.

Land reform and distribution, the dramatic growth in university education, and government support to national industries greatly improved social mobility and flattened the social curve. From 1953-54 through 1965-66, overall public school enrolments more than doubled. Millions of previously poor Egyptians, through education and jobs in the public sector, joined the middle class.

Doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, journalists, constituted the bulk of the swelling middle class in Egypt under Nasser.

Faten Hamama & Omar Sharif
Faten Hamama & Omar Sharif

Famous realist director, Kamal Al Sheikh became known for making compelling thrillers such as House Number 13 (1952), a film noir about a psychologist who tries to use his friend to commit a murder; Life or Death (1955), which unusually for the 50’s was shot on location in Cairo, and The Last Night which was nominated for the Golden Palme at the Cannes Film Festival in 1964!

The ’50s and ’60s saw the appearance of accomplished realist films from Youssef Chahine, most notably The Blazing Sky (1954) nominated for the Grand Prix at the Cannes. It’s the second film, Son of the Nile (1951) showed an early work of Social Realism, that started his international fame. The film focused on relations between traditional classes and elites, depicting the hard lives of peasant classes. Previous representations of peasants had used them largely as romanticized symbols of national identity.

El-Andaleeb El-Asmar
El-Andaleeb El-Asmar

Let’s go to our album:

Born Salah Eldin Ahmed Ragab (25/07/1935 – 03/07/2008) in Cairo. A Major in the Egyptian Army through the ’60s, and an avid jazz fan and drummer, Ragab first attempted to form a jazz band in 1964, with American saxophonist Mac X. Spears. The group didn’t get very far, then, on December 1966, Ragab met Hartmut Geerken and Eduard Vizvari at a reception following a Randy Weston Sextet show. The three hit it off and decided to form the Cairo Jazz Band (القاهرة الفرقة موسيقى الجاز).

The year that he became the head of the Egyptian Military Music Department, in 1968, The Cairo Jazz Band began to take-off. They were Egypt’s first big band, mixing American jazz with North African music, combining jazz instrumentation with indigenous melodies/instruments, like the Nay (flute) and the Baza (ramadan drum).

The Cairo Jazz Band
The Cairo Jazz Band

Such musical cross-fertilization was not unusual in itself; American musicians from Sun Ra to Yusef Lateef had long been fascinated by the music of Islam and North Africa, incorporating both the instruments and musical forms into their work. But Salah Ragab’s music presents a view from the other side of the musical equation of West meets the Middle East. Aligning himself with the compelling currents of American jazz music, to later be revered as the Godfather and pioneer of Egyptian jazz music!

Let’s go to the pinnacle of Egyptian instrumental music, beyond the barriers of jazz and folk, the refinement and creativity here is frightening! Enjoy this superb voyage, with luxuriant arrangements and also 5 (unmissable) bonus tracks present on the 2006 CD edition, without further ado the great master Salah Ragab.

Sun Ra & The Maestro - 80's
Sun Ra & The Maestro – 80’s

The ‘IM’ highlights are Egypt Strut and The Kings Valley – Upper Egypt. 

Trevlig Resa!

Tracks Include:

1 Ramadan In Space-Time

2 Dawn

3 Neveen

4 Oriental Mood

5 Kleopatra

6 Mervat

7 Egypt Strut*

8 The Crossing (Oubour)

9 Calling You

10 The Kings Valley – Upper Egypt

11 A Farewell Theme

12 Kleopatra (Alt. Take)

Credits

  • Alto Saxophone: El Saied El Aydy, Farouk El Sayed
  • Baritone Saxophone: Abdel Hakim El Zamel
  • Bass: Moohy El Din Osman
  • Bongos, Drums (Ramadan – Baza): Sayed Ramadan
  • Conductor, Piano, Drums, Congas: Salah Ragab
  • Drums: Sayed Sharkawy
  • Flute (Bamboo Nay): Abdel Hamd Abdel Ghaffar (Toto)
  • Piano: Khmis El Khouly
  • Tenor Saxophone: Fathy Abdel Salam, Saied Salama
  • Trombone: El Sayeed Dahroug, Mahmoud Ayoub, Sadeek Basyouny
  • Trombone (Bass): Abdel Atey Farag
  • Trumpet: Ibrahim Wagby, Khalifa El Samman, Mohammad Abdou
  • Trumpet, Flute: Zaky Osman
  • Tuba (Bass): Mohammad Abdel Rahman

* Bass: Esmat Abbas / Electric Guitar: Mohammad El-Tobgy 

Mizmar (Mozmar): Aly Abdel Mohsen, Aly Hassan, Hany Awad

Piano: Alaa Mostafa

  • Reissue Producer: Peter Dennett
  • Remastered By: Peter Beckmann

Recorded in Heliopolis, Egypt between 1968 and 1973 (tracks 1 to 7).

Egypt Strut was originally released on the Sono Cairo record label as a 45 rpm single.

Art Yard ‎– ARTYARD CD006

Hind Rostom
Hind Rostom