Monday, April 05, 2010

Beauregard Ajax - Deaf Priscilla (1968)



Beauregard Ajax - Deaf Priscilla (1968)

Southern California's Beauregard Ajax recorded Deaf Priscilla in late 1967 and early 1968, with legendary Del-Fi Records founder, Bob Keane producing, but the record was shelved when the group disbanded. Decades later a vinyl pressing was issued, and in 2006 Shadoks Music released it on CD for the first time, with four bonus tracks. As was the case for countless aspiring American rock collectives, the British Invasion from a few years earlier heavily influenced the five-piece (the singer even picked up an accent along the way), but as this was psychedelic age, the songs are augmented with slightly fuzzed-out blues licks. The actual tunes possess pleasing melodies, resulting in an overall light psych sound. Lyrically, the tone is usually pretty heavy, though, with such darker subject matters as loneliness, depression, failed relationships, and boredom. The group shows a whimsical side on "Kaleidoscope," and the bubblegummy "Happy Brontosaurus," but they are at their best when embracing the melancholic aspects of day-to-day life on such numbers as "Loneliness Is a Sometime Thing," "Goodbye Again," and "Blue Violins." One of the best and more bizarre tracks, "Deaf Priscilla," is the mysterious tale of a horrific domestic dispute, which the protagonist can partly ignore due to loss of one of her senses. (All Music Guide)

Why would I give this flashback from the 60's such a high rating? Because I was the drummer! I found the album released by Shadoks while searching my old band's name on the internet. I was surprised to hear that tapes of our group somehow circulated in Europe for a number of years before Shadoks got hold of them. No one in the band is getting any royalties, but it was nice to see the work we did with producer Bob Keane (Ritchie Valens, Bobby Fuller Four,etc.)finding an audience after 38 years! (C. Leo Hartshorn)

Thanks Leo Hartshorn for your comment!

Beauregard Ajax - Deaf Priscilla (1968)

Magic Carpet - Magic Carpet (1972)



Official reissue of exquisite 1972 UK psychedelic sitar folk album. Beautiful female vocals blend with mystical eastern raga sounds.
Also included on the reissue is a 20 minutes instrumental bonus track. Dreamy and magical. (acidvisions.com)

Line-up: Clem Alford / sitar, esraj, tamboura - Alisha Sufit / vocals, guitars - Jim Moyes / guitars - Keshav Sathe / Indian tabla, percussion

Tracklist

1. The magic carpet
2. The phoenix
3. Black cat
4. Alans Christmas Card
5. Harvest Song
6. Do you hear the words
7. Father Time
8. La La
9. Peace Song
10. Take Away kesh
11. High Street
12. The Dream
13. Raga

Magic Carpet - Magic Carpet (1972)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

V.A. - 1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground (2008)



This is Rai Music from Algeria as you've not heard it before. In the early 1970's, a new group of singers and musicians were operating on the northwest coast and what they pioneered was a sound that eventually reached worldwide status by the end of the decade, however their names are relatively unknown to this day outside Algeria. This crucial and defining period of the development of Rai is criminally ignored and overlooked by Algerian music historians and Raï's fans. Due to censorship and government controlled music diffusion, this scene and lyrical style was forced underground and banned from broadcasts yet slowly built a small following around the seaside cabarets of Wahran (Oran). The early 1970's witnessed the rise of artists such as Groupe El Azhar ("The Flowers" group) and Messaoud Bellemou, who can comfortably be considered the godfather of the modern Raï's sound. His group, L'Orchestre Bellemou, rewrote a heritage of centuries by using modern instruments and especially the trumpet which became, during the 1970's, the backbone of the Wahrani genre. Reinterpreting the gasba melodies on trumpet, Bellemou backed singers such as Boutaiba Sghir & Sheikh Benfissa who carried on the lyrical tradition of their forefathers singing about daily preoccupations and problems as well as love affairs, alcohol, or simply owning an automobile! Toward the late 1970's, Cheb Zergui brought a newer ingredient: an electric guitar with a wah wah pedal. Thankfully, the late 1960's saw the development of vinyl pressing in Algeria. This new industry allowed many small artists including the Wahrani "scene" to record and release singles documenting their repertoire. This compilation is a selection of the Proto Raï's scene's vinyl 45s. Insert contains photos of the musicians and text written by the man who compiled it, Hicham Chadly. (Sublime Frequencies)

Released by Sublime Frequencies, a small world music label run by members of the experimental post-punk outfit the Sun City Girls, ALGERIAN PROTO-RAI UNDERGROUND documents the birth of Western- influenced Algerian popular music. The rai style pioneered by artists like Messaoud Bellemou and Groupe El Azhar, blended Arabic melodies with Western rock instrumentation, making for a hard-edged, near-psychedelic sound that ought to surprise and intrigue fans of more traditional Algerian music.Spin (p.93) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The style's candid lyricism remains...the singers' frustrated heartsickness is unmistakable -- particularly on Boutaiba Sghir's aching standout 'Malgre Tout.'" (Dusty Groove)

1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground

Saturday, April 03, 2010

V.A. - Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas - Tropicalia Psychedelic Masterpieces 1967 - 1976 (2010)



Following the success of the recently released Psych Funk 101, Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas should serve as a master class for those entranced by the funky, heavy psychedelic wonders of the Tropicalia movement and all that it spawned. But as compiler Joel Stones writes in his liner notes: 'You won't find Os Mutantes or their maestro Rogerio Duprat on this compilation. There is a reason that the records contained here have never been reissued. Even though you will recognize some of the labels contained here... believe me when I write this: some of the rarest, and best, examples of fuzzy, funky Brazilian psychedelia came out as promo-only 7" records on these labels.' Each song contained on this album has never been reissued, and has been restored from the best source possible and remastered for near-perfect sound quality. The 48 page full color booklet contains a wealth of imagery and detailed annotation and liner notes in both English and Portuguese. (World Psychedelic Funk Classics)

Brasilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas