Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Various Artists - The BYG Deal (2009)

The most cherished school of selector-educators is back in session with the latest Finders Keepers release giving a masterclass on the seminal fringe Jazz BYG label. Hailed as the catalyst of the French underground scene, BYG was born from the ashes of the 1968 student revolts, when three record industry gents were inspired by a rush of creative freedom sparked by the revolution, giving impetus and shape to their collective love of American jazz and blues, psychedelic rock and many subsequent styles. The label was an early home to records from monolithic touchstone artists like Vangelis, Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Gong, Brigitte Fontaine, Don Cherry and members of Soft Machine, Procol Harum, MAGMA besides many more, acting as a deeply rooted jazz and blues imprint, with a keen eye on the happenings occurring at the fertile edges of the scene. The accompanying sleevenotes are reliably thick, covering the initiation of the label and detailed notes on each track and artist for your perusal, but it's really all about the fantastic music, no? Be prepared to sink your head deep into stunning early works from Alpha Beta, the first incarnation of Evanghleos Odyssey Papathanassiou, better known to Bladerunner and synthesizer fans as Vangelis (as well as his later self-titled work), next to magickal drone folk from Gong, avant-funk from Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Brigitte Fontaine's raunchy fonk-rock or even British pop legends Procol Harum v1.0 aka Freedom. All freaky folk and world-tripping psyche pickers need to sign on the bottom line...Highly Recommended. (

Byg Deal

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Soho Orange - Soho Orange (1971)

Released in 1991 on the same German label that gave us the first German Oak album, this is some very good early 70’s hard rock somewhat in the Budgie vein.

1. King Of The Road
2. Mississippi Tales/The Wish-Tears
3. Freedom Callin
4. Dream Queen
5. Nightmare
6. Seven Faces

Soho Orange

Monday, March 15, 2010

Various Artists - Pomegranates - Persian Pop, Funk, Folk And Psych Of The 60s And 70s (2009)

Bright Persian psychedelic pop, funk, soul and boundless grooves from the 60s & 70s -- one of the greatest compilations yet from Finders Keepers! Many of the tunes are actually classics of the era's Iranian scene, if wildly fresh and new our ears, while others are quite obscure all around, but all of it is fresh and exciting exotic pop that we're thrilled to see collected. The sounds draw from the creatively fertile period when traditions were combined in music all around the world -- with hypnotic eastern raga strings blended with global funk and jazz, bursting pop tunefulness and both meditative and instantly gratifying melodies of myriad influences, borderline disco grooves and beyond. Exciting stuff! 16 tracks in all: "Helelyos'" by Zia, "Biya Bar-e Safar Bandim" by Mohammad Nouri, "Talagh" by Googoosh, "Miravi" by Soli, "Kavir-e Del" by Marjan, "Naz Kardanet Vaveyla" by Sima Bina", "Sharm-e Boos-e" by Ramesh, "Cheshm-e Man" by Dariush and more. (


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Various Artists - Finders Keepers Records 1-20 Mixed By The Gaslamp Killer (2009)

An excellent mix of some of the best lost folk funk, tripped out psychedelia, 60s & 70s material from the global underground from Finders Keepers -- but far cooler than a mere sampler -- an aurally exciting blend of the material courtesy of the Gaslamp Killer! For this excellent set, eclectic LA DJ guru Gaslamp Killer was given the keys to the Finders Keepers vaults to craft an evocative set of his own, from the sounds found on the first 20 Finders Keepers releases. Turkish rock from Ersen, wild soundtrack grooves from Valerie & Her Week Of Wonders composer Lubos Fiser, instrumental French funk from Jean Claude Vannier, and so much more! All Killer has 12 tracks that are each expertly blended suites of Finders Keepers releases, including "The Sermon" by Lubos Fiser, "Les Garde Volent Au Secours Du Roi" and more by Jean Claude Vannier, "Dance Of The Vampires" by Vampires Of Dartmoore, "Gunese Don Cicegim" by Ersen, "Les Electroniciens" by Bruno Spoerri, "Zeytinyagi" by Mustafa Ozkent, "Europa" by by Susan Christie and more. (

1. Lubos Fiser - The Sermon (FKR009) / John Hill - Europa (FKR018) / Jan Jankeje - South Indian Line (FKR020)
2. Spectre - Arkham (FKR020) / Chris Harwood - Wooden Ships (FKR005) / Susan Christie - Paint A Lady (FKR007) / Jean-Jacques Dexter - Be Quite (FKR020)
3. Amral's Trinidad Cavaliers Steel Drum Orchestra - The World Is A Ghetto (FKR008) / Jean-Claude Vannier - Les Garde Volent au Secours du Roi (FKR001)
4. Jean-Claude Vannier - L'Enfant la Mouche et les Allumettes / L'Enfant au Royaume des Mouches (FKR001)
5. Stanley Myers - Sitting Target Main Theme / Solitaire (FKR004) / Omega - Kergeskezu favagok (FKR017) / Sevil and Ayla - Bebek (FKR020)
6. Zafer Dilek - Yekte (FKR008) / Yamasuki - Kono Samourai (FKR002) / Sarolta Zalatnay - Hadd Mondjam El (FKR012) / Yamasuki - Yama Yama (FKR002) / Selda - Yaylalar (FKR011)
7. Ersen - Gunese Don Cicegim (FKR016) / Pierre Cavalli - Un Soir Chez Norris (FKR008)
8. Vampires of Dartmoore - Dance Of The Vampires (FKR019) / Sarolta Zalatnay - Egyser (FKR012) / Mustafa Ozkent - Burcak (FKR010)
9. Sarolta Zalatnay - Zold Borostyan (FKR012) / The Stylers - For You (FKR008) / Mustafa Ozkent - Silifke (FKR010)
10. Mustafa Ozkent - Zeytinyagi (FKR010) / Susan Christie - Europa (Poetry) (FKR018) / Jiri Slitr & Jiri Sust- Sugar Stealers / Man With A Typewriter (FKR013)
11. John Hill - Amalthea (FKR018) / Ersen - Zalim (FKR016)
12. Bruno Spoerri - Les Electroniciens (FKR006) / Jiri Slitr & Jiri Sust - Girlies, Girlies (FKR013)

All Killer

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Various Artists - The Electric Asylum Vol. 1 - Rare British Acid Freakrock (2009)

A very cool collection of work -- and one that moves way past the typical vibe of the usual psyche comp you might expect! A fair bit of the recordings here are from the early 70s UK scene, and show a real evolution since the end of the previous decade -- a move towards styles that are a bit leaner than before, with some cool compression and other production tricks in the mix -- almost elements that are a precursor for sounds to come in the space rock and glam scenes, but still definitely more psyche-based here. As with other Past & Present sets, there's a full batch of notes telling the tale of each unique track -- and the set list is filled with gems. (

1. Mighty'em - Jekyll & Hyde
2. Asylum - Suzy's Back
3. Iron Horse - Magic Love
4. Moonsoon - Night Of The Fly
5. Galahad - Rocket Summer
6. J.C. Heavy - Is This Really Me
7. Rainbow Family - Travellin' Lady
8. Puzzle - Do You Feel The Pain
9. Grumbleweeds - In A Teknikolor Dreem
10. Explosive - Hey Presto, Magic Man
11. J.C. Heavy - Do What You Like
12. Choc - The Devil
13. Danta - Queen Of Sheba
14. Vincent Crane's Atomic Rooster - O.D.
15. Renegade - Never Let Me Go
16. Satisfaction - Love It Is
17. Audience - Eye To Eye
18. Steel Mill - Get On The Line
19. Kirk St. James - Tears I Cry
20. Legs - So Many Faces

The Electric Asylum: Rare British Acid Freakrock, Vol. 1

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Various Artists - Realistic Patterns Vol. 2 - Wednesday Morning Dew (2009)

On Wednesday Morning Dew: Realistic Patterns, Vol. 2, Nick Saloman, formerly of the Bevis Frond and a co-publisher of Ptolemaic Terrascope, dredges the bottomless archives of rock esoterica in an attempt to collect the riches the mature-pop challenges “Eleanor Rigby” and the Left Banke put forth. Overall, it’s a another pleasurable, though uneven, offering. As one might expect, some tunes suggest music-jobbing adults trying to get groovy with the youngsters, or dubious visions of go-go girls slathered in Day-Glo paint. That one track, the Stony Brook People’s “There’s Tomorrow”, came from the house band at an L.A. nightspot owned by Sammy Davis Jr. should provide a clue.

Fortunately, not everything here reeks of incense and peppermints; some tracks even manage to genuinely rock. The jazzy trappings of Jeff Monn’s “She is There for Me” drape intrigue onto its snotty shrug of a vocal, befitting a guy otherwise known (if at all) for the Third Bardo’s punk-psych gem “I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time”. Secret Agents of the Vice Squad‘s “I Saw Sloopy” woozily recounts the inevitable morning after for the McCoys’ iconic heroine. Topping them all is “Room at the Top”, a Nazz-like sparkler from 1968 by DC one-hit wonders, the Fallen Angels.

Lighter fare can be found in the Majic Ship’s late-summer haze of a title cut. Similarly, Peter Courtney’s “Dr. David’s Private Papers” and the Shambles’ “World War II in Cincinnati” both nod to the more fanciful work of the early Bee Gees or Marc Wirtz of “Excerpt from a Teenage Opera” infamy. While Hearts and Flowers boasted future associates of Laurel Canyon’s buckskin music elite, the band’s “(Ballad of a) Tin Angel” is a definite highlight. Its apt, spacey harmonies and shifting orchestral textures (Iberian to Gregorian to Appalachian, via L.A., natch) push beyond psychedelia into phantasmagoria, which is where the best of this musical genre should reside and be regarded. (

1. Bloomsbury People - Have You Seen Them Cry
2. Erik - Child of the Sea
3. Majic Ship - Wednesday Morning Dew
4. The Fallen Angels - Room at the Top
5. The Shambles - World War II in Cincinnati
6. Wayne Stewart - If You Could Be Him Instead
7. Summerhill - Follow Us
8. Stony Brook People - There's Tomorrow
9. The Bag - Nickels & Dimes
10. Secret Agents of the Vice Squad - I Saw Sloopy
11. Peter Courtney - Dr. David's Private Papers
12. Green Lyte Sunday - If You Want to Be Free
13. Hearts & Flowers - Tin Angel
14. Five By Five - Too Much Tomorrow
15. Jeff Monn - She Is There For Me
16. The Second Time - Listen to the Music
17. The Nova Local - If You Only Had the Time
18. Silk - Not a Whole Lot I Can Do
19. The Hook - There's Magic in the Air
20. Peppermint Rainbow - Pink Lemonade

Wednesday Morning Dew: Realistic Patterns, Vol. 2

Friday, March 05, 2010

Various Artists - The Roots Of Chicha - Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru (2007)

Chicha is an indigenous music that was spontaneously created by the culture clash of the '60s when the Indian population of the Peruvian Amazon discovered the Columbian pop music known as cumbia and American rock & roll. As cheap electric instruments became available, Amazon Indians put together dance bands that used the syncopated beat of cumbia -- which sounds like a laid-back Latin cousin of ska -- as the foundation for melodies that sound like Andean folk tunes, played on electric guitar with lots of effects and Tex-Mex style Farfisa. When the Indians moved to the city, most notably Lima, they brought their music with them. Like Afro Peruvian music, chicha was frowned upon by the middle and upper classes, but unlike the music of Afro-Peru, chicha never gained an international following, until now. Oliver Conan, owner of the Barbés nightclub and record label, discovered the music on a recent trip to Peru. He also discovered that the label that put out a lot of the music had gone bankrupt and many of the master recordings were lost. He finally tracked down six Chicha combos -- los Mirlos, Juaneco y Su Combo, los Hijos del Sola, los Destellos, los Diablos Rojos and Eusebio y Su Banjo -- and put together this 17-track compilation. American listeners will be surprised at how familiar the music sounds, with the sprightly garage band meets Tex-Mex bounce of the organ, the twangy surf guitar lines, Cuban counter rhythms, and Andean melodies. Los Destellos name all their compositions after women and show the strongest Latin/Cuban flavor and the most eclectic approach. They transform Beethoven's Für Elise into "Para Elisa" a jaunty track with the melody played on twangy surf guitar backed by a simple rhythm section of güira, bongos and bass. "A Patricia" plays off their guitarist's psychedelic chops against the bands ever shifting rhythmic accents on timbales, bongos and cowbells. Los Mirlos were popular in the '70s, and their tunes include "Sonido Amazonico," a vaguely Arabic melody played on surf guitar over a stark cumbia beat; "El Milagro Verde," with a chiming electric guitar, shimmering, hiccoughing Farfisa and rowdy background vocals, and "Muchachita del Oriente," which sounds like a Cuban cowboy song with a Columbian beat. Juaneco y Su Combo feature a charismatic singer with a gruff, quavering vocal style and asymmetrical, organ-heavy melodies that may be Indian-influenced. "Ya Se Ha Muerto Mi Abuelo" is one of the album's catchiest tracks with a call and response vocal that recalls "El Condor Pasa"; "Vacilando con Ayahuesca" has a rhythm that's part funk, part ska, but not exactly cumbia, rock or salsa; a panting female vocalist gives the tune a sweaty, sexy vibe. Los Hijos del Sola have a real rock & roll vibe, punctuating their tunes with percussive shouts, mad shrieks and rowdy ensemble vocals. Their songs have the strongest Andean influence, although they play the Andean melodies with a Dick Dale-influenced 32nd note attack. "Linda Muñequita," "Si Me Quieres," and "Cariñito" all jump out at you with their raucous energy and sparkling guitar work. Over-the-top vocals and odd shifts in time and tempo mark the work of Los Diablos Rojos. Their guitar player drops rippling runs in and around the macho shouts and imprecations of their lead vocalist, who laughs, bellows and growls like a madman on "El Guapo" and "Sacalo Sacalo." Eusebio y Su Banjo's single track, "Mi Morena Rebelde," has a muddy sound, but its distorted guitar and galloping beat make it irresistible. (All Music Guide)

In the early 70 s a new sound grew out of the booming cities of the Peruvian Amazon. Chicha, as it came to be known, modeled itself on Colombian Cumbia music but replaced the accordion with surf guitars, and incorporated the psychedelic sounds of Farfisa organs and Moog synthesizers as well as Cuban Guajira,and the distinctive pentatonic scales of Andean melodies. Unlike other modern hybrids, such as Ska or Brazillian Tropicalia, the music never crossed international borders. This is the first ever Chicha compilation to be released outside of Peru. (

Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Various Artists - Forge Your Own Chains - Heavy Psychedelic Ballads And Dirges 1968 - 1974 (2009)

Now-Again’s Foray Into Funky Psychedelia: American gospel, paranoiac soul, loner folk, East-Nigerian fuzz, Thai rock, Iranian ballads and more….

This compilation introduces a new direction for Now-Again Records and its owner, Stones Throw Records GM, A&R and producer Egon. With the same detailed, no-stone-unturned approach he used for Deep Funk (The Funky 16 Corners, Cold Heat ), he tackles beat-heavy global psychedelia with Forge Your Own Chains.

Forge Your Own Chains showcases music from all corners of the world: Colombia, Nigeria, Sweden, South Korea, Thailand and Iran. The focus – in keeping with Now-Again’s tradition – is on melody, driving rhythms and accessibility. Not one song is included on this compilation because it is from a “rare” album. Certainly, many of these songs do spring from albums that exchange hands for many thousands of dollars. Certainly, many of these songs have never seen reissue. But these songs are all beautiful in their own right and work to form a coherent album.

Psychedelic records, long the mainstay of older, grizzled collectors and seemingly quaint, are, in the hands of Egon and those of his generation, giving up new ghosts. And, with comps like Forge Your Own Chains, inspiring new investigations into our not so distant (and still very much alive) musical past.

1. Top Drawer - Song of a Sinner
2. Sensational Saints - How Great Thou Art
3. East of Underground - Smiling Faces Sometimes
4. D.R. Hooker - Forge Your Own Chains
5. Shin Jung Hyun and the Men feat. Jang Hyun - Twilight
6. T. Zchiew and The Johnny - Let Yourself Be Free
7. The Strangers - Two To Make A Pair
8. Damon - Don't You Feel Me
9. Ellison - Strawberry Rain
10. Morly Grey - Who Can I Say You Are
11. Shadrack Chameleon - Don't Let It Get You Down
12. Ofege - It's Not Easy
13. Ana Y Jaime - Nina Nana
14. Kourosh Yaghmaei - Hajm-e Khaali
15. Baby Grandmothers - Somebody's Calling My Name

Forge Your Own Chains, Vol. 1: Psychedelic Ballads And Dirges 1968-1974

Monday, March 01, 2010

Various Artists - Psych Funk 101 - World Psychedelic Funk Classics (2009)

Psych-Funk 101 introduces students to the global phenomenon of psychedelic funk music, and covers the "golden years" of the movement, from approximately 1967 until 1980. This compilation does not focus on American and British bands. Rather it focuses on the bands throughout the Global Village that were influenced by the innovation of American and British bands that many times one upped the heroes they sought to emulate. This compilation focuses on bands influenced by James Brown, The Meters, Sly and The Family Stone, Booker T and The MGs and The Bar Kays and unsung rhythmic forces such as drummers Bernard Purdie, Idris Muhammad, Earl Palmer, bassists such Carol Kaye and Jimmy Lewis. It focuses on bands who took that energy and combined it with the flair of psychedelic-rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and the ensemble known as Cream as well as pop-rock acts taken by the experimental side of psychedelia such as The Beatles. But these bands added their own, unique cultural flourishes. The result is mind-bending. Think about it for a second what musical forces were greater than that of funk and psychedelic music in the late 60s and early 70s? These forces, combined by bands happy to incorporate folk music and improvisational elements from other musical forms, lead to an amazing body of work still being unearthed by researchers the world over and still capable of inspiring new investigations into shapes of rhythm. (

1. Husnu Ozkartal Orkestrasi - Su Derenin Sulari
2. Kukumbas - Respect
3. Mulatu Astatke - Alemiye (feat. Belaynesh Wubante / Assegedetch Asfaw)
4. Kim Sun - The Man Who Must Leave
5. Petalouda - What You Can Do In Your Life
6. Mehr Pooya - Doe Pajereh' / 'Ghabilehe Leili
7. Staff Carpenborg And The Electric Corona - All Men Shall Be Brothers Of Ludwig
8. The Group (Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza) - The Feed-back
9. Armando Sciascia - Circuito Chiuso
10. Wadih Essafi - Aandak Baharia Ya Rayess
11. Omar Khorshid - Rakset El Fadaa
12. Metin H. Alatli - Mevlana Boyle Dede
13. George Garanian With The Melodiya Jazz Ensemble - The Big Search
14. Eskaton - Dagon

Listen to 'Husnu Ozkartal Orkestrasi - Su Derenin Sulari'

Various Artists - Psych Funk 101 - World Psychedelic Funk Classics (2009)