Jamaica

Seminal, rare and classic tunes collected together here for the first time ever.

'Unique Soul Jazz Records' Record Store Day seven-inch box set comprising five separate singles featuring ten killer rare collectors tracks from Studio One Records, featuring Ska, Roots, Rocksteady, Dub & more from the greatest reggae label of all time.'

A Joseph Hill - Behold The Land 2:54
B Tommy McCook - Full Dread 2:45
C Roland Alphonso - Drums Of Fue Man Tru 2:57
D Tommy McCook & The New Establishment - Blues For I 3:13
E The Traps - Higher 3:55
F The Traps & The Liberation Group - Higher Version 4:00
G Larry Marshall - I've Got To Make It 3:26
H The Skatalites - Coconut Rock 2:48
I The Magnificent Seven - Jack Johnson 3:23
J Dobby Dobson - Seems To Me I'm Losing You 3:24

Notes
5 x 7" BOX. Record Store Day 2017 release.

Turkey

“A soundtrack of freaks, gangsters, pimps and punks of the era.”

“Innately attached to Anatolian culture, the saz or bağlama (stringed musical instrument) is regarded as the mouthpiece to rebellion and an instrument of the people,” explains Uzelli.

While the saz is a pivotal instrument in traditional Turkish folk music, Uzelli Elektro Saz focuses on the versatility of the electrified saz.

'Established in 1971 by Muammer and Yavuz Uzelli in Frankfurt, Germany, later to relocate to Istanbul, Uzelli Kaset became a humble musical companion to many Turkish workers living far from home. Uzelli Elektra Saz focuses on one particular facet of the label’s output, namely the fuzzed out psychedelia of music composed on the electric saz, an electrified version of a traditional instrument. Made available once again, this compilation showcases familiar sounds with a vibrant urban twist.'

'The traditional Saz or Bağlama looks a little like a cross between a lute and a bouzouki and has three pairs of strings and in some cases an extra seventh. With its attachment to Turkish culture, the acoustic instrument has been around for centuries and is immediately recognisable by its distinctive sound. Uzelli Elektro Saz (1976-1984) takes thirteen examples of the instruments’ versatility in its electric and amplified form, a development still frowned upon in some quarters. This unique compilation, culled from a mammoth archive of such recordings, brings a new sense of vitality, both as a lead instrument and as an accompaniment or sparring partner to vocal performances.

As the instrument maintains its status as a dominant force in traditional Turkish music, the tracks are carefully gathered from the tape archives of the Uzelli record label, curated by BaBa Zula’s Murat Ertel and his wife Esma Ertel. The choices are varied, with each selection a demonstration of the versatility of the musicians involved, with some great performances throughout. As an introduction to the Saz and to Turkish music in general, look no further.' -Review by Allan Wilkinson

"After Uzelli released its Psychedelic Anadolu selection in 2017, we began working on this second album with our dear friend Osman Murat Ertel. When we opened up this archive to Murat, a lover, aficionado and player of the electric saz, we supposed that he would make a selection under that title."

''But multifaceted artist that he is, Murat went far beyond merely making a selection, and took on the project in its entirety. His wife Esma, who had contributed her energy and experience from the beginning, handled every detail. I consider this album evidence of the magic these very special people possess. This album is a selection of performances on the electric saz, an instrument that some hold in contempt. Simple, calm and dignified villagers, forced to leave their villages behind, carried the saz to new lands. As they called out to the crowd of fellow exiles and struggled to adapt to a new way of life, their traditional acoustic saz transformed into the electric saz and rang out with a new and different urban sound. It is our hope that this compilation will inspire a new group of musical explorers.

Metin Uzelli About the Label: Uzelli Kaset was established in 1971 by Muammer and Yavuz Uzelli in Frankfurt, Germany. Their music resonated not only with the longing that Gastarbeiter (guest workers) felt for the homelands and families they had left behind and the melancholy brought by their difficult living and working conditions in Germany, but also with the joy that welled up at village weddings on their days off, and the long car or train journeys home. Reaching the remotest corners of Germany as well as Turkey, Uzelli Kaset was soon more than just a music company; it became a companion to Turkish workers living far from home. Not counting the handful of 8-track tapes and 14 LPs released in the early days, the catalog consisted entirely of cassettes.

When they opened their Istanbul office in 1977, Uzelli moved beyond production and became successful in the areas of reproduction, distribution and marketing. Taking the catalogs of other production companies under its umbrella, it continued its rapid growth.

The 90s became the CD decade, and because Uzelli Kaset had not released its catalog in CD format, hundreds of albums remained unavailable to an entire new generation. Because the albums had not been released in LP form either, musical explorers ran into the same problem. Remaining active and serving in various areas of the music industry, Uzelli carefully preserved its visual, audio and document archives, ensuring their survival to the present day.

After an immense amount of work, this catalog, which had long awaited discovery by new generations, was finally released in digital format. For record collectors seeking the spirit of those times, we also began offering this special selection of compilation albums in vinyl format. As we created this series, our goal was to guide listeners toward new discoveries, and open new pages for music lovers to explore. Leaving our rich, multifaceted catalog to genuine musicians, curators and artists, our desire became to approach the recordings of that period from a different perspective.

We are overjoyed to know that our continuing meticulous work will bear fruits whose taste and aroma have been long forgotten." -Boomkat

1. Akbaba İkilisi - Darıldım Darıldım 5:10
2. Misket - Kına Gecesi Ensemble 2:12
3. Mehtap Tuna - Gönül Dağı 2:43
4. Sarı Zeki - Topal 2:06
5. Handan Yazgan - Karanfilli Yar 1:40
6. Mehmet Karakoç - Yine Gönlüm Sende 5:42
7. Sultan Sümbül - Mercanlar 2:49
8. Gülcan Opel - Yaz Dostum 5:15
9. Mehtap Tuna - Nar Tanesi 4:42
10. Sarı Zeki - Dom Dom Kurşunu 3:44
11. Handan Yazgan - Mavilim Hangi Ellidir 3:40
12. Kına Gecesi Ensemble - Sarı Yıldız 2:21
13. Aşık Emrah - 20. Asrın Bozuk Düzeni 3:43

Jamaica

Buena recopilación de rocksteady/reggae original

'On 22 July 1969, the world celebrated mankind’s first steps upon the surface of the moon with the successful Apollo 11 landing. And in no country was this historic event more celebrated musically than Jamaica, where an array of local recording artists penned and cut songs to mark the occasion. Now, in honour of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, a dozen of the most popular and sought-after moon-themed reggae tracks from the period have been gathered on this celebratory LP. The result is a joyous collection of original boss reggae sounds, sure to appeal to fans of late 1960s Jamaican music, collectors of space oddities and the curious, drawn to the irresistible pleasures of lunar reggae! It features Derrick Morgan, The Kingstonians, Ansel Collins, Symarip etc.'

Boss Lunar Reggae Sounds

'Reggae and the Apollo 11 mission of 1969 hardly seem like natural bedfellows, but clearly the historic lunar adventure struck a chord with Jamaican music makers, who appear to have wasted little time in writing and recording songs in tribute of the famous moon landing. Given the era, it's hardly surprising that all of the recordings on the release are in the jumpy 'boss reggae' style, which in recent years has enjoyed a much deserved revival, resulting in the price of original vinyl late Sixties pressings becoming out of reach to many. Aside from the odd obvious track (Moon Hop and Skinhead Moonstomp), the vocal and instrumental tracks on this hugely enjoyable compilation range from the rare to the ridiculously rare, so providing the opportunity for buyers to acquire some genuine collector's items without breaking the bank. Don't expect any strange or pretentious moog laden space age vibes here - these are joyous, hard-hitting, good time, no-nonsense sounds, made for simply dancing and having fun. And what better way can there be to celebrate than that?' -Dan David

1. Derrick Morgan - Moon Hop 3:12
2. Karl Bryan - Moon Shot 2:37
3. Nicky Thomas - Doing The Moonwalk 2:26
4. Earl Bailey - Moon Rock 3:13
5. Harry J. All Stars - Jay Moon Walk 2:57
6. The Kingstonians - Come We Go Moonwalk 2:52
7. The J.J. All Stars - Neil Armstrong Wreck It Up 2:20
8. Sonny Binns & The Rudies - Boss A Moon 2:17
9. Derrick Morgan - Man Pon Moon 2:48
10. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - Cape Kennedy 2:09
11. Ansel Collins - Moon Dust 2:09
12. King Horror - Creature From The Moon 1:56
13. Winston Wright - Moon Invader 2:11
14. Sprong & The Nyah Shuffle - Moon Walk 2:47
15. The Moon Boys - Apollo 11 2:56
16. Sir Harry - Man In The Moon 3:21
17. The Hippy Boys - Down To Earth Reggae  3:08
18. The Crystalites - Splash Down 2:49
19. Vincent Gordon - Voyage To The Moon 3:13
20. Symarip - Skinhead Moonstomp 2:59

Web Server Overload

Causes of Server Overload
Web servers can become overloaded at any time due to one of the following reasons: 

*Sudden spikes in site traffic. When too many people attempt to visit your web site at the same time, it can cause your server to become overload. An example of this is when concert tickets go on sale, and the web site crashes soon after. Spikes in traffic can be short-term, but the effects on your business’s reputation can linger.
*One of your servers is completely unavailable. When one server is unavailable due to maintenance or sudden malfunction, the backup server can easily become overloaded while handling the extra traffic.
*Computer viruses or worms. When a large-scale number of browsers or computers become infected by a virus or worm, it can cause abnormally high traffic patterns that disrupt normal server operation.
*DoS or DDoS attacks. Denial-of-service or distributed-denial-of-service attacks are attacks launched by hackers for the purpose of making a server unavailable for its intended users. By flooding the network with false requests, hackers crash the server and cause it to deny the real requests.

Signs of Server Overload
The following signs indicate that your web server has possibly become overloaded:

*Displaying error codes. Your server returns an HTTP error code, such as 500, 502, 503, 504, 408, etc.
*Delaying serving requests. Your server delays serving requests by a second or more.
*Resetting or denying TCP connections. Your server resets or denies TCP connections before it returns any content.
*Delivering Partial content. Your server returns only part of the content that was requested. This could possibly be a bug, or it could also be caused by server overload.

Nigeria

Reissue of a Nigerian afro-beat classic, one that never really made it out the country at the time. This is the first ever and long overdue official reissue of this long lost afro beat classic from 1974. Haunting, commanding brass and farfisa organ driven soul, funk, rocksteady and rock crossover. Fela Kuti, Mixed Grill, Ofege, Witch, Zam Rock, Afro Beat, Peter Tosh, Segun Bucknor fans should all check.

*Including as bonus the two songs from the 1975 7inch "Akalaka“

'Fela Kuti & Africa 70 dominated Afrobeat so thoroughly during the 1970s that the outfits which followed in their wake tend to get forgotten. Among the best was Eric Akaeze & His Royal Ericos. Amusingly, in the mid 1960s, when Kuti was trying to establish his first band, Koola Lobitos, most Lagos club owners turned the group down, preferring to book highlife big-bands such as the one then led by Akaeze. By the mid 1970s, however, Kuti was the hot ticket in town. Akaeze may have been a late convert to Afrobeat but Ikoto Rock, the Royal Ericos second album, is the real deal.'

'There we go with another Afro Beat classic that did not really leave Nigeria back in the day it was released. Therefore we can only guess the value among collectors but some reliable sources tell us that even not so mint original copies go for up to 600 $. The AFRODISIA sublabel of DECCA music is responsible for quite a few awesome afro beat gems that have only recently been rediscovered by never sleeping music lovers such as the folks behind EVERLAND MUSIC from the Netherlands and here we go with the first ever official reissue of Eric Showboy Akaeze’s second album with HIS ROYAL ERICOS. Eric Showboy Akaeze was former bigband leader who was hip on the Nigerian scene, which mostly happened around the main city of Lagos in the 60s and especially 70s after the military junta took over the reign and was keen to bring in more indegenious elements to the peoples allday lives and a new style of music emerged, AFRO BEAT, mixing Western rock and funk, rocksteady and soul with rhythms and melodies that clearly had an African heritage. He was nicknamed IKOTO, which is the Nigerian word for a spinner, the child’s toy, due to his dancing style where he was spinning around like mad during shows. He was an extraordinary dancer and showman and what mostly interests us, he was a wonderful bandleader and musician. When Fela Kuti became the rising star on the scene and soon the musician most hated by the regime, Akaeze soon fell into Kuti’s shadow but he maintained his musical activities until his untimely death in 2002 and with this, his second masterepiece „Ikoto rock“, referring to his nickname and his own style Akaeze created from this, his legacy was carved in rock.

What kind of music shall we now expect from this 1974 release? The original holds 4 lengthy, groovy compositions with a jammy, nearly improvised feeling in some parts, for the reissue EVERLAND MUSIC dragged out the utterly scarce 7inch „Akalaka“ from 1975 (even beat up copies go for 700 $) and added both tracks to the A and B side of the album respectively. It fits well with the haunting, nearly hypnotizing style of „Ikoto rock“. There is always a repetitive beat, a dense network of grooves in the background of each song which build the foundation for the commanding vocals shouted out with passion for life and the harmonic arrangements of guitar, farfisa organ and brass section melodies. These songs are too furious and powerful for plain reggae and rocksteady. Listen to the simmering leads performed by Akaeze on a tenor saxophone. This is nearly eruptive. He loves to give his audience a break sometimes, adding passages with the feeling of a religious or military chant to enchant his listeners entirely. All this creates a steaming atmosphere and puts you, who gets this record spinning on his turntable, into a trance like state during the duration of the album. Most songs here were sung in Akaeze’s native tongue or at least some English based lingo that includes many African words. You can easily feel how good the musicians are, due to the clear production that was a standard for DECCA / AFRODISIA releases back then. Still this album has a raw and honest feeling making it a simmering and intense musical affair. The two bonus tracks might be the most accessible and memorable here since they were conceived for a 7“ release but still come as lengthy as they could. You will not find your 3 minute pop tunes here and the power of the performance is amazing.

A wonderful item to rediscover, music that deserves to be alive and set the hearts and souls of a new generation on fire.' -Everland-Music

1. Ikoto Rock 9:00
2. Wetin Dey Watch Goat, Goat Dey Watcham 10:12
3. Akalaka 6:06
4. Ife Nwanne Melu Nwanne 11:12
5. Egwu Eric 7:21
6. I Will Tell Mama 6:27

Notes
*'Akalaka' and 'I Will Tell Mama' are taken from the Akalaka 45

Lyon, France

Bounce Into '80s Maghreb Tape Culture from Lyon

Bongo Joe and Sofa Records have put together a compilation of tunes that originally circulated through the Algerian and wider North African immigrant community in Lyon, France, from the mid-'80s to '90s. The album doesn't drop until March 27, but they sent over the first single from it and it's just as compelling and funky as you'd hope.

Cassettes were a bit of a mixed blessing for the world of African and diasporic music. On the one hand, tape swapping and piracy is the main culprit behind Decca, Philips and other major labels giving up on recording and releasing on the continent. In its heyday, pirated cassette versions of albums were making it to the market before the official releases. On the other hand, cassettes were also much easier to make on your own—they could be recorded, dubbed and distributed by just about anyone.

Eastern Algerian immigrants had been on the music scene in Lyon since the 1950s, but once we reach the era outlined on the Maghreb K7 Club: Synth Raï, Chaoui & Staiif 1985-1997 compilation, a few important stylistic shifts were in full swing. The scene and immigrant community had grown to include artists from across North Africa, and the synthesizer revolution was fully underway. With cheaper multitracking recording and electronic instruments, even traditional musical forms like rai were getting a sort of electronic update. People were drawing from new influences, like the New Age pioneer (from Lyons) Jean-Michel Jarre.

The single, “Zine Ezzinet,” is by one such innovator. Nordine Staifi was born near the eastern Algerian city of Sétif but spent most of his life in France. In 1978 his disco version of the traditional song “El Ghorba S'hiba” was a watershed moment in modernizing Algerian music, and you can hear the innovation continuing in the funk guitar and melding of synth lines on “Zine Ezzinet.” -afropop.org

'Most of Lyon’s musical scene is composed of men originating from eastern Algeria, but since the 1950s, the Croix-Rousse and Guillotière cafés have counted musicians from all over Maghreb. These cafés were social hubs, where these individuals met up weekly, playing together and sharing their everyday life experience —but they also had a major role in the development of popular music of French-based North Africans. In Lyon, Le But Café in the 3rd arrondissement or the bars on Sébastien Gryphe Street in the 7th arrondissement were among these: one could conduct business there, getting booked for a wedding, a baptism, a gala, or a studio session... all took place there.

Playing together in Lyon. The practice of music was cross-regional with different North African influences, but also with local traditions. These versatile musicians also absorbed new local influences: music within the context of immigra- tion was a perfect school for musical cosmopolitanism. Chachacha or tango versions of some Cheikh El Hasnaoui tracks come to mind, or Mohamed Mazouni’s jerks and twists. Like their predecessors, the musicians in this compilation brilliantly integrate raï or staïfi tunes with disco aesthetics or funk guitar riffs as Nordine Staifi did. You could also think of Salah El Annabi who used the “ Oxygene ” theme (1976) by Jean-Michel Jarre, the Lyon-based composer and electronic music pioneer. “As we say around here, mixed weddings make good-looking lads!” said Abbès Hamou, a musician from Place du Pont. Following on from their musical traditions and unrestrained inventiveness, the musicians’ repertoire naturally assimilated their era’s aesthetics and technologies.' -Bongo Joe

1. Zaïdi El Batni - Malik Ya Malik 4:33
2. Nordine Staifi - Zine Ezzinet 5:13
3. Chabati Le Jeune - Mani Mani Maane 4:33
4. Rabah El Maghnaoui - Intro : Kountie Ghalia 0:45
5. Rabah El Maghnaoui - Amayna Alik Anti 4:11
6. Nordine Staifi - Goultili Bye Bye 5:06
7. Bnat El Maâna - Hata La Lile Ya Moul Jalab Tayfiya 3:49
8. Rachid Staifi - Intro : Ya Lekbida 0:37
9. Salah El Annabi - Hata Fi Annaba 5:36
10. Mokhtar Mezhoud - Intro : Kharjet Mel Haman 0:26
11. Mokhtar Mezhoud - Rahoum Yegoulou Sabirine 3:55

Jamaica

Thee gold standard for dub, I think. For album covers as well. -trev_boyardee

Been listening to Tubby for well over 40 years and this is a stunning example of his technique and sensibilities..... -Paul Mainwaring

'Originally released in 1981 on Tad's Records, a powerhouse heavyweight dub album get's a first time reissue from Ranking Joe Universal. Featuring The Roots Radics rhythm tracks which were laid at Channel One then mixed by the great man himself King Tubby. Don't let this go..'

King Tubby
‘Cus Cus Dubwise’ aka ‘Dread Dub’
(Tads/Vista Sounds LP, 1981)

'Lloyd Robinson first recorded the censorious ‘Cuss Cuss’ for producer Harry J in 1968. The song was so ahead of its time that it still sounded current at the end of the 70s, when a number of other artists re-cut the tune, including Horace Andy for Wackies. It’s not entirely clear when King Tubby mixed ‘Cus Cus Dubwise,’ otherwise known as ‘Dread Dub’ (or indeed, if Tubby actually mixed it, or another engineer at his studio); New York-based producer Tad Dawkins in the one who placed it on a couple of album releases. But in any case, the dub itself is mighty striking, being nothing but bass for a long portion of the track, before the rest of the instruments leap back into the mix to thrilling effect.' -David Katz

'even with his (very cute) picture and his name right on the cover, it's hard to be certain, given how things were done at his studio, that it's really the king at the controls here. regardless, this does feel significantly different from material marketed under scientist's or jammy's names: maxed out on icy drum-and-bass-only minimalism, with so much reverb/echo/filter noise and such abrupt textural changes it strikes me as kind of angry or violent in a way most dub doesn't. one other thing that distinguishes king tubby's dubbing (or at least what's credited to him) from that of his proteges is a more composer-y sense of how dub techniques can be used to build a musical narrative different from the one offered by the source material, resulting in dubs that feel tightly constructed and impactful rather than ones that feel sprawling and unnecessary even at 2 or 3 minute lengths.

Dread Dub, Eastwood Dub, and General Saint Dub are untouchable imo.' -cd_r0ms

Dan
Essential collection of Classic era Roots/early Dancehall Dub with King Tubby and friends

King Tubby -- At The Control -- Vista Sounds/Ranking Joe Records
Heavy slow sparse bouncing spongy rhythms, floating keyboards and Dub (echo-o-o-es), all with some of the best Reggae people.

1. King Tubby's Special 3:32 (Drum Song rhythm)
2. Tad's Special 4:19 (Have Some Mercy (To Be A Lover) rhythm)
3. Winter Dub 3:33 (Never Let Go/Answer rhythm)
4. Raving Dub 3:42
5. Dread Dub 2:48 (Cuss Cuss (fast version (sounds like Studio One production) rhythm)
6. Eastwood Dub 4:53 (Cuss Cuss (slow version) rhythm)
7. General Saint Dub 3:00
8. Ranimo Dub 3:24 (I've Got The Handle rhythm)
9. Dub Up Dub 3:29 (Without Love rhythm)
10. Nkrumah Dub 3:36 (Trying To Conquer Me rhythm)

Musicians include: The Roots Radics
Producer/Engineer: Jah Screw, Tad Dawkins, Tad Dawkins Jnr, King Tubby, Ranking Joe
Studio: Channel One (JA)

Sound mastering is very good to excellent.

Cameroon

Superb nicely curated collection of 70s rarities from Cameroun most legendary band. Killer tracks from start to finish.

'For its 3rd release, Nubiphone is proud to present you a compilation of the best early 7inch releases of the mythical Cameroonian band Los Camaroes.

10 raw tracks taken from various singles from 1968 to 1975, that present the musical diversity played by those seven young people: Bikutsi, Afro-Funk, Jerk, Soukous, Rumba & Blues music. The band led by the charismatic lead vocal Messi Martin that managed to modernized Cameroonian music.'

1. Boo A Nun Muna 3:11
2. Special Nkumu Asenge 4:56
3. Wongele Mba 4:27
4. Mengala Maurice 3:49
5. Kodi 2:47
6. Esele Mulema Moam 4:17
7. Bia Tak Ayi Los 3:44
8. Annie 6:13
9. Kundug Bidza Bidza 2:48
10. Pitié 2:48

United Kingdom

Hell yeah, three tapes form the Kirchin Archive on one LP. Includes weird experiments and the sublime "Suspended Forth", a superb pastoral jazz trip into the mind. I mean wow. Just wow. And there are spelling mistakes on the sleevenotes. Its gets NO BETTER -Jonny Trunk

'Definitely in the world's top three Basils (alongside Fawlty and Brush) is legendary sound manipulator Basil Kirchin. Those intrepid folk at Trunk have found a bunch of unheard 1960s and 1970s era recordings by the great man and here are three separate and very different tapes pressed onto vinyl. Perhaps the most exciting thing is that there are further found archives to come.'

'A glimpse behind the curtains of Basil Kirchin’s archive, ‘Everyday Madness’ commits nearly 40 minutes of concrète studio poltergeist and aleatoric psychedelic collage from a true original. The clips will tell you all you need to know, but essentially these are some of Kirchin’s most unhinged, wayward tape experiments, spanning extremely sparse electro-acoustic jazz minimalism (‘Pat’s Pigs’), mind-boggling dream/nightmare collage in a style recalling his amazing ‘Worlds Within Worlds’, and a 20 minute piece of pastoral, spiritual jazz in ‘The Suspended Forth’. Prime Trunk tackle; in their own words “It gets NO BETTER”.' -Boomkat

'Holy shit! If it isn’t three unheard 1960s and 1970s reels from the unreal  and unreleased Basil Kirchin Tape Archive. Sublime pastoral jazz, autistic children screaming, spooky vocals, experimental tape manipulation and more from the master of such thing.

Kirchin's releases sold just a handful of copies at the time but they have become a keystone in the development of experimental and ambient sounds. The originals of his output exchange hands for about a thousand pounds a go.

The three parts of this new Basil Kirchin album come from three very different tapes from his archive. All parts were unreleased until now.

“Pat’s Pigs” actually sounds to me like a Basil bird recording, slowed and treated, mixed with simple improvisation. But it could well be pigs. Pat’s pigs. This whole tape recording may have been an early experiment towards what was to become Worlds Within Worlds Parts I and II. A lot of Basil’s work was headed in that direction.

“Electronic” – first of all this is not that electronic. There are elements of the classic Kirchin drone sound here, mixed with multiple and treated recordings of the autistic children of Schurmatt, along with Esther, his wife, singing. I remember speaking to Basil many years ago about his Schurmatt recordings. Esther worked as a nurse with the children, Basil got to know many of them, and became fascinated by the extreme musical noises they would make with their voices.

This recording is not necessarily for the faint hearted, but makes for extraordinary listening, based on the fact this would have been made and mixed, simply as a classic and progressive Kirchin experiment, back in the late 1960s/ early 1970s. This also has untreated elements that would eventually contribute towards Quantum, his preferred version of the W W W concept.

“The Suspended Fourth” comes across like a soundtrack, so it could well be part of what Basil called his “imaginary film music period”. It has a very distinctive and pastoral Kirchin style leitmotif that repeats along its glorious and slightly disturbed 21 minutes. It’s very well produced, possibly built up and improvised over a few days, could well have been an experiment, a pitch or just something that had to come out in the groovy studio.

The tape itself states that this is The Suspended Forth with a subtitle: “The Musical Study Of A Mind, Part 1 Schizophrenia”. It therefore could even be something to do with a soundtrack he was asked to make for a mental health conference for psychiatrists at Earls Court in the late 1960s (see States Of Mind, JBH005LP – the British jazz musical line seems like it could well be the very same). But who knows for sure? I shall continue looking in the archive for other possible parts.

Before I go, the original title for this album and the artwork come from an empty tape box in the archive, which I think sums up all sorts of things about Basil, his awesome music and the tape archive all at the same time.

More reel discoveries will follow. Thanks for listening as always.' - Johnny Trunk.

1. Pat's Pigs 8:06
2. Electronic 8:52
3. The Suspended Forth 20:41

United Kingdom-United States

Yes, great combo of British jazz wizard and fierce Bongo master. -Jonny Trunk

'This is what is known as a trophy record. There are only two British jazz LPs that are afro based - Ginger Johnsons African Party and this green baby. I bought this in mid March at Spitalfields record fayre. The bloke who had it for sale relies on the book, and this LP is missing from its pages and was therefore priced foolishly. This is an elusive little beast, and is awesome in many respects. This is hard percussive jazz from the early sixties, with Mr Hayes kind of tooting along with his flute. There's a killer dance track on this too, but for me it's the odd Lament For Cello, which is exactly what it says it is but with bongos. Wild cut out sticky paper cover and even wilder music inside. Am I a lucky boy or what. But I was there at half seven on a cold Wednesday morning.' -Jonny Trunk

You Gotta Have Rhythm!

'I had to write this in response to the extremely negative reviews offered by some other reviewers here. The record is called "Equation In Rhythm" and not "Saxophone Colussus", dammit!

Anyone with a few grains of intuition will come to this expecting drums and more drums. And this is a great thing! This record is about the lagacy of West Africa and it contains some great Afro-Cuban percussion workouts. I realize that many people have not developed the deep listening abilities to appreciate the microscopic nuances of rhythm on offer here, but for those of you who dig early Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente and drum music in general, you'll find lots to enjoy here!' -Robert Cummings

Jack Costanzo (1919-2018)

Source: Jazzwax by Marc Myers
August 27, 2018

Jack Costanzo, whose fierce bongo playing added drama and heat to hundreds of recordings and performances by jazz, pop and Latin artists starting in the late 1940s before moving on the TV and film, died August 18. He was 98.

Costanzo wasn't the first to record jazz on the bongos. The instrument first appeared on Latin 78s as early as 1925 and on Afro-Cuban recordings by Machito in 1941. He also wasn't the first to record on the bongos in the post-war era. That honor in the late 1940s belongs to a long list of superb Latin players, including Chano Pozo, Lorenzo Salan, Diego Ibarra, Ramon Rivera, Emanuel Vaharandes, Jose Mangual, Sabu Martinez, Manny Oquendo, Bill Alvarez and others.

But Costanzo, who became known as “Mr. Bongo" while in Stan Kenton's band in 1947, was the first to crossover from jazz to pop by joining the Nat King Cole Trio in 1949. As recording formats expanded from the 78 to the 10-inch LP and then the 12-inch album in the early and mid-1950s, Costanzo was in huge demand.

In addition to his spirited polyrhythmic playing on the high-pitched knee-held skins, Costanzo, who was Italian, toured with white bands without drawing racial animus so prevalent then in segregated America. And since he spoke English, looked like a movie star and was at ease on stage, Costanzo became highly marketable on an expanding number of West Coast pop recording sessions that called for Latin or dramatic bongo flavor.

Costanzo's timing was perfect. The bongo's popularity surged in the late 1940s and early '50s with the rise of Afro-Cuban jazz and the mambo. The proliferation of TV noir also created opportunities for the high-strung percussion instrument. By the late 1950s, the bongo's popularity exploded with the rise of crime jazz and exotica, a faux Polynesian-African fantasy genre favored by bored suburban couples yearning for excitement beyond daily commutes and casseroles.

At the tail end of the 1950s, the bongos saw a resurgence with the beat generation. Easy to carry, the instrument accompanied coffee-house poetry readings and exemplified subculture moodiness, discontent and rebellion against conformity and the status quo.

In the rock era, the bongos largely faded, migrating to action TV themes such as Mission Impossible and to Latin-pop forms such as the boogaloo. By the late 1960s, the bongos were as dated as the clarinet had been in the 1950s.

Over the course of his career, Costanza appeared behind virtually every major TV and recording pop star and on dozens of pop and jazz albums. He also led his own orchestra and recorded many excellent Latin albums that featured the cha-cha-cha. His pop recordings include Googie Rene's oddity, Romesville.

Costanzo's standout jazz recordings include Stan Kenton's Malaguena (1955), Art Pepper's album Mucho Calor (1957) and Constanzo Plus Tubbs: Equation in Rhythm, featuring Tubby Hayes (1962). But his bread-and-butter albums were Latin dance records that included Mr. Bongo, Mr. Bongo Has Brass, Bongo Fever Bongo! Cha-Cha-Cha, Naked City, Latin Fever, Vivo Tirado and Afro Can-Can.

1. Jack Costanzo, Little Jesus - Adjaye-Adjaye 2:45
2. The Tubby Hayes Orchestra - Southern Suite, Pt. 1: Penitentiary Breakout 6:30
3. Keefe West, Mirza Al Sharif - Baccanale 3:55
4. Malcolm Cecil, Mirza Al Sharif - Lament for Cello 3:11
5. Manny Meyers, Speedy Odaye - Semliki Torrent 2:00
6. Phil Seaman - Question and Answers 3:57
7. Jack Constanzo - Afro-Cuban Concord 1:46
8. Shake Keane, Little Jesus - Marital Sacrifice 5:17
9. Jack Costanzo - Bongo Montuna 1:37
10. Speedy Odaye, Manny Meyers - Africa Congo Y Boleo 1:36
11. Speedy Odaye, Manny Meyers - Tribal Subpoena 3:34
12. The Tubby Hayes Orchestra With Jack Costanzo - Souther Suite, Pt. 2: Chase and Capture 5:43

Albania

Ajdin Asllan was born in Leskovik near the present-day southern border of Albania on March 12, 1895. He arrived in New York September 20, 1926, and when he filed his Declaration of Intent to become an American citizen two years later as a resident of Detroit, he gave his occupation as "musician."

He launched an independent label to release his own recordings, called Mi-Re around 1937, but it stalled after about 5 releases. He re-launched the label around 1942 as "Me Re" with the help of the Bulgarian violinist Nicola Doneff, and quickly renamed it Balkan. (For a short while the Greek accordionist John Gianaro was a partner.) Doneff, in turn, named his own adjunct label Kaliphon, while continuing to record prolifically for Balkan. A third label, Metropolitan, was launched and became at catchall for Greek, Turkish, Armenian Ladino material, drawing from much of the same New York social circle as the Balkan and Kaliphon label recordings, but it's not clear who was in charge.

While living first at 143 Norfolk St. and then at 42 Rivington St, both in Manhattan's Lower East Side (along with his wife Emverije, 15 years his junior from the town of Korce, who arrived in 1931), where Russian and Austrian Jews cohabitated with the small Albanian community, he corresponded with his brother in Albania, and was able to secure masters of Albanian performers that had not been issued otherwise and put them out in the U.S. on the Balkan label.

Through the 1940s and '50s, he worked with a a network of Greek-, Armenian-, and Turkish-speaking performers in New York and issued scores of recordings made both locally and overseas, particularly in Istanbul, including superb and lasting performances by Rosa Eskenazi and Udi Hrant. But despite the small market for Albanian-language songs, he made sure to release discs, recorded both in New York and Tirana, for his countrymen with nothing to distinguish their origin on their labels.

The last Balkan label releases were LPs issued around 1960, more than 20 years after Asllan released his first discs. He visited his native home and family in 1951, 25 years after having become American.
He died in New York in October,1976.

We think that Asllan's Balkan label released about 70 songs for the Albanian-language market ca. 1942-49, including from Epirot (northwestern Greek) material and choral anti-fascist Communist songs. We have presented here a fraction on those roughly in the order in which they were issued. It was a time of immense political and social turbulence in Albania, and the total Albanian-speaking population in the U.S. was less than 10,000. 

1. untraced performers - Valle Hassanajt Shtruar 3:04
2. untraced performers - Kenga E Dhimtraqit 3:01
3. Ajdin Asllan & Gernet - Valle E Shtruar 3:21
4. Ajdin Asllan & Gernet - Valle E Nusevet 3:10
5. Z. Sadik - Lule Sofo Djale Lule, gjinokatrite 3:26
6. Z. Sabri Fehimi - Kaba Me Violi, leskovikut 3:16
7. Z. Ceris - Kenge Ballet Met Sadefe Korcarce 3:26
8. Permatare & Z. Ceris - Doren O Djal Doren 3:41
9. Nga Shallet & Z Chaban Arif - Kur Z'Bret, jorgaqi 3:31
10. untraced performers from Konitsa - Valle Medy, "Horos Sta Dio" 3:26
11. untraced performers from Konitsa - Valle Me Ma Mleth Manushaqe, "Emena Mana Na Maso," "Manousakia" 3:23

Credits
Transfers, restoration, and notes by Ian Nagoski.

Please note that we have retained the spellings of the track titles and artist names from the labels of the original discs rather than modifying them to contemporary transliterations.

Peru

'Superb Peruvian Psychedelic Cumbia by Ranil Y Su Conjunto Tropical, re-issued on Analog Africa.' 

'The 11th Limited Dance Edition Ranil y su Conjunto Tropical. Fourteen mindblowing Cumbia masterpieces - many of which have never seen wide release outside the Amazonian region.'

Exceptional set of psychedelic surfy Cumbia jams born in same place as Herzog’s ’Fitzcarraldo’, necessarily excavated and shared internationally for the first time!

"If you travel up the Amazon, past the city of Manaus and past the Brasilian/Peruvian border, you will eventually reach the city of Iquitos. It was here that Werner Herzog filmed Fitzcarraldo, the visionary epic of one man’s struggle to drag a ship over a mountain; and it was here, in a city completely cut off from the Peruvian coast, accessible only by air and water, and surrounded by impenetrable forests, that a new, distinctly Amazonian style of Cumbia emerged in the early 1970s.

One of the style’s greatest practitioners was Raúl Llerena Vásquez – known to the world as Ranil – is a Peruvian singer, bandleader, record-label entrepreneur and larger-than-life personality who swirled the teeming buzz of the Amazonian jungle, the unstoppable rhythms of Colombian and Brazilian dance music, and the psychedelic electricity of guitar-driven rock-and-roll into a knock-out, party-starting concoction. It’s cumbia alright, but you’ve never heard cumbia quite like this before.

Ranil’s music came into being far from Lima, the Peruvian capital, where Cuban-style big band and guitar waltzes vied for popular supremacy. On the distant banks of the Amazon, where Ranil spent the early years of his adulthood working as a schoolteacher, the air was full of the criollo waltzes of his youth, carimbó rhythms from nearby Brasil and crackly broadcasts of cumbia from Colombia picked up on transistor radios.

When Ranil returned to Iquitos after several years teaching in small towns, he assembled a group of musicians and prepared to take the city’s nightlife by storm. His unique blend of galloping rhythms and trebly, reverberant guitar was so successful that he was soon able to take his band to Lima to record their first record at MAG studios, where many of Peru’s most successful psych, rock and salsa bands began their recording careers.

Yet Ranil had no intention of entering into the indentured servitude that comes with signing one’s life away to a record company. Instead he established Produccions Llerena – possibly the first record label founded in the Peruvian Amazon – which allowed him to maintain complete control over the release and distribution of his music. His fearsome negotiation skills and his insistence on organising his own tours turned him into one of the central figures of the Amazonian music scene.

Although his records were popular throughout the region, Ranil never sought his fortune in the capital, preferring to remain in his hometown of Iquitos where, in recent decades, he has concentrated his considerable energies on his radio and television stations, and become involved with local civic politics. Yet his legacy has continued to grow among those fortunate enough to track down copies of his legendary – and legendarily difficult to find – LPs.

Ranil’s extraordinary output has remained one of the best kept secrets among collectors of cumbia and psychedelic Latin sounds. With the release of Ranil y su Conjunto Tropical it is a secret no longer. Assembled by Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb from original LPs sourced from Ranil himself, this fully-licenced compilation presents 14 tracks – many of which have never seen wide release outside the Amazonian region – by a singular artist at the very height of his considerable powers. Prepare yourself for a guitar groove you won’t soon forget."

1. Muévete Mi Amor 2:34
2. Vuelo a Saturno 2:45
3. Las Oladas 3:10
4. Lamento 2:59
5. La Minga 2:31
6. Mi Querido Ucayali 2:42
7. Licenciado 3:05
8. Cumbia En Tu Soledad 2:44
9. Cumbia Sin Nombre 3:05
10. Rojo Lamento 3:00
11. Ángel Terrenal 2:40
12. Marlenita 2:47
13. La Tuctuructia 3:23
14. La Danza De Don Lucho 2:36

New Jersey

Fresh Cuts explores recordings from Eugene Viscione’s NJ stripmall studio that doubled as a barber shop. A mad scientist of novelty, Viscione also produced moody garage bands, country loners, & subversive teeners. Dive into a new definition of psychedelic -Numero Group

If the scene around Tommy Falcone (Cleopatra Records) was overflowing with odd characters living creatively, then Eugene Viscione was the oddest by far. The man was a supernova of strange ideas and he pursued them all simultaneously, the mad genius of New Jersey: he was a singing barber, a songwriter, a music producer, a record hop host, and a label owner in his own right; but also an author, a movie producer, a presence on local access TV, the founder of a dozen publishing companies, the owner of an extraordinary range of copyrights, and an inventor who created things like Extension Lips, Tickle Fingers, and Mad Charles. He was also one of Tommy Falcone’s best friends.
Viscione’s first career was as a barber, landing an afterschool job at a shop in Somerville, New Jersey, at the age of 13. His debuted his performance career shortly afterward on the stage of Somerville High School. “I started out with a smash my first big appearance,” he said. “I fell flat on the stage from a bicycle. I was supposed to come out singing ‘Daisy.’ But the girl with me must have weighed 200 pounds and we lost our balance and fell on the stage.”
Nothing so small as teenage embarrassment could deter him from all the ideas spilling out of his brain with increasing frequency. After graduating, he opened Geno’s Barber Shop in Finderne, New Jersey, and became known for serranading customers between snips. Inspired by a friend who gave him a Spanish guitar, he started writing songs in 1957, and organized a seven-piece band, the Encores, to perform his material in ’59. Only two months after “Wacky and Quacky” hit turntables, the Encores released the dreamy ballad “Love’s Encore” b/w “Fading Winds,” on Viscione’s own WGW label, followed in 1962 by the lovely “Rita My Teenage Bride,” which became a local hit. “He had a voice like Dean Martin,” said his daughter Lorraine Zdeb. “And when he went to get his record out there, it was like, well, I’m sorry, we already have a Dean Martin.”

Viscione’s oddball interests collided at the Manville Rustic Mall, where he opened a new barber shop—with a recording studio in the back. “I wasn’t thrilled with how he cut our hair,” said Zdeb. “It looked like we had a bowl on our head.”
Working days as a barber and pursuing music at night, Viscione’s unusual gravity attracted a truly stupendous number of bands. As he wrote in his autobiography: “I produced over 500 groups and artists…. garage bands, doo-wop, folk, pop, Western, etc.” An extremely abridged list of groups includes the Contessas, the Werp’s, the Reminiscents, the Inn Crowd, the Apostles, the Time Masheen, Kar Simone, the Jagged Edge, and many more.
“Dad also became interested in filming and in producing movies,” said Zdeb. Copyrights exist for a film called Maggot Man and a 1980s holiday special featuring his songs “Christmas Feelings” and “Hubert, the Fat Elf,” among many others. “He always used family [in the films], because it was only family and close friends that would do this stuff for him,” said Zdeb.

Everything around Viscione seemed to multiply into unnavigable labyrinths, hundred of bands, many different labels—including E.V., Viscione Records, and others—and a half-dozen companies. “Each project that he had, he started a new publishing company for,” said Zdeb. Unfortunately, this tangled multitude of projects meant that no single endeavor earned his undivided focus. The only thing that came close was patent 3,804,406—the robot.

More stories on Eugene Viscione’s inventions, patents, films, and the mysterious karate robot to come. -Numero Group

1.  Jerry Benicaso - Wound Heal Birds Fly Free 2:38
2.  The Werps - Shades Of Blue 2:35
3.  James C Petrillo - Coming Back Home 2:21
4.  D Spade And Co - Love In The Sun 2:16
5.  Richard Holman - Gentle Flying Dove 2:51
6.  The Satins - I Need You 2:30
7.  The Chancellors - Another Day 2:02
8.  Janis - I Want 1:58
9.  D Spade And Co - Just You And I 2:20
10.  The Redwood 4 - Ship With No Crew 1:46
11.  The Sy-Tations - Thank You For Being My Girl 1:37
12.  The Chancellors - I Know A Girl 1:15
13.  Keep Off The Grass - I'm Blind 2:17
14.  Joe R. Group - Evil Soul 1:53
15.  The Ruins - Die Underground 2:52
16.  The Motifs - Feel It With Your Heart 2:14
17.  The Redwood 4 - Standing In The Rain 1:31
18.  Close Friends - Times Have Changed 2:22
19.  James C Petrillo - I Miss You (Demo) 1:44
20.  Eugene Viscione - Turned Killer (Demo) 3:14

France

''Let's take a trip with them toward a pop, light-hearted and electronic future.''

'During the '60s and '70s, three distinguished old gentlemen who had built their careers playing "made in France" exotic jazz -- Roger Roger (1911-1995), Nino Nardini (1912-1994), and Eddie Warner (1917-1982) -- met every evening in the Ganaro recording studio, playing like kids with their new toys: souped-up keyboards that looked more like prototypes of spaceships to explore the Milky Way. Flying high on whimsical and joyful inspiration, the improbable trio used their strange instruments to sketch out the beginnings of something that, at that time, resembled the future of music; this set collects their productions from 1972-1982.'

At the dawn of the twentieth century, Roger Roger and Georges Achille Teperino entered the world. Roger was born in 1911 in Rouen; Teperino the year after in Paris. They followed in their parents' footsteps. Roger's mother was a singer, and his father conducted the orchestra at the Opera. Teperino was taught music by his father, an Italian violinist and composer. Roger and Georges met in secondary school in 1927 and became the very best of friends, to the extent that Roger's first wife was Teperino's mother, making the latter his son-in-law. They formed a band called Les Diables Rouges (The Red Devils) that played halls and nightclubs where people would swing dance. For the band, Teperino adopted a nickname that made him famous: Nino Nardini. After World War II, he formed the Nino Nardini orchestra, specializing in "exotic" musical styles. They set the dance floors on fire in the clubs where young people, when not flirting, would twirl to the paso doble, foxtrot, calypso, slow rock, cha-cha and tango. At the same time, he conducted an orchestra for Radio Luxembourg, and one in a traveling circus, providing closely-tailored accompaniment for acrobats, clowns and lion tamers. For his part, Roger Roger (his real name) also worked as a conductor at Radio Luxembourg and accompanied Edith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier, Jean Sablon and Charles Trenet on stage. Radio France asked him to record some of his compositions as production music for its programs. These melodies attracted the attention of Chappell & Co., a music publisher in London that had just opened a department specializing in library music, which they sold "by the ton" to radio, television and cinema. Roger thus made his debut in production music. He was to become an emblematic figure in this domain, for the profusion and eclecticism of his productions, but, above all, his pronounced taste for experimentation. Nardini soon joined him in what appeared to be a new Eldorado. Together the pair made a clean break with rigid French traditions, via compositions featuring unexpected instruments like the harpsichord, marimba and Ondioline. Later, when the first analog synthesizers, oscillators and other electronic keyboards appeared, they were adopted as well. Always seeking innovative sounds, Nardini got deeply into concrete music in the early 60s, as put forward by Pierre Schaeffer (who had just founded the GRM, Groupe de recherches musicales), popularized by Pierre Henry and twisted by the whimsical Jean-Jacques Perrey. Seeking independence, Roger and Nardini decided to create their own studio in Jouy-en-Josas, southwest of Paris. They handled the creative side, while Francis Gastambie took care of the business end. The studio was named "Ganaro," an acronym of the first two letters of their respective family names. It became the scene of magical nightly sessions of experimentation, in the company of their friend Eddie Warner. The acquisition of a Moog synthesizer brought these pioneers of electronic music to a new level. Roger Roger manufactured his own punch cards to invent new sounds. Then, in 1969, under the pseudonym of Cecil Leuter, he published the albums Pop Electronique and TVMusic 101 (with Nardini), two truly avant-garde "100% electronic" disks that anticipate the hegemony of machines in pop music, from space disco in the late 70s to the electro funk of the early 80s. With a Stakhanovite output of production music, the duo composed more than 40 albums (including the incredible Informatic 2000) for specialized labels: Chappell Music, Southern Library of Recorded Music, Neuilly, IM (Eddie and Hannelore Warner's label, which published, notably, The Strange World of Bernard Fèvre in 77) Mondiophone, Hachette, Musax and Crea Sound Ltd. A veritable Atlantis of electronic music, rediscovered at the turn of the 21st century by electronic artists like Barry 7 of Add N to (X), with his Connectors series, or Luke Vibert, with the Nuggets compilation. Jess and Alexis Le Tan contributed a bit as well, digging up a few gems from "Ganaro's Nights," tracks composed with joy and humility by a merry trio of sixty-somethings for whom making music was always a source of amusement and wonder. Nino Nardini passed on in 1994; Roger Roger in 1995. Eddie Warner (the fortunate composer of the theme song for the TV game show "Des chiffres et des lettres") had died a few years earlier. In her villa in Neuilly, a posh Paris suburb, his widow Hannelore Warner evoked the memory of her husband and his friends.

How did you meet Eddie Warner?

We were both born in Germany. I was studying literary translation in Paris. We met in 1965 on the Champs Elysées at a cinema. The film was called "Rencontre" (Encounter) and the adventure continued afterward...

Tell us about your husband's life.

When Hitler came to power, my husband, born in 1917, had to leave Germany. As he was very gifted in music, a Jewish organization in Berlin found him a place at the Strasbourg Conservatory in eastern France, where he continued studying piano and trumpet. The situation worsened and he had to flee further west, to Paris, where he was a refugee, just as there are thousands today: undocumented and without work. His brother, father and stepmother joined him there afterward. My husband's mother was an opera singer; his father was the first assistant to Furtwängler, the great German conductor who preceded Karajan. To earn a little money, Eddie, his brother and his father put together a small band to play in bars. Later, his brother moved to a kibbutz in Israel. My husband thus found himself alone in Paris, barely earning his living as a tutor for dancers and singers. He enlisted in the French Foreign Legion until the end of the war, where he became a bugler. After the war he played the piano in Paris nightclubs. There were many American soldiers in these clubs who requested jazz numbers. Since he had a very musical ear, he was able to adopt that style. One day a soldier asked him to play a samba, which led to his next evolution. He created an orchestra to play Latin music from the Caribbean, composed of 17 musicians paid on an annual basis. They played mainly in dance halls. He was obliged to fill his calendar with concert dates and recording sessions because he wanted to retain all the same musicians. That's when he first met Lalo Schifrin, then a refugee touring with a South American band. Eddie hired Lalo as a musician and arranger for his orchestra, while helping him to obtain his papers.

And that's when your husband cut his first records?

Yes, in the 50s, for the Odéon label. In those days, the ORTF (the French national radio) had a few orchestras that they worked with constantly to supply music for their programs. They hired Eddie, and he composed and arranged music for his orchestra. The recordings belonged to the ORTF. He was still touring non-stop with his band. They were playing at dance halls on Saturday nights throughout France, and even in other countries worldwide. They played in Lebanon, North Africa, Germany and Belgium. In Madrid, he met Lionel Hampton. For fun, they took turns conducting each other's orchestra, and then they made a record together for RCA.

How did IM, your production music label, get started?

At one point, live performances and touring were tiring him and getting him down. He had a very serious car accident in North Africa. He had a double fracture of the hip and his right hand was completely broken. Even after a lengthy convalescence, he could not spend long sessions on the piano. He wrote for singers, and sometimes accompanied them. But this was bothering him. He did not want to grow old on stage. So, together, we published production music. That's how IM began, in the early 60s. I took care of business and he handled the artistic side. We also represented the English libraries like KPM: very jazzy, big bands, not at all corresponding to French tastes, so there was something missing. The arrival of electronic instruments, in particular, catalyzed something in Roger Roger's Ganaro studio in Jouy-en-Josas. Roger Roger had been creating library music for a long time. He had been mainly working for the English and he, too, was tired of the big bands. Eddie, Roger and Nardini had known each other for years. The first disks were made for fun, and then things became more serious. It was rather amazing to see these musicians, with a classical background, from families of professional musicians, having the curiosity to get into music that can be programmed on a machine, to play with unusual sonorities, to see how far they could push these new instruments. When we left on vacation with a motorhome, my husband bought a portable piano that ran on batteries and sat on a tripod. At the seaside, he set up his electric piano next to his beach towel and composed.

Were they on the lookout for new instruments that appeared?

Yes, constantly. And they invested a lot of money in them. The first rhythm box cost a fortune, they really insisted on getting all the latest stuff. Their studio was chock full of new instruments, there were wires everywhere, it was pretty scary for me (laughs). They worked mostly at night because it was quiet, there were no telephone calls. They were like big kids, they never stopped, they loved experimentation, discovering the sounds they could get from the electronic instruments they were trying to master. Then, they selected some of the songs they recorded and released them on records.

Were your customers, whether television, radio or cinema, actually looking for these avant-garde sounds?

Yes, because it gave the images a new impact, making them more exciting for the audience. Previously, the music had filled the space too much. Now, we found ourselves immersed in the industrial era, where we had to imitate the sound of machines, of the first robots. I think it was in the collective unconscious that we were living in a modern era, the era of space exploration.

Was the explosion of rock and pop music, during the same period, of interest to your husband?

Yes and no. At first, he did not like the Beatles at all. Later, he recognized the musical quality of the songs, their superb melodies. But they also embodied for him the end of orchestras and dance halls and the appearance of dances where DJs played records. It was the end of one era and the beginning of another. Jazz remained his great passion and he continued to participate in jam sessions. He took off in the evenings to play in jazz clubs with his musician friends.

How did their musical adventure come to an end?

The last records appeared in the late 70s. The genre died out gradually because the tracks that came out later were becoming quite similar to previous ones. They could have gone on, but my husband died in 1982.

How do you explain that, in the context of making production music, which is normally nothing more than a commodity, they created something so free?

Because they were not thinking about the money and they were trying things without ever taking themselves seriously. With this attitude, they managed to capture attention abroad. Their records were distributed in England and the United States, and gave rise to imitators. They truly embodied a breakthrough: the transition from traditional instruments to electronic ones. -Born Bad Records

1. Roger Roger / Nino Nardini - Expectation 1:55
2. Cecil Leuter (Roger Roger / Nino Nardini) - Pop Electronique N°1 2:27
3. Roger Roger - Sound Industrial N°2 2:03
4. Eddie Warner - Shut Up 2:26
5. Eddie Warner - Brutus Drums 2:14
6. Georges Teperino (Nino Nardini) - Tickling Shuffle 2:18
7. Eddie Warner - Devil's Anvil 2:05
8. Roger Roger / Nino Nardini - Tomorrow 2:46
9. Georges Teperino (Nino Nardini) - Minor Mind 2:07
10. Eddie Warner - K.O. 2:05
11. Eddie Warner - Pathetic Motion 2:41
12. Roger Roger - Sound Industrial N°15 2:26
13. Eddie Warner - Poppy Chimes 1:52
14. Nino Nardini - Frantique 2:11
15. Roger Roger - Sound Industrial N°5 2:04
16. Roger Roger / Nino Nardini - Beyond The Clouds2:04

Texas

If you like your slide guitar rough and ready, this one's for you!

This CD presents recordings made by John Lomax on two collecting trips he made, the first with his son Alan in 1934, and the second with his wife, Ruby, in 1939. The music was being collected for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress. The music in the CD is spectacular and excitingly varied. In addition to including Blues and religious numbers, there are a number of folk songs that are widespread in both the black and white folk music traditions in the United States.  Rather than paraphrasing material covered in detail in the CD's liner notes, written by David Evans, I'll just recommend that interested parties get the CD and read the liner notes for themselves.

What of the music on the CD?  The program opens with thirteen cuts played and sung by Pete Harris, of Richmond, Texas. Harris, who was approximately 34-years-old when he was recorded in 1934, is the only musician on the CD who was not a prison inmate at the time he was recorded. He is described as a life-long resident of the farm of John Moore, though his role there is not made clear--share-cropper, hired hand? In any event, Harris was really a versatile musician. He opens with 'Square Dance Calls', beautifully played with a thumb lead in Spanish at B flat, in a style somewhat reminiscent of Jim Jackson?s 'Old Blue'. (Harris most often sounded around a minor third higher than the pitch his positions would normally sound in.) He follows with a truncated version of 'He Rambled', played in a one-chord, boom-chang fashion out of Vestapol at F (many of the performances on the CD end with fades--once John Lomax documented a performance to his own satisfaction, he had no compunction about stopping the recording mid-stream). 'The Buffalo Skinners', in a brutally excised version, is played in G standard, sounding at A flat. 'Blind Lemon's Song' turns out to be a superb version of 'See That My Grave Is Kept Clean', played with a slide out of Vestapol at F. 'The Red Cross Store' is played out of G standard at A flat, and has many verses in common with Leadbelly's song of the same title. Harris's version of 'Alabama Bound' is one of the best I've ever heard, played with a smoothly flowing thumb lead in Vestapol, and containing verses singing of Elder Green, a la Charlie Patton. 'Is You Mad At Me?' is another Vestapol slide song sounding in F. 'Thirty Days In Jail' is played in E standard. 'Carrie', played with a slide in Spanish tuning at B flat, shares its melody with Furry Lewis's 'Perlee'. Harris does two different versions of Texas's unofficial slide guitar anthem, 'Jack O'Diamonds', the first of which uses a line used by John Hurt in 'Payday', I'm gonna send you to your mama next payday. 'Jack And Betsy' is, like 'He Rambled', a one-chord number played in Vestapol at F, and 'Standing At The Border', played in Spanish at B flat, utilizes a verse that turned up  later in Mance Lipscomb's 'Rocks and Gravel'. Throughout his performances, Harris sounds tremendous, with very strong time and powerful vocals, as well as a varied approach on the guitar. 

Tricky Sam, known to the state as Homer Roberson, was recorded at the Huntsville Penitentiary in 1934. All of his three numbers, two takes of 'Stavin? Chain' and one of the Blues ballad 'Ella Speed 'are played expertly out of C in standard tuning. Tricky Sam sounds to have been a thorough professional, and his raggy guitar and crooning vocals make it seem like he might have been  a real hit-maker had he had the opportunity to record commercially. His version of 'Ella Speed' is a particular beauty, with lots of verses I have not heard elsewhere, a memorable melody, and a sophisticated raggy progression. 

'Track Horse' Haggerty was evidently the leader of a prison work gang, and for all but one of his four cuts he is accompanied by Jack Johnson, a really smooth musician working, for the most part, in a style derivative of Lonnie Johnson, played out of a C position in standard tuning, capoed up. My favorite cut of Track Horse's is 'I Feel That Old Black Woman Is A Jinx To Me', an archaic number done a capella, in a style that sounds like it came right from the work gang. 'Hattie Green', which Johnson accompanies out of A in standard tuning, utilizes a lyric from Charlie Patton, You can shake it, you can break it, hang it on the wall. Jack Johnson's 'It Was Early One Morning' shows a vocal style reminiscent of Jesse Thomas's. Jesse Lockett's 'Worry Blues' makes less of an impression than most of the material on the CD, but is none the less expertly sung and played.

The remainder of the program is devoted to Smith Casey, who, based on these very few cuts, must be considered one of the all-time greats of Country Blues. He opens with 'I Wouldn?t Mind Dyin? If Dyin? Was All', played with a slide in Vestapol at B flat. (Like Robert Belfour, Smith Casey seems to have centered most of his tuning two whole steps or more lower than where the guitar is normally pitched.) For 'When I Get Home', Casey is joined by singer Roger Gill; the song is an up-tempo hymn accompanied in a snappy boom-chang fashion out of F, sounding at D. 'Gray Horse Blues' is working a vaguely Lemonish territory in C standard sounding at A flat, while still showing lots of original touches not heard elsewhere. 'Shorty George' is just gorgeous, played out E standard, sounding at C.  The rendition seems to have provided the model for Dave Van Ronk?s performance of 'He Was A Friend Of Mine'. The accompaniment to 'Shorty George' is hypnotically intricate, but as great as it is, it is surpassed by Casey's vocal, which just raises the rafters. It is really hair-raisingly beautiful singing. Roger Gill joins Casey again for 'West Texas Blues', played in G standard sounding in E flat.  Once again, the accompaniment is working in a style obviously influenced by Lemon, but completely different and original. Casey was really a remarkable player; time and again he gravitates toward  finely nuanced phrasing while still maintaining a strong pulse.  Next is 'Santa Fe Blues', played in D position sounding at B flat or a little lower. I will not say that it is the best Country Blues performance ever played in D standard, but I have no problem saying it is my favorite in that position. Once again, a great guitar part is just about over-shadowed by an even more stellar vocal.  Casey's version of 'Hesitating Blues' utilizes the melody employed by Charlie Poole for 'If The River Was Whiskey' and that Buddy Boy Hawkins used for 'Voice Throwin? Blues'.  Casey plays it out of G standard, sounding at D, and his version is really spiffy, with a lot of verses I had not heard before. 'Jack O'Diamonds', played with a slide in Vestapol at B, is a good bit like Harris's version. 'Mourning Blues' is the odd tune out here, played in Vestapol at D by the sound of it. Why would Casey not have low-tuned as was his custom? Perhaps it was just a function of how the melody sat. 'Two White Horses Standing In a Line' is another slide version of 'See That My Grave Is Kept Clean', and the program concludes with the instrumental 'East Texas Rag', played with a slide in Vestapol at B. Casey's time is so strong, and swings so hard, it just puts a smile on your face. He sounds like he very well may have done his slide playing out of a lap position, for he often frets as many as four strings with the bar at once, something that is difficult to do with any kind of control holding the guitar in the conventional position.

The CD would be worth getting if it had only the Pete Harris cuts or the Smith Casey cuts, but it has both of their complete recorded works and more. It is a sensationally strong program of Country Blues, a 'must-have' for any serious fan of the music, I think. The sound is not great, they are field recordings after all, but I don't believe they are any worse, or perhaps a bit better than the acoustic recordings of Lemon Jefferson or Papa Charlie Jackson. And as I mentioned, a number of the tracks are cut short. Still and all, this is a powerhouse of a CD. What great music!

All best,
Johnm
1. Pete Harris - Square Dance Calls 2:21
2. Pete Harris - He Rambled 1:51
3. Pete Harris - The Buffalo Skinners 1:38
4. Pete Harris - Blind Lemon's Song 2:52
5. Pete Harris - The Red Cross Store 1:24
6. Pete Harris - Alabama Bound 1:34
7. Pete Harris - Is You Mad At Me? 2:47
8. Pete Harris - Thirty Days In Jail 1:05
9. Pete Harris - Carrie 1:22
10. Pete Harris - Jack O' Diamonds [Take 1] 2:05
11. Pete Harris - Jack O' Diamonds [Take 2] 2:13
12. Pete Harris - Jack And Betsy 1:23
13. Pete Harris - Standing On The Border 0:40
14. Tricky Sam - Stavin' Chain [Matrix #210-A] 2:28
15. Tricky Sam - Stavin' Chain [Matrix #215-A] 3:18
16. Tricky Sam - Ella Speed 4:24
17. Augustus "Track Horse" Haggerty - I Met You, Mama 3:28
18. Augustus "Track Horse" Haggerty - I Feel That Old Black Woman Is A Jinx To Me 1:05
19. Augustus "Track Horse" Haggerty - Police Special 2:52
20. Augustus "Track Horse" Haggerty - Hattie Green 2:05
21. Jack Johnson - It Was Early One Morning 3:29
22. Jesse Lockett - Worry Blues 1:26
23. Smith Casey - I Wouldn't Mind Dyin', If Dyin' Was All 1:25
24. Smith Casey - When I Git Home 1:59
25. Smith Casey - Gray Horse Blues 1:26
26. Smith Casey - Shorty George 3:19
27. Smith Casey - West Texas Blues 1:34
28. Smith Casey - Santa Fe Blues 4:24
29. Smith Casey - Hesitating Blues 4:30
30. Smith Casey - Jack O' Diamonds 1:47
31. Smith Casey - Mourning Blues 2:19
32. Smith Casey - Two White Horses Standing In Line 2:37
33. Smith Casey - East Texas Rag (Country Rag) 2:09

Memphis

Reissue of legendary Designer Label compilation originally issued in 1971.

'First in a series of reissues of the amazing Memphis gospel label Designer from Big Legal Mess. Funky soulful gospel (ie. lotsa guitar mangling) from the Jubilee Hummingbirds/Heavenly Echoes/Union Gospel Singers/Mosby Family Singers. The last few Mississippi Records gospel comps featured Designer artists.'

'Big Legal Mess is proud to announce that they’ve secured the rights to release the entire Designer Records back catalog. Designer Records Presents Together is the first release from this classic soul gospel catalog. Together features tracks by the Jubilee Humming Birds, Union Gospel Singers, Madam Andrews and the Heavenly Echos and the Mosby Family Singers. Produced by Designer Records label head Style Wooten.

DESIGNER The story of gospel music in the 1960s and ’70s is strewn with small record labels. Most produced only a few discs, usually of one or two local artists and selling only a few hundred copies around their home areas. But a few were run on a larger scale. One was Designer, from Memphis, Tennessee, which between 1968 and 1978 produced between 400 and 500 singles and a few albums. Yet less than 30 years after the last issue, Designer has faded into the mist, and little is known of its story. The printed labels tells us it was run from at least two addresses in Park Avenue, Memphis – No 3373, then later No 3109 – by Style Wooten and Charles Bowen. Designer was, in effect, two labels in one. The main one was the “vanity” or “custom” label – available to anyone who could pay the cost of a recording session and having anything between 100 and 1000 45rpm singles pressed. But as well, Wooten and Bowen signed promising artists to contracts, carrying the costs, marketing the discs – and reaping the profits.

In 1992, Rev Johnny Shaw, who with his wife, Opal, sang as the Shaw Singers, recalled how they recorded for Designer under both systems. “Opal saw an ad in the newspaper or some kind of magazine. ‘If you want to make a record…..for $425 you can become a star.’ And she followed up on it. It was Style Wooten and Designer Records, in Memphis. We went to Style Wooten, told him we wanted to cut a record and gave him $425 … He took us in the studio and we cut a single, thinking that the number one song was going to be I Made a Promise. In fact, it was This Old Life that caught on. We cut the record [Designer 6792] and took 500 copies home. They didn’t last long. People in the community bought them, and we would sell them wherever we went to sing… And Brother Theo Wade, of WDIA played it. He started playing the song on WDIA, and we started getting calls from around the Mid-South, places we’d never been to before, like Arkansas, Alabama and Missouri … By this time, we’d made such a name for ourselves that Style wanted to do a contract – no more paying. ‘We want to get you in the studios, and don’t worry about the 425 bucks’.”

Another who recorded as a paying customer was Melvin Mosley, who in 1978 took over from Jethroe Bledsoe as lead singer of the Spirit of Memphis quartet, a position he still holds. But five years earlier, he was a young soloist, looking for a way to boost his reputation. He went to Designer. “I recorded a gospel record in 1973, “The Day I Was Converted.” The flipside was “It is Real.” [Designer 7085] It did pretty good. I had a thousand pressed and I sold a thousand, so I was proud of that. I sold every one of them.” Wooten had several other “custom” labels, including Camaro, Pretty Girl (also the name of one of his music publishing companies, which claimed rights to fairly much anything the stable issued), Allendale, J’Ace and Styleway, which issued country, rock, and some blues and R&B.

Designer appears to have been purely a gospel label. Most of its artists were African American quartets and small groups from Memphis and the Mid-South, although half a dozen choirs appear in the lists and artists from as far away as New Jersey, New York and Illinois had records issued. Some white artists were also recorded; at least two groups – The Gospel Melodies and The Happy Time Singers – had Designer issues. The dual nature of the label means its artists are of widely varying quality, ranging from semi-professional acts such as the Shaws, the Jubilee Hummingbirds, the Memphis Harmonizers and the Gospel Songbirds to family groups whose budgets and ambitions perhaps exceeded their musical abilities.

Designer’s last issue appeared in 1978. The reason for the label’s closure is as obscure as the rest of its life-story, although rumour has it that Wooten and Bowen were pressured out by rival local labels and recording studios which didn’t like the competition. But the Designer legacy survives – a wonderful wide-angle snapshot of grassroots gospel through a fascinating decade of change.' -Alan Young

1. Jubilee Humming Birds - Will The Lord Be With Me 3:14
2. Jubilee Humming Birds - I Love The Lord 2:54
3. Jubilee Humming Birds - Beautiful Thought 2:35
4. Union Gospel Singers - If You Miss Me From Singing 2:11
5. Union Gospel Singers - Jesus On The Line 3:24
6. Union Gospel Singers - New Burying Ground 2:03
7. Madam Andrews And The Heavenly Echoes - Somebody Help Me 2:43
8. Madam Andrews And The Heavenly Echoes - Service For The Lord 2:47
9. Madam Andrews And The Heavenly Echoes - Nobody Could Do It 2:17
10. The Mosby Family Singers - Come We That Love The Lord 3:34
11. The Mosby Family Singers - Eternal Life 2:49
12. The Mosby Family Singers - The Life I Enjoy 2:00

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