Saturday, April 11, 2009

RAIL BAND (Mali Railway Station Grooves)

Mali - Early 70s

Rail Band is one of African pop music's most important bands, a sort of African answer to The Beatles or Rolling Stones. The parallels are not as unlikely as they may at first appear. Both the Beatles and Stones began by copying American prototypes, while in 1960s and 1970s Africa people copied Cuban music. After liberation, several African governments wished to do something to stimulate their own African culture and several of them - for example the Governments of Mali and Guinea - set about constructing state bands. Without coercing musicians to play only traditional music, they gave them instruments and put them on the state payrolls. Several of these bands came to play an important role in the blossoming of African music in the 1960s and 1970s, among other reasons because many artists for the first time had access to modern instruments such as electric guitar, keyboard and saxophone. Rail Band belongs to this tradition but stands in a unique position because of its closeness to the Malian railway. In 1970 the stationmaster in Bamako asked the Griot Tidiana Kone to put together a band that could play in the foyer of the railway hotel and drive the culture forward. In the beginning Rail Band played for hours, a cultural blend of pop songs and more traditional Malian songs with modern settings. Salif Keita came to the group in the early days as a singer and was with them for ages before breaking out and forming Les Ambassadeurs. Mory Kante started his career with Rail Band when he studied the kora in Bamako. One day Salif Keita arrived too late to play, so overtook Mory Kante as vocalist, and both worked for a while as singers. In the five years that Rail Band existed, they developed a special style and mixed calypso and Latin American music, jazz and big band sounds with their own, local traditions.

Download here,

Various Artists - Posições (Brazilian 1970s Bliss!)

VA - Posições
Brazil - 1971

Amazing Brazilian Compilation Ep from the early 70s featuring the best of the Brazilian Avant-Tropicalia Scene. Incredible recordings that seem to have been all recorded in the same studio. Though I may be wrong but it all sounds very consistent for a compilation of this era.

Mind blowing stuff in my books!

01. Tribo - Kyrie
02. Equipe Mercado - Marina Belair
03. Módulo 1000 - Curtíssima
04. Som Imaginário - A Nova Estrela
05. Módulo 1000 - Ferrugem e Foligem
06. Tribo - Peba & Pobó

Highly Recommended!

Download here,

Dadamah - This Is Not A Dream (New Zealand Underound '92)

Dadamah - This Is Not A Dream
Majora Records - LP - 1993

One of my favorite records of the early 90s. I discovered it just for the fact that it was on Majora Records. An amazing Seattle label that release many of the best Sun City Girls releases as well as works by Total, Eddy Detroit, Crawlspace, Ramleh, and Leslie Q.

"Like every group in New Zealand, the members of Dadamah had links to a number of other bands; drummer Peter Stapleton played in The Terminals, Vacuum and The Victor Dimisich Band guitarist Roy Montgomery played in The Pin Group (whose single was the first ever release on the Flying Nun label). Singer Kim Pieters and organ/synth player Janine Stagg were, apparently, the only two people in New Zealand who had never been in a band.

Dadamah only played out three times, devoting the majority of their efforts to recording on four track. At the time the group was active, the underground experimentation of the Xpressway label garnered a number of fans outside the two islands and a Dadamah track ended up on a compilation seven inch Drag City released in 1991 called I Hear The Devil Calling Me.

Jay Hinman noted Dadamah's solitary place in the NZ underground in his Superdope fanzine:

"Dead C. might blare and scrape, the Terminals might twist and wind, but Dadamah positively shimmer with beautifully earthy lo-fi Velvets/Ubu sound. "

Limited edition singles on the Seattle-based Majora label followed, earning Dadamah praise as "one of the most overwhelmingly great exponents of layer-shifting drone-on master-rock" in the Forced Exposure catalog. Roy Montgomery's droning guitars were offset by Janine Stagg's stabbing organ and gurgling moog synths, with Kim Pieter's vocals weaving through the mix."

Roy Montgomery:
"The Dadamah album I look back upon as an exercise in weaving tunes into cacophony. The other members of the band had the energy and enthusiasm for experimentation and I had the "hooks", to put it crudely. I thought the common ground for us in Dadamah was that terrain occupied by Pere Ubu and the Red Crayola in their debut records, so I think I had that always at the back of my mind in trying write tunes to go with the words and ideas of the other members."

Download here,

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Angus Maclise (NYC 1960s UNDERGROUND NOISE)

Angus Maclise - The Cloud Doctrine
2xCD - Released by Sub Rosa 2004

Poet, nomad, methedrine cardinal, and onetime Velvet Underground drummer Angus MacLise, after years of obscurity (and two decades after his death), has gained wider recognition, over the last couple of years, for his vital contributions to the post-Lamonte Young/VU Minimalist/drone activity in New York during the 60s and 70s. Two previous cds on Quakebasket have focused on MacLise the improvising percussionist, featuring extended tribal/trance/noise improvisations with the likes of Tony Conrad, John Cale, and MacLise's wife Hetty. This double disc set features a few tracks in the same vein, such as the "Trance" series, from 1965. Befitting the Cale/Conrad/MacLise trio's previous work in Lamonte Young's Theater of Eternal Music, these crudely recorded jams smear out into whispy drones that saturate the sound field with a gloriously ecstatic clamor. The biggest revelation, at least to me, is the electronic music MacLise recorded in the mid-60s. The 28-minute "Electronic Mix for 'Expanded Cinema'" is a grainy, but vibrantly detailed abstract journey through a variegated soundscape that ranks up there with the pioneering electronic works of Stockhausen and Xenakis. Both sine tones and concrete sounds clash, layer, crescendo, and flow within a dynamic architecture that recalls Varese's masterpiece "Poem Electronique". The piece has all the exploratory din and analog physicality of the best early electronic music. In addition to the music, there if half an hour of rare recordings of MacLise reading his spacy but uniquely skewed poetry. Hi-fi fetishists beware: most of these recordings are sourced from degraded tapes that have been sitting in a box on the floor of someone's closet since the 70s. But their primitive quality does little to hide the raw spontaneity and creativity of this music. The drone pieces, in particular, are given a pleasingly hazy quality that's fitting for these nearly-forgotten communications from yesterday's fringes.

Pt. 3 Link was bad before but now it is fixed... If the zip didn't work for you before grab the new pt3 zip below

Download here,
Angus Maclise

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Amanaz - Africa (Zambian PSYCH FUZZ, 1975)

Amanaz - “Africa”

Fantastic psychedelic rock album recorded by Amanaz in Zambia in ’75; & in the early '70s Zambian way stylistically very much rooted in late ‘60s psych, with a few African moves thrown in here & there for flavor. Amanaz were a five piece band (two guitars, bass, drums, vox) & all five members wrote & sang, so there is a fair amount of variety in the songs, though they are stylistically coherent, moving from a sort of semi-Africanized “Loaded” Velvets feel to something maybe along the lines of a stripped down Iron Butterfly, maybe even hinting at something like early Funkadelic, but always high level, plenty of fuzz, riffs, post Ginger Baker drumming, & with a ramshackle underground sound & feel – raw, organic, beautiful. This feels like it was hand carved out of an old tree, rather than recorded in a studio. Mostly sung in English, with a couple of tunes in the Bemba language. A fairly close parallel would be the equally brilliant Chrissy Zebby Tembo album “My Ancestors,” also recorded in Zambia & released around the same time. Beautiful Sunday morning comedown feel. Sounds good immediately, but repeated listens reveals rare timeless magic.

Download here,