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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover JOHNSON, GINGER AND HIS AFRICAN MESSENGERS African Party (Cyclone) cd 24.00

album cover JOKERS s/t (Fading Sunshine) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Tehran, Iran isn't the first place you'd think to find a heavy '70s power trio playing loud distorted blooze rawk, but if you were there in 1972 and looked in the right garage, you'd have found these guys rocking out, the Jokers. They recorded this album on a reel-to-reel tape machine, with two mics, in that garage, but it was never released - until now. Lotsa fuzz and wah where the guitars are concerned, and raucous vocals. Influenced by English and American blues rockers like Cream and Mountain and Hendrix and Grand Funk, we'd hazard a guess. And, especially on "Southern Blues", seemingly also inspired by '50s rock n' roll cats like Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent.
Only 4 songs here, but it's still over a half hour long, 'cause the fourth song is really a wailin' three-part suite that would have taken up a whole side of vinyl. All in all, awesomely unrestrained and uncouth, though maybe a bit too bluesy for some. You probably would never guess that these Jokers were from Iran, it's not like they incorporate any Persian music in their sound, but this definitely sounds real raw and underground in its blues-blasting abandon. Packaged in mini-LP style sleeves, numbered limited edition of 1000. (There's also a limited vinyl reissue we can get, from the same label, but it's waaaay more expensive, we can order it for you though if you like...)
MPEG Stream: "Going Away"
MPEG Stream: "Southern Blues"

album cover JOLY, RENE Chimene (Magic) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
One of our favorite reissues and new/old discoveries of last year was the passionate and powerful work of Gerard Manset. We immediately fell hard for his rich and textured songs which showed the more intense side of '60s and early '70s French Pop. So we were immediately intrigued by this collection of songs by Rene Joly when we saw that the orchestration was credited in part to Gerard Manset. But once we listened, it turned out to be Joly's voice that grabbed our attention right away. Full of drama, fire and beauty we couldn't believe that this was the first time his amazing voice had made it into our ears. It made us think of what Antony & The Johnsons might have sounded like if they were from France in 1970, or maybe Bryan Ferry doing Edith Piaf covers.
Even some of our friends who grew up in France had not heard of Joly so we don't feel quite as bad for not hearing him until now. How glad we are that this gem of French orchestral psychedelic pop has finally risen to the surface, brought to us by the same label that brought us the great Pop Made In France compilation highlighted last time. Prog fans will even want to check this out for the great King Crimson cover "La Cour Du Roi Musicien" (The Court Of The Crimson King). Majestic sounds filled with cinematic flair, and bubbling with grandeur and rich color. Joly's commanding voice sweeps us off our feet every time we listen. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Chimene"
MPEG Stream: "La Cour Du Roi Musicien"
MPEG Stream: "L'Amour Fut Doux"

album cover JORGE, SEU Carolina (Mr Bongo) cd 16.98
Full length recording from the man responsible for those gorgeous Portuguese Bowie covers on the Life Aquatic soundtrack!

album cover JORGE, SEU Live At Montreux 2005 (Eagle) cd 14.98
If you were expecting something along the lines of Seu Jorge's wonderful covers of David Bowie tunes that graced the soundtrack to The Life Aquatic, we're afraid you might be sadly disappointed. We sure were. Our giddy excitement to hear some new Seu Jorge was immediately extinguished when we realized that this new live album of his 2005 concert in Montreaux falls completely within the realm of 'adult contemporary'. Sure Jorge's voice is as gorgeous as ever, but whereas his Bowie covers showcased his tastefully light, mood-setting touch, this live cd comes across melodramatic, slick and heavy handed. Yikes.
MPEG Stream: "Mania De Peitao"
MPEG Stream: "Fiori De La Citta"

album cover JORGE, SEU The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions (Hollywood) cd 17.98
For those of you who were left craving more of Seu Jorge's dulcet tones after you exhausted your soundtrack cd to Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic (on which he covers a bunch of David Bowie songs in Portuguese)... here's the complete collection of his acoustic interpretations that he recorded for the movie (note: some of them did already appear on the soundtrack release). Geez, this would've made a great summer album, wouldn't it have?! Ah well, we might just have to bring a little of that season's warmth into the winter months... either that or resort to tucking a copy away 'til next June!
MPEG Stream: "Life On Mars?"
MPEG Stream: "Ziggy Stardust"
MPEG Stream: "Quicksand"

album cover JORGE, SEU AND ALMAZ s/t (Now-Again) cd 16.98
This is the best Seu Jorge record we've heard since we were first turned on to his stripped down bossa interpretations of David Bowie songs for The Life Aquatic Soundtrack. And it's not just because all the songs featured here are covers. Backing him up this time around is a trio of Brazilian rock musicians (Almaz) who originally joined the singer to record one song for a soundtrack and the chemistry was so right that they ended up doing a full record and are currently touring together. We were never too keen on Jorge's previous records of original songs, because they carried too much of a global fusion vibe that held little of the magic of his pared-down reinterpretations. But Almaz hit the musical tone just right, keeping the grooves sleek and prominent with a tight focus on rich atmosphere with psych and dub flourishes and economic arrangements. The covers are mostly of classic and obscure Brazilian songs by Tim Maia, Jorge Ben, Noriel Vilela and Nelson Cavaquinho but Jorge also throws in English-sung covers by Michael Jackson ("Rock With You"), Kraftwerk ("The Model") and Roy Ayers ("Everybody Loves The Sunshine"). The Ayers track works best, adding a layer of sultry coolness with Jorge's rich deep voice, but keeping the rare groove of the original completely in tact. All in all, a direction we're happy to see the Brazilian singer headed towards and hope future releases are just as promising.
MPEG Stream: "Cristina"
MPEG Stream: "Everyone Loves The Sunshine"
MPEG Stream: "The Model"
MPEG Stream: "Tempo De Amor"

album cover JORGE, SEU AND ALMAZ s/t (Now-Again) 2lp 21.00
This is the best Seu Jorge record we've heard since we were first turned on to his stripped down bossa interpretations of David Bowie songs for The Life Aquatic Soundtrack. And it's not just because all the songs featured here are covers. Backing him up this time around is a trio of Brazilian rock musicians (Almaz) who originally joined the singer to record one song for a soundtrack and the chemistry was so right that they ended up doing a full record and are currently touring together. We were never too keen on Jorge's previous records of original songs, because they carried too much of a global fusion vibe that held little of the magic of his pared-down reinterpretations. But Almaz hit the musical tone just right, keeping the grooves sleek and prominent with a tight focus on rich atmosphere with psych and dub flourishes and economic arrangements. The covers are mostly of classic and obscure Brazilian songs by Tim Maia, Jorge Ben, Noriel Vilela and Nelson Cavaquinho but Jorge also throws in English-sung covers by Michael Jackson ("Rock With You"), Kraftwerk ("The Model") and Roy Ayers ("Everybody Loves The Sunshine"). The Ayers track works best, adding a layer of sultry coolness with Jorge's rich deep voice, but keeping the rare groove of the original completely in tact. All in all, a direction we're happy to see the Brazilian singer headed towards and hope future releases are just as promising.
MPEG Stream: "Cristina"
MPEG Stream: "Everyone Loves The Sunshine"
MPEG Stream: "The Model"
MPEG Stream: "Tempo De Amor"

album cover JOYCE Passarinho Urbano (Warner Music Brazil) cd 19.98
Since the late '60s Joyce has been a major force in Brazilian music. She has recorded over twenty solo records and has collaborated with Antonio Carlos Jobim as well as making some amazing music with Nelson Angelo. Passarinho Urbano originally came out in 1977 and finds Joyce at her most breezy and heart melting. Summery songs with sparse yet very seductive instrumentation. She reminds us of the more subtle and casual moments of early Gal Costa. Passarinho Urbano is one of those perfect early morning records... So open the windows, let the fresh air hit you and soak in the refreshing warmth of Passarinho Urbano.
MPEG Stream: "Chora Doutor"
MPEG Stream: "O Trem Atrasou"
MPEG Stream: "A Historia Do Samba"

JOYCE s/t (Universal Japan) cd 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Brazilian singer Joyce's debut album from 1968. It's very lovely, her voice is bell clear but has a husky quality that will please fans of Gal Costa. The pretty, yet pretty standard, bossa nova backup instrumentation is not the reason to buy this cd, her voice is! Pricey Japanese reissue, with original liner notes in Portugese and Japanese.
RealAudio clip: "Nao Muda, Nao"

JOYCE The Essential Joyce 1970-1996 (Mr. Bongo) cd 15.98
In the last edition of the Wire, while listening to records for the Invisible Jukebox, Stereolab mistook Joyce for AQ-favorites Os Mutantes. Like Os Mutantes, this brazillian songstress fuses american psychadelia with traditional Brazillian folk music and ends up sounding like a folkier, more soothing Os Mutantes.

JOYCE The Essential Joyce 1970-1996 (Mr. Bongo) lp 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
In the last edition of the Wire, while listening to records for the Invisible Jukebox, Stereolab mistook Joyce for AQ-favorites Os Mutantes. Like Os Mutantes, this brazillian songstress fuses american psychedelia with traditional Brazillian folk music and ends up sounding like a folkier, more soothing Os Mutantes.

album cover JOYCE WITH NANA VASCONCELOS & MAURICIO MAESTRO Visions Of Dawn (Far Out) cd 16.98
Recorded in Paris in 1976, legendary Brazilian songstress Joyce teamed up with percussionist Nana Vasconcelos (he has worked with everyone from Milton Nascimento to Don Cherry) and multi-instrumentalist/producer Mauricio Maestro to create this truly stunning record of textured psychedelia, laced with the colorful flourishes of samba and Tropicalia, the immediacy of acid folk and a wonderful mystical haze that seems to permeate the entire album.
For some reason, Visions Of Dawn was never actually released, at least until now, which is shocking as this really is one of the best, if not THE BEST Joyce records we have ever heard. You can hear here the sounds that would influence generations of performers, even decades later, like Juana Molina and Samara Lubelski, both of whom would largely base their sound and style on the magical music of Joyce. From start to finish this is an unbelievable album, it starts with more of a samba-pop vibe, but as the record progresses the rich mood and atmosphere of the instrumentation along with the breathtaking vocals begin to swirl in the air, floating through the clouds and refracting the sunlight. This record really belongs in the pantheon of the best discs by folks like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, and Milton Nascimento. Visions of Dawn is truly a lost classic!
NB: we're told by our supplier that this is going out of print, so the copies we've got may be our last, sad to say!
MPEG Stream: "Banana"
MPEG Stream: "Nacional Kid"
MPEG Stream: "Jardim Dos Deuses"

album cover JUAN DE LA CRUZ BAND Up In Arms (Shadoks Music) cd 14.98
Here's that other Juan de la Cruz reissue we promised last list in our review of their "Shake Your Brains" album. "Up In Arms" was the band's debut from 1971. Like "Shake Your Brains" this is psychedelic hard rock, but it's a bit more psych, and less hard, than that album. On "Shake Your Brains" the band was stripped down to a power trio, but here they're augmented with piano, organ, sax, and flute, instrumentation that brings in some jazzier, trippier sounds than the basic garagey heaviness found on "Shake Your Brains". The liner notes tell us that the band was one of the Philippines's biggest, partially thanks to their performance in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Cultural Center of the Philippines! That led to them gigging at that same Cultural Center with the Philippine National Philharmonic! Wow. It's a little hard to imagine that their brand of bluesy, heavy-duty hippie rock really meshed well with a symphony orchestra (doing songs like "Mystery Roach" and "Requiem For A Head"?), but I guess Deep Purple was an inspiration. Anyway, "Up In Arms" has got some fine acid-rock jams, as well as mellower psych-pop moments. Which are nice, if not exactly what we were hoping for. BUT, the bonus tracks that occupy the entire second half of this hour-long disc (tracks 7 through 12) are quite a bit heavier. Recorded "live and in concert", the Juan de la Cruz Band kicks out the jams on a bunch of Tagalog-language cuts including several from the "Shake Your Brains" LP. No info is provided as to where or when this live stuff was recorded, but it all sounds great, and is totally rockin'.
RealAudio clip: "Requiem For A Head"
RealAudio clip: "Sarap Ng Buhay"

album cover JUANECO Y SU COMBO Masters of Chicha Vol. 1 (Barbes Records) cd 11.98
We're so glad Bardes Records unearthed these Peruvian gems, the work of Juaneco Y Su Combo, who were one of the main proponents of the 'Chicha' sound that blossomed throughout South America in the 1970s, a thrilling sound that merged Peruvian traditional music with Brazilian carimbo, Colombian cumbia, Western surf guitar stylings and infectious psychedelic organs.
There's no doubt these sounds had an influence on the newer generation of Peruvian musicians, possibly as well as on the now sounds that we love from the Colombian collective Las Malas Amistades and international scavengers like Senor Coconut. The story behind this group is so fascinating, filled with lots of psychedelic drugs, a father handing over the band he created over to his son, and tragically, a plane crash in 1977 that took the life of five of the members of the band. Luckily these joyous sounds are finally getting their well deserved chance to reach a much wider international audience. Fans of garage rock, surf, Latin rhythms and international pop will find so much to love in these classic Chicha tracks.
MPEG Stream: "Caballito Nocturno"
MPEG Stream: "Ya Se A Muerto Mi Abuelo"
MPEG Stream: "El Hijo De La Runamula"

JULIUS, ORLANDO Super Afro Soul (Vampi Soul) 2cd 33.00

album cover JULIUS, ORLANDO Super Afro Soul (Vampi Soul) 3lp 42.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover JULIUS, ORLANDO & HIS AFRO-SOUNDERS Orlando's Afro Ideas: 1969-72 (Ekosound) cd 16.98
Outside of Nigeria, most Nigerian artists from the golden era of Nigerian High Life live deep within the shadow of Fela Kuti. To be fair to Fela his output alone dwarfs all comers, and he was one of the founding fathers of the modern Nigerian sound. Orlando Julius, while not blessed with as large an oeuvre as Fela is as great an architect of the music. Julius cut his teeth playing in the early high life bands starting back in 1961. By the time Fela Kuti had returned from abroad with his head full of ideas, Orlando Julius had already started his band The Modern Aces and begun revolutionizing the stagnating music scene. It was his band that Fela looked to when he started his precursor to the Africa 70, Koola Lobitos. Now available for the first time outside of Nigeria are 9 tracks of soulful Nigerian high life recorded by Orlando Julius between 1969 and 1972. Includes historical sleeve notes by Miles Cleret.
MPEG Stream: "Home Sweet Home"
MPEG Stream: "Mura Sise"

JULIUS, ORLANDO & MODERN ACES Super Afro Soul (Afrostrut) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Classic mid-sixties Nigerian High Life from one of the best. Orlando Julius not only worked with Hugh Masekela, Lamont Dozier, and the Crusaders but gave James Brown the inspiration for "I Feel Good" (supposedly, may not be true but it's believable). This album has never before been released outside of Africa. A foot stomping great collection of funky high life.

album cover JULIUS, ORLANDO & MODERN ACES Super Afro Soul (Afrostrut) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Classic mid-sixties Nigerian High Life from one of the best. Orlando Julius not only worked with Hugh Masekela, Lamont Dozier, and the Crusaders but gave James Brown the inspiration for "I Feel Good" (supposedly, may not be true but it's believable). This album has never before been released outside of Africa. A foot stomping great collection of funky high life.

album cover JUPITER SUNSET Back In The Sun (Magic Records) cd 15.98

album cover KACIREK, SVEN The Kenya Sessions (Pingipung) cd 16.98
It's always a challenge to meld electronic and organic sounds. When done correctly, it can be sublime, an otherworldly fusion of seemingly diametrically opposed musics, an impossible hybrid that on rare occasions can most definitely transcend its constituent parts. When done incorrectly, it can sound flat and forced. Or can simply not work at all. Most egregiously, the enduring 'electronica flecked folk' that we do on occasion love, but which in most cases is simply pedestrian strum and croon peppered with glitch and buzz and somehow presented as avant.
But this, this is something else entirely, an unlikely fusion of acoustic percussion, electronic studio production, various bits of programming and processing, and most importantly, recordings of actual Kenyan folk music, vocalists, traditional string instruments, all woven seamlessly into Kacirek's subtle sublime productions. It definitely makes more sense once you realize Kacirek is in fact a virtuoso jazz drummer and percussionist, thus the rhythmic focus of The Kenya Sessions, but that background in drumming hardly prepares us for this, a heady, propulsive, effusive, dark and mysterious bout of electronic folk music. And minus the voices, it's practically impossible to discern the Kenyan field recordings from the studio productions, there are moments of skittery Kompakt-like techno shuffle, but just as often, it Kacirek playing Marimba, or playing on a snare with brushes, and wrapping those sounds around the buzz of some African stringed instrument, or taking the various rhythms and weaving them into a lush, pulsing backdrop for some lovely vocalizing, the results are incredible, and range from the dark, buzzing and brooding opening track, "Arsenal Aluny Village", which almost sounds like a super minimal African Portishead, to the twangy shuffle of "Old Man Small Studio", the electronics dialed way back, but the marimba and tuned percussive melodies adding a distinctly Western pop element to the more traditional sounding vocals, or the murky almost Oval-esque shimmer of "Dear Anastasia", the backdrop smokey and sultry, the melodies dark and minor key, but then the vocals again transform the song into something completely original and very much unlike anything you've ever heard.
Imagine your favorite Sublime Frequencies compilation, or one of the Ethiopiques collections, if they were released on Kompakt, or imagine How To Dress Well composing a chill out soundtrack for late night Kenyan clublife, there aren't any 'beats' proper, instead the rhythms pulse and throb, shimmer and shuffle, skitter and stutter, usually super subtle, as textural as they are rhythmic, tangled up with pianos and marimbas, and then the Kenyan recordings, traditional instruments, twang and buzz, and those vocals, soulful and emotional, sometimes call and response, other times moody and crooned, and the sounds while often electronic, borderline 'techno' sounding even, just as often, veer toward something else entirely, more concerned with evoking a mood, creating a gorgeous ambient space, one that often explodes into something rhythmic and propulsive, but just as often slips into something hushed, and minimal, mysterious and lovely.
The record finishes off with the amazing "Takaye Preaching", which does indeed seem to be some preacher preaching, whose almost song like sermonizing, is accompanied by some perfectly matched up rhythmic flurries, skittery muted grooves and shuffling percussion, the rapidfire vocal delivery somehow softened by Kacireks's instrumental accompaniment, the result sounding like some moody jazzy drift wrapped around a hyper hip hop flow, but again, once the two elements are melded, it's hard to imagine that this was constructed in a studio, and not some sort of unlikely jam session, which is pretty much the magic of the whole record. A fantastically unique sonic document, a sort of avant world electronica, or minimal electro Kenyan soul, or maybe downtempo electro worldmusic, whatever you wanna call it, we're loving it, and odds are you will too.
MPEG Stream: "Arsenal Aluny Village"
MPEG Stream: "Old Man Small Studio"
MPEG Stream: "Dear Anastasia"
MPEG Stream: "Kayamba Tuc Tuc"

album cover KACIREK, SVEN The Palmin Sessions (Pingipung) cd 17.98
We completely flipped for Sven Kacirek's The Kenya Sessions, a record where Kacirek, a producer, drummer and percussionist, traveled to Kenya to record local musicians, in their homes and on the street, and then took those recordings and wove in his own. The result was a fantastic electronic / world music hybrid, so seamlessly executed it was often difficult to tell which was which.
The Palmin Sessions are from a few years earlier, but seems to employ the same method, with Kacirek playing real acoustic instruments, vibraphone, kalimba, drums, glockenspiel, as well as brushes, books, paper, film, doors and other unlikely sound making devices. And like The Kenya Sessions, these tracks are incredible, the fusing of real drums, and programmed electronics, all woven into songs lush and organic, sometimes dreamy and laid back, other times intense and super propulsive.
Opener "Heinrich & Helene" is the perfect example, with its warm, soft focus vibraphone melodies, all wreathed in little streaks of electronics, glitches, bloops and bleeps, all very subtle, total bliss out drift off minimal electronica, but then the drums begin to surface, gradually overtaking the hushed shimmer, the playing getting more and more busy, until they erupt in a fantastic squall of wild drummage, still surrounded by electronic blurs and smears, only to blink out, and revert to the opening hushed drift. Awesome.
And the rest of the record is just as good. Some tracks are a bit jazzy, others are almost house-y, still others sound like Kompakt style pop ambience, there are horns, tinkling chimes, occasional vocals, all the tracks based on rhythms, and Kacirek's playing in particular, while the production transforms all the sounds into washed out, dreamlike, ethereal skitterscapes, and warm, woozy, soft focus drifts of electronic shimmer.
MPEG Stream: "Heinrich & Helene"
MPEG Stream: "St. Charles Avenue"
MPEG Stream: "Glas"

album cover KALEIDOSCOPE s/t (Shadoks) cd 17.98
Record Of The Week honorees Los Dug Dugs aren't the only vintage psych band from south of the border that we dig, of course. Here's another, recently reissued rarity as well. The Mexican Kaleidoscope, not to be confused with the UK Kaleidoscope (a huge AQ favorite) or the USA Kaleidoscope either. Actually this Kaleidoscope was only sorta from Mexico - while record was originally released there, the band had begun in Puerto Rico, and then later moved in on the Mexican scene, via a stopover in the Dominican Republic, where this album was recorded, in 1967. Interestingly, on the back cover of the cd booklet, there's a show poster for 'em (billed as The Kaleidoscopes) that says they're from here in San Francisco, psychedelic central at the time, a promoter's claim made probably just to help sell tickets. But they did sound like they *could* have been from 'Frisco all right.
Swirling organ and guitar fuzz dominate the uptempo numbers, like garagey, groovy opener "Hang Out", and there's plenty of organ and fuzz to be heard on the more melodic, moody likes of "Once Upon A Time There Was A World", a somber eight minute opus that one. Definitely killer psychedelic pop stuff for all you "Nuggets" fans, Kaleidoscope for sure fitting in with such acts as The Electric Prunes, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Question Mark & The Mysterians, The Lollipop Shoppe, and others of the era. They seemed to specialize in the wild and unhinged, there's even a song called "I'm Crazy".
The urgent and intense "Colours", with its stinging fuzz, burbling electronics, sudden horn-honks, and desperate vocals, is especially tripped-out. Crucial lines from the lyrics: "acid colors burn my brain / I'm just insane"! Also something about the singer's delivery on that track reminds us of Mexican-American punks The Plugz (of Repo Man soundtrack fame)... That's probably the number one nugget here, a classic, but all the tracks are pretty good. One song here, with the great title of "I'm Here, He's Gone, She's Cryin'", was written by their Venezuelan pals Ladies WC, the others all originals.
This is a nicely done, totally legit reissue (they even tracked down the original cover artist), with extensive liner notes, vintage photos, and cool full color artwork in the cd booklet. It also includes 3 bonus tracks: 2 bluesy ones from a Kaleidoscope offshoot (which may or many not date from the '60s, we wonder) and a live recording of Kaleidoscope in 1969, doing Donovan's "Season Of The Witch". Shadoks pronounce themselves pleased to put this out, and they should be.
MPEG Stream: "Hang Out"
MPEG Stream: "A Hole In My Life"
MPEG Stream: "Colours"

album cover KALKUN, MARI Vihma Kono (Ounavaiks) cd 14.98
BACK IN STOCK!!!
Mari Kalkun is a contemporary Estonian folk singer, who has taken up the task of resurrecting the early 20th century folk songs from her homeland, with many of her lyrics reworked from works by Estonian poets dating back to the 1920s. Kalkun was the artist who introduced us to the haunting singing quartet Utsiotso, a group that shares a similar influence and inspiration, in those selfsame early Estonian folk music traditions. That said, there's quite a lot we don't know about Estonian folk music; but from what she mentions about her own songwriting, Kalkun follows one particular strain - vaibakloppimine. This is a stripped down style for voice, minimal accompaniment, and a distinctive lack of drums, which presumably are prominent or at least present in other Estonian folk musics. In order to even attempt such a style, one has to have decent pipes; and Kalkun certainly has a beautiful voice, one that would bring to mind the empathic delivery of Chan Marshall. But with her minimalist arrangements for guitar, zither, or piano, the most obvious reference to us is Sibylle Baier. That should certainly register as high praise from aQuarius!
"Hommukuvalge" is a downright beautiful number gliding around the simple vocal and guitar melodies that evokes the carefree daydreaminess of a wander through a sun-flecked forest collecting mushrooms and blueberries (quite the common weekend excursion for Estonians!) Kalkun puts the words of Estonian poet Raimond Kolk to music on "Tuulo Kaen" with a blossoming accordion drone, fragile clusters of piano notes, and her full-throated, harmonious voice taking a rather dramatic turn at the chorus. Elsewhere she adopts lyrics from Tove Jansson's Moomin stories, which were allegorical children's books with fantastical creatures akin to a Scandinavian Dr. Seuss. This song "Koduvana Puhendus" eschews the bittersweetness of the rest of the album, with its Germanic oompa rhythm cast in soft focus and Kalkun's cascading trills that sound a lot like John Jacob Niles. All sung in Estonian, mind you; but Kalkun's ability to emote transcends languages, and she's crafted quite a gem of an album.
MPEG Stream: "Hommukuvalge"
MPEG Stream: "Maalapsekas"
MPEG Stream: "Tuulo Kaen"

KAPLAN BROTHERS Nightbird (Erebus) cd 17.98

album cover KARACA, CEM Kardaslar & Apalar (Guerssen) cd 17.98
Hopefully you already picked up the awesome collection of rare tracks by Turkish psych guitarist Erkin Koray that Sublime Frequencies recently released. If that put you in the mood for more vintage psych pop rock from Turkey, we've also just received this import disc of stuff by one of Koray's contemporaries, the late Cem Karaca, former member of Mogollar. His is a name that's certainly up there in the Anatolian rock pantheon, along with Erkin Koray, Baris Manco and Edip Akbayram.
Originally released in 1972, it compiled songs circa '69-'71, recorded for 45rpm singles by Karaca with his bands Kardaslar ("The Brothers") and Apaslar ("The Apaches"). The general tone of these tracks is towards the romantically, dramatically bombastic and orchestrated, with strings and horns and vocals that are almost operatic. He's like the Turkish Tom Jones at times... but there's some satisfying stabs of fuzz as well, and of course those irresistible Anatolian folk rhythms and melodies. While this disc isn't quite so killer as that Koray one, it's still pretty cool.
Cd booklet includes liner notes, photos, all that good stuff.
MPEG Stream: "Tatly Dillim"
MPEG Stream: "Zeyno"
MPEG Stream: "Kara Yylan"

album cover KARACA, CEM Kardaslar & Apalar (Guerssen) lp 32.00
Now available as a vinyl reissue too.
Hopefully you already picked up the awesome collection of rare tracks by Turkish psych guitarist Erkin Koray that Sublime Frequencies recently released. If that put you in the mood for more vintage psych pop rock from Turkey, we've also just received this import disc of stuff by one of Koray's contemporaries, the late Cem Karaca, former member of Mogollar. His is a name that's certainly up there in the Anatolian rock pantheon, along with Erkin Koray, Baris Manco and Edip Akbayram.
Originally released in 1972, it compiled songs circa '69-'71, recorded for 45rpm singles by Karaca with his bands Kardaslar ("The Brothers") and Apaslar ("The Apaches"). The general tone of these tracks is towards the romantically, dramatically bombastic and orchestrated, with strings and horns and vocals that are almost operatic. He's like the Turkish Tom Jones at times... but there's some satisfying stabs of fuzz as well, and of course those irresistible Anatolian folk rhythms and melodies. While this disc isn't quite so killer as that Koray one, it's still pretty cool.
RealAudio clip: "Tatly Dillim"

album cover KARACA, CEM & KARDASLAR Puskullu Moruk (Destur) 10" 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

KARACA, CEM W/ KARDASLAR s/t (Turkuola) lp 33.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover KARANTAMBA Ndigal (Teranga Beat) cd 21.00
Second release from the Teranga Beat world music reissue label, who are fats positioning them as a new label to watch, the first, Halleli N'dakarou, by Guelewar, we reviewed on the last list and everybody flipped for it, a primo slice of vintage African psychedelic soulfunk, notable in part for the fact that their classic African sound was augmented by very modern Moog synthesizers. Karantamba is actually related to Guelewar, in that it was the last band of Bai Janha, who founded the group Alligators, which would in fact become Guelewar. And like that Guelewar record, it was the cover that first grabbed us, the band performing love, Janha (we assume) in front of the organ, with a synth on top, guitar strapped on, playing the flute! Fuck yeah. The music here, while not featuring the Moog, is definitely very much in keeping with the sound of Guelewar, which makes sense as Janha is credited with inventing this sound, a sort of African psychedelic soul.
And we find ourselves about as obsessed with this record as we were/are with the Guelewar. The sound lush and drivingly rhythmic, laced with some incredible, intricate guitar playing, and AMAZING drumming, there are either multiple drummers, or one insane superhuman drummer - just check out the closing minute of the opening track, spidery guitar melodies draped over wild chaotic drumming, and what is essentially a full on drum solo, one we didn't want to end. So great.
The whole record is fantastic, soulful, fuzzy, groovy, the guitar playing is unique and inventive, beholden to classic African music for sure, but taking all sorts of influence from the West, not to mention some serious sonic invention/innovation beholden to NO ONE. There are horns, and organs, call and response vocals, it's jubilant and energetic, but also a bit dark, and minor key, but for us, it's really the relentless guitar/percussion interplay, that makes this so incredible. All it should take is listening to the first sound sample below, and we're guessing you'll be hooked too...
MPEG Stream: "Sama Yai"
MPEG Stream: "Satay Muso"
MPEG Stream: "Ndigal"

album cover KARANTAMBA Ndigal (Teranga Beat) lp 29.00
Second release from the Teranga Beat world music reissue label, who are fats positioning them as a new label to watch, the first, Halleli N'dakarou, by Guelewar, we reviewed on the last list and everybody flipped for it, a primo slice of vintage African psychedelic soulfunk, notable in part for the fact that their classic African sound was augmented by very modern Moog synthesizers. Karantamba is actually related to Guelewar, in that it was the last band of Bai Janha, who founded the group Alligators, which would in fact become Guelewar. And like that Guelewar record, it was the cover that first grabbed us, the band performing love, Janha (we assume) in front of the organ, with a synth on top, guitar strapped on, playing the flute! Fuck yeah. The music here, while not featuring the Moog, is definitely very much in keeping with the sound of Guelewar, which makes sense as Janha is credited with inventing this sound, a sort of African psychedelic soul.
And we find ourselves about as obsessed with this record as we were/are with the Guelewar. The sound lush and drivingly rhythmic, laced with some incredible, intricate guitar playing, and AMAZING drumming, there are either multiple drummers, or one insane superhuman drummer - just check out the closing minute of the opening track, spidery guitar melodies draped over wild chaotic drumming, and what is essentially a full on drum solo, one we didn't want to end. So great.
The whole record is fantastic, soulful, fuzzy, groovy, the guitar playing is unique and inventive, beholden to classic African music for sure, but taking all sorts of influence from the West, not to mention some serious sonic invention/innovation beholden to NO ONE. There are horns, and organs, call and response vocals, it's jubilant and energetic, but also a bit dark, and minor key, but for us, it's really the relentless guitar/percussion interplay, that makes this so incredible. All it should take is listening to the first sound sample below, and we're guessing you'll be hooked too...
MPEG Stream: "Sama Yai"
MPEG Stream: "Satay Muso"
MPEG Stream: "Ndigal"

album cover KARKI, BHARAT & PARTY International Music (EM Records) cd 17.98
It's on kick ass Japanese reissue label EM. It's a cd reissue of a 1978 Indian private press lp of far out and freaky Indian psychedelic funk. And it RULES! Really what else do you need to know?
One of our favorite EM releases in a while, every time we play this people flip out and need to figure out what the heck it is. And what it is, is a fantastical, dizzying collection of wild percussion, fluttery flutes, reverbed guitar jangle, chaotic drumming, heavy fuzzy bass, sexy grooves, wheezing organs, surf guitar twang, skronky horns, awesomely twisted Moogs, all wound up into totally off the hook seventies Indian party music, lots of influences from the US, from the Middle East, from Latin America, Eastern melodies wind around more traditional rock and pop, Indian folk music gets tweaked and twisted, old fashioned Indian pop gets a Joe Meek style kitchen sink makeover, guitars are distorted, processed, reverbed, melodies are playful and sunshiney one second, murky and mysterious the next, the sounds are festive and funky and so fun, definitely reminiscent of Dengue Fever's Cambodian pop, of some of the Sublime Frequencies collections, but somehow, more freaky and far out and psychedelic. We seriously can't stop listening to this. One of our favorite reissues this year so far...
MPEG Stream: "A Trip To Kathmandu"
MPEG Stream: "International Peace"
MPEG Stream: "Calcutta Calcutta"

album cover KEBNEKAJSE II (Silence) cd 17.98
Swedish psychedelic hippy rock band's second album, from 1973, newly reissued on cd. While their first album was fun, zany hard rock taking off from the style of English and American acts of the day, with this release they matured, and got heavily into traditional Swedish folk music, with fiddles and so forth, sounding not unlike a prog band playing courtly square dance music for the rennaissance faire! But then, they also delve into what might be termed Afro-Swedish jazzrock too. A weird band, but quite lovely. If you liked the Trad, Gras Och Stenar reissue on Silence, you should check these guys out as well. Includes a live bonus track.
RealAudio clip: "Horgalaten"

album cover KECAK GANDA SARI Kecak From Bali (Bridge) cd 15.98
We've had plenty of compilations that featured excerpts of Balinese Kecak performances, but never a recording of the complete Ramayana Monkey Chant, and it's pretty phenomenal! Recorded in 1987 by David Lewiston, who recorded most of the music featured on Nonesuch releases of Indonesian music, this release is not new but it's definitely a classic and totally worth checking out. An old fave indeed, Allan here first heard this 'round about the same time he first got into the Boredoms, and they're somehow linked in his mind, makes sense, 'cause we'd imagine Kecak like this could in fact have been an inspiration for some of the Boredoms' wilder stuff!
Those new to the sights and sounds of "Balinese Monkey Chants" might think that these performances and pieces are long passed on oral traditions and rituals from centuries ago, but in truth they are a modern cultural invention. They were created with the help of a Russian-born German artist named Walter Spies living in Bali between the World Wars, who was a strong advocate for the advancement of Balinese arts in order to appeal to the tourists who visited the island. Spies saw potential in the traditional Balinese trance rituals such as Sanghyang, a spirit communication usually during troubled times. One of the main features of these rituals was the Cak (pronounced chak) chorus, a group of males who chant in highly syncopated and precise rhythms. Spies thought that the Cak chorus would appeal to tourists if it could be made into an entertainment involving a story. So working with a Sanghyang group in the early nineteen thirties, they fashioned a drama from the great Hindu epic, the Ramayana, a story well known to the Balinese people and to many of the foreigners who frequented the island. Using dancers and performers to act out the main parts of dramatic adventures of Prince Rama and his wife Sita, her abduction by the evil Rawana and her rescue with the help of Hanuman and the King of The Monkeys, the role of the Cak Chorus became greatly transformed by not only expanding their variety of sounds by exploring the Balinese language abundant use of onomatopoeia to mimic gamelan rhythms, but also by integrating themselves into the action through choreographed waves of dramatically intense synchronized movements. Sitting in a large group of 5-6 semi-circles, the male chorus use their arms in unison to great effect, sometimes waving up or to the sides or forward while at other moments of the drama, the chorus representing the advancing armies of Rawana, half of the group will stand and lurch forward to display aggression while the other half lies back in surrender (James Cameron borrowed heavily from this for the Na'vi rituals in Avatar). While it is amazing to watch, it's also quite incredible to listen to as the waves of chanting hover between chaos and control in precise furies of sound. You'll hear what we mean about maybe influencing the Boredoms... If you don't have any Kecak in your collection, you don't know what you're missing!
MPEG Stream: "Introduction"
MPEG Stream: "Sita's Abduction"
MPEG Stream: "Interlude"

KELETIGUI ET SES TAMBOURINIS The Syliphone Years (Sterns Africa) 2cd 24.00

album cover KELLY, R. Trapped In The Closet Chapters 13-22 (Jive) dvd 21.00

album cover KELOMPOK KAMPUNGAN Mancari Tuhan (Strawberry Rain) cd 16.98

album cover KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Alkuharka (Fonal) cd 17.98
Although this came out just last year, we've been lacking this in our racks for some time now 'cause the label had sold through 'em all and needed to do a re-press. Well, now, thankfully for the legions of lovers of all this fabulous Finnish free-folk stuff, Fonal has put this gem back into circulation! So queue up if you missed it before. Here's the review we wrote on list #191 when it first came out:
The 18 tracks found here are a riotous festival of Finnish folk-psych. A pagan parade in a forest glade. Abstract, druggy, dark, delightful... We're always entranced by Kemialliset Ystavat's damaged improv folk mystery, and Alkuharka is yet another reason for us to keep saving our pennies in order to afford a trip to Finland (lucky Andee's been there once already). Anyone into anything along the lines of Tower Recordings, Thuja, Trad Gras Och Stenar, Six Organs Of Admittance, the whole Broken Face 'zine scene (to whom Kemialliset mainman Jan Anderzen used to contribute much art) will want/need this. Horns flutes guitars drones bells tapes voices feedback. Weezing buzzing bliss. With contributions from honorary Finns Dylan Nyoukis (Prick Decay) and Campbell Kneale (Birchville Cat Motel), Jan and company are the true underground krautrock heirs, making music so long haired that it's furrier than any Animal Collective. Music from the soundtrack to The Wickermoomin, perhaps?
MPEG Stream: "track 2"
MPEG Stream: "track 4"
MPEG Stream: "track 9"

album cover KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Alkuharka (Beta-Lactam Ring) lp 24.00
One of our favorite slabs of freaky Finnish forest folk, now available on lp!! Pressed on thick vinyl in a deluxe jacket with a printed inner sleeve and all new artwork!
The 18 tracks found here are a riotous festival of Finnish folk-psych. A pagan parade in a forest glade. Abstract, druggy, dark, delightful... We're always entranced by Kemialliset Ystavat's damaged improv folk mystery, and Alkuharka is yet another reason for us to keep saving our pennies in order to afford a trip to Finland (lucky Andee's been there once already). Anyone into anything along the lines of Tower Recordings, Thuja, Trad Gras Och Stenar, Six Organs Of Admittance, the whole Broken Face 'zine scene (to whom Kemialliset mainman Jan Anderzen used to contribute much art) will want/need this. Horns flutes guitars drones bells tapes voices feedback. Wheezing buzzing bliss. With contributions from honorary Finns Dylan Nyoukis (Prick Decay) and Campbell Kneale (Birchville Cat Motel), Jan and company are the true underground krautrock heirs, making music so long haired that it's furrier than any Animal Collective. Music from the soundtrack to The Wickermoomin, perhaps?
MPEG Stream: "track 2"
MPEG Stream: "track 4"
MPEG Stream: "track 9"

album cover KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Kellari Juniversumi (Fonal) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
BACK IN PRINT! This long out of print AQ fave from these foresty free folk weirdos finally comes back into print on cd. Here's how much we love this disc, what we wrote back when it first floored us in 2002:
Hallelujah! More droning, buzzing, flickering folk-psych from Finland's mysterious Kemialliset Ystavat collective. Sure, we know who's in the band -- Broken Face 'zine artist/contributor Jan Anderzen, Fonal label head Sami Sanpakkila (Es, Kiila), and a host of other Finns -- but they still SOUND mysterious. The damaged four-track folk sound of NYC's Tower Recordings filtered through the forest ambience of AQ-fave improv-psych outfit Thuja might, MIGHT be an approximation of Kemialliset's sonic space. They inhabit that territory previously explored by the likes of Amon Duul, Ghost, Kalacakra, Toho Sara, Parson Sound, International Harvester, Amps For Christ, Six Organs Of Admittance, Algarnas Tradgard, etc. If any of these names bring a warm sensation to your frontal lobes, then you're likely already a Kemialliset fan even if you haven't yet heard 'em. Each track (there's 17 of 'em, spread over 47 minutes) is a psychedelic miniature constructed of drifting, chanting vocals, gentle melodies, and primitive rhythms, contrasting distorted electric guitar wash with pretty, chiming percussion, strings and woodwinds. Freaky and far-out yet mostly mellow and warm and cosy. Fucking lovely. Ah, Finland.
This repress comes with a new, colorfully illustrated 24 page booklet that you didn't get if you bought it before. Nice for the newcomers, a bit of a drag for those of us who already have the cd. But booklets are one thing, the music is another. If you've got this music, that alone should make you happy. And then there's this option: buy one for a friend, but keep the new booklet for yourself. A win-win scenario there.
MPEG Stream: "Kellari Juniversumi"
MPEG Stream: "Uruaurat"
MPEG Stream: "Kuuma Tomu"

album cover KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Kellari Juniversumi (Beta-Lactam Ring) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This long out of print AQ fave from these foresty free folk weirdos gets an ultra deluxe vinyl reissue thanks to Beta-Lactam Ring. Really gorgeous packaging and nice thick vinyl. Here's how much we love this record, from back when it was a cd:
Hallelujah! More droning, buzzing, flickering folk-psych from Finland's mysterious Kemialliset Ystavat collective. Sure, we know who's in the band -- Broken Face 'zine artist/contributor Jan Anderzen, Fonal label head Sami Sanpakkila (Es, Kiila), and a host of other Finns -- but they still SOUND mysterious. The damaged four-track folk sound of NYC's Tower Recordings filtered through the forest ambience of AQ-fave improv-psych outfit Thuja might, MIGHT be an approximation of Kemialliset's sonic space. They inhabit that territory previously explored by the likes of Amon Duul, Ghost, Kalacakra, Toho Sara, Parson Sound, International Harvester, Amps For Christ, Six Organs Of Admittance, Algarnas Tradgard, etc. If any of these names bring a warm sensation to your frontal lobes, then you're likely already a Kemialliset fan even if you haven't yet heard 'em. Each track (there's 17 of 'em, spread over 47 minutes) is a psychedelic miniature constructed of drifting, chanting vocals, gentle melodies, and primitive rhythms, contrasting distorted electric guitar wash with pretty, chiming percussion, strings and woodwinds. Freaky and far-out yet mostly mellow and warm and cosy. Fucking lovely. Ah, Finland.
MPEG Stream: "Kellari Juniversumi"
MPEG Stream: "Uruaurat"
MPEG Stream: "Kuuma Tomu"

album cover KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Suurempi Pieni Palatsi (Alice In Wonder) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The hard to pronounce Kemialliset Ystavat play a mysterious, fucked up brand of psychedelic improv folk music -- fractured, fairytale sounds from the woods of Finland. Well, more likely a bedroom studio in Finland. But Kemialliset Ystavat seem like they belong in a forest, an old dark magical forest. This is their first full length cd, after several obscure and odd releases over the past few years (homemade cassettes, a one-sided LP for Fusetron, a 3" cd-r on Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers, a split 7" on Bad Vugum, etc.). Indeed, this disc actually consists of material originally released on a limited 7" last year, plus lots of bonus stuff.
It's primarily the work of one main band member, Jan Anderzen. He's helped by, among others, our friend Sami Sanpakkila (of Es, Kiila, Velvolino and Fonal Records). Maybe the closest comparison we could make would be to NYC's Tower Recordings. But Kemialliset Ystavat's damaged psych meanderings somehow capture an even more "authentic, exotic" mood of post-krautrock wonderment than that conjured by the New Yorkers, although we love them so.
After getting all those great sixties International Harvester, Trad Gras Och Stenar etc. reissues in, it's nice to know that their spirit of psychedelic exploration is still alive and well in Scandinavia, thirty years on!
RealAudio clip: "Hurja Taivas"
RealAudio clip: "Kuin Kaste Aamun"
RealAudio clip: "Nykyajan Tanssi"
RealAudio clip: "Katkennut Rauhanpiippu "

album cover KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Untitled (Fonal) cd 17.98
Finland's Kemialliset Ystavat (and Avarus, and Anaksimandros, and Uton, and Lau Nau, and Doktor Kettu, etc.) are often referred to as "forest-folk", implying some sort of quiet, gentle rustling mystery amidst the trees, and sometimes that's quite the case. But the first few tracks here, on Kemialliset's latest, would certainly scare off any friendly small animals -and- wake up the sleeping forest trolls. It's woozy woodsy cacophony unleashed. This be outsider "folk" at its most abstract and noisy and "free". But, by track four or five things have calmed down a bit, the sounds have gotten more organized. Some charismatic, long-haired, bearded guru has obviously taken charge of the previously wild music-makers, their pagan energy now channelled down paths previously trod unshod by the likes of Parson Sound and Amon Duul... more mellow and musical, still druggy and damaged. Track six, "Superhimmeli", comes off like something by cult '60s ESP tribe Cromagnon!! (Perhaps due to having the same keening horn cry as heard in Cromagnon's "Caledonia".) There's a hippy chant drone density to a lot of this that's VERY satisfying. It's like an ancient celebration underway, wooden space rock rituals, accompanied by electronic squiggles or birds atwitter, burbling and gurgling sounds in the margins... sunshiney yet strange, very strange. Fonal thinks this is one of their best yet and we wouldn't argue.
NB. There IS vinyl of this, but unfortunately the copies we got were damaged -- we're expecting replacements from Finland soon, though.
MPEG Stream: "Tulinen Kiihdytys"
MPEG Stream: "Superhimmeli"
MPEG Stream: "Himmeli Kutsuu Minua"

album cover KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Varisevien Tanssi / Silmujen Marssi (Kevyt Nostalgia) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Awesome vinyl reissue of these two long out of print 3" cd-r's from one of our favorite Finnish outfits Kemialliset Ystavat, one originally released on UK noise-experimental label Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers, the other released by Finnish underground folk label Lal Lal Lal and originally packaged in a velvet sleeve designed to be used as a petting glove! Everything we love about KY is present here, gorgeously primitive / innocent / timeless Ur-folk, simple strummed guitars, outdoorsy lo fi recording, chant-like vocals, simple clattery percussion, dreamy hazy ritualistic soundscapes, delicate melancholy melodies, deliberate rhythmic stumble, subtle tape malfunction and home recorded production fuckery, loping late afternoon, staring at the sun rhythms, and occasional swirling swooping electronics. Fans of Kemialliset and all things Finnish (you know who you are) definitely need to pick this up. And all you folks who have been digging the Jewelled Antler stuff (Blithe Suns, Thuja, Ivytree, Child Readers, etc.) will find a whole new world of sonic forests and audio landscapes to explore and get lost in.

album cover KENGE KENGE Introducing Kenge Kenge (World Music Network) cd 12.98
We've been hearing lots about the great benga music coming out of Kenya but haven't been able to get our hands on too much of it. Luckily, the group Kenge Kenge, because of their higher profile and the wider availability of the recordings, are serving as a pretty great introduction to this sound. It's a magical combination of instruments that creates this exhilarating, totally compelling and joyous sound. Unlike a lot of other African bands who have been gaining wide notoriety of late, there are no guitars here. Instead, kenge Kenge utilize a combination of flutes, horns, fiddles, percussion, sound box, gong and vocals. Totally upbeat with steady rhythms and a lush, organic delivery and such a wildly joyful and positive disposition. It's refreshing too, that while it's cleanly recorded it doesn't sound slick or overproduced at all. In fact in lots of ways it kind of reminds us of a more rootsy, less blown out and amplified version of AQ faves Konono No.1. Really good stuff!
MPEG Stream: "Kenge Kenge"
MPEG Stream: "Owang' Winyo"

album cover KERKAR, KESARBAI s/t (Mississippi / Change / Canary) lp 15.98
One of three neat new Mississippi titles in this week, and by far our favorite (and thus a Record Of The Week!) is this collection of archival recordings from famed female Hindustani classical singer, Kesarbai Kerkar. For fans of the Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and Pandit Pran Nath lps released previously on the label, this is an essential addition. What makes this release extra special is the lovingly designed booklet (with a beautiful tantric painting on the cover and English transcriptions of all the included ragas) that chronicles Kerkar's rise from her lower caste position as a courtesan to one of the most revered women in Indian classical music.
The lp consists of seven ragas, mostly morning ragas (but also an evening, late evening and monsoon raga), accompanied by saranji or harmonium that she recorded for the British label HMV on 78's between 1944 and 1949, Kerkar's unique style and vocal range is incredible to listen to, but is made more profound by the unfathomable struggles she had to endure throughout her life. Ridiculed at her very first public singing performance while employed as a kept women at the age of 26, she angrily vowed revenge by seeking to become one of the best singers India had ever witnessed. Her dedication to this task would not only involve some clever trickery, and ultimately separate her from her lover and patron and their only daughter, but also meant that she would have to enter into slavish servitude with her guru Ustad Alladiya Khan, and pay him for ten years of rigorous vocal training. But this ultimately paid off, for her master, who like many esteemed singers of his generation did not consider recording a necessary component of artistry, and had a devotional emphasis on obscure ragas, which gave Kerkar an unrivaled repertoire when it became her time to finally record while she was in her forties and fifties. Having toured the country extensively, the recordings only increased her fame and renown in India and beyond. Here we hear a voice that is unlike others we have heard before in its intricate extended modulations, sounding completely otherworldly and ritualistic, solemn and ceremonial, but with a devoutly serious temperament that singers like Maria Callas and Diamanda Galas could surely appreciate. So beautiful!

album cover KHAN, ALI AKBAR / SWAPAN CHAUDHURI / ALAM KHAN From Father To Son (Alam Madina) cd 13.98
Like that old saying, I may not know Indian music, but I know what I like. And to a certain extent that's true. I don't know much of the history of Indian music, but this record is dreamy, hypnotic, and quite lovely. Ali Akbar Khan runs a world famous Music college in San Rafael (outside of San Francisco) and has since 1967. Students come from all over the world to study. This record documents one of Khan's first performances with his son Alam, both playing the Sarode (sort of like a short sitar but not exactly) and accompanied by Swapan Chaudhuri (on tabla), also an instructor at the Ali Akbar Khan College Of Music. Part of why this recording is so beautiful and intense, and a lot of Indian classical music for that matter, is that it is composed on the spot, and it's quite gruelling for a student to be accompanying his teacher (or father) in front of a huge audience. The music here is shimmery and drone-y, weaving a warm web of vibrating strings. A meditative buzz that soothes and relaxes. This record is totally mesmerising. Recommended!
RealAudio clip: "Ragini Puriya Dhanasri"

KHAN, AMJAD ALI Sarod (Ocora Radio France) cd 16.98

MPEG Stream: "Alap"

KHAN, BADAR ALI Lost In Qawwali III (Birdman) cd 13.98
"Flowing with infectious rhythm, hypnotic percussion, mesmerizing repetition and spine-tingling vocal improvisation, Qawwali music has thrilled listeners since the 10th Century. One family -- the Khans of Pakistan --has dominated this vibrant musical form with an unbroken line of truly great male vocalists. As Qawwali music rides an unprecedented wave of worldwide popularity, the star vocalist of the next generation, the voice that will carry Qawwali music to a whole new level, has emerged to claim the musical baton of his storied family. At 33, Badar Ali Khan has already released 22 albums in his native Pakistan. Most recently, working with producer/arranger/composer Suresh 'Baba' Varma, Badar has leaped to the forefront of his art, becoming a Qawwali superstar with Baba Records' multimillion-selling album, Good Karma 1. Blending the traditional with the contemporary, the ethereal with erotic, Badar Ali Khan has succeeded in transforming this ancient artform into something totally modern, incredibly potent and powerfully intoxicating for today's young audiences."

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