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No To Co - No to co

August 31st, 2012

No To Co - No To CoNO TO CO

  • No to co
  • Мелодия
  • 1973
  • USSR

No To Co (in English something like ’so what’) was a folk, skiffle and psych rock combining band from Poland that had a certain funky twist in their music. The band was formed in the late 1960s by Piotr Janczerski, the former lead vocalist of the group Niebiesko-Czarni. Their first public appearance was in a television program called Po szóstej (’after six’), although they didn’t even have a name yet. They soon decided to call themselves Grupa Skifflowa No To Co (skifflowa mean skiffle music), or shortly just No To Co. They started as a band that combined traditional Polish folklore to a skiffle music but after the guitarist Jerzy Grunwald left the band in 1971 and lead singer Piotr Janczerski in the following year they started to move more and more psychedelic hard rock and at the same time lose they popularity. Skiffle is a type of music that started to popularize in New Orleans in the 1940s and 1950s. It’s music played with homemade or improvised instruments - such as combs, washing boards and pots as well as banjos, harmonicas and kazoos - and it has influences from jazz, blues, folk and roots.

The album No to co was released in USSR on national label Melodiya in 1973. I’m not sure when it was released in Poland and what name it had there since all the titles here are in Russian. The first track “Червона рута” (Chervona ruta) is a nice vocal psych track with nice drums and a groovy organ solo in the end. “По ту сторону озера” (Po tu storonu Ozera) instead is a downtempo, more simple track, but still has very funky drums and nice organ work. It’s followed by “Играй, что умеешь” (Igraĭ, chto umyeesh), a midtempo seven minute instrumental psych funk monster that starts with a short break and has several different breaks all over the songs. It reminds me strongly of certain Santana tracks from way back. Then comes the funky vocal psych number “Зеленый мосточек” (Zelenyĭ mostochek) followed by another vocal track, flute driven “Зеленая лужайка” (Zelenaya luzhaĭka). Then after the short polka track comes another two pretty decent tracks. The midtempo “Дими” (Dimi) and the uptempo beat track “Год тебе не пишу” (God tebe ne pisu)” with it’s nice organ work followed by the last track, the heavy vocal number “В боскресенье” (V voskresene).

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y2X0jf9pk
Chervona ruta


Po tu storonu Ozera


Igraĭ, chto umyeesh


Zelenyĭ mostochek


Zelenaya luzhaĭka


God tebe ne pisu


V voskresene

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, rock | No Comments »

Zunō Keisatsu - Kamen geki no hīrō o kokuso shiro

April 28th, 2012

Zuno Keisatsu - Kamen Geki No Hiro O Kokuso ShiroZUNŌ KEISATSU

  • Kamen geki no hīrō o kokuso shiro
  • Victor
  • 1973
  • Japan

Last one on my “Japan week” is an album by Zunō Keisatsu (頭脳警察, in English Brain Police), a quite well known Japanese psychedelic rock band whose radical, politically provocative lyrics caused their music being banned from the radio and caused troubles on their gigs too. Zunō Keisatsu was formed in 1970 by the Japanese psych rockers Panta (Haruo Nakamura) and Toshiaki Ishizuka. The idea for their name came from (Frank Zappa’s) Mothers of Invention song “Who are the brain police” (from Freak Out! album released in 1966). Despite their relatively short career, they released six albums and several singles before being disbanded in 1975. Their fifth album was this one, 仮面劇のヒーローを告訴しろ (Kamen geki no hīrō o kokuso shiro), released in 1973.

Mostly the album is pretty strict midtempo psych rock like “ウイスキー・ハイウエイ (Uisukī haiuei)” (meaning whiskey highway), “恋のいらだち (Koi no idarachi)”, very heavy title track “仮面劇のヒーローを告訴しろ (Kamen geki no hīrō o kokuso shiro)”, “奴は帰らない (Yatsu wa kaeranai)” and “麗しのジェット・ダンサー (Uruwashi no jetto dansā )”. There’s also uptempo tracks like “イエス・マン (Iesu man), “プリマドンナ (Purimadonna)”, “間違いだらけの歌 (Machigaidarakeno uta)” and “まるでランボー (Marude ranbō)”. It’s hard to say what they’re singing about in the latter one, but at least I recognize they mention Voltaire, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Sebastian Bach, Marie Curie and Jeanne D’arc. Nice and catchy track I have to say. The standout track however - and propably the reason why non psych rock loving people want this album - is a midtempo funky rock song called “ハイエナ (Haiena)”. It starts with a nice break and has some rough but catchy lyrics. There also appears to be two acoustic guitar driven tracks included, “ホ短調の間奏曲 (Ho tanchō no kansō kyoku)” and “愛なき日々 (Ai naki hibi)”. I’m actually not a very big fan of psych rock, or rock in general, so basically this album was bought for the break only. It just appeared to be a pretty good album after several spins.


Uisukī haiuei


Marude ranbō


Haiena


Koi no iradachi


Ho tanchō no kansō kyoku


Kamen geki no hīrō o kokuso shiro


Iesu man


Yatsu wa kaeranai


Uruwashi no jetto dansā


Ai naki hibi


Purimadonna


Machigaidarake no uta

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under asia, rock | No Comments »

Kirka - Kirka

January 16th, 2012

Kirka - KirkaKIRKA

  • Kirka
  • Scandia
  • 1969
  • Finland

Right after his first full length, a “live” album called Kirka keikalla, was released this second album of Kiril “Kirka” Babitzin simply called Kirka. It was an album of studio recordings but it wasn’t actually an studio album. It was a compilation of his earlier recordings that were originally released as 45s between 1967 and 1969. So if you’re not a format purist and accept only these quite scarce 45s, this is your choice to get the good ones. The sound quality of this album is pretty ok compared to some other Scandia releases from the same period.

The albums starts with the breakthrough song of Kirka career, “Hetki lyö”, originally released in 1967. It’s a cover of “Beat the clock”, written by Richard Gottehrer and Jonathan Stroll and released by the US pop rock group The McCoys in 1967. It’s more rock and at the same time more funk than the original and somehow always gets people moving whenever it’s playing. Next one is a funky country track “Okolona river bottom band”, a cover of Bobbie Gentry’s original from 1968. “Kellon soiton kuulla saan” (literally “I can hear the bell toll”) is a cover of “No help from me”, the b-side track from the biggest selling hit “Green tambourine” of the US psychedelic pop rock band The Lemon Pipers, written by their headman, Ivan Browne. Originally it was released in 1967, Kirka recorded this almost the same sounding version a year later. Next to mention is “Pitkän tien pää” (literally “End of the long road”). A pretty good cover of the 1969 original “Spinning wheel” by Blood, Sweat & Tears. it has hard drums, nice horns and all, but sadly no break. There’s however two tracks over the others on this one. “Yksinäisyys kolkuttaa” (literally “loneliness is knocking”), a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “Happy” from 1969, written by Lee Hazlewood. It’s a funky uptempo groover and in my opinion, it’s even better than the original. The wailing organ solo of Esko Linnavalli in the middle of the song is really amazing and reminds me of the Alan Hawkshaw stuff. In this album is also included four songs from the Jörn Donner movie 69, “Alku kaiken kauniin”, “Igor”, “Mr. wonderful” and “Voin haaveesi täyttää”.

In an interview Kirka tells that Jörn Donner was making a movie at that time and needed the music for it. So he rushed into the Scandia office and told that he needed a singer, a good one, and he knew Scandia had one. So Donner picked up Kirka to sing the soundtrack songs that were first released on a four track 45 ep and later on Kirka’s self titled debut studio album. Kirka also tells that Donner already had in mind some songs made by Claes af Geijerstam that were already recorded in Sweden and he wanted Kirka to sing them in Finnish.
- shapeoffinnstocome.blogspot.com

So Kirka did sing his raw vocals to these four tracks and the rest is history. Included in these four songs is the toughest track on the album, an uptempo funk track called “Igor”. It starts with an open break and soon the bass joins in. In the middle there’s a solo that sounds much like sitar and therefore “Igor” has been labeled widely as a psychedelic sitar funk track. But it’s actually not a sitar, it’a a regular guitar with really loose strings and they just made it sound like a sitar. Innovative huh? Jörn Donner also made an international release of his movie and he wanted an international version of the soundtrack too. So he took the same four soundtrack songs sung this time in English by the Swedish rock singer Tommy Körberg. And there was included of course “Igor the dog”. But that’s another story and I’ll tell you about it later. Nowadays Kirka album is quite hard to find and not that cheap. But it’s still an original and beats easily those youtube ripped mp3’s people seem to be playing in bboy jams these days.


Hetki lyö


Okolona river bottom band


Kellon soiton kuulla saan


Pitkän tien pää


Yksinäisyys kolkuttaa


Igor

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, funk, pop, rock, soul | No Comments »

ABC Ansambl Angela Vlatkovića - ABC Ansambl Angela Vlatkovića

March 15th, 2011

ABC Ansambl Angela VlatkovicaABC ANSAMBL ANGELA VLATKOVIĆA

  • ABC Ansambl Angela Vlatkovića
  • Мелодия
  • 1975
  • Yugoslavia

Yugoslavian composer, arranger and band leader Angelo Vlatković did a lot of writing and arrangements during his active years in Yugoslavian music scene. He also had a group of his own called ABC. It was called Kvintet A-B-C first, but then the name evolved and several different forms appear depending on the country of release. In this self-titled album from 1975 the band was called Ansambl Angela Vlatkovića and Vokāli-instrumentāls ansamblis Angelo Vlatkovića, the latter being the Latvian form of writing. Why Latvian? The Russian national record company Мелодия (Melodija) had at least seven different manufacturing plants all over the huge country and all of those released different cover and label designs and used different languages. This one was pressed in Latvian factory, so the song titles and credits are written in Russian and in Latvian. There’s also different cover versions of this album pressed in other factories.

Musically this album follows quite well the trend that was prevailing that time. It’s full of cover songs from both Eastern bloc and the west. Only one song is an own composition by Vlatković, the really mellow and jazzy, flute driven instrumental groover “Za Tebe”. Among the western covers are Abba’s “Waterloo”, Demis Roussos‘ “Goodbye my love” and Gianni Nazzaro’s “Quanto è bella lei”. These are all quite dull nevertheless. There’s good ones included too of course. The cover of The Sweet’s “Poppa Joe” starts with a break and continues as a song very similar to the original. Uptempo cover of Junior Campbell’s “Hallelujah freedom” is a good one too with a break at the start and nice uptempo beats all over with some occasional organ work. Then there’s cover of Doobie Brothers‘ classic “Long train running”, a very interesting rockish breakbeat one, but not that banging as I hoped. On top of the cake there’s two local songs that are really funky and banging. Uptempo instrumental funk track “Snovi” (Dream) and an uptempo vocal number “Ima Vremena” (There are times) with a break in the middle and all. Although it’s hard to say if these are covers or own compositions as there’s no band members mentioned on the cover they’re still pretty darn tight. Nice record from the former Yugoslavia.


Poppa Joe


Hallelujah freedom


Long train running


Snovi


Ima Vremena

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, funk, rock | No Comments »

Kirka - Kirka keikalla

February 21st, 2011

Kirka - Kirka KeikallaKIRKA

  • Kirka keikalla
  • Scandia
  • 1969
  • Finland

Born to a Russian emigrant family in 1950, Kirill “Kirka” Babitzin was one of the most popular singers in Finland. He started his career with his first band The Creatures as early as 1962 when he was only twelve years old. Kirka got his big break in 1967 when he joined Ilkka “Danny” Lipsanen’s band The Islanders, and the very same year his first solo hit single “Hetki lyö” was released. In 1969 was released this live album Kirka keikalla and later in the same year his self titled album, a compilation of his singles. Kirka keikalla was a so called studio live album. It was recorded in Scandia’s recording studio in February 1969 with backing band The Islanders and members of Kirka fan club as an audience. It was also the first live album released in Finland. Kirka’s passing in 2007 was a really sad moment and with him died a big piece of Finnish soul and rock history.

The songs on this one are mostly cover songs. The only exception a medley of Kirka’s hits “Hetki lyö”, Leijat”, “Ehkä suukon antaa saan” and “Viimeiseen mieheen”. First song on the album is a cover of The Temptations‘ hit “Get ready”. Rare earth also did a 21 minute bboy friendly version of the same song, but Kirka’s version follows quite strictly the original. There’s two James Brown covers too, downtempo soul tracks “I’ll go crazy” and “It’s a man’s man’s man’s world”. “I can’t stop loving you” and “What’d I say” from Ray Charles’s repertoire are also included. In my opinion the best song is “Hold On, I’m Coming” originally released by Sam and Dave. The only weird thing is, that it’s dedicated to Tom Jones in the introduction speech. This is a nice live album, too bad they didn’t got very good sound quality for a reason or another even though it was recorded in a studio. The album was later in the 1980s released with the name Live 68, even though it’s recorded in 1969.


Get ready


I’ll go crazy


It’s a man’s man’s man’s world


Hold on, I’m coming


Hetki lyö / Leijat / Ehkä suukon antaa saan / Viimeiseen mieheen

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, rock, soul | No Comments »

T.N.T.H. - Let’s go children of the country

January 11th, 2011

T.N.T.H. - Let's go children of the countryT.N.T.H.

  • Let’s go children of the country
  • Barclay
  • 1971
  • France

Very little is known of this French band called T.N.T.H. except that they did one album in 1971 and few 45’s and that they played really funky latin influenced rock music. The band consisted of Michel Carre (bass), Michel Gouty (drums), Pierre Nacabal (guitar), Didier Gervais (organ), Gerald Russo (percussion) and a horn section formed by Gilbert di Niro, Remi Gauthier and Bernard Buisson. Gouty, Nacabal and di Niro later formed a disco band called Final Offspring and then a rock band called Peter Brain & Brain Trick but of the other guys I know nothing.

This was one of the first records I ever bought from the eBay. I got it for bargain price because it was located in Israel and I think not that many people wanted to risk their money on a record in a country that was very unstable back then.

The best song is the well-known latin funk influenced dancefloor track “Hippopotamus” with really tight breakbeat drums and catchy horn stabs. That’s not all on this one of course. The drummer seems to be on fire almost throughout the whole album and there are no fillers at all. “Everybody listen to my song” is an uptempo funkrock song with a tight percussion/bass breakdown. “Sabbath” is a tight uptempo latin funk track with a slightly disturbing female vocals. “Every day” and “In memory” are both really enjoyable groovy midtempo funkrock tracks aswell as “The beach”. The mellow “Trying to be free” was even sampled by Gnarls Barkley on his The odd couple album. The last track called “T.N.T.H.” is seemingly the theme song of the band. It’s an uptempo latin funk track in a Sapo and Malo manner that is almost as good as “Hippopotamus”. Or even better, I can’t choose. In general Let’s go children of the country is a really tight latin funkrock album. Nuff said.


Every day


In memory


Everybody listen to my song


T.N.T.H.


Hippopotamus (parts I & II)

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, funkrock, latin funk | No Comments »

The Jimmy Castor bunch - Phase two

January 9th, 2011

Jimmy Castor bunch - Phase twoTHE JIMMY CASTOR BUNCH

  • Phase two
  • RCA
  • 1972
  • USA

In the same year, shortly after the release of their greatest success, It’s just begun, The Jimmy Castor bunch released another album called Phase two. It uses the very same formula as in It’s just begun - funk with social awareness, pop hooks, gonzo comedy, fuzz guitar and latin rock elements. Despite the occasional feeling of some uninspired moments - like in “Luther the anthropoid (ape man)” that sounds a lot more like a remake of “Troglodyte (cave man)” than a sequel - Phase two is still somewhat a great album. In the book “Stairway to hell” (Da Capo Press Inc 1998) Phase two was even voted as the #10 heavy metal album of all times.

Castor’s Leroy-saga continues with the fuzzed latin funk/rock song “Say Leroy (The creature from the black lagoon is your father)” that was a pop chart hit. There’s two massive rockfunk/percussion breakdowns in this track too. The socially aware bboy classic “When?” guides the listeners through the hard life of the ghetto and at the same time grooves with a fuzz guitar drenched breakbeat frenzy. Then there’s latin flavored “Party time” and two mellow tracks “Paradise” and “The first time I saw your face”. The last track is a tribute to the greatest rock guitarist of all times, Jimi Hendrix, that Castor befriended with in the late 1960s after his first album. “Tribute to Jimi: Purple haze / Foxey ladey” is a great medley of Hendrix classics with Castor’s uncompromising funk-style.


Luther the anthropoid (ape man)


Say Leroy (The creature from the black lagoon is your father)


When?


Party life


Tribute To Jimi: Purple Haze / Foxey Lady

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under latin funk, north america | No Comments »

Kalevala - Boogie jungle

December 30th, 2010

Kalevala - Boogie jungleKALEVALA

  • Boogie jungle
  • Hi-Hat
  • 1975
  • Finland

Kalevala was a Finnish rock group whose musical style evolved from strict rock n’ roll to progressive and back to basic rock. The band was formed in 1969 as a trio - Juha Salonen on bass, Remu Aaltonen on drums/vocals and Albert Järvinen on guitar. A year later Aaltonen and Järvinen left the band to form a Finnish rock n’ roll supergroup The Hurriganes and were replaced in Kalevala by Markku Luukkanen (drums), Matti Kurkinen (guitar) and Harri Saksala (vocals). With this line-up they released one album in 1972, nowadays really rare and in demand People no names. Their second album Boogie jungle came out 1975 and the style was changed to straight up basic rock. Of course there was some changes inside the band too, Saksala on vocals was replaced by Zape “Limousine” Leppänen and Luukkanen on drums was replaced by Beaver Aitto-oja. There was also Ari Vaahtera on bass and Moog synthesizer as an addition to the line-up and Lido Salonen again on guitar. Finnish prog rock all-around-guy Jim Pembroke was also involved with this one, he did some backing vocals and wrote the lyrics.

As mentioned, the music itself is quite strict classic uptempo rock, with a slight hint of progressive elements left. All the tracks have pretty strong guitarwork which disturbs me a little though. Of course it’s not that bad if you’re into rock music. There’s some nice drumming all the way through too. “Mind the fly hunter” and “Snow Bill” are both nice breakbeat’ish rock songs. “While the fire’s warm” starts off with a drum break and continues as a pretty regular rock song. There’s also an uptempo bboy drumbreak in the middle of “Boogie” played by Limousine Leppänen. This album is not as rare as their debut, but really scarce even here in Finland. Good thing is that “Boogie” also appears on Hi-Hat’s Hat Rock 1 compilation from 1976.


Mind the fly hunter


While the fire’s warm


Boogie

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under europe, rock | No Comments »
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