Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fools On The Hill 18: Asian Take-Away - 19 asiatic beat monsters from the late 60's and early 70's

What a coincidence: just as Comrade Duch, infamous chief of the Tuol Sleng S-21 prison, is facing his trial, Volume 18 of FOTH comes out… We should really say "South-East asian", as most of the songs come from Cambodia with a peppering of Thai Beat. If you've never hear about Cambodian Rock, you're in for a surprise! This has nothing to do with piped-in music you heard at your local noodle shop.No, we're talking about the savagest fusion ever recorded between the East and the West. Cambodia in the late 60's was on the brink of disaster: bombed secretly by the US, with the Viet Cong operating from some of its provinces, a rising mad Communist rebellion and a chronically weak and corrupted government, it was tethering on the brink of hell.
Bad as things were, the music scene was thriving and the proximity of US Radios inspired them to create a strange two-headed hybrid: combine the cambodian love of the drums and cymbals and US guitar heavy psych, you'll get the most danceable, raucous breed of 60's Rock. The vocals are most peculiar: the high-pitched voices of the female singers are very asian, but you will soon forget that you can't understand a word of it. If you hear "Coca Light, Coca Light" as a chorus, you're bound to be wrong. Same applies to "Fraulein" which pops repetedly in the songs… God only knows what it means. On the other hand, the Thais only get a passing mention because, true to their roots, they much prefer sweet love songs and these pale in comparison with the energy of the cambodian songs. You'll find more info about Cambodian Rock and the aptly named "Don't Think I've Forgotten" film on this site.

Listen here to people dancing at the edge of a very steep cliff…

Track Listing:

1●Yol Aularong ●Cyclo (Cambodia)
2●Ros Sereysothea ●WaitTen More Month (Cambodia)
3●Sinn Sisamouth ●A diamond ring (Cambodia)
4●Ros Sereysothea ●I Am Sixteen (Cambodia)
5●Sin Sisamouth & Ros Sereysothea ●Ma Pin Naok (Cambodia)
6●Viparat Piengsuwan ●Rak Tong Rorn (Love Passion) (Thailand)
7●Pan Ron ●Ooh, he’s mute (Cambodia)
8●Ros Sereysothea (?) ●Unknown Song (Cambodia)
9●Ros Sereysothea ●What girl is better than me (Cambodia)
10 ●Sinn Sisamouth ●I'm Still Waiting For You (Cambodia)
11 ●Vicham Maneechot ●Dance dance dance (Thailand)
12 ●Pan Ron ●Why follow me (Cambodia)
13 ●Ros Sereysothea (?) ●Another Unknown Song (Cambodia)
14 ●Pan Ron ●Leftover smile(Cambodia)
15 ●Ros Sereysothea ●Have You Seen My Love(Cambodia)
16 ●Ros Sereysothea ●If you wish to love me (Cambodia)
17 ●Pan Ron ●Wedding day (Cambodia)
18 ●Ros Sereysothea ●Haircut (Cambodia)
19 ●Sinn Sisamouth ●Other than you (Cambodia)

This is the album that started it all: Terrible sound quality, unnamed songs and artists but groundbreaking. Amazon link on pic.

You can also get the newer version (4 volumes, color covers), much better sound, liner notes etc.
Without forgeting Chhom Nimol pretty smile… she's the singer of Dengue Fever, an LA band that started by replaying the old Cambodian Psych and are now moving into newer territories. Much recommended!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fools On The Hill: new volumes almost ready.

Hi ladies and germs. Just a quick note to tell you that we are now busy expanding the original 21 volumes of "Fools On The Hill".
Volume 22 is ready to go and is centered on Psych-exploitation and should be the definitve introduction to these debased but oh-so-good songs and instrumentals. Volume 23 will be about Pre-kraut and german Proto-punk. I had lots of interesting surprises while compiling it. This one is almost ready. Sylvain is supposed to be working on volume 24: "Superlative Sitars Sizzlers"… I bet I'll have volume 25 A-Ok before he's ready with it :-).

Could the person who kindly offered to re-up Volume 3 contact me? Just leave your email when commenting this post.
Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fools On The Hill 17: The Blue Electric Butterfly - 19 mid 60's greats from the UK forgotten psychedelic underground

This is yet another "classic" 60's music subgenre. So classic that everybody knows the words "Pink Floyd". There was no point in including them here, so we focused instead on the lesser-known bands that tried their luck at the same time. Each and every UK town of some importance sported a healthy musical scene at the time. Most of these bands sunk into oblivion as they often were live bands and didn't clinch a deal for an LP. But some others were offered contracts by labels who were desperate to not miss this new wave. Of course, once the contract signed, little to no effort was provided to advertize the LPs, insuring commercial failure. For the bands, it was really a case of being there at the right place (London) and at the right time… most of them would miss the boat because of haphazard management or being in the wrong town for too long.
You can consider this style to be Sergeant Pepper's little nephew: you know, the one who would pilfer your liquor cabinet and visit your pharmacy for goodies. This all leads to fairly dreamy and out-of-whack lyrics, not to mention high pitched vocals. The rise of this UK psychedelia lead, of course, to an army of dazed imitators springing up in the rest of the world. After all, this was the "now sound" of the Beatles' homeland. This style would last up untill around 1972, when it fell victim to both Pink Floyd's success and the rise of "Progressive" (and boring) music.

Get your little acid prezzie here
As usual, your comments and suggestions are very welcomed.

Track Listing:
1●Sweet Feeling ●Sherry Cherie (UK)
2●Calum Bryce ●Love maker (UK)
3●The Object ●She’s gone away (UK)
4●Argosy ●Imagine (UK)
5●Mood of Hamilton ●Why can’t there be more love (UK)
6●The Gurus ●Come girl (USA)
7●Jimmy Curtiss ●Psychedelic situation (USA)
8●Kaplan ●I like (UK)
9●The Bunch ●Looking glass Alice (UK)
10 ●The Difference ●Sweet sounds everywhere (Norway)
11 ●The Scene ●Scenes (from another world) (Australia)
12 ●Roger Denison ●She wanders through my mind (UK)
13 ●Nimrod ●Don’t let it get the best of you (UK)
14 ●The Timothy Grass ●Second glance (UK)
15 ●George Bean ●Floatin’ (UK)
16 ●Argosy ●Mr. Boyd (UK)
17 ●Elli ●Mister Man (UK)
18 ●1984 ●There is music all around me (UK)
19 ●The Silence ●To Sarah B. (UK)