This just in, limited edition pressing (only 1,000 copies!) of El Gusano’s Fantasia del Barrio, brought to you by the fine folks at Heavy Light Records. Merging Texas Psych and late 60′s / early 70′s Chicano Soul and funk, Fantasia del Barrio has been long sought-after by break hunters and psych collectors. Recorded soon after Eugenio Jaimez returned from a tour of duty in Vietnam, Fantasia del Barrio is his musical meditation on life at war and the Chicano experience at home. Skillfully performed in one marathon recording session, Jaimez and El Gusano embraced the Soul, Funk and psychedelic sounds of their day to craft this lost instrumental concept album. And now it can be yours with just a few clicks of the mouse…and you didn’t even have to spend years digging for it!
Seriously, though. This record is sick. Check it out!
For samples and to order El Gusano Fatasia del Barrio, click HERE!
Here ya go, kids: Vagrants – I Can’t Make A Friend 1965 – 1968! This is Light In The Attic’s first release of 2011 and it’s ready to get in your face and scream “buy me a drink!“. We’ve been talking about this for some time (and working on it for even longer!) and the release date (January 25) is so close but we couldn’t resist announcing it.
This comp includes 12 slabs of groovy garage, propulsive psych, and primitive proto-punk remastered for CD and Vinyl (180 gram) and sporting deluxe packaging and extensive liner notes by Ugly Things’Mike Stax. Get ready to make a new friend…
Pre-order (MP3 available NOW) CD/LP for Vagrants: I Can’t Make A Friend 1965 – 1968HERE!
There’s no better way to pass the lazy holiday season days then wondering from one thrift store / junk shop to the next…digging. It’s a favorite passed time for us at Light In The Attic. Hey, it’s better than watching A Christmas Story for the 100th time! So, while I (Patrick), your humble scribe, was away in North Florida, I obeyed the digging gods and came back from the trenches with some fun releases. Here’s a sample of the bounty!
First up…a little private press jazz-funk-disco-boggie from David Diggs. The track is “Welcome To The Real World” from the 1983 LP Realworld on PAJ Records. Found a sealed copy that was just waiting to be popped open and spun around a few times. This track has the energy of a 5 year old on Ritalin, but there are some other smooth jamz like “Love’s Inception”. Well worth the 50 cent price tag!
Up next, a cool record from Neil Young / Bruce Springsteen guitar slinger–Nils Lofgren. The album is Grin from 1971 on Epic and it kinda lilts along on a Crazy Horse / The Band vibe. Really, given Nils professional associations and that this record was produced by Shakey’s longtime producer, David Briggs, this record can’t help but get all Crazy Horse / Neil Young-y. This track “Pioneer Mary” is my favorite. We’ll worth picking up. Dig the chucks on the cover too.
Lastly, found a beat-to-hell copy of the self-titled Armageddon LP (1969) on Amos Records. So the story goes, Armageddon were originally called The Kitchen Cinq and made a name for themselves playing psych-pop out in Texas. That is until they got all uppity, headed out California way and re-christened themselves as the tougher psych-blues outfit Armageddon. The album touches on all necessary thematic elements (end of times, Lord of the Rings, Disney???) with some heavy fuzz riffage and cool “dark” album cover. Wicked. This thang is too far under the radar for a youtube clip, so look around for it!
And how about you??? What did you find over the holidaze??
Now-Again are kicking up some dust with this one. Those Shocking Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Funk: 1970 – 1978 is a supreme collection of the largely undocumented Indonesian scene in the 70s. This scene suffered a similar fate of others around the globe at that time–insane dictators imposing strict cencorship codes that led to tons of great music languishing in vaults, at best, and being destroyed, at worst. Times were heavy! But Those Shocking Shaking Days proves that you can’t keep a good fuzz guitar down!
shit was EVIL!
Stand out tracks (among many) include “Haai” by Panbers (crazy Blue Cheer raga vibe with some Perry Pharrel vox on top), the break heavy darkness of “Evil War” by Shark Move (best band name?) and the pastoral acid haze of the comp’s title track “That Shocking Shaking Day” by IVO’s Group.
Thanks now to the tireless – and expensive – research of Canadian hip hop producer and Southeast Asian music specialist Jason “Moss” Connoy (also helping LITA out with our upcoming Shin Joong Hyun comp) – and the trust that Indonesian rock legend Benny Soebardja placed in Now-Again as he traversed his homeland’s islands securing the rights necessary to officially license and release these tracks for the first time. Remastered audio in a 3xLP package, including a six-panel triple gatefold jacket alongside a 16-page full color booklet and dozens of rare photos and other ephemera make this release a must for fans of the world-psych front.
Day three of our label spotlight on Vadim Music. Each day this week the LITA bloggerati (yes, I did just write that!) will dig deep into their extensive catalog, only to surface with some rare grooves you may have missed. Today we give you the the album that defies all categories while at the same time epitomizing them: Bernard Estardy – La Formule du Baron (VDA031 | LP)
In an enigmatic, deceptively serene sleeve, bathed in strangely disturbing winter light, appears the deeply rooted shadow of a man staring miles into the distance. His freakish yet confident stance, his thick horn-rimmed glasses and wind tousled hair give him every air of a slightly decadent aristocrat, while the gothic typeface to his left succeeds in adding a nice baroque touch. Standing to such ceremony, La Formule du Baron obviously cannot be a record like any other. To confirm our first impression, our mysterious Baron decides to invite us to an incredible and sumptuous musical banquet, defined by a freedom and inventiveness rarely found together on one same record. A crazy alchemist, let loose in his mythical CBE Studio, our host concocts succulent musical recipes exuding the perfume of sparkling orchestral pop, an aroma of spicy funk, a sprinkling of unbridled jazz, and the incredible vapours of mutant variety of the curious vocals kind.
Behind this mind-blowing production, these generous creations and this old-fashioned pseudonym hides in fact one of greatest producers the hexagon has ever known, the passionate, and sadly missed Bernard Estardy. Loyal organist for Nino Ferrer, he also produced and rubbed shoulders with practically all of French variety’s personalities (for better or for worse,) composed several library music pieces, and gave birth to his fair share of cult space disco tracks. Impossible to categorise, La Formule du Baron remains his masterpiece, standing alongside the pop and psychedelic greats of the 60s and 70s.
For audio samples and to order Bernard Estardy – La Formule du Baron click HERE!
Our turntables have been getting a bit dusty recently since this gem came in. Index were a mid ’60s suburban Detroit band that dipped far into a bizarre, atmosphere–read “druggie”–sound. Black Album + Red Album + Yesterday & Today (from our pals at Lion Productions) collects their two holy grail psychedelic records (from 1967-68) coupled with a disc of recently discovered unreleased material, all from the original tapes.
This 2-CD set is filled with songs full of feedback and fuzzy guitars, hazy guitar riffs and loud rhythms. Hidden amongst the echoing canyons of sound there’s some snotty post-punk attitude wrapped up in that trippy velvet fuzz; a wonderful bleak sound, both droning and murky—the atonal side of late 1960’s rock that would leave the most lasting impression on those who would eventually become punk, post-punk and indie rock artists like Joy Division or the Fall.
Includes a 32-page booklet, written by Index drummer Jim Valice, detailing the band’s rock and roll adventures, replete with photos and lyrics.
Pick up IndexBlack Album + Red Album + Yesterday & TodayHERE!
The genius of the folks at Lion Productions shines through again with this, the first official vinyl reissue of Jerusalem’s 1972 LP Jerusalem. This timeless and heavy UK hard rock album was produced by Deep Purple’s legendary frontman, Ian Gillan, and was originally released on the Decca/Deram label. At the time, it was Gillan who said of Jerusalem: “Not many bands really excite me. But this one’s so raw and completely unpretentious. They make the biggest, bloodiest noise you can imagine, tempered with moments of extreme emotion.”
Man, could words ever speak more truth?! Contained in this LP’s grooves is a menacing combination of over-the-top vocals and screaming lead guitars that could easily pass for something from the early British heavy metal scene. A holy grail record for collectors for years, this LP sounds better than ever with re-mastering of all tracks from the original master tapes. And as for looks, it’s lookin’ good with the wax housed in a high quality old-style gatefold cover and liner notes written by bassist Paul Dean (+ rare photos). Rough, raw, and doomy!
For audio samples and to order Jerusalem – Jerusalem (Lion Productions – Rock/Lion031-V-1), click HERE!
Within the series of great hit albums springing from the hot bed of sixties pop, Original Pop Corn stands out as an unsurpassable model in the genre. An explosive record, fruit of the overactive minds of the maddest of French musicians. On the album are members of the cult group Cruciférius, the Franco-Moroccan soul singer Vigon (un-credited), plus the gifted arranger Karl-Heinz-Schafer (author of the famous score Les Gants Blancs du Diable, also reissued by Vadim).
Using the studio as an instrument in its own right, they gave birth to a mutant jam track rolling out in 7 different versions/variations, and so prefiguring the remixing technique ahead of its time. Stuffed with effects from a whole bunch of genres (delay, back-masking, electro) and doped with magical filters (the phaser on pre-techno tracks “Sweet Pop Corn Part 1 & 2″) Original Pop Corn takes the form of a brutal funk earthquake, hit with psychedelic currents that defy all forms of classification. Known and actively sought out by Beat diggers, Mod DJs and adventurous music fanatics alike, this gem remains one of the holy grails of rare European groove and pop culture.
For audio samples and to order V/A Original Pop Corn click HERE!
As featured on Now Again’s Those Shocking Shaking Days compilation, AKA (an acronym of Apotik Kali Asin) started in the early 70s in Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya, East Java, and came to be known as one of the nation’s greatest rock bands. Starting off their careers as an infamous local band with notorious crowd pleasing antics, AKA regularly went through repertoires of Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix,Cream and Three Dog Night before finding a significant audience outside their home city. It was soon after that the band signed with a Jakarta based label, Indra Records that they started producing a steady release of albums, including 11 studio LPs and a couple of compilations.
Thanks to the supreme digging efforts of Jason “MoSS” Connoy (who, as you’ll see below, also compiled Those Shocking Shaking Days) our thirst for more heavy psychedelic & progressive funk from Indonesia is whetted with this new release–AKA Hard Beat(CD | 2xLP Strawberry Rain | SR001)available now from Light In The Attic. MoSS was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to talk with us a bit about his various reissue projects and the new AKA comp.
We will be giving away ONE free copy (either CD or 2xLP) of AKA Hard Beat. Leave your name and email in the comment field below (email is kept private and not shared). We’ll announce the winner on our Facebook and Twitter pages on Friday at 12PM (PST). So be sure to follow us to see if you won!
I have been helping various labels source reissue material for a few years now. A year or two ago I had the reels to an Iranian band (JOKERS) and while I was listening I started to wonder why I hadn’t tried my hand in the reissue market. I’ve put out releases in other genres of music, so it’s wasn’t a huge learning curve. I ended up putting out JOKERS with a friend of mine named Gholam on a label called Fading Sunshine. When the AKA contracts came about, my friend had other commitments so I decided to start another label named after a song from the group Ellison.
Your first release, the JOKERS album, got a lot of play around here. What was the story behind that project?
Well, a close friend of mine, Gholam, is a notorious psychedelic dealer, and has been for many years. He sourced all the Iranian stuff well before it hit eBay, including the Abbas Mehrpouya and Pari Zangeneh LPs and 1000′s of 45′s. He used to live in Tehran as a teen, and was a heavy rock head back then, which obviously wasn’t common there. He managed to preserve a lot of his collection, and kept contacts over the years. We ended up finding one of the engineers from one of the bigger studios in Iran, and got the reels out of there. Sadly all but one of the Jokers has passed, but the lone member was very happy with the result. We plan to have some other unreleased Iranian music in the future as well; it’s just a matter of timing.
Recently you curated and compiled the excellent Those Shocking Shaking Days comp on Now Again. When I first got that, I was immediately struck by how weirdly similar in vibe the Panbers track “Haai” was to Jane’s Addiction. A few weeks later I heard Henry Rollins play “Haai” on his KCRW show which he preceded with Jane’s Addiction’s “Stop” …he drew the same reference. A really great record.
Those Shocking Shaking Dayswas a great opportunity for me. Egon at NOWAGAINand I have traded records over the years, so when he approached me about working on an Indonesian comp with him, it just felt natural. He’s very good on the marketing end of things, as well as discovering music, and sourcing bands. It took us a long time to get it all done, but we’ve had good feedback on it. Indonesia has a pretty interesting scene. I have 1000′s of LPs, tapes and magazines. TSSD was an intro to the scene as a whole, from a Western perspective.
Your new release is the first ever anthology of the Indonesian psych/progressive funk band AKA (also featured on Those Shocking Shaking Days). Tell us about this project.
I have been collecting AKA records for many years now. I discovered them early on when I got into Indonesian music, and really tried to collect all their LPs as quick as I could. Some of their albums are bloody rare and took me years to find. I haven’t seen a single copy in over 10 years. I always saw AKA as a group that had a couple of good songs per LP, and wished they had created a single “rock” album. They actually had one released in Indonesia with most of the songs on this comp, but it was only available on tape in the late 70′s. When we worked on the TSSD contracts, the opportunity came for me to create this record, and here we are.
Tell us about the re-mastering process. It’s a process that we spend a lot of time on and it’s great to hear when others do as well. What was the source material that you had to work with? Vinyl? Master tapes?
There are no master tapes in Indonesia outside of a small number of bands. The majority of the labels would erase the previous session after it was cut to vinyl. They didn’t want to import new reels, so they re-used existing ones. I used M- vinyl copies for all the masters. I can’t stress how long it took to get clean copies of their discography. It was hell. I had VG copies already, but didn’t want to ruin the sound quality from noise restoration. The transfers were done on a very high end turntable/stylus. I didn’t want to lose anything in the transfer itself. When I compare them to the originals, they’re unbelievably close on all fronts. The originals themselves vary in quality depending on label, and who mastered them at the time.
A bit about the design/packaging. The LP release a super nice tip-on sleeve (Stoughton?) and lots of great photos. Were you able to get in touch with the band or their family members for archive photos?
Photos came from old photographers and Rolling Stone Indonesia. The band themselves only had footage of SAS, the group that was formed post AKA. I’m looking into that reissue now, I’m not sure what will happen. I try my best to give customers something that feels good in their hands. I like the heavy sleeves.
What’s next on the horizon for you and Strawberry Rain? Can you divulge any details?
I have some Zambian albums I’m currently sorting out, and I’m also in talks with a few other bands that I need to keep quiet for now. I’m also looking to release another unreleased Iranian album in the next year or so if things work out.
Lastly, a spin on the oft-asked “what’s the first album you ever bought?” question. What’s the first reissue you ever bought or remember having?
I honestly don’t remember. Good question, I just have no clue.
For more info, audio samples and to order AKA Hard Beat (CD | 2xLP Strawberry Rain | SR001) click HERE!
Interview by Patrick McCarthy. Thanks to LITA’s Josh Wright for setting up the interview. Special thanks to MoSS for doing the interview.
Years in the making! We’re proud to announce that you may now pre-order Beautiful Rivers And Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound Of South Korea’s Shin Joong Hyun (LP available 9/6, CD 9/27), the first ever anthology (outside of South Korea) of Shin Joong Hyun‘s work as a songwriter, singer, producer, arranger, and all around guitar god. It’s been a long road to get this one out but we have to give much thanks to Drew Christie and liner notes author Kevin “Sipreano” Howes, who first turned us on to Mr. Shin’s work so many years ago. Now if you’re scratching your head…”who’s Mr. Shin?”…then read on. Prepare to have your mind blown.
Shin Joong Hyun - Courtesy of the Artist
Shin Joong Hyun’s tale is personal, spiritual, and deep, not only reflecting the full spectrum of human emotions, but one that produced reverberating echoes of sound, some beautiful and life-giving, others restless and ungovernable. For the first time outside of Korea, Shin’s music will be readily available to music lovers the world over. We are thrilled to release Beautiful Rivers And Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound Of South Korea’s Shin Joong Hyun, a career spanning CD, 2xLP, and Digital Download compilation of the diminutive guitarist, songwriter, producer, arranger, and talent developer.
For the full story, head over to the Release page where you can also preview tracks and pre-order the CD and 2x LP!