The latest release from Secret Stash contains more pre-Ayatollah Khomeini madness from Iran. Although there are a few repeats from the excellent Finder’s Keepers release, Pomegranates as well as the Rak Rak Rak compilation, Persian Funk focuses on rare soul and Disco cuts and less on the psychedelic rock. The Middle Eastern Percussion and string arrangement separate itself from the pack of eastern groups doing western influenced dance music, in fact, on can argue that western artists were trying to get that Middle Eastern sound in Disco but couldn’t nail it, but that’s another argument for another time. Nevertheless, drop some of these tracks at your next party and watch everyone on the dance floor go, “Ruh?”
LP release only
Speaking of Iran, this gem of Iranian psychedelic blues comes from a 1972 recording with just a few mics and no overdubs. Originally, no one wanted to touch this sludge feast so it’s only now that this album is seeing the light of day. The four songs that make the Jokers album are heavy; in fact, calling this release “heavy” is not doing it justice. Only 500 LPs were made and on most websites they are out of stock, but we have a few left. For fans of Blue Cheer, MC5, Stooges and Jimi Hendrix. Also available on CD
V/A-Waking Up Scheherazade Vol 2
This is the second volume of rare garage and psyche rock from the Middle East. 14 tracks from garage bands from Iran, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria and Sudan. So what is the difference between Middle Eastern groups playing garage and psyche vs. the western groups who did the same thing? Think of all the western groups who tried to mimic sounds of the Middle East in their music... Now take the musicians trained in classic Middle Eastern music and listen to them play rock. The Psyche movement owes plenty to the music of South Asia and the Middle East, that’s for sure. This is a vinyl only release. The first volume sold out quickly so you may not want to sleep on this.
Solla Solla – Maestro Ilaiyaraaja & The Electronic Pop Sound Of Kollywood 1977 to 1983 – Vol 1 & 2
Kollywood, you say? Everyone knows Bollywood and there have been a few Lollywood compilations in recent years. Kollywood is film music based in the Chennai Kodambakkam area, where films are made in the Tamil language, thus the K for Kollywood. The two separate LP releases feature the work of composer Ilaiyaraaja. Like many film composers in India & Pakistan, Ilaiyaraaja was as prolific with his music as the Indian film industry was with making films. Over the span of 1977-1983, the years that the two volumes focus on, Ilaiyaraaja recorded hundreds of scores. The music on these two LPS contains some heavy funk, dirty guitar and electronic exploration, all with Ilaiyaraaja's South Indian flavor. This is a must for any Indian Music soundtrack junkie.