Light In The Attic insight into the Colorado country funk and enigma of Tumbleweed Records

This sublime compilation on Light In The Attic showcases the very best of the Tumbleweed Records label and is out on Friday. The Tumbleweed label was founded in February, 1971, by Larry Ray and Bill Szymczyk. They had fled an earthquake and a debauched L.A. music scene to claim their own slice of utopia in Denver, Colorado. The pair met at ABC-Dunhill, where Ray was general manager and Szymczyk arrived after his first hit as a burgeoning engineer/producer with BB King’s The Thrill is Gone. In Denver, Ray and Szymczyk  secured multi-million-dollar financing from Gulf + Western, where executives thought they were funding the “hippie movement’s next big thing”.

But instead of producing the next Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix, Ray and Szymczyk released music by innovators and idiosyncratic artists such as Pete McCabe, emotive songwriters like Robb Kunkel and Danny Holien, or psych-folk rocker Arthur Gee. They also released more established musicians like Albert Collins and Dewey Terry (of Don & Dewey fame), while launching the career of Michael Stanley.

Sadly, the label folded after two years and little commercial success – making it a perfect choice for Light In The Attic to shine new and deserved attention on this music.

Ray would go on to various opportunities, including producing five country albums alongside Bill Halverson, while Szymczyk would soon skyrocket to fame after producing The Eagles’ Hotel California.

Reissued trio shows musical mastery of Brazil’s Erasmo Carlos on Light In The Attic

Light In The Attic have reissued three classic LPs of Brazilian legend Erasmo Carlos. All of the usual quality research and excellent archive photos have been included, plus the pressings sound joyously good.

His collaborations with singer Roberto Carlos are some of the most commercially successful compositions in Brazil. These LPs display another side to this legendary singer and songwriter.

Erasmo Carlos E Tremendões includes a Caetano Veloso song Saudosismo in the Tropicália style, an Antônio Adolfo art-pop song Teletema and Ary Barroso song Aquarela Do Brasil. It’s a mixed bag that gets better listen after listen.

The volatile and violent political atmosphere and subsequent music that veiled criticism of the oppressive government led to artists being arrested and repressed. Veloso and Gilberto Gil were still in exile at the start of the 1970s, Rita Lee had quit Os Mutantes and Gal Costa was into a new style also. It meant that Erasmo’s 1971 album was the closest thing to Tropicália at the time.

Erasmo signed to Polydor where his sound also inspired by hippie culture, acid rock and soul music found a home. Carlos, ERASMO . . . features arrangements by Rogério Duprat and three players from Mutants: lead guitarist Sergio Dias, drummer Dinho Leme and bassist Liminha, as well as renowned psychedelic guitarist, Alexander Gordin, aka “Lanny”.  It was co-produced by the Tropicália producer, Manoel Barenbein.

Sonhos E Memórias (1941-1972) features keyboardist José Roberto Bertrami, drummer Ivan Conti, aka “Mamão” and bassist Alex Malheiros – this trio became Azimuth. The LP features a wide range of styles such as bossa nova, rock and soul, but the album remains a cohesive whole and is highly autobiographical with emotive ballads.

This is a fantastic collection of previously overlooked work, not by high end collectors though – and with the exception of the Polysom pressing of Carlos, ERASMO in 2003 – you would have to dig deep in Brazil or your pocket to own them on vinyl otherwise.  

Here’s a World Treasures mix of choice cuts from the three albums:

World Treasures Music end of year review

Click here to listen to the World Treasures Music review mix.

A number of artists’ passing will make 2016 memorable. A champion of world treasures at the legendary New York venue, The Loft, was David Mancuso, who was mourned widely in the music world after his death aged 72. Sun Palace’s Rude Movements was remastered and released a month before the sad news and the UK duo feature in the 2016 review mix.

rip-david-mancuso-72There were numerous releases and reissues that could of made this review, some selections are based on themes that seemed to nuance the music of the year. Invisible City Editions released one of the standout reissues with V.O’s Mashisa – though the thirst for South African sounds was also generated by DJ Okapi’s compilation for Cultures Of Soul. DJ Okapi, the Mr. Bongo Soundsystem, Nick The Record and the Invisible City duo championed the sounds of South Africa worldwide in hugely appreciated sets. Benjamin Ball’s Flash A Flashlight was another top record.

Another vault of treasures were released under the ‘tropical’ tag. Sofrito, DJ Sotofett, Analog Africa, Don’t DJ and more labels and artists reissued and produced work that was defined in this guise. The compilation of the year was Digital Zandoli. Syn Ka’s LP was also a hugely well received reissue.

digital-zandoliThe biggest reissue in some respects was the Shadow LP, Sweet Sweet Dreams. The Pasteur Lappe and the Cape Verde compilations were some of the best offerings from Africa, along with Aleke’s grail.

shadow-beerAlso from Africa – PMG, Africa Seven and Soundway compiled huge collections of rare material. Kenya was a particular focus this year for its music. Afro7 released Kenyan gold too.

Electronic music is represented on the mix by Bedouin Records, DJ Nature and Mark Ernustus. The DJ Katerpillar story for Awesome Tapes From Africa is another highlight of the year. Mood Hut was a superbly produced label with esoteric sampling and a vibe.

Latin sounds are represented by Mr. Bongo and a beautiful Colombian reissue of rare gems.

Ambient tunes came via the latest collection on Light In The Attic and close this mix (tracklist below).

adele1) Adele Sebastian – Prayer For The People (PMG, 2016, Desert Fairy Princess LP reissue)

2) DJ Nature – Serengeti Run (Swat Records, 2016, 12”)

3) Pasteur Lappe – Mbale (Africa Seven, 2016, Pasteur Lappe compilation)

4) Yta Jourias – Adome Nyueto (Hot Casa, 2016, Togo Soul 70 compilation)

5) The Group NSI – Mande Moin On Lajan, Pa Mande Moin Za Fe An Moin (Hevenly Sweetness/Diggers Digest, 2016, Digital Zandoli compilation)

6) Sun Palace – Raw Movements (BBE, 2016, remastered and unreleased versions compilation)

7) Ahmed Fakroun – Soleil Soleil (PMG, 2016, Mots D’Amour LP reissue)

8) Odion Iruoje – Alhaja And Obiageri (Soundway, 2016, Down To Earth LP reissue)

9) Njoroge Benson – Nyniukia (Afro7 Records reissue 12”, 2016)

10) African Vibrations – Hinde (Soundway, 2016, Kenya Special Volume 2 compilation)

11) Francis Njoroge – Dai (Afro7 Records reissue 12”, 2016)

12) João Cirilo – Po D’Terra (Analog Africa, 2016, Space Echo – The Mystery Behind the Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed!)

13) Bitori – Cruz Di Pico (Analog Africa, 2016, Space Echo – Legend Of Funaná: The Forbidden Music of The Cape Verde Islands)

14) Claudio – Bonom Chinois (Strut, 2016, Soul Sok Sega compilation)

15) VO – Mashisa (dub mix) (Invisible City Editions, 2016, reissue Mashisa LP)

16) Formation Boyz – Jungle Anthem (Gqom Oh!, 2016, Gqom Oh! The Sound of Durban compilation)

17) DJ Katapila – Sakawa (Awesome Tapes From Africa, 2016, Tiroto LP reissue)

18) Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force – Jigeen (Ndagga, 2016, Yermande LP)

19) Steve Monite – Only You (dub mix) (Triassic Tusk Records, 2016 S/T compilation)

20) Blue Heron’s Tribute 2 PH – Hymn To A Whale Taker (Mood Hut, 2016, Disco Mantras Vol. 1)

21) Kinetic Electronix – Low Moves (Mood Hut, 2016, Music For Beings 2x 12”)

22) DJ Nature – LF (mix 1) (Swat Records, 2016, 12”)

23) Shadow – D’Hardest (Analog Africa, 2016, Sweet Sweet Dreams LP reissue)

24) John Heckle – Alexandria (Bedouin Records, 2016, Tributes To A Sun God12”)

25) Hieroglyphic Being – The Papyrus of Ani (Bedouin Records, 2016, The 42 Laws Of Maat 12”)

26) Banda Black Rio – Mr. Funky Samba (Mr Bongo Brazil7 series, 2016, 7”)

27) Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus – Yoyo (Lion’s Gate Records, 2016, Promised Land Sounds – Rockin’ Live Ruff N Tuff LP reissue)

28) Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus– Boom A Ya (Lion’s Gate Records, 2016, Promised Land Sounds – Rockin’ Live Ruff N Tuff LP reissue)

29) Nilamaye – El Nazareno (Bongo Joe, 2016, Las Flore Del Sol LP)

30) Suzanne Doucet & Christian Buehner – Shivas Dance (Light In The Attic, 2016, The Microcosm: Visionary Music of Continental Europe, 1970-1986 compilation)

31) Deuter – Spirales (Light In The Attic, 2016, The Microcosm: Visionary Music of Continental Europe, 1970-1986 compilation)

Gospel gold: Pastor T. L. Barrett reissue of Kanye West favourite

Essential gospel reissued – Pastor T. L. Barrett. Find it. It’s on the Gospel Roots label. Father I Stretch My Hands was recently sampled on Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo.

pastor

Here’s another masterpiece from the Light In The Attic reissue, now in need of a repress due to inflated Discogs prices.

 

Camberwell Now from the ashes of This Heat

Camberwell Now’s The Ghost Trade and The EP Collection will be reissued next month on Modern Classic Recordings (Light In The Attic).

Charles Hayward, Stephen Rickard, Trefor Goronwy, and Maria Lamburn. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

Charles Hayward, Stephen Rickard, Trefor Goronwy, and Maria Lamburn. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

Camberwell Now featured This Heat’s vocalist and drummer Charles Hayward. He assembled a line-up comprising of Stephen Rickard, a former BBC sound engineer, on field recordings and tape manipulation and Trefor Goronwy on bass, vocals and ukulele.

Camberwell Now - The EP Collection

Camberwell Now – The EP Collection

“We had a very specific set of skills,” says Hayward, in new liner notes compiled for this long overdue reissue, “and it wasn’t immediately clear to us how best to bring them together so that we could play live.”

Their recordings take inspiration from seafaring and imperialism among other influences. The music was created within close proximity to the meridian line in Greenwich and the Meridian EP was the result. It was originally intended to be a project for This Heat. This Heat’s departing member Charles Bullen plays on the opening track, Cutty Sark.

The second EP, 1987’s Greenfingers, was their final recorded work. According to Hayward: “it’s possible to hear the group atomising and preparing to go its separate ways” within its grooves. Greenfingers is the only This Heat or Camberwell Now recording not to have been produced at Brixton’s Cold Storage studios and was recorded as a DIY exercise. Usually either group would be meticulous and laborious over their work. The EP also saw the addition of a new member, Maria Lamburn, primarily on sax, whose Element Unknown was inspired by her experiences in the nuclear protest camp at Greenham Common.

Camberwell Now - The Ghost Trade

Camberwell Now – The Ghost Trade

The EPs are also concerned with information technology, surveillance, propaganda and what Hayward describes as “day-to-day, hand-to-mouth survival” in a fractured Britain during the rule of Margaret Thatcher. These themes may also ring true in today’s fractured and isolationist times.

Thankfully, Camberwell Now dispersed after a final European tour in an amicable fashion and today Goronwy, Hayward and Rickard have all contributed to these new liner notes accompanying the two sides of vinyl.

Once again these reissues add to an archive of seminal “post-punk” or “art-rock”. It is a catalogue of one of the UK’s most important and creative musical legacies – This Heat, Camberwell Now and Lifetones are all available on Light In The Attic Records. Charles Hayward continues to tour.

Charles Hayward. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

Charles Hayward. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

For more go to http://lightintheattic.net/

Trefor Goronwy, Charles Hayward, and Stephen Rickard. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

Trefor Goronwy, Charles Hayward, and Stephen Rickard. Image courtesy of Camberwell Now

Evolution: Tamam Shud’s cult surf soundtrack

Taman Shud’s psychedelic soundtrack to the cult Australian surf movie Evolution has been lovingly reissued by Anthology Records.  It was recorded live in 1968 – whilst the film was projected upon the studio wall due to budget constraints – and was released in 1969.

Tamam Shud evolved from an instrumental surf band called The Four Strangers, formed in 1964 in Newcastle, New South Wales. Eric Connell was on bass guitar, Dannie Davidson on drums, Gary Johns on rhythm guitar and Alex “Zac” Zytnik on lead guitar. They released a sole single called The Rip for Astor Records before Lindsay Bjerre replaced Johns on guitar and lead vocals. As The Strangers in 1965 they issued the single Sad and Lonely and then changed their name to The Sunsets. The Sunset’s tracks were used for two surf films – A Life in the Sun (1966) and The Hot Generation (1967) – both directed by Paul Witzig. Later that year Peter Barron replaced Connell on bass guitar and the group, now based in Sydney, changed their name to Tamam Shud. ARC019-Cover-hi-res-300x300 Bjerre found the Persian phrase “tamám shud” (translated as “ended”, “finished” or “the very end”) in the closing words of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, a 12th century poetry collection.

The phrase also features in one of Australia’s most enduring mysteries. The Tamam Shud case, also known as the Mystery of the Somerton Man, is the unsolved death of an unidentified man found dead at 6:30 am on December 1, 1948, on Somerton beach, just south of Adelaide, South Australia. A scrap of paper with the phrase was found in the man’s pocket. The death came during the escalation of the Cold War and the motive, the man’s identity, the cause of death and the piece of paper have baffled agencies from around the world to the present day.

Back to the music, this sounds like Four Sail era Love and moves through Syd Barrett era Floyd. There’s also bluesier territory reminiscent of Cream and Terry Reid. It’s a psychedelic trip alright.

ARC019-Back-hi-res-300x300For more on this and surf culture, visit http://anthology.net/music/

Homage to This Heat

One of the most pioneering and innovative bands of the 1970s was This Heat. Check this experimental production from 1979, the renowned 24 Track Loop:

In 1976 Charles Bullen, Charles Hayward and Gareth Williams met in Camberwell, London, England and founded the band. John Peel loved them. These three releases sold poorly at the time, but the band have been heralded by numerous producers and musos since for they’re hugely inventive approach, radical ethos and link place in the musical family tree between prog-rock/krautrock and post-punk/industrial/new wave.

Thanks once again to Light In The Attic, these three masterpieces return to the present – they will no doubt resonate with new listeners.

Charles Hayward recently toured his Anonymous Bash project – a jam based performance piece that moved through a range of genres and influences. Do not miss if the chance comes. The percussionist’s solo work is well worth exploring, as is Charles Bullen’s Lifetones – For A Reason LP (also coming soon thanks to the reissue Gods! Watch this space).

This Heat LP was the debut from the band and landed in 1979. The use of tape manipulation and looping is prominent throughout.  John Peel championed the band.

This_Heat_coverThis EP (Health and Efficiency, 1980) featured a more rock-orientated sound.

Health_and_Efficiency_coverDeceit (1981) featured more punk-rock sounds and further delved into the band’s world music influences.

Thisheatdeceit

More information at Light In The Attic.