Episode 29 – Mind Train

Mind Train aka Wild Gems II picks up where the first Wild Gems left off, taking us further down the stoney path through a vibrant and concerted wilderness of psych, exotica and eclectic international rock records.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Budapest Radio Orchestra – The Lights of Hong Kong
Yoko Ono – Mindtrain
Erkin Koray – Sir
Bharat Karki & Party – Calcutta Calcutta
Fred Weinberg – Aum Mau Mau
Dick Hyman – Topless Dancers of Corfu
Bo Dollis & The Wild Mangolias – Handa Wanda
Bernard Gérard – Crocodile Porte-Clé
Stereolab – Iron Man
Ersen – Gafil Gezme Saskin
Cem Karaca & Apaslar – Gilgamis
Pierre Henry – Jericho Jerk
John Hill – Io
Morgan Delt – Barbarian Kings
Selda – Yaylalar
Kalyanji-Anandji – Bansarai Babu Beats
The Piranha Sounds – La Turbie Pirhanienne
Raymond Guiot – Primitive Spirit
Ananda Shankar – Dancing Drums
Zafer Dilek – Tokat Sarması
Los Diablos Rojos – El Guapo
Banda Eletrica – Soy Loco por ti America
Yma Sumac – Gallito Ciego (One-Eyed Rooster)
Los Henry’s – Cumbia del Amor
Abelardo Carbono – Guana Tangula

Episode 28 – Thai Town

Our cousin and good friend Matthew arrived from Thailand last year with a stack of vintage Luk Thang 45s in relatively worn condition, being decades old and stored only in paper sleeves. While he couldn’t read the labels in Thailand’s stores, he did pick the 45s that seemed to uncannily stand out from the others, and managed turning up some solid hidden gems via whatever musical antenna Matthew was gifted by Pan, god of wine and music.

So I digitized the whole set and tried to provide a fair rendering of each disc while avoiding the harsher surface noise, clicks, and scratches from the vinyl. Then, I was able to curate the best hour or so of material into this mix.

Information about some of these Luk Thang picks is available online, but many remain mysterious. My partially reconstructed tracklist shows tunes by Sangsuree Rungroj, Sayan Sanya, Winai Bundarak, and Chaloemphon Hit Donchai, but we know up to ten other unknown artists are featured. Who, for instance, is behind the cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s “J’taime Moi Non Plus”?

Whatever the answer, you can enjoy the retro vibes of Thai Town below — the first of four new episodes to be released over upcoming weeks tracing some exciting strains of sound among many international musics.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Partial tracklist:

แสงสุรีย์ รุ่งโรจน์ (Sangsuree Rungroj) – เหมาหมด (Mixed)
สายัณห์ สัญญา (Sayan Sanya) – Unknown
สายัณห์ สัญญา (Sayan Sanya) – อดีตรักสาวเดิมบาง (Some Old Love)
สายัณห์ สัญญา (Sayan Sanya) – อย่าหลงข่าวลือ (Do Not Fall For The Rumor)
สายัณห์ สัญญา (Sayan Sanya) – คนชายแดน (Borderman)
Unknown Artist – ฉันรักฉันไม่มาก (J’taime Moi Non Plus)
เฉลิมพล ฮิตโดนใจ (Chaloemphon Hit Donchai) – วันเข้าพรรษา (Past Love Buddhist Lent Day, or Past Love Rainy Season)
เฉลิมพล ฮิตโดนใจ (Chaloemphon Hit Donchai) – วอนแม่หมั้นสาว (Won Mae Engagement Girl)
วินัย พันธุรักษ์ (Winai Bandurak) – บัวตอง (Mexican Sunflower)

Episode 19 – Trattoria Tastes

Keigo Oyamada’s vibrant Trattoria Records, a Polystar-owned imprint that lasted from 1991 to 2002, stood out among the core labels of Tokyo’s Shibuya-kei scene. It also provided a home to Oyamada’s brilliant Cornelius project, in which counterpoint, syncopation and sampling invaded — nay, parasitized — the sunny alt-rock sound of the ‘90s. If Cornelius could encapsulate Shibuya-kei’s eclectic, hyper-pastiche type of retro-chic and its flair for experimentalism on a single record, Trattoria reflected a broader vision where sounds like baroque pop, noise rock, psych, shoe-gaze, trip-hop, lounge and J-pop soccer anthems would all live on one roster.

Trattoria accomplished a lot before going defunct after the release of Point, which many consider the creative peak of Cornelius (Oyamada’s stayed busy since, but little compares to his creative arc from 69/96 to Point). First, Trattoria was an Eastern hub for Western groups, being the first to re-issue ‘60s artists like The Free Design, The Millennium, Bill Wyman and Margo Guryan. It also distributed The Apples in Stereo, Louise Philippe and many other American and European groups, engaging with Shibuya-kei’s thirst for everything Western.

As well as putting out Cornelius records, the label released many of Oyamada’s best productions and collaborations with artists like Kahimi Karie, OOIOO, Pizzicato Five’s Yasuharu Konishi and Takako Minekawa (his wife at the time). His influence didn’t end with studio credits, either: many of the best releases by Salon Music, Hideki Kaji and Indian Rope on Trattoria bear the mark of Oyamada’s Beck-like, Gainsbourg-esque, Stereolab-ish eclecticism.

This mix pairs Cornelius tracks with Oyamada’s production work, while setting aside Trattoria’s Western artists — and its more overt J-pop, alt-rock and avant-garde sounds — in favor of the label’s most inclusively adventurous (adventurously inclusive?) Japanese material, showing off what Shibuya-kei was truly capable of.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Cornelius – 1969
Cornelius – The Micro Disneycal World Tour
Dots + Borders – 7 Juillet
Salon Music – Golden Brown
Cornelius – Smoke
Indian Rope – Lovely Dada
Flipper’s Guitar – Southbound Excursion
Yasuharu Konishi – Opening Theme
Takako Minekawa – Plash
Cornelius – Star Fruits Surf Rider
Hideki Kaji – Kanojyo Ga Yoko Wo Muku Riyuu
Citrus – Your Building
Kahimi Karie – Son of a Gun
Cornelius – New Music Machine
Venus Peter – Walk Out
OOIOO – Be Sure to Loop
Salon Music – Wanna Be Tied
Takako Minekawa – Lullaby of Gray
Yoshie – Espacio Verde
Cornelius – Point of View Point
Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her – Sister Sister
Indian Rope – Go West
Citrus – Everysong Landed Near by His Fire Place
Cornelius – How Do You Feel
Kahimi Karie – Le Roi Soleil
Hideki Kaji – Ivy Ivory Ivy
Hiromix – Yume Wo Yoku Miru Hito No Hanashi
Luminous Orange – Ken-Ban
Cornelius – 69/96 Girl Meets Cassette
OOIOO – Asozan
Salon Music – Sleepers
Buffalo Daughter – Great Five Lakes (Cornelius Remix)
Yoshie – 7 Colobe 8 Oqui
SKYEYE – 7EYE7
Rovo – KNM!
Cornelius – Fly
Indian Rope – Purple Mania
OOIOO – Mountain Book
Citrus – Big Day Coming from Northwest
Cornelius – Thank You for The Music

Episode 9 – Cinemascope Patio

Rum punch from a coconut. Plastic hula skirts. Vivid fantasies. More dreamy 70mm music, tuned in to terra-cotta tiles, potted palms and those infinity pools behind your eyelids. Many thanks to the incredible Exotica 45s project and of course astral exploration affionado Flash Strap for pointing me in the direction(s) of so many solid old slabs of wax, mixed here with a few contemporary cuts that harken to those original years of le exotique.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Jimmy Nanaro Trio – Driftwood
The Surfmen – Fire Goddess
Bill Justis – The Dark Continent Contribution
Esquivel and His Orchestra – La Bikina
Eden Ahbez – Myna Bird
Roger Roger and Nino Nardini – Coconut Coast
Les Baxter – Batumba
Bruno Nicolai – Shan
Gene Moles and The Softwinds – Maria (The Wind)
Mike Cooper – Paumalu Sunset Beach
Arthur Lyman – Shangri-La
Terry Snyder and The All Stars – Aloha Oe
Jun Miyake – Relaxn’
Martin Denny – Stardust
Dominic Frontiere – Venus Girl (Ix-Koben)
Armando Scascia – Nostalgic Sea
The Sound Breakers – Marooned
The Wailers – Driftwood
Cal Tjader – The Bilbao Song
Piero Piccioni – Eros in Hiro
The Three Suns – Bali Ha’i
Paul Tanner with Andre Montero and His Orchestra – 20th Century Venus
Henry Mancini – Dreamsville
Frank Hunter and His Orchestra – Temple Bells
Martin Denny – Jungle Drums
Kenny Dorham – Lotus Flower
Ron Goodwin – The Rings Around Saturn
The Ebbinghouse Sound – Turkish Delight
Herman Clebanoff and His Orchestra – Sueno Flamenco
Stony Starr – Theme for Moongazers (Part 1)

Episode 6 – Wild Gems

There isn’t a 70mm film to score this with yet, but there damn well should be.

The first in our percussion-heavy Wild Gems series, this episode is an exotic time travel odyssey taking place between 1959 and 2012, visiting tons of great moments in hard funk, psych rock and groovy Latin music along its journey. Selections hail from the international psychedelic continuum, and the exploitative proto-“world music” LPs of orchestrators like Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman, among other sources like Peruvian chicha and French soundtracks.

Stream it here or listen on iTunes.

Tracklist:

Martin Denny – Temptation
John Hill – Amalthea
Ersen – Kozan Daği
Alessandro Alessandroni feat. I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni – Spiagge Azzure
Sam Spence Orchestra – Wie Ein Blitz
The Wrecking Crew (as Christopher Monte) – Giants of Bombora
Atomic Forest – Obession ’77
Resonnance – O.K. Chicago
Adventure Time – Kick It
Gérard Levecque & Claude Romat – Grey Pepper (Africadelic In Safari Mood); (Montparnasse: Africadelic’s the Name N° 2; with percussion by Black Colored Drums)
M. Ashraf (feat. A. Nayyar) – Main Hoon Play Boy
Fred Weinberg – Big Fat Woman
Bharat Karki & Party – Dancing Rope
The Aay Jays – Lal Qalander Lal
The Son of P.M. – Azava Leela (Guaracha)
Les Brown, Jr. – Drum’s Safari
Telegraph Avenue – Sungaligali
Lucía de La Cruz – Toro Mata
Marty Manning and His Orchesta – Night On Bald Mountain (from “The Twilight Zone”)
Twistin’ Kings – Congo (Part 1)
Dick Hyman & Mary Mayo – Imagination
Arthur Lyman – Jungle Fantasy
Jacques Loussier – Clara’s Jerk
Los Beltons – Cumbia Pop
Mandingo – Chant of the Virgins (Columbia: The Primeval Rhythm Of Life)
Erkin Koray – Estarabim
Troupe Majidi – Essiniya
Aisha Kandisha’s Jarring Effects – El Mouka
Papete & Luís Lopes – Berimbalis
Manzanita y Su Conjunto – Serrano Con Orgullo