Monday, November 30, 2020

Orchestre Jamal | Mazhariphone Cassette (FLAC reup)

Thrilled to have re-ripped this amazing cassette at true speed in FLAC. Details below. Thanks to Tim at Moroccan Tape Stash for transliterations and details.

Grab it here.

Original post:

Confession: I went *back* to Nassem Halal Meat and Mediterranean Grocery here in Astoria, and, after a long conversation with Houssain, found another 40 grime-encrusted cassettes hidden in Nassem's nooks and crannies. Well, technically 38, as two of them were duplicates of a Zehouani tape I'd already picked up, but which was too old and worn to play. These cassettes come from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. As you've already suspected: Today's offering is from that last haul.

Thanks to the supercollector known as Mehdi J Blige, we know this is by Orchestra Djamal (or Jamal). Thanks to the J-card, we know the publisher is Mazhariphone. Thanks to our ears, we believe this might be the single most psychedelic cassette we've ever heard from al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyah. 

It's possible that this is the same Orchestra Jamal as in this video:

The sound is vaguely similar and the lead vocal is in the same youthful ballpark as on the tape. Speaking of which, let's talk about the tape in depth.

Side 1 kicks off with a plaintive, haunting string solo, aching and bending upward, until it opens a window for the lead male's voice, and a guitar that lays down a soft-strummed, spider-web thin scaffolding reminiscent of Omar Korshid at his most subtle. The kid's voice, as you'd gather from the cover above, is youthful, almost feminine. He starts off reciting and, as the track develops, begins to sing. At which point, any concern I had that this might be some kind of novelty or vanity project evaporates. The kid has soul. Deep, lived soul.

Just shy of the two-minute mark, the percussion and some sort of barely perceptible keyboard kick in. The drums -- which are nearly isolated in the mid-to-left-hand channel -- sound like a Moroccan Jaki Liebezeit is taking them out for a test drive. I have never, never-ever, heard a kit being played like this on a Moroccan recording. (If we're lucky, Tim might let us know whether they strike his more acutely trained ears as unusual.) The guitar lopes along, breaking out into occasional fuzz-toned fills.

The second track is where things start to get mind-melty. I don't know the specific instrument that opens the track, but it's some form of keyboard or synthesizer, and very trippy. The strings and Jaki Liebezeit kit kick in, followed by a sudden trill of mechanized ululation that swooshes across the sonic landscape. The kid and an adult male chorus trade phrases. 

This is not psychedelic in the normative sense. The architecture feels rooted squarely in Moroccan chaabi; it's in the fills and trills where things get freaky. 

And it's on Side 2 that the psychedelia gets turned up, especially the second and final track. I'm not going to attempt to describe it, other than to note that the synthesizer and guitar do things in this 11+ minute scorcher -- and we're still *technically* talking fills -- that make my head spin. 

And perhaps, dear reader, your head as well?

Link to the cassette rip in comments. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Manora: Southern Thai Local Music (FLAC)


This is a remarkable--oddly remarkable--recording on a number of fronts. First of all, it purports to be a recording of music for manora (aka menora or nora), a classical dance drama practiced in southern Thailand and northern Malaysia. 

And, I assume, it is that. But it's more. Four bonus tracks more. At the end of each side of the cassette, we're treated to two tracks of electric Thai music. 

On Side A, the two end-tracks (6 and 7) feature electric guitar, bass, organ, and percussion. The style to my ears sounds morlam-ish, but not quite like any morlam that I've ever heard before. 

(Listen to track 6 here--click on "Phra Aphai" and hit Play.)

A very seasoned woman's voice leads track 6, with an male response? Chorus? A bunch of emphatic "Ah, ah, ah"s. It's exquisite. Track 7 reverses the roles, giving the lead to the male singer, the "Ah"s to the female.

Side B's electric tracks mirror the male-female switch-up, and sound more like what I would likely assume was morlam.

But it is worth emphasizing that, sonically, these four tracks have little obvious sonic relationship with the rest of the cassette, other than what sounds like the repetition of the word "menora" in the two electric end tracks on Side B. 

I'm hoping perhaps Peter Doolan of the legendary Monrakplengthai might be able to shed some light on what's going on.

UPDATE: Peter sends along the following information:

thanks so much for this, gary!

after a little research (thanks especially to the plengpakjai webboard archives) i have some findings to share:

this cassette is primarily of a re-release of a hat records LP from pricha amnuaisin and his troupe (A1-A5, B1-B5), which is classic manorah. tacked on the end of each side are manorah-style luk thung singles (and their b-sides) from thitthong nakhonsi and khwannapha ladawan, which seem to have had some degree of local popularity.

this is really extremely rare stuff! most of what i turned up was people asking if anyone had access to it, so i'll be hooking them up post-haste, thanks to you!

artist(s): various

album: เพลงพื้นเมืองภาคใต้ มโนราห์ (phleng phuen mueang phak tai: manorah)


01. ปรีชา อำนวยศิลป์ (pricha amnuaisin) - คำเตือนเพื่อนร่วมชาติ (kham tuean phuen ruam chat)

02. ปรีชา อำนวยศิลป์ (pricha amnuaisin) - กลอนเตือนหญิง (klon tuean ying)

03. ปรีชา อำนวยศิลป์ (pricha amnuaisin) - กลอนวอนพระอินทร์ (klon won phra in)

04. สังเวียน เอ็งเส้ง (sangwian engseng) - ทุกข์ร้อยแปด (thuk roi paet)

05. บำรุง จันทรศาล (bamrung chantharasan) - อวยพรปีใหม่ (uai phon pi mai)

06. ขวัญนภา ลดาวัลย์ (khwannapha ladawan) - พระอภัยเป่าปี่ (phra aphai pao pi)

07. ทิดทอง นครศรี (thitthong nakhonsi) - ปี่พระอภัย (pi phra aphai)

08. บำรุง จันทรศาล (bamrung chantharasan) - กลอนสอนเมีย (klon son mia)

09. บำรุง จันทรศาล (bamrung chantharasan) - กลอนสอนหญิง (klon son ying)

10. นกน้อย ปกาใส (noknoi pakasai) - กลอนสอนเพื่อนหญิง (klon son phuean ying)

11. สังเวียน เอ็งเส้ง (sangwian engseng) - ของแพง (khong phaeng)

12. สังเวียน เอ็งเส้ง (sangwian engseng) - อย่าหลงผิด (ya long phit)

13. ขวัญนภา ลดาวัลย์ (khwannapha ladawan) - มโนราห์-พระสุธน (manorah-phra suthon)

14. ทิดทอง นครศรี (thitthong nakhonsi) - พระสุธน-มโนราห์ (phra suthon-manorah)

Grab this one-of-a-kind treasure here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Wow & Flutter


Three hours of tracks from old Bangladeshi, Brazilian, Egyptian, German, Iraqi, Kenyan, Moroccan, Nigerian, Puerto Rican, Syrian, Thai, Turkish, and Yemeni cassettes

Ould Mbarek & Milouda Ouhada | Great Concert in the City of Khouribga (FLAC re-up)

A re-rip at correct speed in FLAC. Get it here.

Original Post:

Thanks once again to Tim Abdellah Fuson of Moroccan Tape Stash for translation and a bit of context. Take a listen, read a bit, download (link in comments).

A terrific Moroccan cassette with superfine playing, frenetic energy, and expressive vocals. Likely from the late 1980s or early 90s. Tim has posted other rocking examples of Zaêri on MTS; if you like this one, there's a lot more of this kind of thing there. (Though I should admit that I'm altogether unclear what, exactly, Zaêri means.)  

Another incredible gem from last year's massive haul at Naseem Meat Market & Grocery right in in Astoria, Queens.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Barış Manço ‎| Ben Bilirim (1990) (FLAC)


I found this compilation cassette, published by Yavuz Asöcal in 1990, in a dusty old record and audio parts store in the Kadıköy neighborhood of İstanbul -- a fitting place to pick up a keepsake by one of Turkey's most beloved rockers, given that my primary goal for the day was to visit his old house (now a museum) in the same neighborhood. 

The cassette highlights Manço's 1970s and 80s psychedelic-tinged work, from the scorching Gönül Dağı, to twisted B-sides like Estergon Kalesi, to the disco-era curiosity Fransızca, which closes out Side 2.

I inadvertently picked up a CD of this very same album, but upon listening, the cassette appears to have just slightly superior sonic quality. Which is not to say that it's ideal. The title track that leads off Side 1 is a bit rough-sounding.

But it's listenable. More importantly, it includes some of the greatest rock music ever captured on tape.

Get it here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Turntablism Album, 1996-2000


Three hours of tracks ripped from turntablism albums published in the last five years of the 20th Century.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Pakistan | 7-10 PM EST


Pop, experimental, ghazal, electronic, qawwali, folk, and disco from the Islamic Republic

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan FLAC


I couldn't find any evidence of this recording anywhere online. It's not even listed on Discogs, although it may well have been recorded around the time of these four other collaborations by the Qawwali cousins

UPDATE: WFMU legend and Give the Drummer Stream Artistic Director (aka my boss) Doug Schulkind found that the three tracks on this cassette also appear on 1978's Supreme Collection Vol.3.

So this recording dates from more than a decade before NFAK would achieve international stardom. 

Instrumentation is sparse: tabla, harmonium, hand-claps, and two of the most expressive voices ever committed to magnetic tape.

The recording is breathtaking, with an earthiness more akin to David Toop's description of Lahore in Exotica than the singer's later collaboration with Eddie Vedder or the Massive Attack remix

Get it here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

South Africa | 7-10 PM EST


Three hours of Jazz, pop, kwela, punk, marabi, shangaan electro, and hip-hop from the rainbow nation

Listen to the show in the archives now