Wednesday, 27 February 2008


Here's something different, a post dedicated to the mighty continent of Africa.
Mostly recorded in the late 60s and early 70s, this is MINDBENDING stuff!
A melting pot of Jazz, Soul, Funk, Psychedelia and whatever else you think is there!
Groovy sounds from Orlando Julius...while Ofo The Black Company is totally wild!

Check their "Allah Wakbarr".
A real favourite of mine is Ethiopian composer Girma Beyene...magical, unique, mesmerizing sounds!
This is another homemade comp, most of it comes from NIGERIA (by far the African country with the largest population) and there are a couple of tracks I don't really know where they're from, perhaps somebody could tell me.
If you enjoy it I might post more!
Let me know...

1.Gasper Lawal – Awon ojise oluwa (6:23) NIGERIA
2. Bala Miller & The Great Music Pyrameeds Of Afrika – Ikon Allah(5:48) NIGERIA
3. Orlando Julius & His Afro Sounders - Alo Mi Alo (8:07) NIGERIA
4. Blo - Chant To Mother Earth (6:10) NIGERIA
5. Girma Beyene- Ene Negn Bay Manesh (4:04) ETHIOPIA
6. Ofo The Black Company - Allah Wakbarr (Love is you) (3:32) NIGERIA
7. Moussa Dombia -Keleya (10:48) ?
8. Girma Beyene - Set Alamenem (5:30) ETHIOPIA
9. Orlando Julius & His Afro Sounders - Psychedelic Afro Shop (6:11) NIGERIA
10. Honny & The Bees Band - Psychedelic Woman (4:33) GHANA
11. Ofo The Black Company - Beautiful Daddy (3:40) NIGERIA
12. Vum Vum - Muzangola (2:09) ANGOLA
13. Girma Beyene - Yebeqagnal (3:33) ETHIOPIA
14. Orchestra Regional De Kayes- Sanjna (6:01)MALI
15. Girma Beyene - Enken Yelelebesh (3:22) ETHIOPIA

The Rokes Wonderful Sike Sides

The Rokes really need no introduction (check their official site and for more info).


Well, if you are new to them...These four Brits settled in Italy as early as 1963 and lasted until 1970, releasing four albums and several 45s among the most successful and better remembered there.
Most songs were recorded in Italian (all the hits) and some were re-recorded and released for the UK and US market.


Perhaps my very favourite since I discovered it years ago on one of those great Incredible Sound Show Stories comps is "When the wind arises" originally released in Italian by I Dik-Dik.
The Rokes version is far superior adding a real psychedelic touch to it.

The aim of this post is to collect just a handful of similar psych pop gems (or call them what you like!) that are probably among the least known of the band and some of my favourites.

1. Passing Thru Grey (unreleased 1966)
2. Hold my hand (1967)
3. I'll change my papers (1967)
4. Watch the children play (1967)
5. Ripe Apples (1968)
6. Telegram for Miss Marygold (1968)
7. When the wind arises (1968)

Download link:

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Garage Beat in Florence (NET Recordings 1966 )

This wonderful comp came out few years ago on CD only (Beat.It, 2003) Most of these tracks might be familiar to those who like me bought the great vinyl comps "60s Italian Beat Resurrection" on Destination X in the 1990s. Check them out , together with lots more on Italian Beat on the great Caveman Beat blog.
Mind you, sound quality is greatly improved here.

All 28 of these recordings were issued as freebie seven-inchers with the Nuova Enigmistica Tascabile (NET) in order to boost sales of the crossword puzzle magazine in Florence during 1966. It proved a smart move, sales went up and bands lined up to record.


Needless to say those involved never received any royalties, but were glad for the opportunity to record. Those recordings took place at Giuliano Giunti and Roberto Gramigni's Studio Due that opened in early 1966, using an innovative two-track recorder. In order to keep the costs of production lower cheap plastic was used with just a little vinyl added therefore quality was not exactly the best ! Throughout 1966 records were made successfully until November 4th that year when the great Florentine flood destroyed Studio Due and the equipment and instruments of most of the bands and artists featured on the disc.

This is then a very important document, it's almost certain than most of this stuff would have never seen the light of day.
Giuseppe Pini (formally drummer with Noi Tre, featured here) spent ten years searching out the original 45s and infos about the bands. This is a real labour of love, really worthing picking up if you can still find copies since it comes with a glossy CD sized 40pages booklet in which the story of Net and the Florence scene is documented in detail along with the groups involved.
The booklet is in both English and Italian and has several b/w and colour pics of the groups.

The music? It 's mostly Beat, at times very a real garagey, do-it-yourself kind of way, you might even wonder what's going on with the first few tracks...
A personal favourite is 'Danny' (aka Paolo Tofani), who was an experimental recorder and multi-instrumentalist that played everything on these tracks and later became a member of I Califfi and went on to much greater fame with Area but is featured here with his earliest recordings.
To these ears he sounds ahead of the game especially on track 23 one of the six unreleased cuts on the CD.

Download link:

1.Telstars - She Waits The Happiness
2. Telstars - With My Girl
3. Danny - Everything
4. Telstars - Solo Me
5. Danny - Somebody Else
6. Billy E I Cani Fedeli - Lei Ama Me
7. Danny - In The Morning
8. Spettri - Non Mi Lascerai
9. Telstars - I'm Feeling In Love
10. Spettri - Non eri per me
11. Facce Di Bronzo - È Inutile
12. Facce Di Bronzo - All Right
13. Tremendi - Where's My Baby
14. Tremendi - Together We're Strong
15. Telstars - Tu Sei Lontana
16. Spettri - Come Farei
17. Tremendi - I knew i'd get you
18. Tremendi - If you don't come around
19. Danny - We could be happy
20. Danny - That's alright
21. Noi Tre - Distruggimi
22. Noi Tre - Se tu non ci sei
23. Danny - Il tempo sopra noi
24. Fellows - Per chi non conosce la libertà
25. Fellows - La mia strada
26. Noi Tre - Un posto dove
27. Noi Tre - Non piangete io son contento
28. Noi Tre - Outside (live 1966)

tracks 1-18 originally released on NET
tracks 19-23, 28 previously unreleased
tracks 24-27 originally released on Ginco (Studio Due label)

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

The Planets (1967) Beat Italiano's best album?

Here's a wonderful album by a very obscure band that rather than recording a single or two actually released a full album for ARC Italy in 1967: I love it!

I first came across them thanks to the great comp of few years ago "Come I Ragazzi della Via Paal" (vinyl only, 1994) an excellent sampler of great stuff from 1960s Italy, the kind of stuff you want to hear, very hard to find and most importantly of a different kind from most other bands that were/are better known.

I know now that the guys pictured on the back sleeve of that comp are the Planets, the band moved to Rome but was originally from Taranto in the Southern region of Puglia (the heel of the boot...).

There's a great site in Italian, about 60s Italian Beat with lots of info but had nothing on the Planets until my inquiry about a year ago, then they managed to collect some info and it turned out that the band had a certain exposure, appearing in films....

The album start with 3 covers and tipycally with completely different lyrics in Italian often about those misunderstood long-haired youth..see if you recognise them, the rest is mostly original stuff though and there's a further cover that was included on the above mentioned comp (perhaps Mr Gibbs could do an alternative version of this last one).

The source of this post is an original vinyl, you can hear the crackles and there's even a wee jump near the end of track 7.

NEW LINK! (23 Nov 2010)