With the events in Turkey of late, my mind has been on international affairs and that led me to this post, focusing just on a few international 45s that I’ve picked up of late. High quality 45s are tough enough to come by for stateside music. Finding great international ones digging has been next to impossible for me (with one exception below). I’m not a world traveler so I don’t get to dig in foreign lands, so like so many Ebay remains my main enabler when it comes to music from outside of the US.
Edip Akbayram & Dolstar – Daglar Dagladi Beni
I relayed this story on my guest post at Nerdtorious a while back, but it bears repeating. At some point as I was buzzing through youtube videos looking for a track that was stuck in my head, I came across this video promising “Crazy Turkish Heavy Psych Funk Breaks.” The link did not disappoint, fuzzy guitars, heavy drums, cool singing in Turkish and, strangely, stills from Team America: World Police of turban wearing puppets. What was not shown or mentioned in the video was the name of the artist or the song. Having been led to youtube in an attempt to solve one riddle I had been led into another one and after hearing all those fuzzy guitars I was determined to figure it all out. Through some deductive reasoning (starting with the label, cross checking Ebay, moving to 1970s artists on that label and then back to youtube) I finally discovered that the artist was Edip Akbayram along with his group Dostlar.
The video featured excerpts from both sides of a 45 the band released in the early 1970s, “Daglar Dagladi Beni” on one side and the equally heavy “Ince Ince Bir Kar Yagar” on the flipside (each of these tracks are also featured on Edip’s super rare debut LP though they’ve also been compiled together by Shadoks, but even that collection is tough to find these days). As luck would have it the 45 was just waiting for me to get it on Ebay and I was more than happy to snatch it up. Whenever I hear the opening first minute of “Daglar” I immediately envision it being used in the soundtrack of a Quentin Tarantino film, as two characters are about to face off. It just has THAT kind of sound.
Erkin Koray – Yagmur
Though I’ve dug Turkish music from the 1960s & 1970s from some time, I hadn’t heard of Erkin Koray until Gas Lamp Killer & Gonjasufi liberally sampled his extraordinary “Yagmur” for the song “Kobwebz” on Gonjasufi’s debut. The original is perhaps one of my favorite psychedelic songs from this period of time from any country. With all those cascading waves of guitar, the song unfolds like a hallucination.
Ginger Ale – Seventh Floor
This 45 from Dutch group Ginger Ale is one of the very few international 7″s that I’ve run across in a store. I’m not sure why I didn’t pass this up while digging for Funk 45s at Bagatelle, but I’m glad I added it to my pile of things to check out. Ginger Ale only recorded a handful of singles, before the members went in other directions (notably to Ekspetion and Windjammer). The single “In The Sand” is nothing to write home about, but I really dig the production on the sample-worthy “Seventh Floor.” Like a number of international 45s, there is a picture sleeve for this one, it just wasn’t there at Bagatelle. With the way that rhythm rolls out, I wouldn’t let that, or the fact that they sing in English and not Dutch, keep me from adding it to my collection.
Jacques Dutronc – J’ai Tout Lu, Tout Vu, Tout Bu
Though Serge Gainsburg is the most recognized “bad man” of French music, Jacques Dutronc gave him a good run for his money. If Serge was more of a “dirty old man,” I like to think of Dutronc as a “merry prankster.” Virtually all of his music from the mid/late 1960s was great style and swagger to it. “J’ai Tout” is almost a half song, clocking in at only 1:36, but it packs a big punch. Interestingly enough, it’s not only his delivery that seems almost like proto-rap, but even what he’s talking about is pure Hip-Hop braggadocio as Dutronc runs down all that he’s read, all that he knows and all that he’s seen just to let you know how bad he is. It’s a great satire of more than a few people I’ve know, who seem uncomfortable admitting that there are some people they’ve never heard of, or actually read. At some point I’m gonna dedicate some time to remixing this into a proper song (inspired by what Matthew Africa, RIP, did to the Ohio Players “Ecstasy”) and if I do I’ll be sure to share it with all of you.