Friday, November 5, 2010

V.A. - Raks Raks Raks - 27 Golden Garage Psych Nuggets From The Iranian 60s Scene


Iranian garage rock – kind of hard to believe at first, but a surprising musical discovery overall! The package documents a very overlooked scene – rock bands from late 60s Iran who were clearly inspired by the American underground of the time – working in a heady brew of guitar, organ, bass, and drums – usually with vocals in the local dialect, but a rockish groove that owes plenty to the US. There's less Eastern elements in the music than you'd find in Arabesk rock from Turkey – although some tunes here do have an exotic flavor at points, and really stand out from the rest. Yet even on the straighter numbers, the difference in language really gives these tunes an odd sort of feel – almost unsettling as you try to reach for familiar elements, then find them different in the end. The CD version adds 10 tracks to the 17 track LP version, and the titles include "Mehtaab" by The Littles, "Shekar Dar Kohestan" by The Golden Ring, "Hadjime Khali" by Kourosh, "Raks Raks Raks" by Moha Jamin, "Meekshi Manoo" by The Flowers, "Dance Music" by Penahi, "A B C D" by Skakayak, "Indian Rebels" and "Sha La La" by The Rebels, "Baroon Omad" by Bijan, "4 x 8 Jadeed" by The Littles, and more. Comes with full note in English, too! ~ Dusty Groove America 
 Various: Raks Raks Raks – 27 Golden Garage Psych Nuggets
 From The Iranian Scene
 (Image is from LP release, CD has 27 tracks.)
From the insert: Raks Discos is proud to present one of the most anticipated as well as unexpected compilations from the global depths of 60s and 70s rock'n'roll: The Persian scene. 

Let alone coming across with a representative compilation, even solid evidences of such a scene has not been seen until now and has been largely suspected, maybe save for a select few of eager garage and psychedelic record collectors and enthusiasts of worldwide rock, who have been trying to hunt such sounds on the internet and private collectors' circles, usually to no avail. Needless to say, the most important factor in this has been the obvious hideously rare status that Iran's pre-Revolution East-West cross cultural artefacts are in right now.

As with almost all Asiatic countries, the Shadows and the Ventures seem to be the true and primal influence in the Iranian music scene of the most part of 60s for the rock sound and attitude to penetrate the country's fledgeling record industry and its swinging public base. In 1964, the legendary Top4 company opened up and started releasing choice chart hits from the worldwide lists, on 4-track EPs, followed soon by MonoGram and other companies. These mixed up records featured a lot of popular songs of the day, spanning the whole European continent i.e. including what's referred to now as 'Euro pop' hits and the 'big brothers', UK and US charts. The day's youth back then was lucky: they could follow the West moment by moment now. The foremost impact of these were to feature and spread British invaders, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, otherwise available only on radio. Come 1966, 60s was in full swing in Iran too!

(review from original 17 tracks LP)

1. Littles - Fatemah Sultan (2:25)
2. Moha Jamin - Sheesh Va Hesht Moha Jamin (2:21)
3. The Flowers - Meekshi Manoo (2:03)
4. Littles - 4x8 Jadeed (1:31)
5. Group Takhala Ha - Dokhtar E Darya (2:59)
6. Zia - Man Kiam? (1:33)
7. Ojoobe Ha - Sartegar Nakesh Chen (3:32)
8. Penahi - Dance Music (3:46)
9. Moha Jamin - Ashk-e Roya E Bashkahe (3:03)
10. Golden Ring - Bar Ay Dokhtar Ha (2:28)
11. Moha Jamin - Raks Raks Raks (2:35)
12. The Rebels - Indian Rebels (2:50)
13. Kourosh - Hadjme Khali (3:25)
14. Googoosh - Respect (3:46)
15. Saeed - Mosh Va Karnah (2:55)
16. Golden Ring - Shekar Dar Kohestan (3:31)
17. Littles - Mehtaab (1:42)
18. The Rebels - Sha La La (2:04)
19. Saeed - Kocheh Asha (3:59)
20. Golden Ring - Pasar Ha Naz Kaneed (2:25)
21. Zinguala Ha - Atal Matal (2:12)
22. Shakayik - A B C D (3:40)
23. Zia - Baroun Behar Do Barah (2:46)
24. Ojoobe Ha - Beware (1:59)
25. 25-Bijan - Baroon Omad
26. 26-The Rebels - What He Can Do
27. 27-Shabah - I Need Somebody To Love


VARIOUS ARTISTS – Raks Raks Raks. Raks CD 001. NEW CD. Issued in 2009. 27 golden garage psych nuggets from the Iranian 60s scene (this is what’s printed on the front of the insert booklet; some psych by way of exotic indigenous sounds, but this is just Irans take on 60s rock/garage/beat/pop, for the most part influenced via the US). Includes an impressive 20-page informative/photo insert booklet (in English) with a plethora of information on their scene and the bands included within. TRACKS:  Littles – Fatemah Sultan, Moha Jamin – Sheesh Va Hesht Moha Jamin, The Flowers – Meekshi Manoo, Littles – 4 x 8 Jadeed, Group Takhala Ha – Dokhtar e Darya, Zia – Man Kiam, Ojoobe Ha – Sartegar Nakesh Chen, Penahi – Dance Music, Moha Jamin – Ashk e Raya e Bashkahe, Golden Ring – Bar Ay Dokhtar Ha, Moha Jamin – Raks Raks Raks, The Rebels – Indian Rebels, Kourosh – Hadjme Khali, Googoosh – Respect, Saeed – Mosh Va Karnah, Golden Ring – Shekar Dar Kohestan, The Littles – Mehtaab, Rebels – Sha La La, Saeed – Kocheh Asha, Golden Ring – Pasar Ha Naz Kaneed, Zinguala Ha – Atal Matal, Shakayik – ABCD, Zia – Baroun Behar Do Barah, Ojoobe Ha – Beware, Bijan – Baroon Omad, Rebels – What He Can Do, and Shabah – I Need Somebody To Love. DESCRIPTION:  Iranian garage rock -- kind of hard to believe at first, but a surprising musical discovery overall! The package documents a very overlooked scene -- rock bands from late 60s Iran who were clearly inspired by the American underground of the time -- working in a heady brew of guitar, organ, bass, and drums -- usually with vocals in the local dialect, but a rockish groove that owes plenty to the US. Some of the rhythms may at first seem strange, due to the use of 3/4 time (which is more common to Iranian traditional music) over the more common 4/4 time we Western rockers are more accustomed to, but don’t let that throw you. This is a surpringly great album, rich in talent and music; most impressive is that this music survives, as most of the scene after the Iranian Revolution was destroyed from local memory, physically as well as morally. There's less Eastern elements in the music than you'd find in Arabesk rock from Turkey -- although some tunes here do have an exotic flavor at points, and really stand out from the rest. Overall the sound quality is top notch for a collection of such rarity. This CD version adds 10 tracks to the 17 track LP version. 
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