Next up I’m going to attempt to regurgitate some of the new-to-me-but-old-to-the-world music I’ve been listening too without actually writing all that much about it.
This is going to be broken into two parts, as we’ve got two very different scenes being represented here. The dramatic analogy is one side would really fucking hate the other for being a bunch of drugged out wasters, while the aforementioned drugged out wasters are too busy jamming to even notice.
Ready? No? Good.
Flower Travellin’ Band
Formed in the late sixties, FTB were Japan’s answer to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Deep, dirty and hazed out psychedelic rock, they were one of the few bands at the time to start bringing in “heavy” (for the time) elements into their music. This isn’t the classic rock you get on the radio. The guitars do weird things, spinning off into acid-fueled tangents that go some truly wonderful places. The vocals are there, but they are also just a wee bit unhinged. This is shag carpet, porthole windows and a lethal amount of marijuana music.
They have around 3 or so studio albums. I started at “Satori”. That’s where you get to start too.
The Incredible Bongo Band
A vanity project of MGM Records artist manager Micheal Viner started in 1972. His idea? Take a variety of existing rock/pop/soul songs, and a couple of his own compositions, and record them with a full band, a funky bent, and most importantly, bongos. This project pumped out two full length albums as well as a variety of other covers before the management shut it down.
The really interesting part comes around when you realize that there was no actual “Bongo Band”. This dude simply grabbed whatever musicians were around during recording down time, gave them some music, threw them together and recorded the output. The second interesting part comes around when you realize an indulgent percussion break on the song “Apache” would become the catalyst for the recently emerging DJ and Hip-hop scene. Just listen, I guarantee you’ll recognize it.
But don’t stop there. Both albums are crammed with jems like this one and will keep some funk in your rump for hours on end.