Monday, April 20, 2009

Carl Stevens - African Sounds - 1965

If you have any love of exotica this record will be right up your alley. Though not exactly exotica, because it's not trying to sound like music from the South Pacific or South America it is making some vague attempt at being African. I use the term African very loosely. The sound is actually decidedly Western or American. The real plus of this record is that the production is fantastic. Recorded on 35 mm film, no expense was spared. This copy that I have is also quite great in my opinion, which has made for a pretty clean rip.

The jacket art is also pretty good. Very colorful and fun.

The record starts off with the classic Baby Elephant Walk. This track always makes me think of Homer Simpson. I've forgotten exactly why. I'm sure it was featured in an episode of the Simpsons way back in the day. It's been long enough that I've forgotten the specific scene or context. Whatever the case, it makes me think of Homer.

"Afrikaan Beat" is another great one. It starts off with a rhythm on a triangle or some other metal instrument. The rhythm of it reminds me of I think the Baretta theme. If I'm mistaken on that it's another 70's cop show like Swat or Starsky and Hutch. Give it a listen and tell me which it is. Now don't get excited thinking this is going to turn into a funky 70's riff, because it doesn't. The song stays pretty mellow, but still has a charming groove to it. In fact there is a liberal use of guitars throughout the record that are quite "groovey".

Then there is "Lion Sleeps Tonight", which I believe I may have featured here before by another artist. This is another fun instrumental of that song.

If you try out just these first 3 tracks you'll get the flavor for the rest of the record. I personally love every track on here. There is an irony to the happiness in the songs when put in the light of today's knowledge of all the tragedies that are going on in Africa. Maybe that will put you off. It is kind of a sad thing to think about, but then again if you start to get down, the music will pick you right back up again.


Carl Stevens - African

01 Baby Elephant Walk.m4a
02 Afrikaan Beat.m4a
03 Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight).m4a
04 Botha-Bothe.m4a
05 Jolly Jika.m4a
06 The Call Of The Jungle.m4a
07 Skokiaan.m4a
08 African Waltz.m4a
09 Wa-Chi-Bam-Ba (Valley Of A Thousand Hills).m4a
10 King Kong.m4a
11 Tsetse Fly.m4a
12 Tiana-Tche (The Jungle Roars).m4a


anomia said...

Your links for this LP aren't working, for some reason.


Spencer said...

I leave the links active only for a certain amount of time. I have found that the longer the links stay active the more likely it is that someone will complain and blogger will delete the post. If you have further interest in the record, e-mail me and maybe I can hook you up.

S'MUSIC said...

Hello, Spencer - I'd like to get this album, can you send me the link to download it?
Thank you - LAÉRCIO

Spencer said...

LAÉRCIO, send me your e-mail and I can send you a link.

Spencer said...

LAÉRCIO, I got your e-mail and tried responding to it with a link, but the message got sent back as undeliverable. I just tried again, so we'll see what happens.