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CIIIGoff

Kecak Cassette

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I recently found one of these at a thrift sale held for a local church. 

https://www.discogs.com/Kecak-Kecak/release/9559867

It appears to have been produced in the 1960's, but unsure.  There's no album notes at all, not even a mention that Kecak is Balinese music.  It features some extremely complex vocal arrangements from a huge group of people.  If anyone knows anything about this tape, I'd love more info. 

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The lack of liner notes (or info at all) and the album cover, make me think this is made to sell to tourists back in the 60s that were visiting the island and wanted to bring a little of the sounds home as a souvenir. Very possible not much more could be gleaned than from discogs. The complex vocal arrangement description has me intrigued to hear it! :-)

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I've seen a couple of other cassettes produced by LORD, who put this tape out.  It's not Nonesuch, which has quite an extensive collection of ethno-ambient stuff.  This cassette is not Gamelan either -- not like any Gamelan I've ever heard anyway -- there's no-to-little percussion of any sort on it, just two lonnnnnnnnnnnng sides of large groups of people singing complex vocals.  My guess is there was a lot of dancing going on while this was recorded.  I think, Mr. Hertz, another topic you might wish to pursue here in the EA club is a discussion of Nonesuch ethno recordings.  I only have a few of these, and my experience with them is hit-or-miss regarding recording and performance quality.  This Kecak tape surpasses most of the Nonesuch stuff I've heard in both areas (subjective opinion of CIII, of course, ha!)

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Ah, it looks kind of bootlegish. Glad its something else. Gamelan music varies widely. Some of it is quite soft and lyrical compared to the big ensembles. Especially the Javanese side. Try this one below.

As for Nonesuch, yeah they were very inconsistent. But some of the only ethnic music I could find until the late 80s when International music distribution improved a lot with the whole "World Music" fad.

 

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Nonesuch were a great label at getting the music out to the world in those early years. I always assumed their recording qualities varied because of problems that come with field recording. Not sure, but I still have a few on CD. It would be a good thread to run through some of their recordings. Good idea!

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The story of Nonsuch's world music albums can be best summed up by David Lewiston's life story. One of the early producers of World music. He passed away in May of this year. There's an excellent memorial to him on the Nonsuch site:

http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/david-lewiston-musical-explorer-dies-88-2017-05-30

For me, growing up in suburban Maryland. Nonesuch was one of the few labels that released stuff I knew I never heard before. Believe it or not, I found "Silver Apples of a Moon" at a shopping mall record store. :bounce:

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Now that we got to discussing this whole Kecak thing, I'm discovering a lot about it.  It is a big religious/cultural ritual that involves a lot of people moving around in interesting ways -- there's a bit of documentation on You Tube worth watching that I may not have discovered if this whole EA Club hadn't motivated me -- thanks to all involved.  Also, the idea that the tape I have is a bootleg of something else is possible, since I've discovered LORD put out some copies of a few "commercial" albums that I'm sure were unauthorized by their original producers.  Nevertheless, this tape is a winner, no matter what it's origin!  Here's some Kacak in action, skip to about 1 minute in to see this wild unique experience...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGXcnWUqV-Y

As for Nonesuch ethno stuff, this one is one of my personal favorites:

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Africa-Witchcraft-Ritual-Music/release/4034339

Anybody else heard this?

 

 

 

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The Kecek has always fascinated me too. There's a great clip from the film Baraka:

 

I have never seen that one before. I do have the "African Sanctus" album by David Fanshaw. 

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