Monday, May 20, 2013

Various Artists - Pop Yeh Yeh - Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia 1964-1970: Vol. 1 (SF 079CD)

in honor of the Hemperor, Jack Herer.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

 Sublime Frequencies has created your rock soundtrack for the summer.   Pop Yeh Yeh - Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia 1964-1970: Vol. 1  (Pop Yeh Yeh), is a compilation that adeptly documents this singular moment in Singapore and Malaysia.  Given the various geopolitical and cultural transitions of the time, Pop Yeh Yeh was fomented by many factors, including western influences.  The name  of this period was created by a journalist who referenced the Beatles track, "She Loves You".  In the late 1950's, the initial wave of western rock and roll arrived in Singapore and Malaysia.  This period would act as a harbinger for the heavy sounds that would follow.  Pop Yeh Yeh was more than a hybrid or a cross-section of various cultures.  Artists from this period would reference western sounds, but Pop Yeh Yeh retained a singular character through melodies and lyrics, sung mainly in Malay.  By the time of the mid 1960's, electric rock became popular among teenagers.  Bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones,  The Hollies, The Ventures and Cliff Richard & the Shadows were prominent influences.  Soon, western bands started to perform in Singapore, which gave rise to the five piece band titled, kugiran.  M. Osman and the Mods song, 'Suzana', created in 1964, is referenced as the first Pop Yeh Yeh song.  More importantly, it was sung completely in Malay, which heralded the birth of true Malay rock.

Carl Hamm worked diligently to research and compile this collection of tracks, which was eight years in the making.  Overall, the entire package is beautiful.  The cd comes in a tri-fold digipak with beautiful artwork.  Accompanying the cd are two highly informative 40 page pamphlets that provide a detailed overview, liner notes, lyrics, album covers, photos, band bios and more.

Pop Yeh Yeh glistens on the top shelf next to all of the dank nugs. This is highly recommended.  It's one of my favorite releases from Sublime Frequencies, along with the Pakistan pop and folk record.  Also, it's worth noting that I often play this album to unsuspecting crowds in a bookstore, and the response is incredible.  People are curious about the beautiful flowering sounds emanating from the speakers, transforming a drab dust-filled storefront into a vibrant multicultural paradise.  The best part, though, is seeing people smile and dance to the music.  Soundclips for Pop Yeh Yeh are available online.  A search for Pop Yeh Yeh will locate a few previews. This is the real deal: purchase it from one of the best, Eclipse Records

peace and love, friends :)