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Nkumba System
Bailalo Duro

Bailalo Duro




1x Vinyl LP



Release date

Jan 1, 2020

Media: Mi
Sleeve: M


*Taxes included, shipping price excluded


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Liner-notes:Saigon Supersound Continues… to present more interesting tunes of a musical era that has long been obscured. With the well received Volume 1, we are very delighted to dig deeper and share with you the beautiful music of a short but significant period in Vietnam‘s history.Much like the country itself, the music of Vietnam has endured many twists and turns through the fate of history. As the result of the Geneva Accords in 1954, Vietnam was divided into two. From the North, the Nationalist forces fought to reunite Vietnam as a Communist State, while the American troops backed the government of the South.This caused a mass migration of around 600.000 to 1.000.000 Northerners to the South, which includes many Tân Nhạc (Modern Music) singers and songwriters. Often characterised by its emotive, poetic and prolific personality, Tân Nhạc continued to freely develop in the South and progressively vacating from the influences of its main inspiration, French music. In the North, the Resistance music, or the so-called Nhạc Đỏ (Red Music), which promoted socialism, patriotism and anti-capitalism was the only genre allowed to be played on national radio. Tân Nhạc was something new to the South Vietnamese repertoire, which consisted mainly of Cải Lương (Renovated Theatre Music) – a form of Vietnamese folk opera.Between 1954–1960, the theme of hometown (quê hương) was a main inspiration for many songwriters such as Hoàng Thi Thơ, Lam Phương and Nguyễn Hữu Thiết. The 9th title of the compilation, “Thôn Trăng Mở Hội Trăng Tròn” showcases a variety of images that were often described in this genre: the harvest moon, playful children, old mother… This romanticisation of the countryside directly reflects the land reformation in Vietnam (cải cách ruộng đất), a policy of confiscating the land of landlords and rich peasants through force and redistributing it to poor and landless peasants. During this time, songs such as “Khúc Hát Ân Tình” were sang by many in the South. With simple, uncomplicated lyrics and beautifully written melodies, this music did not only take to people‘s heart but also provided the Southerners with a new medium to convey their feelings with ease.Saigon, the bustling capital city at the time was often depicted as The Pearl of Southeast Asia. The lively atmosphere of Saigon was described by writer Hồ Biểu Chánh: “At the big gates, people tightly filled the space, the lads with the shiny combed hair, the ladies with the gaudy red lips, the old people with the tobacco pipe in their mouth jubilantly churning out smokes, the mum walking with her kids, some arrogantly running in front, some firmly walking at the back, loudly calling for each other, people bumping into each-other at the shoe shop, crowds roaring to enter places, people wearing fancy clothes, blended on the street with the working class folks without judgement, but happiness seem to shine on their faces”.This cosmopolitan, charming and prosperous perspective of Saigon is most evidently seen in the first title “Sài Gòn”, written by Y Vân, where the rhythms of Saigonese lifestyle could be instantly felt through the upbeat cha-cha-cha. The song is arguably the anthem of the city to this day. However, in the shadows of this glossy, gold-coated city, lies many people on the verge of poverty, of prostitution, of crimes.The 4th title, “Loan Mắt Nhung”, soundtrack to the same titled movie, describes the story of a young man whose fate has forced him to become a famous gangster in Saigon. It is also one of the rare blues that became a hit in South Vietnam. Such topics were never explored in Tân Nhạc up until the rise of the Vietnamese bolero music in 1960. Almost simultaneously, when the queen of Bolero Olga Guillot left Cuba to tour around Europe for the first time in 1958, another queen of Bolero was also born for the Vietnamese people; Thanh Thuý. Many argued that the bolero rhythm was imported to Vietnam to fulfil the need of western dancing for the elites, but we quickly saw that it instead evolved into the music for the masses. Often with down-to-earth lyrics that is distinctively Southern, Thuý’s voice quickly became a staple of the genre, and inspired generations of singers to follow. The two titles in this compilation, “Trăng Mờ Bên Suối” and “Những Đồi Hoa Sim” are essential examples of this movement for Vietnamese music.There is a Vietnamese saying about the relationship between a songwriter and a singer in this musical era: “đo ni đóng giày” which means “to be tailor-made”. In fact, the songwriters usually tailor-made the songs for a specific singer that they have in mind. Then, they’d spend countless hours to train the singer the way the song should be performed. In this way, a recording made by Phương Dung for instance, will always sound unique and deeply meaningful as she would be the only person to fully understand the intent of the songwriter. Not only that, the way music was recorded with the band was much different to the way it is recorded now. The band would typically follow a “leader”, who will decide the tempo, solo and improvisations of a recording. The fate of a recording lies in the mood of that leader, maybe he would play the music fast because he’s angry on that day, maybe he will play the music slow because he’s sad. Every recording made in this era is then an organic combination of human experiences, communications and uniqueness.In 1965, the first American troop landed in Vietnam, bringing with them the musical influences of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley… The Vietnamese people quickly integrated it into the repertoire with hope to further diversify the music of Vietnam. As an attempt at rock music, Kích Động Nhạc (Action music) was born, starring the biggest duo at this time: Hùng Cường and Mai Lệ Huyền. The pair specialises in the commercial rock scene with very energised live shows and recordings, mostly portraying a wilder way to love and relationships between a soldier and their lover. It is here that the funk, soul and rock ´n´ roll influences are evidently found in Vietnamese music. The last colour that is offered in this compilation “Lơ Thơ Tơ Liễu” shows a variety of styles combined into one song; influences of Chèo (Vietnamese satirical musical theatre), Cuban stylised piano solo, Ca Dao (Vietnamese folk song), wrapped in a distinctive humour exclusive to the band AVT. Perhaps what could be seen through these shifts and changes of Vietnamese music is a relentless quest to find its identity. Constantly changing and learning from different cultures, the modern music of Vietnam cuts a window into the soul of a Vietnamese person and the country’s history as a whole. With that, we hope that Saigon Supersound Volume 2 would take you on a trip back to the unique atmosphere of Saigon through the many different palettes of music that this beautiful place offers.
I came to Morocco in 2012 as the tour manager of Blitz The Ambassador, who back then was playing at Mawazine Festival in Rabat. It was the last date of the festival tour so I ended up staying a bit longer, adding some extra days in the rough yet beautiful city of Casablanca. In the 1960s and 1970s the city used to be the central hub for the Morroccan musical scene and recording industry with more than a dozen labels releasing a wide range of music.Strolling through the city in 2012 I ended up in a particularly rundown part of the medina. I took a couple of side streets and found myself in front of a tiny shop that was over and over filled with broken electronic devices. I would have nearly passed it unnoticed until I realized that behind the electronics trash were piles of dead stock records. It turned out the owner of the store used to run a record label himself in the 1970s and sometime in the 80s his business shifted towards electronics after cassette tapes took over the market. It took me nearly a day to go thru the piles of records of mostly 7“s I had never seen before. There was one record in particular that caught my attention. It was by a band called „Fadaul et les Privileges“ and mentioned James Brown in the writing credits of the song „Sid Redad“ on the a-side. Needless to say my expectations were high. The first time I heard the record I was blown away. A cover of James Brown’s „Papa got a brand new bag“ sung in arabic and backed by a rawly recorded three piece band. It’s hard to describe the music without having listened to it, but as time went by I somehow ended up summarizing it as Arabic funk played with a punk attitude. A description, that I feel, comes fairly close. Soon I became obsessed by the record but nobody seemed to know anything about the vinyl or the artists, even google didn’t help. A true gem forgotten about through the passages of time. I kept on traveling to Morocco trying to find infos about the artists, which did not end up being fruitful during the first couple of trips. What kept me going was the fact that over the course of the next years I kept on finding different records by Fadoul, in the end a total of four. They all had the raw sound aesthetic of „Sid Redad“. Energetic performances, a mighty voice and a very lively atmosphere that was preserved in the recordings.It took me until 2014 to find first infos about Fadoul and the news I got through members of another Moroccan band called the Golden Hands. They told me that Fadoul had passed away a long time ago. As sad as it was to hear this, it was the start of a hunt that started with a phone call to another Morroccan singer called Tony Day who knew where Fadoul’s family used to live in the 1980s. Another trip to Morocco, countless taxi rides, and numerous phone calls and street conversations later we were standing in front of the house of Fadoul’s family in central Casablanca. We ended up meeting one of his sisters who shared beautiful stories with us about her brothers life. A creative spirit who painted, played theatre and eventually ended up dedicating most of his energy to music. He spent some time living in Paris soaking up the music of James Brown, Free and other American bands, laying the foundation of his unique mix of arabic and western musical influences. After his recording career he kept on making music in the 1980s, exploring new musical grounds. One of the jingles of a big Moroccan orange juice brand is composed by him. He got married and had two children. Fadoul passed 1991 in Casablanca at the age of 50.Needless to say it sitting in the living room of Fadoul’s family was an emotional moment for for all of us. For his sister and family who would have never thought that Fadoul’s music gained this much attention outside of Morocco and who hadn’t heard his music for 30 years due to the absence of a record player in the house. And obviously also for me as the 3 year search came to an end. I was more than happy that they loved the idea to re-release Fadoul’s music. So here we are: "Azmanah Sa'Ib (Time Is Hard)“, Fadoul’s first LP 45 years after his music was originally released.Jannis Stürtz,(Jakarta Records / Habibi Funk)Rtiba/Tunisia, early august 2015