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Digger’s Delight ($1.99)

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Lafayette_cover_small.jpg Yaadon_cover_small.jpg Hum_cover_small.jpg

Lafayette Afro Rock Band : Azeta
taken from the album “Voodounon” on Editions Makossa (1974)

R.D. Burman ft. Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar : Lekar Ham Diwana Dil
taken from the soundtrack album “Yaadon Ki Baaraat” on Odeon (1973)

R.D. Burman ft. Kishore Kumar : Bachna Ae Haseeno
taken from the soundtrack album “Hum Kisise Kum Naheen” on Odeon (1977)

Every year, for the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve had an incredible streak of record digger’s luck right around the time of my birthday- which is today, woohoo! I don’t quite know how to explain this phenomenon, I like to think of it as a sign that the records are actually looking for me, but it has happened now with enough regularity that I’m unable to avoid recognizing it. Last year I found a copy of the Black Blood album containing A.I.E. (A Mwana), and the year before that I picked the classic Buari record out of a dollar bin. But this year’s lucky b-day digging streak far surpasses all that. Friends of mine know that I’m occasionally prone to slight exaggerations of the truth, but not this time. I found all three of these precious gems in ONE week!

First off, The Lafayette Afro Rock Band. You can’t see it from your tiny .jpg image, but I left the price tag on this one- that’s because I got it for a buck 99! I know it’s super nerdy to brag about stuff like that, but gimme a break this time. It’s in perfect condition too. As for the actual music contained in the grooves of this beauty, it doesn’t get a whole lot better in the world of sick mid 70’s Afro-Funk-Psych-Rock. This same album was also pressed on a different label, with the addition of three other songs, under the title “Soul Makossa”. The real reason you want to pick up this album though, is to get your hands on the song “Hihache”. I could have given it to you, but it’s already out there on about a hundred afro-funk compilations (deservingly too, the track is ridiculous). So instead I bequeath to you “Azeta”, famously sampled by Kruder & Dorfmeister on the track “Deep Shit Pt. 1 & Pt. 2”. This group is made up of cats originally from the States, but after relocating to France, they started to absorb African influences from the strong immigrant community there. You might also know of their work under the name Ice. Still interested? Keep reading about them here.

Next up, TWO insanely wacky and groovy Bollywood soundtracks- both arranged and produced by my main man R.D. Burman. Each one set me back less than a five spot- no joke. I’ve got to admit, I haven’t seen either of these films, they’re currently ranked high on my “to do” list, but I had heard about them. Hum Kisise starts off with a funky Shaft sounding theme topped by a dubbed out wailing trumpet that I already had from this compilation. And actually, now that I’m doing my backchecking, both of the songs I’ve given you appear on this collection. Damn, and I thought I was hooking you up with exclusives, oh well. Like the movies themselves, these tunes unfold in a long series of abrupt twists and turns. Even the tempo will completely drop and pick up to near double time. It was really hard to pick which songs I put on the site, pretty much every groove on both of these records has a wealth of interesting sounds. “Lekar” has those sinister stabs and grimey shouts that are so common in the action sequences. If you’ve never experienced one of these films in its entirety, I implore you to remedy the situation asap. In generral, the fight sequences more closely resemble what you’ll find on WWF than anything from a Kung-Fu flick. Over the top is standard. I went with “Bachna” because of the heavy soloing at the start, and the little percussion breaks in the middle. I take it that this movie is about a diamond smuggling debacle between Africa and India, but some part of this film MUST take place in a disco.

If you’re somebody who loves the intensely bright indian imagery as much as myself, check this for a little inspiration. Also stay tuned, VIA extended family member Pandemonium Jones is soon to be a regular contributor to the Crate.