SOME GROUPS FROM MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE :
* THE BURGLARS : Malasyan group. Some tracks are ok, like "Pesem Dari Ku" with wonderful fuzz guitars solo's.
* D'4 EVER : "Mungir Janji" is a Yardbirds like Singapore Pop single song published at "Steam Kodok".
* SURAPON alias THE FOX : title ? : wicky 60's psych from Thailand, with weird effects & cat like screams single song published at "Steam Kodok". Audio : "Nang Maew Pee (The Ghost of Catwoman)" Cover up
"They were a three piece band in the mould of Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Who."
* LES KALIFAS : "Ikan Todak" : Singapore Pop, beat style single song published at "Steam Kodok"
* MIKE IBRAHIM dengan THE NITE WALKERS : "Cock Chock Kundong" : psych beat from Malaysia, single song published at "Steam Kodok".
* MOVEMENT : Singapore (freak)beat group with Beatles influences. Their single on Baal Records is an incredible and beautiful anti-Vietnam War beat psych track.
* NAOMI & THE BOYS : "Bad Loser" : 60's Singapore pop, somewhat English styled mainstream singers pop, M.Faithfull style, single song published at "Steam Kodok".
* OCTOBER CHERRIES : Singapore beat group
"The October Cherries are Premier band from Singapore. They began as Surfers and changed their name to the October Cherries, in order to get out of a contract with EMI and start their own label, BAAL. This move also helped confuse the pirates, who would sometimes have their unauthorized versions of records out by lunchtime on the day a new record was released! Sometime they are know as
Jade and Pepper (Jay and Pete )." Jessie Son <email@example.com>
"The have close to 20 Albums to their credit. Due to the severe piracy situation that the industry faced, they were forced out of the business in the early seventies. This top Asian (Singapore) band tried to go to the UK in the late 60s and earlier 70s. Could not get in and were dumped in Belgium. In Belgium, France and the Netherlands they made some 45's and even a mega-rare Belgian LP, before returning to Singapore. Other than The October Cherries they at time know as Jade & Pepper (Jay & Pete from The October Cherries). Funkgus being the heavier Porgy Funk group formed around the member of October Cherries plus additional musician from UK. I think Mr.Joseph Pereira know them well and should published a book about the group." Son, Cliff <Cliff.Son@snclavalin.com>
The style of them is very much Beatles inspired. They had produced some great tracks. The track "Can I hold your hand" has more rock guitar passages. Cover of the Meet the October Cherries LP here.
"The first hard core blues band in Singapore"
* THE QUESTS : "I'll be your man" : starts as complete kitsch, then creates some psych elements with tampura, organ,..; group scored hits in Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, single song published at "Steam Kodok".
Here a webpage about a book about The Quests :
Latest news : "Vernon Conelius of The Quests will perform a special song with Steve Howe called Mr. Rainbow during the YES concert Sept 25th in Singapore. The connection is that this is a song by Steve Howe's old group "Tommorow". It was recorded by The Quests in 1968 and became a number one hit for them in Hong Kong. 35 years later they will perform the song together. "
remark by Ross Knudson -LAMC Production- (YES Promoter)
"one of the pioneer bands of r & b and blues music"
intro from "17 a-go-go ultrararities from the 60's Singapore and South-East Asia Underground)" :
"Was there ever a Beast known as Singapore Pop. Now buzzwords like J-Pop or K-Pop abound but there was a time when Singapore Pop shined brightly. When groups were forming and being signed and records were being released weekly. Furthermore in multicultural Singapore bands were playing music but singing them in English which was the major language, Malay and Chinese. Therefore fans had three streams to choose from. The music produced by Singapore bands and singers mirrored the times.
Cliff Richard and The Shadows played a concert in Singapore in late 1961 and that marked the beginning of the beat group era. Before that it had been duos, trios and quartets and that had been a result of the Blue Diamonds performing in Singapore in 1960. The early bands were strictly instrumental bands and had singers as an afterthought. Most times singers, were adjunct to the band.
The arrival of the Beatles on the music scene in 1963 changed the emphasis on the instrumental band scene in Singapore as bands became self contained units with singers and instrumentalists although strictly instrumental bands flourished for a long time yet in Singapore as there was a need for instrumental music in many situations. So instrumental bands were able to find work and record and keep going.
The scene was further sub-divided as rhythm and blues UK style permeated Singapore and this caused another division among Singapore bands with the result that a new breed of bands appeared that drew from r & b influences. To compound the complications further, Malay bands drew from this new spring as they wrote their own music which drew inspiration from English r & b. Thus Singapore's musical brew was a heady mix of different influences sung in English, Malay and Chinese. The artistes presented on this LP represent a mix of those styles and influences. They range from popular bands like Quests who came from the early Sixties era, Naomi and The Boys who hit big in 1965 and had a successful four year run, Antartics who personified the second wave of r & b tinged groups, then Malay groups like D'4 Ever, Les Kafila's, Mike Ibrahim and The Nite Walkers, Swallows, Ismail Haron and The Guys and two guests from Thailand - Dynamics and Fox. The music ranges from pop r & b, early heavy to the plain weird. It is a mix of Western influences and Asian ethnic diversity to produce something unique that can only be Singapore pop albeit two guests.".
7 tracks from groups published at the "Steam Kodok" LP were chosen for airplay or remarks. These are added in the first list. Info on "Steam Kodok" LP or CD : M.J.Coumans : firstname.lastname@example.org
Subliminal FrequenciesV.A. : Pop Yeh Yeh (Ma/Si,60s,comp.2013)***'/**°
-psychedelic rock from Singapore and Malaysia -1964-1970-
I always wondered why it took so long before any compilation of Malaysian pop appeared. I was lucky to have heard a few rather psychedelic weirdo tracks before and a bit more light psychpop from the era. Malaysia/Singapore aren't so easy to reach and popular countries compared to some neigbour countries like Thailand or Indonesia. For the label related compiler it was an almost impossible task, but thanks to a sponsorship budget he finally was able to take a visit, meet the right persons and get a very good descent overview together. It is not a compilation of the most rare extremes in psychedelica, but it has become a very well compiled real-thing pop-psyche of yeh yeh 60s stuff*.
This is a genre I never took so much trouble in investigating. Compared to other Asian countries, Malaysia/Singapore just seemed to me to sound a bit more like the grey middle, very much influenced by the English aspect of "being in control". Never the less this grey has attractive colours, and the chosen tracks smoothly swing together. There are little real surprises, but lots of good 60s elements especially in the band swingings, and now and then in the 60s vocal arrangements, while the solo voices appeal a bit less to me (all is sung in Asian languages too), a few tracks are also a bit more entertainment too, but the bands performances and especially the radio show kind of great listen, richly make up for this.
What gives this compilation an extra boost is the booklet which is more like small book of info. For the moment this is nearly all introduction people can get access to in English language.
* Erica Terrini : "Pop Yeh Yeh artists were influenced by bands like The Beatles, and Cliff Richard from The Shadows. They did a lot of clean, but still kind of twangy-surf guitar and instrumentals and were influenced by Cliff Richard’s many romantic songs. Apparently some concerts Richards did over there around 1965 made a huge impression on all of the artists over there.
It has that beach sound but what they did is they took that surf, 60s sound with the guitars and took the Malaysian melody and sang their melodies over this sort of twangy-surf, 60s guitar - and that became what we know refer to as Pop Yeh Yeh, which is this sort of psychedelic, surf-pop from Malaysia."