iTunes/ Keyboys : Gold -digi- (KO,1975)****'
airplay : track 1,3,4,8
Really a shame nothing from the Keyboys has been reissued yet on LP or CD. This “Gold” album is the only LP I have heard so far. It isn’t too rare but I chose to pick out the Itunes version only for practical reasons although I think the difference of price between downloads and physical albums should be much more pricewise, just to stimulate the effort being putto in physical products, and the whole involvement in the making associated with such physical products.
The first track starts with a heavy guitar intro (which I remember from somewhere?), which is suddenly changed with lighter 60s vocals on top and some brass accents, as if this is a studio remix of an originally heavier psych track, it is made lighter in a popular sound of the 60s, psych-pop related way. We still hear some organ improvisation being added in between. The beat harmonies sung here are nice too. The second track has dance rhythms produced by bass, organ and drums. The nice beat styled harmonies are continued, trumpet solos are used too, and organ arrangements occur too. Two times a female backing choir is added to the dominant male harmony vocals. The third track, introduced by wordless female vocals, a samba rhythm and organ seems to be inspired on a Korean folk melody. The rhythmic bells played here are a bit belly-dance like. The song is sung with beat harmonies. We also hear some soprano sax (?) arrangements. The song is repeated by electric guitar. Also the next track sounds like a Korean melody, arranged by electric guitars, some flute and some strings of course nice close harmonies. The fifth track starts with a leading fuzz guitar, is another pop/rock/psych/beat song (with well done vocal harmonies !). It has some nice small fuzz solos too. The next track sound a bit more mainstream (lullaby), but it has beautiful flute arrangements too, with some strings and small organ melody leads. Then we have a samba rhythm track with Spanish guitar paying, one more tasteful beat /pop/psych track.
The album concludes with something very special. It starts in a traditional, acoustic way with a meditative (native-?) flute improvisation. Then percussion is added, clearly in a Korean way. An electric guitar plays in a traditional way. The singing voice then added quickly changes the mode to Korean pop/psych, keeping the traditional melody of a song but bringing it into a different context, with some brass accents and the psych pop/rock band interpreting the song. Female singers added make the finishing touch to conclude with powerfully.
This is a nice album to trace, it has lots of elements that will please the listeners, with well performed and creatively interpreted beat, psych and crossovers ideas.
PS. Later I found the now already sold out CD release (front cover
Seoul Rec.Keyboys : Gold -CD- (KO,1975,re.1991)****'
The CD version contains 12 tracks, while the LP/digital version contains only 8 tracks, so on this CD version there are 4 bonus tracks in a similar style. The tracking order is different and I am also not sure if we have everywhere the same versions/mixes of songs or not. To take as an example, the first track with harmony vocals, female background singers, relaxed drum, bass and organ and trumpet solos, should be the same as track 2 of the LP but the final mix might be just a little bit different. The second track has a female choir singing a Korean melody beautifully with guitar/ bass/ organ/ percussion accompaniment, a beautiful intro for the song with male harmony vocals singing, and some clarinet too. This is followed by a vocal harmony and fuzz guitar driven track, which is track 5 from the original LP.
Let’s then just mention the bonus tracks. The 5th track for instance, a vocal harmony driven song with electric piano and strings, with relaxed drum and bass, fitting well with the previous tracks. In the same style and another bonus is the 6th track, accompanied by fuzz guitar, which remains for a while in the bass area and later shows some more improvisation, and with organ, drum and bass rhythms. Also the tenth track is an extra addition, in the same style of harmony vocals, and with a pretty, happy rhythm. The last bonus track, track 11, is played by acoustic rhythm guitars and some warm exotic picking, and with some organ and is sung with the same attractive vocal harmony singing. It is more acoustic compared to the other songs.
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