‘Absolute Belter Compilation – Mid – Med – Mod – Rock & Spanish
Psychsploitation From The Cradle of Spanish Pop’.
Finders Keepers 2010
Vinyl (x2 with insert booklet)/ CD/ Download
Track List –
1. Fusioon – Tocata Y Fuga (03:42)
2. Furia – Furia (03:11)
3. Los Roller – Un Consejo (02:28)
4. Los Huracanes – Cambio (02:47)
5. Sonia – Aqui En Mi Nube (Get Off My Cloud) (02:39)
6. Rudy Ventura – Soy Un Soñador (03:44)
1. Fusioon – Ciclos (02:43)
2. Fuerza – Un Lugar (02:20)
3. Rudy Ventura – Yamasuki (02:34)
4. Control – Por Las Viejas Calles (03:29)
5. Fusioon – Farsa Del Buen Vivir (03:07)
1. Los Huracanes – Good Gally Miss Molly (02:22)
2. The Brisks – El Juego Del Amor (The Game of Love) (02:04)
3. Los Ros – Cuentame Cosas Tuyas (02:41)
4. Albert Band – Ella Tienne El Cabello Rubio (02:38)
5. Los Mismos – Jefe Ironside (02:30)
6. Los Roller – Camino Cortado (03:36)
1. Soledad Miranda – La Verdad (02:21)
2. Los Gritos – Veo Visiones (03:03)
3. La Nueva Banda De Santisteban – Zorongo (02:22)
4. Top Show – Escucha Nina (02:09)
5. Hermanos Calatrava – Space Oddity (04:19)
Once again those artifact treasure hunters, Finders Keepers, trawl the Loch Ness of forgotten music, searching the primordial seabed for loot.
In this increasingly difficult age, in which to remain undiscovered, this Manchester based collective of perverted obsessed vinyl delinquents still manage to dig up the goods.
On this occasion they pick the bones out of Spain’s most productive independent, and revered label, Absolute Belter; celebrating the 50th anniversary of the record companies founding, over four arriviste sides of sumptuous vinyl.
This Barcelona-based company literally single-handily kept the home-grown Spanish music scene going at a time when foreign imports ruled the roost.
With the added bonus of the draconian Franco military regime in power, the label had to duck numerous censorship and control issues, yet the tyrannical rule did little to dent ambitions.
Every form of music that you can conceivably make up came out of their HQ, which was evidently run out of an operational casino for many years, until the money aptly poured in.
From the commercial wince of ‘Viva Espana’ to countless celebratory fronted fatuous tripe, they never blinked an eyelid at releasing anything, no matter how beguiling, cringe-worthy or uninspiring.
Thousands of records must have left the studios over that time making the job of compiling the best tunes quite a challenge; the genuine nuggets being sifted through by the Finders Keepers troop for our benefit.
Every track preserved here for your joy, is enchanting and magnificent in equal measures, dripping off the turntable and seeping into your psyche with far too many highlights to mention from the 22 songs spread. So I’m going to tell you about the first six belters off the opening side. This should give you a reasonable taste of what to expect.
The first song, by this albums most featured stars Fusioon, marches in on the pretense of re-working Bach’s classical funeral procession dirge compositions. Lavish Gothic organs flourish Ala a Mogadon induced Procol Harum, whilst sweeping psych-horror, straight from the crypt, and prog-rock aspirations are mixed into one giant ritual pot, before some charming bass and backing head towards Krautrock, courtesy of Amon Düül II’s ‘Sleepwalker’s Timeless Bridge’.
After this outpouring of macabre pastoral theatrics we are thumped in the face with a crazed Spanish gang of miscreant pill popping skinny pants wearers, who perform via a dungeon retreat come club lounge, envisaged by some insane dark arts magi whose hoping to induct some young hippie nubile girls into his cult.
‘Furia’ by the band of the title, lay on some thick fuzz and race through their own high octane-bewildering firestorm of blissful exuberance and dance floor explosive funk like they know what their doing!
The Los Roller let us have both barrels, with the freakbeat anthem ‘Un Consejo’: a real feverish dose of garage shambling soul and noisy brow-beating cymbals.
Smooth pinpoint accurate probing bass lines devour all those who dare enter, and give the likes of The Remains and Paul Revere a run for their money.
Los Huracanes sound like a Hammond R’n’B version of The Strawberry Alarm Clock digesting copious amounts of Simon Dupree, as they go all-out to breath some life into the last ruminants of blue-eyed soul. A tight horn section strikes up as the keyboards emanate a pulsing swathe of earth shattering and rattling grooves, fit for any hip Kings Road posers and Soho club dandies, during 1965.
Next up is the inspired cover version of the Stones ‘Get Off Of My Cloud’, or as its known in the mother tongue ‘Aqui En Mi Nube’.
Singing this wry tribute is the misty eyed chanteuse Sonia, whose exotic linguistics lends the pop track a worldly seductive knowing wink.
Sexy and cool as hell with a raised tone like a harsh whip, this strangely unnerving rendition is as rare as the old proverbial rocking horse shit, so this could be your only chance to own a copy.
The A side finishes with the cabaret showboating of Rudy Ventura, who the albums notes reassure us was Spain’s national treasure. Rudy recorded an exhaustive catalogue of sound-a-likes of all the current trends, including this hurried impromptu freak-out ‘Soy Un Soñador’, which kicks off with staggering funk fueled break-beat drums and rowdy bass, before various space age lasers and incessant grooves pour in.
His second track on the compilation,‘Yamasuki’, has to be heard to be believed, its sheer audacity at Japanese musical cliches is jaw dropping – oh and it deserves some serious remixing.
Eerily redolent versions of Goblin, Black Sabbath, Spooky Tooth, Kipperton Lodge, Hendrix and Deep Purple can be found everywhere on this compilation, with disco, heavy rock, Eurovision and Euro Ye-Ye all being soaked up by these Mediterranean sponges.
There’s even an awful camp comedic version of Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ included, with the straight man from the popular Spanish showbiz duo Hermanos Calatrava taking on the mantle of astronaut, whilst his goggle eyed weirdo partner yaks and pisses all over the somber originals backing – hilarious: well no, in fact rather terrible.
One last deserved mention must go to the Spanish actress Soledad Miranda, the leading lady for Jess Franco’s titillating horror films, namely ‘Vampyros Lesbos’, before her untimely death in a car accident.
Here she swoons over a haunting organ and floor tom, that steps up to a Eurotrash polka, full of resigned sighs and French evoking aloofness.
Unfortunately they seldom make music like this anymore, the naivety and innocence all but distinguished in our cynically charged present times.
Pick up this reminder of how our common market friends used to do things. Sit back and indulge yourselves in the warm afterglow of an arcane period in musical heritage. Failing that, cheer up and draw back the furniture for a freak out, titling your head back in mocking disparagement at our foolish cousins across the sea.