[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Tour du Monde, Volume 4′ (1968-1971)


Back again with the third “reissued” release in the ‘Le Tour du Monde‘ series: ‘Volume 4,’ covering 1968 to 1971.  The mood here is a little spookier, a little funkier, a little rawer, the beats are more to the fore.  But if you’ve heard any of the previous volumes, you can probably anticipate what’s in store: a heady post-Psych, post-Funk stew from a time of boundless exploration and fusion and invention.  Crazy Moogs, slinky harpsichords and Rhodes, choppy guitars, break-worthy drums, soaring strings, Tropicalia- or Indian-tinged percussion, horizon-expanding musique concrete production techniques, fuzz-bass as a lead instrument, sunny pop melodies, heartbreaking singer-songwriting, literal bells and whistles—all unstoppably funky.  There is a proto-electro Beethoven cover, a Japanese take on Jefferson Airplane, a Greecian take on “All Along the Watchtower,” a Moog-and-choral take on “Peace Train”.   Library sound, West Coast psych-rock, soundtracks, experimental 20th century composers, Motown and Motown-on-the-Seine (or Motown in the Outback, etc.).  Over fifteen countries, thirty-five artists and tracks, 2LPs, 100 minutes.

Naming names: you’ll find The Velvet Underground, Yoko Ono (in ghostly ballad form), Isaac Hayes, Nico, Curtis Mayfield, Miles Davis (featuring Sonny Sharrock’s echoplex madness), Can, and Stevie Wonder.  Then there are Brits Bill Fay, Roy Budd and weirdo-folkster Simon Finn; Moogists Gershon Kingsley and Hugo Montenegro; Italian purveyors of the beat Piero Piccioni, Giancarlo Gazzani, and Ennio Morricone in a poppy form; Jorge Ben from Brazil, Yuya Uchida & The Flowers from Japan, Swamp Salad from Australia, Saka Acquaye from Ghana and The Funkees from Nigeria.  Yugoslav sound librarian Janko Nilovic shows up here as Andy Loore.  Composers Vladimir Ussachevksy and Gyorgy Ligeti fit in with German Bruno Spoerri (a Can compatriot), Dionysis Savopoulos from Greece, and lesser-known Americans like The Open Window, Stark Reality, Black Heat, The United States of America, and revered jazz-funk bassist Monk Montgomery.  And of course, Musique du Monde represents la Patrie with Francis Lai, Trust, and Jean-Jacques Perrey with classic sample-fodder.  Tracklist, full album art, liner notes, and complete download follow the “more…” link.

Various Artists – ‘Le Tour du Monde, Volume 4’
(2xLP, Musique du Monde, France – 1971)

Side A:
01  [00’00”]  Jean-Jacques PERREY – “E.V.A.” (1970, France)
02  [03’06”]  Curtis MAYFIELD – “Underground (Demo)” (1970, USA)
03  [06’12”]  Roy BUDD – “Goodbye Carter!” (1971, England)
04  [09’18”]  Gershon KINGSLEY – “For Alisse Beethoven” (1969, Israel/Germany/USA)
05  [11’23”]  Piero PICCIONI – “Blue Rhythm Festival” (1968, Italy)
06  [14’20”]  Stevie WONDER – “Look Around” (1971, USA)
07  [17’03”]  Vladimir USSACHEVSKY – “Sketch 2″ (1971, Russia/USA)
08  [17’54”]  Bruno SPOERRI – “Les Electroniciens” (1971, Germany)
09  [19’48”]  The OPEN WINDOW – “4:00AM June, The Sky Was Green” (1969, USA)

Side B:
01  [00’00”]  Jorge BEN – “Take It Easy, My Brother Charlie” (1969, Brazil)
02  [02’33”]  Dionysis SAVOPOULOS – “O Paliatsos Ki O Listis” (1971, Greece)
03  [05’20”]  Hugo MONTENEGRO – “Peace Train” (1971, USA)
04  [07’50”]  Andy LOORE – “Mixed Drums” (1970, Yugoslavia/France)
05  [09’29”]  Yuya UCHIDA & THE FLOWERS – “Greasy Heart” (1969, Japan)
06  [13’17”]  The FUNKEES – “The Dancing Time” (1971, Nigeria)
07  [16’32”]  TRUST – “Les Blés” (1970, France)
08  [20’04”]  Simon FINN – “Laughing Till Tomorrow” (1970, England)
09  [22’40”]  United STATES OF AMERICA – “Coming Down” (1968, USA)

Side C:
01  [00’00”]  Giancarlo GAZZANI – “Under Drama” (1971, Italy)
02  [02’53”]  SPIRIT – “Mellow Fellow” (1969, USA)
03  [06’36”]  Bill FAY – “We Have Laid Here” (1971, England)
04  [09’01”]  Miles DAVIS – “Willie Nelson (Insert 2)” (1970, USA)
05  [13’15”]  Yoko ONO – “Mrs. Lennon” (1971, Japan/USA)
06  [17’22”]  György LIGETI – “No. 2, Coulée” (1969, Romania/Austria)
07  [19’34”]  Swamp SALAD – “Ode to Billy Joe” (1971, Australia)
08  [22’05”]  NICO – “Nibelungen” (1968, Germany)

Side D:
01  [00’00”]  CAN – “Turtles Have Short Legs” (1971, Germany)
02  [03’01”]  Stark REALITY – “Cooking” (1970, USA)
03  [05’37”]  Ennio MORRICONE – “Guardami Negli Occhi” (1969, Italy)
04  [07’45”]  Black HEAT – “Wanoah” (1971, USA)
05  [10’15”]  Saka ACQUAYE – “Akudonno” (1969, Ghana)
06  [12’45”]  Francis LAI – “Dans La Poussiere du Soleil” (1971, France)
07  [14’58”]  Monk MONTGOMERY – “Fuselage (Part I)” (1971, USA)
08  [17’25”]  Isaac HAYES – “Ike’s Mood” (1970, USA)
09  [22’13”]  Velvet UNDERGROUND – “I Love You” (1970, USA)

[Total Time: 100′ 35″]

Rough translation, back cover text:
“You can feel the change.  It’s happening in France. . . but it’s also happening in every corner of the planet!  Come with us on a journey to The United States, to Germany, to Russia, to Greece, Nigeria, Israel, England, Japan, Romania, Italy, Ghana—come on a world tour!  It’s the whole world, a new revolution on a twelve-inch platter!  Feel the funky rhythms, ride the shimmering strings, bounce with the bass, know the new sound, hear the new voice.  This is your time, this is our time—on Le Tour du Monde!”

Reiussue Notes:
We at the Musicophilia reissue program are proud to bring you another killer package from France’s revered Musique du Monde: ‘Le Tour du Monde, Volume 4’.  Another trip around the world from the hippest compilers and listeners at the dawn of the 70s—fifteen countries worth of the Moog-laden, Rhodes-fed, breaks-filled, string-kissed bliss-outs, futurist pop concoctions, mellow moods, and jazzy freak-outs.  By 1971, Musique du Monde was in full stride, releasing some of the best (and today, rarest) sound library records in France, but with a growing reputation amongst the cognescenti for their compiling chops through the ‘Le Tour’ and ‘Les Miniatures’ series, released in limited quanties direct to DJs, record store and club owners, and occasionally as scarce commercial releases.  And already their ethos of seeing no borders—neither national nor sonic—was in full swing.  So on ‘Volume 4,’ with tracks spanning 1968 to early 1971, you’ll find a Greek cover of “All Along the Watchtower;” a Japanese cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Greasy Heart,” and a sunshine-pop cover of “Peace Train;” Vladimir Ussachevsky and Gyorgy Ligeti alongside Isaac Hayes, Bill Fay and Jorge Ben; high-life from Ghana, and Afrobeat from Nigeria; Yoko Ono presaging Big Star; unique takes on funk from Italy, Germany, and Australia alongside Miles Davis breaking it down hard with Sonny Sharrock; foundational synth-pop from Jean-Jacques Perrey, Gershon Kingsley, and Hugo Montenegro; and unreleased or rare (at the time) demos and singles from Can, Nico, the Velvet Underground, Bruno Spoerri, and Curtis Mayfield, among others.  ‘Volume 4’ transports us not just through many places but wholly to another time, when possibilities were infinite and boundaries were for breaking.  We may never regain the openness to change and hopeful eagerness for the future that Musique du Monde captures here—but it remains, now as then, “our time” to enjoy, our “new sound” to experience. — I. Sonnecomme, December, 2008

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7 thoughts on “[Musique du Monde] – ‘Le Tour du Monde, Volume 4′ (1968-1971)

  1. I am really enjoying these – not sure which I like most – the minatures or tour de monde. What I think works so well is the unfamiliarising of the familiar by juxtaposing the velvets (or whatever) next to soemone I have no idea about.
    Keep it up!

  2. Thanks, Jenks. That’s what makes it fun for me, too–the re-contextualising, trying to think of unexpected pairings, joining long-time faves with more recent discoveries. Sometimes listening only to new-to-me gets overwhelming, and actually diminishes the impact–so that context can actually add more to my appreciation of that which I don’t know yet so well, but also to that which I do.

    Myself, I’ve been kind of digging the brevity tip lately; but ‘Musique du Monde’ is skipping ahead a few years to cover some territory of a rather longer sort of track. . .

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