(IMAGE: From Carl's '60s Malaysian vinyl collection, the cover for "Tonic Chop Gajah," an album of rockin' promotional songs about the benefits of Standard Sasparilla Tonic, a local Malaysian beverage)
My crate-digging brother Carl, aka DJ Carlito, has been collecting Malaysian psychedelic pop vinyl from the 1960s for more than a decade. He buys '45s one or two at a time from eBay sellers in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. You could say he's obsessed.
He has worked to track down the original recording artists in Malaysia to learn more about their lives, their work, and see if it's possible to archive and reissue some of their music. He wants new audiences to discover their supremely groovy vintage mutant jams, and see if there's a way to move some support their way in the process. With all of that in mind, Carl has launched a Kickstarter Project that you can contribute funds to if you are so inclined:
One goal of this project is to release a compilation of some of the most beautiful, soul-stirring music I have ever heard: vintage Malaysian pop from the 60s and 70s. This genre is also often known as Pop Yeh Yeh, a reference to the Beatles lyric "She Loves you (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)."
But what I must do first is find a way to license this music, and the only way to do that is to track down the original artists. So, the other main project goal is to interview the artists (several of whom I already have found contacts and addresses for!!) and others who I'll surely find while i'm there, to share their stories and memories with the world— for use on my radio show, as well as a possible future DVD documentary (from video I'd like to shoot while I'm there).
I'm a DJ on the radio, and in clubs here in the US and Ive learned a lot over the years from researching so many obscure artists. I've also become pretty skilled in finding the rare gems in a stack of old vinyl. I know I've got some gems in this stack of old Malaysian '45s.
• Carl's Kickstarter project link: MALAYSIAN 60s POP RESEARCH TRIP to meet w Artists, request Licensing & Interview them
• Carl's project pitch video on YouTube: here's his Kickstarter video on YouTube.
• Got other advice or ideas? Share them in the comments, or contact him here.
IMAGE GALLERY and VIDEOS from his extensive Malaysian psychedelia collection after the jump.
Carl says, "Not all of these YouTube videos I've selected here are Pop Yeh Yeh. I have included some other Singaporean and Malaysian Pop styles, but these are all "classic artists" and many of them sang "pop yeh yeh" music at one time in the region.
• Video shown above in this blog post was P Ramlee, performing Bunyi Gitar ("Playing Guitar"). An early, western-influenced song by the late great legendary film director, actor and song composer. This song paved the way for the whole Pop Yeh Yeh genre: a rock, surf, soul, "a-go-go" sound that exploded in Singapore and Malaysia in the 60s and continued into the early 70s.
• Saloma (P Ramlee's wife – also an actress): Bulan Bintang Jadi Saksi.
• Here are a few clips from the incredible film A Go Go 67. I would love to see this film in its entirety, but all I've seen are these clips from Suria TV channel broadcast (Singapore TV).
First, The Rythmn [sic] Boys featuring S. Mariam in A-Go-Go 67 (note the spelling of "Rhythmn" — was always like that on their records so they meant to do that). Here is S. Mariam 30-40 years later: Hilang Kekasih.
The Mods with singer Wan Intan, performing Penyakit Cinta.
Siti Zaiton and The Hornets performing the song Alam Seni.
M Ishak and The Young Lovers in the film A-Go-Go-67, doing the song Menari Go Go.
Sepuloh Budak Hitam by Aziz Jaafar & Puan Sri Saloma.
• Sharifah Ani, who sang in a 70s disco ballad style. She was also singing in the late 60s. This style was what came after Pop Yeh Yeh (Disco killed everything, didn't it?) Yang Di Tunggu Tak Tiba
• Footage from a 90s Pop Yeh Yeh "Nostalgia" concert: Roziah Latif doing Cinta Pertama (you can see the words "Pop Yeh Yeh" on the stage set up front
Here's Zaleha Hamid, a big star in the 60s and 70s. Zaleha made a comeback with here song Dangdut Bang (which caused controversy for its suggestive lyrics) and also Dangdut Reggae. Here she is doing a more traditional style song – 40 years later still singing.
• M Osman — here's one great track. You can see this EP in my Kickstarter pitch video lying on the table to the right.
• And finally for this mix-list, Mi Ishak and the Young Lovers.
(Images in this post were scanned by Carl from his Pop Yeh Yeh album collection.)