Jovem Guarda (Brazilian 60s RnR/Beat/Pop/Psych) | Evelution of Genré

Jovem Guarda was the Brazil Beat and Pop movement of the early to the late sixties. Like I explored it already in southern Europe (Yé-Yé), the Netherlands (Nederbeat) and Japan (Group Sounds), also Brazils' youth coveted the UK & US sound that conquered the world rapidly. While Brazilian music and lifestyle imitations and interpretations started at the end of the 50s with petticoats, jukeboxes, oldtimers, wild Twist dances, Teen Pop and Rock'n'Roll, 1963 (the birth year of J.G.) held a surprise that lead to an initial kickstart of what was to become "ie, ie, ie", the first official umbrella term to describe the new movement of teen excitement in this new sound. Like Yé-Yé the name leans on the Beatles' "Yeah Yeah Yeah" in their song "She Loves You". The Beatles indeed were a central idol and role model in the Brazil movement. The artistic and subcultural hype resulted in a quite popular TV show set up and first aired in 1965 in São Paulo. Due to the national success, it became a leading source for a whole teen movement of hipness and style. The show even trendsetted popular slang phrases used among young people. Extravagant and colourful cloth and a laid back cool attitude established, just as it did in swinging London. Representing and commercialising the movement at the same time, "Jovem Guarda" as a term even replaced the previous "ie, ie, ie". The J.G. show host Roberto Carlo among Erasmo Carlos and Wanderléa, all famous musicians, played interpretations of the Anglo-Saxon hits of the day. Among those three in-house artists of the TV show, national bands got invited to play in front of millions of viewers... Read more
Read More

Nederbeat (NL Garage/Mod/Psych) | Evolition Of Genré

The Netherlands always has been a country I never completely understood. Of course, their successful drug politics are outstanding and the fact that the record store concentration feels like paradise as does the world's biggest Record fair on its own already, held for years in Utrecht. The artistic collective "The Fool" speak for the colourful expedition a whole generation in NL took. Here in Germany, we had communes and all this too, but rath rarely, with a completely different notation and timely massively delayed. Getting on the track of "Nederbeat" it needs to be said, that the definition umbrellas - more than I first thought. It all started way before the first Nederbeat singles appeared around 1963. Similar to the US history of music, the Netherlands had a massive Instro & Surf Rock phenomenon. Differently to the US it were Indonesian immigrants that developed a unique sound mixing Surf, Instro & Hotrod music with their Indonesian musical background. (The Netherlands had a colony in Indonesia for hundreds of years and used to run tradelines until 1949). These circumstances apparently caused a similar sonic evolution as it happened at the same time in the Staates. Out of the Surf & R'n'R mixture, a Garage Rock sound crystallised. Besides, the British Invasion happened in NL too but had been present before a well. I'm guessing the short distance and overseas trading connection to the UK explains the fast and solid transfusion of Mod to the Netherlands. Since the strong native construction of a Garage attitude, Beat was adapted and included. This led to a sound that reminds me of the Rolling Stones. Still Beat, but quite garagy. What was very welcome in the Netherbeat, was the wilder UK R&B Mod like we know it from Van Morrison's "Them". However there are also straight Merseybeat sounding bands to be found in Nederbeat, but they are not the majority. Considering the Freakbeat movement that Nederbeat also umbrellas, the UK influences were much bigger than one might conclude when hearing the Garage Rock. I don't think it can be expressed in percentage, but to me, it appears quite balanced regarding these ... Read more
Read More

Garage-Psych (mid/late US 60s) | Evolution Of Genré

Before these lines, there has been an article about Garage Rock, which I recommend reading first to fully understand what was about to happen in the mid-sixties, that lead to this intermixture of two genré's that are otherwise widely considered on their own. There is something special when it comes to the mid-sixties. For some cosmic reason all over the world, there was a strong focus on anything beyond the rational mind. People started excessively to explore the mysterious, seeking mind expansions, opening "the doors of perception" and fulfilling the prophecy of the "Rainbow Warriors". While Garage Rock -until then- was about lightly revolting teenagers expressing their temper, this newly, globally enlightened aquarian mindset seemed prophetic and holy, somehow from another dimension. Introducing those two players, wild stomping 60s Garage Punk youth on one and sparkling third eye psychedelia movement, on the other hand, it's hard to believe that they found a conclusion in a mutual dance. But finally, they did and the result is as reasonable as it could be when those two worlds meet. Read more
Read More

Group Sounds (Japanese variant of US Garage/Psych) | Evolution Of Genré

As a western citizen, any excursion into exotic cultures is a complex undertaking. Concretely spoken I'm examining the so-called "Group Sounds". A Japanese answer to the western musical and cultural movements of the sixties. As an copyist country, also Japan's Group Sounds merely consist of an immitation of US music, although one or another uniqueness might have been created. One major benefit for the free expression in art was the alliance with the USA. Artists from Japans neighbour countries - involved in the "Warsaw Pact" - had not many chances to find their way into a free creational process as censorship hung upon everything like a paranoid, control obsessed demon, fearing anything could cause a political collapse. Beginning in the '50s, Japan joined a worldwide process of change. As an effect of a cultural opening, this was a to date unique event occurring for the first time in Japan's history. Read more
Read More

Garage Rock (US 60s) | Evolution Of Genré

As simple as the musical structure of Garage rock is as much is to say about it. So where o begin? To understand the whole movement and the spectrum of what grew out of it, it is necessary to observe the social background. Like all generations have their break and emancipation from with their parents and oldish models of society, life and morals, the US 60s youth was not exceptional. A spirit of possibility and self-empowerment was in the air. Instruments and gear became affordable in the late 50s. The shift from shellac to vinyl and economic cheaper record studio equipment caused an explosion of availability in music. The expotential post-war birthrate did its part too. Imagine a youth placed in a cultural-timely setting of contrastly felt peace and wealth, with the drive to become independent and get rid of the old generations' oppression, to encounter the previous mentioned facilities of expression and self-efficacy. Guess what happened? Right, they took the chance to play their versions of the new 3-chord pattern music, garage pioneers set up as a blueprint... Read more
Read More

Mod (British R&B/Beat/Soul) | Evolution Of Genré

First I had my difficulties with the term "Mod" because I tried to find the leitmotif in this Genré but there was none. I think the best way to look at Mod in the context of "Evolution of Genré" is to understand it as an umbrella term for a multiplicity of music styles, that the subcultural movement called "Mod" used to listen to. More confusing does it get when one look at the origins of the term itself. Mod is an acronym for "Modernist", originally a person from the Modern Jazz Scene. Modern Jazz was nearly out of date when the Mod culture started to take over London, Britain and eventually the whole world. Even Japan found itself in some mod revival hype in the '80s ("Bōsōzoku"). Before I continue with the actual "Mod-Music", let me draw you a more detailed picture of the subcultural correlation... Read more
Read More

Yé-Yé (South European Beat Music) | Evolution Of Genré

Yé Yé could be described as a south European variant of Beat Music. It's a french flavoured version of "Yeah Yeah" - a synonym for Beat Music even my grandpa used to know. In contrast, it combines much poppier elements such as Sunshine Pop and Bubblegum. Those three were the main ingredients, although there were other influences like you'll see later on. Chanson is another major basis for the Yé Yé sound. Of course, in it's french version, it draws a quite typical cliché mood of a "happy-strolling-along" á la Simon & Garfunkel's "Feelin' Groovy" song. The greatest part of songs reflects a sweet, innocent and carefree image on the poppy Beat.... Read more
Read More