Eclectic, globe-trotting, Ghent-based label, Radio Martiko, have three fresh 45s in stores – two of which explore the rock n roll history of the imprint`s homeland.
The first is a reissue of their second ever release – repressed from 2015. It combines a couple of cuts from The King Creoles – the band in session for a pair of singers, popular back in the Belgian day. Joske Harry handles Richard Berry`s Louie Louie, delivering a brilliantly deranged take. The vibe more crazy than The Kingsmen`s, approaching that of The Sonics, only on a little less speed.
Burt Blanca then covers Margarita Lecuona`s Cuban classic, Tabou. Released in 1969 on B B Maurice – a label owned by Burt`s brother, and manager, the production is a whole lot more modern than that date suggests. Dropped into King Tubby`s echo chamber the exotica lullaby becomes a ringer for Johnny Thunders and Patti Palladin doing Danny Fisher`s Crawfish. Its atmospheric fretboard fireworks, a suitable soundtrack for a David Lynch-ian roadhouse tryst.
Sticking with Belgium there`s a repro of Morton & The Uptights` sole 45. The outfit led by Scott Bradford, on keys, and guitarist Philippe Catherine – the latter went on to become something of a local jazz legend, working with big names such as Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Jean Luc-Ponty, and Passport. Taurus is a wasted Mariachi march – so full of bourbon that it can’t stand up. Drying out behind the bars of a Havana jail after sharing its shore leave hanging with Tom Waits – squeezing as much life as possible out a two-day pass. Sleepless and pulling on Trouble`s braids. A junco partner mix of voodoo and jazz. A Mardi Gras carnival spinning increasingly chaotic.
Montego, meanwhile, is an uptempo calypso – driven by conga, chicken scratch guitar, and benzedrine-chewing bordello band brass – cavorting somewhere between ska and jump jive.
Finally it`s off to mid-60s French Canada, and Quebec, for an AA-sided slice of “Surf`s up”. Les Talismans` L’Interplanetaire surrounds its rock n roll riffing with sinister scraping sound-effects. The Joe Meek-like experimentation summoning alien new worlds of Telstars and Sputniks.
Les Jaguars` Guitare Jet lifts off from their 1965 long-player, Les Jaguars, Vol-2. A tremolo`d switchblade welding rumble, that’s also packing a bad, bad, bass-line. Carousing with ghost-riders and psychobilly spectres while chugging on The Ventures` version of Love Potion #9. A Batman Theme fixed firmly in Gotham`s sleazy, seedy, gutter.
All of these singles can be purchased directly from Radio Martiko`s Bandcamp page. You can learn more about the label here.