"Harlem watusi" - 16 unearthly instrumental gems from the 60s


In The Trashcan Records       GARBAGE211
"The city is a jungle and I'm a beast, even on an unknown planet in the desert with Martian trumpets dancing the cha cha cha..."

1. harlem watusi - claus ogerman

Self-penned instrumental by Claus Orgerman and his orchestra from 1965 by this German bandleader. He never gained the same success as Bert Kaempfert or James Last, not even Peter Thomas. Great EP on RCA Victor.

9. watusi trumpets - claus ogerman

One of the many big bands that were around in the mid sixties that really stood out, however hardly anyone seems to remember this one nowadays. German bandleader who was 35 at the time he recorded this instrumental in 1965 for RCA Victor.

2. unknown planet - the pharaohs

I wanna live on a planet that produces instrumentals like this. Creepy robotic sounds interact with a distorted twangy guitar and a dreamy saxophone. I love this Chattahoochee instrumental that should have been compiled on Wavy Gravy.

10. the friendly martian - the pharaohs

One of the weirdest and most eerie instrumental space rockers ever! And an all time fave of mine and most likely a Lux & Ivy fave as well. Flipside of "Unknown planet" on the Chattahoochee label from 1964.

3. nord 2000 - claude garden

A terrific uptempo haunting strolling jazz instrumental by Claude Garden. He recorded this version in 1965 for Fontana. See vol 113 for the original version by Jacques Denjean.

11. tokyo - claude garden

The most swingin' harmonica sound ever put on vinyl in 1965! Enjoy this Tokyo tune by Claude Garden and his orchestra. From the same EP that gave us his terrific rendition of "Nord 2000" and "Work song".

4. theme from the x-15 - neal hefti

Weird whistling sounds and a creepy piano to pay honour to the most fabulous jet fighter plane ever. The other side features "Concerto for the X-15", also known as "Tribute to the X-15". For more "Batman theme" Hefti tunes see vol 149.

12. caravane - les fantomes

Another fantastic version of Ellington's "Caravan" from a 1964 EP on Disques Vogue. It is not featured on their Vogue album or on another studio album from the 60s. A year later they disbanded.

5. vamos a matar - ennio morricone

From the 1970 movie "Vamos a matar compañeros" directed by Sergio Corbucci starring Franco Nero and Jack Palance, about the Mexican revolution. This may be his least known spaghetti western soundtrack, but what a lovely track this is. A 1971 release on Barclay and on "it" Ricordi.

13. taboo - les indigos

No, this is not the exotica tune, but a soulful poptune by this unknown combo. On Neptune Records in 1969.

6. negev - sons of the desert

If you're walking through the Negev, I don't think you'll hear music like these, but if so, please let me know and I'll book the first flight. Not only for the location but also for the year: it is 1967. Terrific instrumental, like from a movie score. See also vol 215 for the splendid flipside.

14. tarzan - the marketts

Als known as "Tarzan's dance" and "March of Tarzan" this novelty instrumental by the "Out of limits" band has always amused me. It's from 1966, issued by Warner Bros.

7. vamos - los cangaceiros

On this EP you can listen to cool Latin instrumentals such as "Watermelon man" (see also vol 210), the fantastic "Tuna alla King" and "Le Rat d'Amérique". Released in 1963 by Bel-Air.

15. la banane de cameroun - los matecoco

This song also appeared on their 1968 "Pata pata" album, their second after "Aie! Que calor". They were masters in reproducing the merengue, the pachanga, the calypso, and other latin sounds. See also vol 93 for one of their first recordings.

8. maria - fonseca & ses anges noirs

If you'd like to know more about this artist, check out also vols 4, 30 and 36. From Senegal with a father from Capo Verde, but he recorded it in Belgium with Ses Anges Noirs. Cuban influenced with Portuguese flavour and a Parisian twist. A 1963 release on Metronome.

16. benkyo no cha cha cha - kyo sakamoto

Hilarious Japanese  cha cha tune from 1963 when he was 22 years old and already a famous actor in Japan. He had one big hit with "Sukiyaki" a year earlier.