13 January 2010

Cyan - Misaluba (b/w "My Little Ship Louise")

Cyan - misaluba

Label: RCA
Year of Release: 1971

Eager "Left and to the Back" readers will recognise Cyan from our "Pictures of Marshmallow Men" homebrew compilation, which featured their twee, wintry b-side (with possible drug connotations) "Toby's Shop".

Cyan hail from Italy, and by far the biggest smash in their native land was this, "Misaluba". The footnotes to the psychedelic compilation "Nightmares From Toby's Shop" state that this is "awful", and therefore not really worth any collector's time (or indeed listener's time). As a result, I'd avoided buying it for some years until catching it recently at a price that I thought made the venture worthy of a gamble. And... contrary to the opinions of other psych-heads, I have to say it's really blooming marvellous! It's not strictly speaking psychedelia or even popsike of course, actually being a looping, bongo-bashing thing of wonder, like a John Kongos hit single stripped down bare and minimal. The rhythms are bass-heavy in a way that sounds rib-cage rattling on the original vinyl (but probably less impressive in mp3 format), and the whole thing captures the raw, basic, effects-heavy end of seventies pop impressively (see also: "Rock On" by David Essex). It's short, sharp, addictive and effective, with the chants of "Misaluba! HEY!" earworming their way into your brain with frightening potency.

To cap it all off, the B-side "My Little Ship Louise" is very clearly a heavily McCartney-influenced ballad which will irritate those who find that sort of thing unbearable, but delight those who are happy to share company with such delicate items. Just when you think the band have said their piece, the outro creeps in, filled with subdued puffing flutes and a gently strummed guitar. Fans of "Toby's Shop" will be pleased enough with "Louise" as well.

I really didn't think this would end up in the "upload" pile, but it's good enough to warrant inclusion here, and is perhaps one of the better items I've shared with you all in recent weeks. It was something of a hit in some countries on the continent which would ordinarily make me cautious about sticking it out into the public domain for fear of legal issues (or blog deletions at least). However, it doesn't appear to be available to buy on mp3 anywhere yet, and there are already various Rapidshare files of this circulating around online... so I'm running the risk. Fare ye well on your good ships, folks, whether they're named Louise or otherwise.

1 comment:

Berenice said...

I have a French picture sleeve copy of this, heard it several times on either Radio 1 or Radio Luxembourg. Never knew anything about the group themselves, so thanks for the info. I'd always thought they might be South African from the sound of the A-side!