Koes Plus - Dheg Dheg Plas & Volume 2
If I told you that there was a band out there that inspired all that followed them in pop music, that was at the same time at the top of the charts and the most adventurous band of its time, and that today is still so popular that there are countless tribute bands working their music in clubs and that at any given moment one of their songs is on the radio, you'd probably think I'm talking about a certain band from Liverpool. However, in Indonesia and its environs at least, that band is Koes Plus. In a career that lasted through the 70s, the band released a staggering 40+ full-length records, in styles ranging from garage rock to ballads to quirky pop the borrowed from Psych, Reggae, local rhythms and whatever else washed their way across the airwaves.
"Dheg Dheg Plas & Volume 2" collects their first two releases, and it is an hour of Fuzzy, Big Beat, classic late 60s rock. The tunes range from the raging "Pent Juri Hati" ("Heart Stealer") to the suave as all get-out "Hidup Jang Sepi ("Quiet Life") and "Tjintamu Telah Berlalu" ("Your Love Has Passed") to slightly off-kilter rockers like "Kelelewar" ("The Bat") and "Awan Hitam" ("The Black Cloud"). In between there are acoustic songs, Monkees-esque ditties, and soulful electric organ testimonies. Even this early on, the band showed a staggering grasp of the essence of much of the western music then popular. But Koes Plus were no derivative late-comers; this was a band with a firm grip on style, who delivered it with conviction and soul. May this reissue correct their omission from conversations of key bands from the era.
"Dheg Dheg Plas & Volume 2" was compiled and produced by Alan bishop, and the set comes with a cool 20 page booklet of vintage photos provided by the band for the project, and is presented in a retro tri-fold digipack. May this reissue correct their omission from conversations of key bands from the era, an era which, from other recent reissues of classic Asian and African records, was rich worldwide in adventurous and joyously daring music.
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