28 November 2008

Okko Bekker - 1971 - Sitar and Electronics

Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5

I'll admit that I have no clue who Okko Bekker is beyond the sounds on this album. It's basically one of those lounge-exploitation affairs where the producers use some unconventional instrumentation to hide the fact that the basic charts provide for music that would be perfect at a 1957 corporate martini party. Mr. Bekker chose to use sitar, and electronics (duh), and tabla, and fuzzed-out guitars (ooh!). All of these things hit my soft spot, so I'm pretty entertained by this album.

Most of the tracks are funky, Bollywood-ready instrumentals that portend to create some kind of Indian imagery. I don't know; I doubt the "Ganges Delta" comes across nearly as 'groovy-like' as it does here, but between the sitar and freaky synth lead, I don't care. There's a psychedelic lounge cover of the Beatles "If I Needed Someone," which is pretty fun, and a barely recognizable rendition of "A Day in the Life." "Himalaya Highway" sounds ready for play in your more confused local Indian restaurant, and "Shiva's Lullabye" is a far finer way to make a chill lounge track than by using 101 strings. "Painted Sails on Ganges" actually manages to be an extended track in a genre where songs tend to stay short, and it's a perfect track for the low-rent, basement psychedelic shack. "Santana" doesn't really sound like that band apart from some percussive similarities, but it does mix sitar and synth on the melody line in a truly odd way.

I can't say that this is any sort of classic, although it's definitely a few cuts above the typical psychedelic exploitation. I can say that it's wildly entertaining for myself, and you may find yourself a fan of its grooviness too. Let me say it one more time: groovy.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Never heard of that one before.
Sounds pretty cool!

Anonymous said...

thank you.

Trace said...

The popol vuh stuff you've been posting is all top-notch. I've had these in my collection for some time, and i HIGHLY recommend them. But to see someone else turning others on to Okko Bekker, all I can say is, HOT DAMN! This is such a sweet album -- synths and electronics, oh yeah!

Headswirlers unite!

sitarswami said...

Okko plays sitar on the first Cluster & Eno record.

Anonymous said...

Okko Becker (*30.7.1947)professional dutch musician living in Germany

composed the jingle for the German TV-News show "Tagesschau"

There was a German band in the seventies "Okko, Lonzo, Berry, Chris & Timpe"

Anonymous said...

Please reupload


Anonymous said...

It's there; you're just not getting the whole thing. Open the comments in a full page or highlight past the box in the smaller comment screen.

psychedelic_head said...

Cool! Thank you very much!