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Dailymotion: First Friday "Ballad Of John Doe Jr"1970 US Psych Blues Rock

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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Aka “Do What You Like” 1970 Indonesian Psych Rock debut album


Aka “Do What You Like” 1970 Indonesian Psych Rock debut album
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AKA were a psych rock band from Indonesia and this album is probably their best known (or least unknown) record. I really like the way they have decided to include both English and their native language on this record. I find the compositions to be high quality and if you ask me this album doesn’t have any obvious weak moments. 
Most of the material is hard acid rock but there are softer songs included as well. I dig those rockers more but I enjoy the ballads too. The way this band performs them is unique enough to make them interesting and enjoyable. There’s not much to criticize here. I’ll rate Do What You Like with four stars out of five….by….CooperBolan …~


I must confess to never having heard anything about this Indonesian psych hard rock band until a friend sent me a CD-R of this album. Holy crap! The worst thing I have to say about it is it is quite inconsistent. On hand is a mix of mind blowing psych hard rock, psych flavored garage, and garage driven ballads, some sung in English, some in their native tongue. The ballads are their Achilles’ heal and are ill suited to their style, seeming completely out of place on this record. I’ve never been able to figure out why bands who try, and succeed, at making a name for themselves with hard rock, try to prove to the world that they are equally adept at soft ballads, when they are clearly not! Such seems to be the case with AKA. But fortunately, they more than make up for it with the stuff they are good at. I have yet to turn up this beauty in either original form, or reissue. But you can bet I will be keeping my eyes open for this or any other of their releases! Note: Hans Pakora lists the release date for this as being 1973 in his 3001 record Collector Dreams book. I would tend to believe that more than the 1970 date listed here, based also on the release dates for their remaining albums…..tymeshifter ….~

AKA was Indonesia’s first contribution to the global heavy rock movement. Founded as early as 1967 in the city of Surabaya, the group took its name – an acronym for Apotik Kali Asin, or the Kali Asin Pharmacy – from the place of business owned by singer Ucok Harahap’s parents, which doubled as the fledgling band’s rehearsal space during non-working hours. And while it could be argued that AKA.’s modest local reputation owed as much to Ucok’s wild on-stage antics as to their music, the band would prosper well enough to release a handful of albums throughout the early ‘70s. It should also be noted that the Hard Beat collection surveys only the cream of AKA’s westernized material, since the group curiously hedged their bets by padding each LP with songs of the Malay-pop persuasion, making them quite the schizophrenic listening experience…man, what a trip. To wit, the songs culled from 1970’s debut, Do What You Like, and 1971’s Reflection, blend their heavy-psych milkshake with an improbably long list of influences, including Cream, Hendrix, Blue Cheer, Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, and more. That first album’s title track, for instance, resolves into a Mothers of Invention-styled freakout; the bouncy “Crazy Joe” loses the distortion but keeps the psychedelia for an early glimpse of the Soup Dragons, decades before the fact (and it even topped the Australian charts for a few weeks); the jittery “Groovy” sneaks a toke from Captain Beyond; and by 1972’s hard-driving “Sky Rider,” Ucok is heard shrieking just like Ian Gillan. Soon after, he’d set loose his James Brown obsessions, too, getting down with his bad self on the ultra-funky “Mr. Bull Doc” before leading his bandmates in the crossover from funk to reggae on 1975’s “Suez War.” Unfortunately, within a year of that interesting development, the AKA dream was over, as the reliably unreliable Ucok opted to move on and was only briefly replaced for 1977’s swan song Pucukku Mati, where heavy rock made a brief return before the band signed off for good. Still, it was all very intriguing while it lasted, and while these cultural curiosities and sporadic thrills aren’t enough to elevate AKA’s legacy to the same level as the great names in ‘70s hard rock, Hard Beat nevertheless delivers a mind-blowing document for previously unaware occidental ears……~


It cannot be denied since the release of the compilation album Those Shocking Shaking Days. Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock And Funk: 1970 - 1978 (2011) , started many outside record labels (for example: Sublime Frequencies, Strawberry Rain , Bravo Music , Now-Again Records , etc.) that started reissue albums -album belonging to an old Indonesian group / singer. 
A new generation of Indonesian music lovers began to hunt down records belonging to old local bands on the compilation album. 
One of them is Granadilla Music , a European record label, which released AKA ’s first album , Do What You Like (1970). 
This Do What You Like album was re-released by Granadilla Music in CD and vinyl (LP) format in March 2014. Previously this album was released by Indra Records in 1970. 
In Do What You Like , AKA plays fuzz-rock, hard-rock, psychedelic-rock, typical funk-rock US & British bands in the late 60s / early 70s. 
Although playing loud music (for the size of the time), the material on the Do What You Like album is in fact dominated by many psychedelic-pop & Indonesiana nuances. 
The above is done of course to make it more ‘sell’ (the trend of slipping “idealistic” songs on many pop songs in a music album is still continuing today in Indonesia’s mainstream music industry).
AKA was formed in Surabaya on May 23, 1967. “AKA” itself stands for Kali Asin Pharmacy, a pharmacy owned by the parents of Ucok Harahap, where the band in its early era was based and trained. 
The band, commonly referred to as AKA Group, is personalized: Ucok Harahap (main keyboard / vocal), Syech Abidin (drums / vocal), Soenata Tanjung (lead guitar / vocal), Harris Sormin (guitar / vocal) and Arthur Kaunang (bass) . After that Harris left the band due to acute depression. 
Early in his career before releasing an album, AKA covered a lot of songs belonging to: Mountain , Cream , Grand Funk Railroad , Jimi Hendrix , Led Zeppelin & Deep Purple . 
The band is famous for its eccentric and wild stage action from Ucok. Many interesting stories (urban-legend) circulating among rockers / journalists / senior music fans will be AKA’s stage action. 
On 7 August 1975 Ucok in Jakarta established a side project in the form of a contemporary art group called Ucok & His Gang . 
Finally Soenata, Arthur, and Syech Abidin fired Ucok, and founded a heavy-metal / progressive-rock group named SAS (taken from the front letters of the three personnel names) in December 1975. During the period 1976-1993 SAS released 13 studio albums. 
Then in 1977 Ucok founded a hard-rock / heavy-metal super-group, Duo Kribo , along with Ahmad Albar ( God Bless ). In its two years of existence, Kribo Duo has released four studio albums and one film. 
Viewed from the early era of emergence, the heavyness of music, the dark theme of the lyrics, the image of a scary band, and theatrical (sometimes horror) stage action, made AKA dubbed by many music observers as Heavy-Metal Pioneers in Indonesia. 
Many say that AKA is “Black Sabbath of Indonesia, ”. We do not agree. AKA stands before Black Sabbath . The Surabaya band was founded in 1967, while Sabbath was only founded in 1969. Both released their first album in the same year, namely 1970. 
For the business of heavy-metal pioneers in the world, in some music forums it actually mentions the names Blue Cheer and Mountain, rather than Black Sabbath. 
Although dubbed the Godfather of Indonesian Heavy-Metal, it does not mean that AKA has no blemish. AKA also made several albums with pop-Malay nuances and pop-qasidah like Indonesian popular bands at the time.
Throughout the history of AKA’s establishment, the band has released nine studio albums, several anthology compilations and other releases that we do not know about……~


Reissued for the first time. AKA might have been one of the top acts of the Indonesian rock scene in the late '60s and early '70s. It does not necessarily mean that any international audience for heavy rock and psychedelic sounds would have noticed that back then, but we change that now. Do What You Like is a colorful album with a diversity of moods. Of course you find hard-driving, wild, grooving rock with simmering guitars and pumping rhythms. Go to the next song and some gentle, nearly ethereal dreamy psych-pop will alter your mind. Another step ahead on the tracklist and some easy and melodic '60s beat makes you want to dance the night away. The special factor of this album is the musical flavor of Indonesian pop that all of the songs sung in their native tongue show, while the few English tracks can compete against all of the popular hits from those days from American or European acts. AKA know how to heat you up with their psychedelic sound explosions and eruptive beats. They also know how to calm you down again and lay your soul to rest in a flow of gentle harmonies. Fans of '60s power pop with a regional feel presented by bands such as Omega from Hungary and of the '60s U.S. West Coast psych and pop scene will go crazy about this record……~



Tracklist 
Do What You Like
Akhir Kisah Sedih
Panorama Pagi
Bukan Mesiu
Alam Tanah Air
Glenmore
Diakhir Bulan Lima
We’ve Gotta Work It Out
Keagungan Tuhan 










watch
Aka “Reflection” 1971 Indonesia Psych Rock second album 







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