Various Artists

Café Après-midi: Saravah 2

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Café Après-midi compiler Toru Hashimoto double-dips for a second retrospective on the small but influential Saravah Records. To recap: Saravah was the label founded by singer/songwriter Pierre Barouh with the money he earned from the worldwide smash film Un Homme et une Femme, and during the late '60s and early '70s the label was a guaranteed trademark of quality, embracing not only the most original French pop sounds but also casting its net over progressive Brazilian grooves and even avant jazz. This time out Hashimoto digs even deeper into the Saravah archives, unearthing music that in many cases has been out of print for a quarter of a century; this is fantastic stuff, wildly eclectic and uniquely emblematic of its place and moment in history, yet distinctly timeless. Highlights of Saravah for Café Après-midi 2 include Barouh's own "Viking Bank," Michel Zacka's "On Peut Rever," Chic Streetman's "Ode to Mafeen," and Pierre Akendengué's "Afrika Obata."