It goes like "dun dun dun"
June 8, 2015 6:46 AM   Subscribe

There's a specific guitar-ish sound in a bunch of non-American rock music from the 80s and 90s that I really love. It sounds like the guitar in this video - I don't think it's the melody or riff itself, but more the overall sound/feel of the guitar. Does this have a name, and/or can you point me to other examples? More clips inside!

I first heard this in the Israeli movie Ha-Lahakah (The Troupe) - it's in nearly all the songs from the movie, but this is a good example. It also pops up in some older Bollywood stuff; like this (song starts at ~36 seconds in). Do you have any clue what I'm talking about, and if you do does it have a name and can you point me to more songs like it? Or am I completely crazy and these songs sound nothing alike (totally possible; I have no musical training or experience whatsoever)?
posted by Itaxpica to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Is it the sound of a sitar you're enjoying?
posted by Andrhia at 7:03 AM on June 8, 2015

Do you mean a balalaika sort of sound?
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:38 AM on June 8, 2015

Best answer: What you're hearing, I think, is the sound of Acid/Psych Rock guitar soloing. It became wildly popular internationally in the late 60s, and then stayed functional there where in most pop music it died out after the 60s and 70s. It in fact did come into being partially as an imitation of the sitar and in songs written in non major key modes. Starting with folk musicians like John Fahey incorporating eastern tunings and non-pop chord progressions into their records, it became popularized by blues-psych bands like the Yardbirds and folkrock bands like the Byrds (on that song the lead riff was played on a 12 string guitar) and eventually led to West Coast Acid-Rock with miles and miles of these intricate tinny guitar solos, especially by Santana, who was even more popular around the world than he was in the States.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:42 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I asked a question about international 60s pop a while ago and put together this playlist based on that. Lots of examples of this kind of minor/Lydian mode fuzz guitar solo-ing there. (For a modern take on this kind of acid rock, particularly the great go-go jams of Cambodia from the Khmer Period, check out Dengue Fever.)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:52 AM on June 8, 2015

For a contemporary version, try the Temples out of the UK, doing a sort of prog/psychedelic revival sound, hear it at youtube here
posted by Khazk at 11:51 AM on June 8, 2015

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