Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Daphne Oram - Oramics

Paradigm Discs 2007

Disc 1:

01 Introduction
02 Power Tools
03 Bird Of Parallax
04 In A Jazz Style
05 Purring Interlude
06 Contrasts Essconic
07 Lego Builds It
08 Pompie Ballet (Excerpt)
09 Intertel
10 Adwick High School No.1
11 Look At Oramics
12 Rotolock
13Purple Dust
14 High Speed Flight
15 Studio Experiment No.1
16 Four Aspects
17 Kia Ora
18 Dr. Faustus Suite
19 Adwick High School No.2
20 Tumblewash
21 Studio Experiment No.2
22 Snow

Disc 2:

01 Rockets In Ursa Major (Excerpt 1)
02 Food Preservation
03 Studio Experiment No.3
04 Bala
05 Episode Metallic
06 Studio Experiment No.4
07 Adwick High School No.3
08 Fanfare Of Graphs
09 Studio Experiment No.5
10 Brocilliande
11 Mary Had A Little Lamb
12 Incidental Music For Invasion (Excerpts)
13 Costain Suite
14 Rockets In Ursa Major (Excerpt 2)
15 Passacaglia
16 Missile Away
17 Pulse Persephone
18 Adwick High School No.4
19 Nestea
20 Rockets In Ursa Major (Excerpt 3)
21 Conclusion
22 Studio Jinks

Essentially the first album to compile the work of electronic innovator Daphne Oram, this title is now out of print.

Besides co-founding the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, inventing electronic musical instruments, pioneering musique concrete and inventing Oramics, (there really isn't enough space to list her achievements), Daphne Oram left behind some startling music.

This compilation collects together sounds from her career; sound effects, original music, advertising, experiments...it really only scratches the surface, but it's a good introduction.

I really can't recommend enough looking further into the music and writings of the remarkable Daphne Oram.

Broadcast - Mother is the Milky Way

Warp 2009

01 Creation Day The Travel Flute Way
02 In Here The World Begins
03 Elegant Elephant
04 Through The Gates Of Yesterday
05 Milling Around The Village
06 The Aphid Sleeps
07 Growing Backwards
08 I'm Just A Person In This Roomy Verse
09 Never Trust A Rusty Bolt
10 Innocence In Orbit
11 Mother's Milk Means Music (At Home In The Universe)

A sweet obscurity from Broadcast now. This EP consists of song ideas, field recordings and randomness.

Only 750 copies were pressed and it was only on sale while on tour.

The Byrds - The Ballads of Easy Rider

Self made fan album 1969

01 Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins
02 Tulsa County
03 Jesus Is Just Alright
04 There Must Be Someone (I Can Turn To)
05 Close Up The Honky Tonks
06 It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
07 Fiddler a Dram
08 Gunga Din
09 Jack Tarr the Sailor
10 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
11 Ballad Of Easy Rider

Another fan album from The Byrds, this time, a re-imagining of 1969's 'The Ballad of Easy Rider' (hence the added 's' in the title).

The album as released saw The Byrds critical stock rise slightly after the much maligned 'Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde'. It's a laid back country album, probably better than the sum of it's parts. I've always thought the abandonment of psychedelia from the later Byrds output was a shame, this self made album variation (partially) addresses this.

I start the album with 'Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins', the original experimental closer and McGuinn's latest space obsession song. 'Tulsa County', 'Jesus Is Just Alright' and 'There Must Be Someone (I Can Turn To)' are also from the original album. I end my side 1 with a live version of 'Close Up The Honky Tonks' from 'The Byrds Live at Filmore East' and then 'It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)' from the 'Easy Rider' soundtrack.

Again wanting to open a side with an experimental piece, I chose the outtake 'Fiddler a Dram'. Its weird synth blurb suggesting The Byrds could of remained an experimental psych band if they had wished. Fan favorite 'Gunga Din' follows with original album songs 'Jack Tarr the Sailor' and 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue' after that.

I end the album with the soundtrack version of the title song, preferring it over the album version.

Hope any Byrds fans out there will enjoy.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The Wasted Lakes - Häxan - Witchcraft Through the Ages

TOR61 2019

01 Häxan Part I
02 Häxan Part II
03 Häxan Part III
04 Häxan Part IV
05 Häxan Part V

I've always wanted to perform an improvised soundtrack to a film and last December, I done just that.

Häxan, a 1922 Swedish-Danish documentary about witchcraft, has long been a personal favourite. In its original form, it was two hours in length with dialogue boards. In 1968 a version with William Burroughs narrating was released. This was subtitled 'A History of Witchcraft'. I decided to use this shorter cut of the film.

Next, I asked Jonathan Sharp (The Heartwood Institute) and Joe Hiscoke (Holiday, Ponyland) to perform alongside me.

We had one soundcheck and decided to not prepare anything in advance.

The soundtrack was recorded, in front of the film and audience, on December the 14th and is presented here in full.

The film with accompanying soundtrack can be viewed here:


White Noise - An Electric Storm

Island Records 1969

01 Love without Sound
02 My Game of Loving
03 Here Come the Fleas
04 Firebird
05 Your Hidden Dreams
06 The Visitation
07 Black Mass: An Electric Storm in Hell

White Noise is American musician David Vorhaus, alongside BBC Radiophonic Workshop veterans Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson.

Side 1 has electronic semi-pop tunes, almost baroque in places. side 2 is the real deal; mental, terrifying electronic music for a balck mass. Great stuff.

A wee bit of trivia; a brief extract from the track "The Black Mass: An Electric Storm in Hell" can be heard in the Hammer Film Productions film Dracula AD 1972.

German Oak - Down in the Bunker

Bunker Records 1972 / Now-Again Records 2017

Disc 1:

01 Screaming Skeletons
02 Missile Song
03 Belle's Song
04 Nothing

Disc 2:

01 Belle's Song (Extended)
02 Missile Song (Extended)

Disc 3:

01 Bear Song
02 Happy Stripes (On Cats)
03 Ghost Guitar
04 Bear Song (Alternate)
05 Harpy & Peregrine
06 Python Vs. Tiger
07 Giant Rock; Boulder Golem

The one and only album by German Oak has had a troubled history. Originally released in 1972, the band were helpless as the owner of the tapes put the record out without their knowledge and worse, added titles that reflected his own fascistic tendencies.

The album has been dismissed over the years as a pro-nazi statement, when in fact the band themselves had no affiliation to such extreme politics.

The music itself  is brilliant; dark, heavy guitar, drum and bass jams. The two middle titles extend out and they are as kosmiche as it gets.

It's a shame it has taken until this 2017 re-issue for even the correct song titles to be included. his three disc edition has extended versions of the two main cuts from the LP, plus unreleased songs from after those sessions.T

Brilliant, brutal, underground jams.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Jimi Hendrix - Straight Ahead

Self made compilation

Disc 1: Hendrix Approved Mixes

01 Ezy Ryder
02 Freedom
03 Message To Love
04 Drifter's Escape
05 Come Down Hard On Me
06 Earth Blues
07 Dolly Dagger
08 Night Bird Flying
09 Straight Ahead
10 Astro Man
11 Room Full of Mirrors
12 In From The Storm
13 Belly Button Window

Disc 2: Posthumous Masters

01 Bleeding Heart
02 Izabella
03 Valleys Of Neptune
04 Stepping Stone
05 Drifting
06 Pali Gap
07 Beginning
08 Angel
09 Power of Soul
10 Cherokee Mist
11 Hey Baby

Jimi Hendrix may not seem entirely suitable for this blog, but there is a reason behind this post.

I fell in love with the music of Hendrix in my early teens. While at school, I collected the three Jimi Hendrix Experience albums as well as the live Band of Gypsys LP. 

I read a couple of biographies and was fascinated to learn Hendrix had an astonishing amount of unreleased material. Shortly after, during a stop at a service station on a school trip in 1993, I bought my first Hendrix bootleg. It was also the first bootleg of any artist I owned. I suppose that purchase would lead to me constructing this blog and my love of rare, secret, unreleased and hard to find music also began there.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience broke up in April 1969. From then until Hendrix's death in September 1970 he recorded material for what would of been his fourth studio album.

Hours and hours of songs in various stages have been on posthumous albums over the years, most notably on 'The Cry Of Love', 'Rainbow Bridge' and 'War Heroes'. Those three albums were compiled and mixed by engineer Eddie Kramer and long time drummer Mitch Mitchell and released shortly after Hendrix's death.

Since then, more tracks have came to light, including several mixes by Hendrix himself, making some of the versions finished masters. These songs were spread across many releases, some easier to find than others and details could be sketchy.

Hendrix was tantalisingly close to completing his vision. Although no definitive tracklisting or album title exists, the finished album would certainly have been a double, if not a triple (as some handwritten notes suggest). Prospective album titles included 'The First Rays Of The New Rising Sun', 'People, Hell & Angels' and 'Strate Ahead'.

This compilation is an attempt to collect together both the songs that Hendrix had signed off as final mixes, as well as the other songs that were under consideration. These songs are complete for the most part, with only the final mix being done without Hendrix's supervision. Some did require further overdubs, but I have not included songs for which only a backing track or demo version exist.

This music is truly psychedelic; blues, soul, pop, funk, psychedelia, heavy, beautiful, experimental and completely unique.