Sunday, 16 December 2012

IRMIN SCHMIDT & INNER SPACE PRODUCTION - KAMASUTRA



















Crippled Dick Hot Wax! 2009 (Recorded 1968)

01. Indisches Panorama I
02. I'm Hiding My Nightingale
03. There Was A Man
04. Im Tempel
05. In Kalkutta III
06. Indisches Panorama II
07. In Kalkutta I
08. Im Orient
09. Indisches Panorama III
10. Mundharmonika Beat
11. Indisches Panorama IV
12. Indisches Panorama V
13. Indisches Panorama VI
14. Indische Liebesszene
15. In Kalkutta II
16. Im Orient II


Another obscure German soundtrack, another example of early Can in the recording studio. This time, to soundtrack Kobi Jaeger's 'Kamasutra'. Again, only a solitary single was released at the time ('Kamasutra'/'I'm Hiding My Nightingale') while the soundtrack album remained unreleased until 2009.

Less Can sounding than 'Agilok & Blubbo', a lot of the music here is short Irmin Schmidt instrumentals. It's good stuff though, very Eastern, tons of flute.

Things get jammy on 'Im Tempel', over ten minutes of sitar driven krautrock, and a lot of the other songs have a sixties, folky feel.

Malcolm Mooney makes his debut  with the group on an early version of 'A Man Named Joe' ('There Was A Man'), elsewhere guest vocals on 'I'm Hiding My Nightingale' are handled by Margareta Juvan.

Addicted to Can? You need this.

PETE FINE - ON A DAY OF CRYSTALINE THOUGHT




















Private Press 1974

01. Revelation/Prelude/For Sam
02. Meditations
03. Looking Ahead
04. Sunrise
05. Life
06. Moo
07. Bijinkies
08. Rita

Pete Fine was the guitarist in heavy psychedelic rock band The Flow when he envisioned a semi classical, psych concept album. In 1974, after the break up of his band, he would make it.

Originally a private press release of 100 copies, "On a Day of Crystaline Thought" is a unique record of wonderful ambition. The first side is essentially a concept suite, passing through movements with 12 string guitar, timpanis, string sections and beautiful harmonies.

"All beings are universes eternal and thought never dies but forms a vast kingdom of one."

So goes the refrain of side 1. Right on.

Side 2 has a more psychedelic feel, with acid folk and hippie folk thrown in the mix.

It's a real shame this record isn't more well  known. It did have an extremely limited C.D. issue on the Shadoks label in 2000 but still remains relatively obscure.

Lofty conceptual lyrics about reality and the universe, choral vocals, an acid folk vibe, 12 string and huge scope and sound. A must!



DOM - EDGE OF TIME





















01. Introitus
02. Silence
03. Edge Of Time
04. Dream


Originally released privately, this album has has many reissues; Melochord in 1972, a limited c.d. issue on Witch & Warlock in 1991 and Second Battle added some bonus tracks to a remastered c.d. and vinyl in 2001.

The group originated in Dusseldorf in 1969 and recorded their only album at Neubauer Studios the following year. 

"Edge Of Time" is one of the greatest forgotten Krautrock albums, a long dark trip into the cosmic ether. Part electronic, part folk and largely instrumental, a kind of kosmiche meditation. The lead instruments (Organ, acoustic guitar, electronics) take turns repeating melodies, building patterns for additional sounds (flute, voices, drones). Heavy.

Think 68-69 Floyd and early Tangerine Dream meet early Six Organs Of Admittance, drop acid and record the results.

This album is real deep and dense. A near perfect dark, heavy trip.

Monday, 12 November 2012

THE INNER SPACE - AGILOK & BLUBBO





















Wah Wah Records Sound 2009 (Recorded 1968)

01. Agilok And Blubbo
02. Es Zieht Herauf
03. Dialog Zwischen Birken
04. Michele Ist Da                                                   
05. Mama Mama
06. Kamerasong
07. Zwischen Den Bäumen
08. Zweige Und Sonne
09. Revolutionslied
10. Der Letzte Brief
11. Probleme
12. Flop Pop
13. Apokalypse


Agilok & Blubbo is a political satire released in 1969, directed by Peter F. Scheneider. Irmin Schmidt was approached for the soundtrack. Fresh from a trip to America, Schmidt has recently decided that his musical future lay in experimental rock music, and not in avant garde classical which he had spent years studying. He assembled a group, The Inner Space, which featured himself, Holger Czukay, Jaki Liebezeit and Michael Karoli. Also included at this time was David Johnson and, as guest vocalist, Rosy Rosy. (That's her on the sleeve, actress Rosemarie Heinikel in a still from the movie.)

Only a single of 'Agilok & Blubbo'/Kamerasong' was released at the time, but in 2009 the tapes of the full soundtrack have been remastered and released.

Agilock & Blubbo find the members of Can creating the musical language with which they would become so fluent in a matter of months. The very next month in fact singer Malcolm Mooney would join and sessions would begin for 'Meet Thy Pnoom' (later named 'Delay 1968').

What you have here is embryonic Can, recognisable snatches can be heard in the insistent drums and bass or in an edit here or there. Not yet the demented garage band of 'Delay' but a bunch of artists discovering a shared love of invention and innovation.

"Blow your mind and move your crutch, tie the double noose of pnoom!"

CLEM ALFORD - MIRROR IMAGE





















EMI Columbia 1974

01. Mirror Image
02. Raga Kirwani
03. Raga Charukeshi


In 1968 Clem Alford travelled to India to study the sitar with Pandit Sachindranath Saha, when he returned to the U.K., he set about forming a group. In 1969 the Windmill label released the eponymous 'Sagram', a semi traditional sitar record complete with exploitation cover art. It didn't sell well and was also misspelled, it should be 'Sargam'. Clem's next project was a fusion of Folk and classical Indian music called 'Magic Carpet'. Their self titled record was released on Mushroom records in 1972.

In 1974, Clem Alford released his masterpiece 'Mirror Image'. This carefully conceived album has three instrumental tracks, side one being a modern Indo-jazz fusion take with Wah Wah sitar and side two having two tracks of traditional classical Indian music.

The two traditional ragas on the second side show Clem's depth of knowledge of classical Sitar composition but the real jewel here is side one's title track.

One whole side of vinyl holds this funky, futuristic Sitar workout. At times sounding like a San Francisco jam band teleported to West Bengal or an Indian prog band making a Bay record. Careful Can-esque edits keep this piece interesting and flowing. Truly magic stuff.

From the sleeve notes :

"Mirror Image is an intriguing record, rich in sound and new in musical and philosophical concept - an aural portrait reflected in a series of mirrors, creating a collage of vision which diminishes in time and space. Time and space are the 'veil of illusion' which hides the unity of material things, for in reality there is but one."

Totally.

John Mayer, creator and pioneer of Indo-jazz fusions and author of these sleeve notes, obviously anticipated criticism from the folk purist crowd. Here's how he signs off :

"This album must be listened to with an open mind, for if the new electronic sounds of the sitar in 'Mirror Image' and the dichotomy of styles on the two sides of the record seem alarming to the purist let him remember that rigid customs and die-hard traditions are the great barriers to world integration."

Right On !

VARIOUS ARTISTS - THE TRIP






















Shifty Disco 1999

Disc 1 :

01. @!Syde - It Exists
02. Third Eye Foundation - A Galaxy Of Scars
03. Talisman & Hudson - Leaving Planet Earth
04. Mao - The Hare And The Wood
05. Desert - Voices
06. Luke Slater - Filter 2
07. Faultline - Papercut
08. Pablo's Eye - Opina
09. Boards Of Canada - Telephasic Workshop
10. The Bill Wells Octet vs. Future Pilot A.K.A. - No Funerals This Morning

Disc 2 :

01. Plastikman - Locomotion
02. Les Rhytmes Digitales - Kontakte
03. Jonny L - Intasound
04. Caustic Window - AFX 114
05. Patric Catani - Snuff Out
06. Inner Sleeve - Can't Get Home
07. Mogwai - Tracey
08. Leila - Underwaters (One For Keni)
09. Discordia - Discordians Get Creative
10. Spearmint - A Trip Into Space
11. ISAN - Vosill


"In the early hours of the morning, the world changes. With 4Later, so does the television. The Trip, the first in a new line of ambient T.V. series designed for the last moments of the night, takes decades of space footage and rebuilds it as dreams. 4Later takes television past and present and replicates it for a different state of mind. The Trip is the space program you've been waiting for. 4Later, Thursdays to Sundays from around midnight to sometime later."

- Stevan Keane, Commissioning Editor, Nightime, Channel 4.

That is, to say, in 1999 Channel Four started making programs for people on drugs. The Trip was the best of those programs, although I also enjoyed Exploitica and whatever late night trashy movie was on.
The Trip was a collage of recently released to the public NASA films set to contemporary electronic music. It is the brainchild of producer Jacques Peretti.

 The soundtrack album features music from the first series and works well as a sampler of electronic music from that period. There was an even less talked about second series, which in my opinion, was even better. It had a broader audio and visual base but neither has been released commercially. Below is a clip from an episode from the second series.




As a post script, it was during an episode of the second series that I first heard Electrelane, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

VARIOUS ARTISTS - OCCULT PSYCHEDELIA





















Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth Scandinavia TOPYSCAN C 005
Private press cassette only release (1990)

01. Strawberry Alarm Clock - Curse of the Witches
02. Circus 2000 - I am the Witch
03. Southwest F.O.B. - Smell of Incense
04. Jason Crest - Black Mass
05. Macabre - Be Forewarned
06. Mystic Siva - Supernatural Mind
07. Things To Come - Speak of the Devil
08. Beautiful Daze - City Jungle Part 1
09. Music Emporium - Prelude
10. Black Widow - Come to the Sabbath
11. Bill Wendry & The Boss Tweeds - A Wristwatch Band
12. Bonniwell Music Machine - Astrologically Incompatible
13. Twink - 10,000 Words in a Cardboard Box
14. Strawberry Alarm Clock - Black Butter (Present)
15. Friday’s Keeper - Take me for a Ride
16. Gin Gillette - Train to Satanville
17. Rings And Things - Strange Things are Happening
18. Bermuda Jam - Good Trip Lollipop
19.Lea Riders Group - Dom Kallar Oss Kods
20. Bob Trimble - Armour of Shrouds
21. C.O.B. - Serpent’s Kiss
22. Marcus - The Life Game
23. The Dovers - Third Eye
24. David Santo - Rising of Scorpio
25. Kalacakra - Nearby Shiras


Ace compilation of psychedelic music with a common theme of the occult.


Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth (or TOPY) was a fellowship founded in 1981 by members of Psychic TV, Coil, Current 93 and a number of other individuals. The network was a loosely federated group of people operating as a blend of artistic collective and practitioners of magic.

In 1990, the group privately released this strictly limited cassette, which was compiled by member Carl Abrahamsson.

This version was recently recompiled from better quality audio sources by Fearlono at Cottage of Electric Hell!

ALEX SANDERS - A WITCH IS BORN





















A & M Records 1970

01. Initiation
02. The Legend Of The Goddess
03. The Great Rite


"Only a witch can make a witch."

During the sixties and seventies, Alex and Maxine Sanders were the most recognisable faces in Wicca. They appeared in many magazines, on television shows and, in 1970, they made their own record.

'A Witch is Born' is an audio recording of the initiation of Janet Owen.

This is not an album that you play will play repeatedly. However, it is of interest to those who like historical audio documents and its subject matter earns it a place in this Halloween special.


Advertisement in Rolling Stone magazine.

THE MANSON FAMILY - THE FAMILY JAMS





















Transparency Records & Aurora Records (1997)

Disc 1 :

01. Ra-Hide Away!
02. Love's Death
03. Die to Be One
04. No Wrong-Come Along
05. Get on Home
06. Is There No One in Your World But You?
07. First They Made Me Sleep in the Closet
08. Give Your Love (To Be Free)
09. I'll Never Say Never to Always
10. Look at Your Love
11. If I Had a Million Dollars
12. Goin' to the Church House

Disc 2 :

01. You Must Be Born Again
02. Ra-Hide Away!
03. Die to Be One
04. The Fires Are Burning
05. Give Your Love (To Be Free)
06. The Young Will Overcome
07. Going to the Church House
08. Love's Death
09. I'll Never Say Never to Always
10. Die to Be One
11. Look at Your Love
12. I Can't Remember When
13. Going to the Church House
14. I Can't Remember When (Alternate)
15. Give Your Love to Be Free
16. London Bridge Is Falling Down

This album of Charles Manson songs was recorded by The Manson Family as the 1970 murder trial was ongoing. Recorded in the Spahn Ranch saloon, some songs contain references to the unfolding events in the trial. “Get On home” contains a direct reference to the defendants carving an ‘X’ onto their foreheads :

"When you see the children with x's on their head, if you dare to look at them, soon you will be dead."

Originally a private press release as “Manson Family Sings the Songs of Charles Manson" on vinyl and limited to 999 copies.

This reissue from 1997 was released simultaneously on Transparency Records and Aurora Records and has the original album remastered on disc 1 and outtakes and alternate versions on disc 2.

Not too dissimilar from a lot of commune folk around at the time, this music contains an undeniable spook. The lo-fi recording quality, the back story and Manson’s lyrics make this an unsettling, stoned listen.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

ROBBIE BASHO - THE FALCONER'S ARM I

Let’s make this month a Robbie Basho special.

In 1967, Basho released two albums on the Takoma label. The music within both The Falconer’s Arm I & II is Basho at his most visionary, spiritual, emotional best. The playing is straight from consciousness and on into the ether, the listening experience otherworldly. This is true psychedelic music, spiritual transcendence by strength of strings.

The vocals are kept to a minimum on these two albums, lengthy ragas making up most of the running time. Basho’s philosophy of “soul first - technique later” was probably never truer than here.

In a previous Basho post, I have mentioned the need for his music to be reissued. It is simply criminal that these two albums remain original issue vinyl only. In 2001, John Fahey conceived a Robbie Basho sampler entitled ‘Bashovia’. It contained tracks from both Falconer’s Arm L.P.’s, but they should reissued as originally released, retaining the original concept.


I should make it clear that these vinyl rips are not of the greatest quality (but hell, they‘re better than nothing). If anyone knows of better versions, please let me know.

The selections are followed by Basho’s own notes.

























The Falconer’s Arm I

Takoma 1967

01. The Falconer’s Arm
02. Tassajara - Zen Shinji
03. Lost Lagoon Suite
      a) Walking Into The Forest
      b) Prelude
      c) Blue Wolf
      d) Sky Medicine
      e) Finale
      f) Walking Out Of The Forest
04. Pavan Hindustan
05. Babs

The Falconer's Arm - A rough-hewn piece from my personal forest of recollection. It could be an ancient Scotch Crusader's wail for overcoming ignoble establishments. There’s one thing the Blues is afraid of and that's the pipes.


Tassajara - Zen Shinji - A dedication sung to Tassajara - site of an old hot springs resort now the first Zen Monastery in the U.S., situated in the California Mountains southeast of Carmel. The piece itself is a duet for Guitar and Flute. The fine musicianship of Susan Graubard made it.

Lost Lagoon Suite - Vancouver, Canada - Theoretically a four movement symphony for a 12 string.

Pavan Hindustani - A miniature raga encapsuled in Western Guitar form, utilising the Running Himalayan Rondo.

ROBBIE BASHO - THE FALCONER'S ARM II





















The Falconer’s Arm II

Takoma 1967

01. Variations On “Shakespeare Wallah”
02. Song Of The Snowy Ranges
03. Pasha
04. Song Of God


Variations on "Shakespeare Wallah" (Sunyat Raye) - Recorded live at the "Rainbow Concert" at Santa Cruz. Fine recording of guitar by placing the recording mikes in the audience between the two speakers. Lord love a Nagra ( a miniature Swiss tape recorder).

Song of the Snowy Ranges - Definition of a bummer - too much too soon. Definition of acid - Karmic Cosmetics. Bringum-back-alive-Basho's contribution to the ant-acid campaign. Better to wait 3 years for a good thing than to push it and get "jammed". From beneath icy pinecones, the breath of peace.

Pasha - A song of Persian Autumn - raga and flamenco techniques. Sing a song of Scorpio. A Pocket full of Pasha.

Song of God -12 string. This piece opens with what I call the Crest of Richard The Lion Hearted (Tantric Heraldry), adapted from a composition by Billie Roberts called Folk Fugue. Then into the Song of God proper, which is my attempt to render a feeling for the manifestation of : Krishna, Manjurs, Rama, God and
Meher Baba.

VARIOUS ARTISTS - CONTEMPORARY GUITAR SPRING '67





















Contemporary Guitar - Spring ‘67

Takoma 1967

01. Max Ochs - Raga
02. John Fahey - Sampler
03. Bukka White - Old Man Walking Blues
04. Max Ochs - Raga
05. Harry Taussig - Water Verses
06. Harry Taussig - Children’s Dance
07. Robbie Basho - The Thousand Incarnations Of The Rose


The same year, Takoma released a sampler of the artists on their roster. This sampler, so far, has not been part of the Takoma reissue series. A shame, it contains an exclusive Fahey track but the real treasure here is the 14 minute ‘
The Thousand Incarnations of the Rose’ by Robbie Basho. A breathtaking  tour-de-force unavailable elsewhere.



Thursday, 23 August 2012

JOHN FAHEY - THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE (ORANGE LABEL VERSION)





















Takoma 1968

01. Bottleneck Blues
02. Bean Vine Blues
03. A Raga Called Pat, Part III
04. A Raga Called Pat, Part IV
05. The Little Train That Couldn't
06. Kuolema
07. Leaving Home
08. Lo How a Rose
09. Texas and Pacific Blues
10. The Bastrop Waltz


Fahey’s greatest joke?

Released in 1968, “The Voice of the Turtle” has perplexed Fahey fans ever since. Half truths, in jokes, self mythologizing and some plain old lies.

Some of the tracks are credited to Fahey and the ficticious blues guitarist, Blind Joe Death. Most fans were aware that BJD was an alter ego of Fahey but those tracks were actually other artists old 78’s. Fahey plays over the top of some, others he doesn’t even appear on.

The Fahey originals are stranger still. “A Raga Called Pat, Part IV” features gongs, slide and chanting monks.

Fahey, ever keen to puzzle his fans, goes further in the liner notes. The first sentence is 561 words long and the photos and captions seem to be completely made up. Fahey later stated that “The whole record was a hoax”.

However, there's more...

There are two versions of this album.

Fans only became aware when listening to other copies of the L.P. There are some completely different tracks across the two versions. There are no clues in the notes and there seems to be no explanation available.

The two versions have different coloured labels. One black, one orange. The Takoma cd reissue is a remasterd version of the black label.

I do not have the time, space or mind to go further into this joke within a joke. If you wish to read further I suggest you visit http://www.johnfahey.com/ and read their excellent article on the matter.

But for now, enjoy the alternative punchline...

EGISTO MACCHI - VOIX

























Gemelli 1970

01.Pensée
02.Phonèmes
03.Diaphragme
04.Voix
05.Moonsong
06.Timbres
07.À Plein Gosier
08.La Memoire
09.La Calme
10.Le Cauchemard
11.Chanson De La Nuit
12.Chanson Du Matin
13.Reflexions
14.Gouttes
15.Inquiètude


A brief introduction to library/production music - Unlike popular or classical music production companies, music production libraries own all of the copyright of their music. A composer would create music on a work for hire basis, hand over the results to the production company and they could then license it without the composer’s permission.

This music is generally used for film, television and advertising.

It is, however, of interest to lovers alternative music.

In return for handing over permission to use the recordings, the artist could record whatever they wanted. (and without the pressure from record companies, labels etc to come up with commercially viable product) Perhaps a new musical direction doesn’t fit with the record label, a soundtrack composer may have an idea but no film to work on or the artist may wish to record something that’s downright freaky.

My favourite library album is Voix by Egisto Macchi. It was Macchi’s first library record and was released on the Gemelli label in 1970. The label specialised in the avant garde and only pressed 500 copies of each album.

The music is sparse, percussion heavy and ominous. Light is glimpsed occasionally with choir and piano only for the menace to return with scraping noises, thundering percussion and fuzz bass.

Dark, humorous, scary, haunting and truly wonderful.

A masterpiece of Italian classical avant garde.

DAMON - SONG OF A GYPSY


























Ankh Records 1968

01. Song Of A Gypsy
02. Poor Poor Genie
03. Don't You Feel Me
04. Did You Ever
05. Funky Funky Blues
06. Do You
07. The Night
08. I Feel Your Love
09. Bird Fly So High
10. The Road Of Life

I recently span 'Don't You Feel Me' at a party. Enquiries of origin ensue.

Rare as fuck.

Californian.

Psych.

A private press release from the west coast, it's impossible to obtain an original copy. Real rare psychedelic funk that lives up to the hype. Fuzz guitar, wicked drums, finger cymbals, deep bass and some real soul vocals. Smoky groove.

"Tranced out gypsy Arabian acid fuzz crooner psych with deep mysterious vocals, an amazing soundscape and excellent songwriting." - Acid Archives.

I can't really add much more to that, other than who would of thought that psych and crooning would make such a good match? Also, how can a record that has a member that only plays finger cymbals be bad?

Check out those drums.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

THE CHILDREN OF SUNSHINE - DANDELIONS





















KBK 1971

01. Dandelions
02. The College School
03. Tuffy
04. War
05. They Call It Love
06. The Children Of Sunshine
07. Uncle Harry
08. If You Are Lonely
09. Talking
10. It's a Long Way To Heaven
11. Harmony
12. Talking


Tres Williams and Kitsy Christner were both 10 years old when they recorded the album ‘Dandelions’. Encouraged by their guitar teacher, Tres and Kitsy wrote, arranged and recorded 10 songs. They used a picture from their school photography project for the cover, enlisted local musicians to help out and privately pressed 300 copies to sell to friends and family.

This album is beautiful. Confused observations about war, divorce and god sit along side joyful ditties about dogs, uncles and school. Contemporary folk is an influence (Judy Collins, James Taylor) but the songs and performances are utterly free of pretense. The voices and playing contain the kind of joy and charm that could only be written and performed by children as yet unburdened by the responsibilities and stresses of adult life.


This will be your new favorite record.


From the back of the L.P. :

"It was just two years ago when we met each other — that’s when it all started. Jim CURRAN started giving us guitar lessons. After a while we always played together at the shows at school. Then we had a photography class with Frank. He taught us how to develop pictures and what a photographer should know. One day it was very nice out so we went over to the college to ake pictures and there was a great big dandelion field and so we thought why don’t we take pictures here. So we all picked some dandelions and posed in them. Frank took our picture and we developed it. In a few weeks we were together at Kitsy’s home for the weekend and Uncle Scott and Aunt Judy were there when we started to make up some songs. Uncle Scott said, “Why don’t you two make an album since you’re so good?” We said, “O.K.!” So we started making up songs and Kitsypractice doing our songs, so Jim said we should have a show of our own for the school just to get used to crowds. We did and we sang all our songs. Finally we had a whole bunch of rehearsals for the album and we had background people like Wendy and Mike — Mike played the drums and Wendy the bass. It really started to sound good so we had our first recording sessions. On our first recording session we recorded 4 songs but we only used two: “Dandelions” and “Tuffy”. In our second recording session we were tired of rehearsing and recording so we decided we were going to do them all that day. They all turned out good. The following Monday night at 8 o’clock we chose which songs we wanted to do which finished the album. We had everybody who wanted an album at the College School send in $5.00 to us. When we got pretty much money we finished the album and that made us very proud. We’d like to say “Thank you” very much to Jim CURRAN, Wendy KATZ, Mike KIEFFER, John MacENULTY, Uncle Steve (Uncle Harry?) and all the people who helped us make our whole album. TRES and KITSY"

Think The Shaggs, Beat Happening or The Vaselines but as two girls in the seventies.

No kitsch, total charm. Total obscure classic.

VARIOUS ARTISTS - VOR DER FLUT (HOMMAGE AN EINEN WASSERSPEICHER)



Eigelstein Musikproduktion 1985/De Campo Records 1988

01. Christian Bollmann, Doris Zeman, Gerd Kappelhoff, Helmut Scherner, Jochan Vetter,
      Roberto Laneri, Stephanie Wolf - Invocations                        
02. Dario Domingues - Pacha Siku 
03. Pauline Oliveros - Watertank Software
04. Budi Siebert & Joe Koinzer - Trüffeltanz
05. Jochen Vetter, Doris Zeman, Gerd Kappelhoff, Helmut Scherner - Praevocationes
06. Dario Domingues - The Spirit of the Wind
07. Pauline Oliveros - The Gentle (Short Version)
08. Budi Siebert - Wal-Hall-A
09. Saxophon Mafia - Kellerdschungel
10. Conrad Bauer - Bötz
11. Butz Dahn, Michael Hohler, Wolfgang Hamm - Unter Der Stadt
12. Heiner Goebbels - Ein Vorfilm Für Herbert Achternbusch

Twelve tracks of out there free improvisation recorded in a temporarily disused water tank. The minimal compositions perfectly exploit the incredible reverb and acoustics of this unique recording location resulting in total organic avant garde ambient.

From the liner notes of the reissue :

"In December 1984 musicians from different countries and the 'Tanzforum der Oper/Köln' met in the almost 100 years old drinking watertank (Wasserspeicher) SEVERIN (which had been emptied for refurbishment) located on the southside of Cologne for an exceptional music and dance project. The recordings of this CD testify for the unique acoustics of the subterraneous colonnade. All takes have only been recorded with microphones distributed throughout the tank, without using any additional studio effect equipment before it was finally flooded again (german title - vor der flut : before the flood).

Mixed at Studio Zuckerfabrik, Stuttgart; Soundexpress Studio, Köln.
Mastered at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg."


Both the reissued cd from 1988 and the original vinyl from 1985 are out of print and hard to find.

MIKE TINGLEY - THE ABSTRACT PRINCE




Decca 1968

01. A Real Fine Time
02. Begin The Sun
03. Connected To Nothing
04. Emotions And May
05. Monotony's Message
06. See The People
07. Abstract Prince
08. Of Sand
09. Of Soul And Deed
10. I Weep
11. It's Time To Leave Her
12. Crossroads


Californian Mike Tingley recorded and released his only L.P. in 1968. ‘The Abstract Prince’ is a very sixties fusion of folk and psychedelic pop enriched with Spectoresque strings and tight arrangements.

Still essentially unknown, this record is ripe for a reissue (Sundazed perhaps?)

On first listen, some listeners may find the songs a little light. The production is pretty and there is a whiff of teenage pop. However, repeated spins reveal lyrics of existential angst, social commentary and personal observations.

Here’s the artist himself :

“I have been asked to write a few lines for this LP. But where do I start? I think I am just now realising what has taken place. I will start by thanking to everyone who was involved in the making of this record. And there are so many that added so much to it. My producer, Tony Vos, whose guidance and supervision I couldn't have done without. My recording technician, Gerard Beckers, whose skill in a control room was consistently outstanding. The drummer, Cees Kranenburg and the bass player, Jan Hollesteller, who both demonstrated the only thing that only a good musician can...talent and plenty of it. And speaking of musicians, I really owe a special debt gratitude to Bert Paige, who did all the orchestra arrangements and to all the studio musicians participated in this LP. There is only one word to describe their contribution to this music...beautiful. There are so many other people directly or indirectly involved, that I could never write them all down on this jacket. But my heart felt thanks go out to each one of them just the same. I was also asked to explain each of my songs. I thought a lot about it and decided that it wasn't fair, in a way, to you the listener. Although, when I wrote each song I had a definite idea in my mind, these were only my impressions. I feel that if I were to explain each song to you, it wouldn't give you an honest chance to develop your own impressions. And this is what I think is one of the most important parts of any music: the capacity to be interpreted differently, depending on who the listener is. I would like to end by thanking you, the listener, for giving me this opportunity to express the many emotions and thoughts that are contained in each and every groove of this LP.”


I suspect record company fecklessness is behind the record having no success. Released only in Holland and confusion over how to market Mike Tingley ensured this record would be lost and forgotten.

Find it, dig it and let the sunshine in.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

ROBBIE BASHO - BOUQUET




Basho-Productions 1983

01. The Golden Medallion
02. Khalil Gibran
03. The White Swallow
04. The Polish Rider
05. El Cid
06. Lightening Thunder
07. Land Of Our Fathers (Hopi Hymn)
08. Tears Of Teresa
09. Blues From Lebanon
10. The Song Of Leila
11. The White Princess


For those new to the artist - Robbie Basho was a pioneer of contemporary acoustic guitar. He took his name from  Japanese haiku poet Matsuo Basho, adopted the steel string acoustic guitar from John Fahey and was introduced to folk music by Max Ochs. After hearing Ravi Shanker, Basho used dropped tunings and developed his 'Esoteric Doctrine of Color & Mood for12 & 6 string guitar'.

Basho released several albums between 1965 and his death in 1986. These records covered Eastern mysticism, the old west and European folk. The majority of this discography has yet to be reissued.

'The Seal Of The Blue Lotus' (1965) and 'The Grail And The Lotus' (1966) were Basho's first two offerings and remain his most well known work. Both of those albums were instrumental and focused on Basho's long raga inspired guitar workouts.

Bouquet was Basho's penultimate album and by this time he had incorporated vocals, piano and spoken word into his music. 

Cassette only private press release.

CAN - PREHISTORIC FUTURE





















Tago Mago 1984

01. Side A (15:46)
02. Side B (14:09)


Spontaneously composed by Can at Scholss Nörvenich, West Germany, June 1968. This is the first ever session by Can. The core line up of Karoli, Czukay, Schmidt and Liebezeit are augmented by David Johnson (flute, tapes) and Manni Löhe (vocals, percussion, flute).

Originally released  in France as a limited edition cassette.

Mono Recording. Tape edited and mastered by Holger Czukay. First edition of 2000 copies. Sourced from official cassette.

RUTH WHITE - FLOWERS OF EVIL





















Limelight 1969

01. The Clock
02. Evening Harmony
03. Lovers' Wine
04. Owls
05. Mists and Rains
06. The Irremediable
07. The Cat
08. Spleen
09. The Litanies of Satan


Electronic music pioneer Ruth White sets the poems of French poet Charles Baudelaire to music. Total electronic doom, creepy analouge synths with the multi effected vocals of Ruth White reading the poems sounding dead. A must.

Here's the artist on the record :

"To me, Baudelaire's poems are of such unique power that they always seem to rise above the level of the personal and sometimes existential nature of their content. In this composition, I have attempted to parallel the transcendental qualities of the poetry through electronic means.

For the words, I used my own voice as the generator of the original sound to be altered or "dehumanized." This seemed practical since my experiments with the medium were too time consuming to have been easily accomplished with a collaborator.

To modulate my voice, I used a variety of techniques. Changes of timbre were achieved with filters. Tape speed changes were used to control pitch. Into the shape of some words, I injected sound waves and white noise, thus changing the quality of their sound but not the flow of their delivery. By adding reyerberation, I varied atmospheres and decreased or increased space illusions. To accent special words or phrases, I used controlled tape delays. Choruses were created by combining slight delays with multiple track recordings.

The musical settings around the voice were made with music concrète materials, a moog synthesizer, other electronic generators and conventional instruments, which were usually altered electronically.
In the translations, there was no attempt to rhyme the verse as in the original french poems. I tried only to keep the language as direct and simple as possible, for I always found that the dominating power of Baudelaire's ideas were in themselves of electrifying force."