Monday, 12 November 2012


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!"


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."


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 !


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.