Sunday 12 May 2013


Self Release 1967

01. This Is An Artistic Statement Part 1
02. This Is An Artistic Statement Part 2

This month is dedicated to hippie visionary and outsider music cult figure, Phil Pearlman.

While attending university in California, Pearlman put together a loose collective of friends and musicians for an art project. The band and album was to be called The Beat Of The Earth.

This music is two sides of real sixties free expression improvisation. Former member Karen Darby describes it as such :

"Unstructured, stream of consciousness, riffs and rhythms, celebration of each individual musician by allowing spontaneous expression based on group orchestrated effort, without orchestrated (written) music."

The record had a pressing of 500 and Pearlman distributed it by handing it out to hitch-hikers, telling them to pass it on. Right on!


Self Release 1994 (Recorded 1967)

1. Part 1
2. Part 2

Although The Beat Of The Earth only ever had two recording sessions, they produced outtakes alongside what was released on the debut.

In 1994 Phil Pearlman dug out the session reels, cleaned them up and released this second album.

More improvised freak outery.

For an excellent article on this period of Phil Pearlman's life, including the interview with Karen Darby, go here :


Self Release 1970

1. The Golden Hill Part I
2. The Golden Hill Part II
3. The Golden Hill Part III
4. The Golden Hill Part IV
5. Love Will Find A Way Part I
6. Love Will Find A Way Part II
7. Love Will Find A Way Part III

Three years have passed since the Beat Of The Earth album. The band played a handful of happenings but now Phil Pearlman  takes a new direction.

It's unclear what these recordings were to designed for. Rehearsal for a show? Demos for an album? There are new musicians here and they sound unfamiliar with one another and the material. Drums fall out of time, vocals are off key and the whole thing is really lo-fi.

But there is something going on here...

Gone is the free folk experimental explosions, in is acid rock and loose folk rhythms. At times this sounds like a time travelling Spacemen 3. Things get good on the fuzzier, more droning tracks.

This isn't excellent but there is enough to keep the listener intrigued and it adds to the mystique of it's creator.


Self Release 1976

01. Easy Ride
02. Journey Through The Valley Of O
03. Babylon
04. Last Flight To Eden
05. Prelude
06. Hello Sunshine
07. They Knew What To Say
08. The Persian Caravan
09. A Thousand Years

The final (?) album by Phil Pearlman and again, it's a new band and a new name. This time however, everything is just right.

Yes, this is his most commercial offering but it's rural psychedelia at it's finest and the whole thing is just really groovy. West coast vibes abound, weed smoking laying in the sun songs that just breeze by.

There is a touch of Grateful Dead and the whole canyon back to nature scene, but this is a unique and original album.

And then...nothing.

Phil Pearlman dropped in on former Beat Of The Earth member Karen Darby in 1994. Here's what she said:

"It seems he had married a wonderful woman who was totally supportive and involved in his choice of lifestyle. They had several children who were being raised on a farm/ranch east of San Diego, California. The Ranch had NO electricity, they also used a well for water. He was raising goats, which according to him he slaughtered personally and humanely whenever preparing them for market. He described to me what he thought was the most inhumane conditions in the local slaughter house techniques. He had devised a quicker, bilateral knife to the cartoids on the goat that was painless and 'humane'.

For some reason I had a hard time in visioning Phil killing anything."