Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Embryo - Steig Aus

"Steig aus" ("Get out", "Get off") is a karautrock album sounding much jazzier than other Krautrock releases by Amon Düül II or Guru Guru for example but also features the experimental, improvisational and free form type of music. The album consists of 3 tracks, "Radio Marrakesch/Orient-Express" which is about 10 minutes long. Also about 10 minutes is the really great track "Dreaming girls". But the highlight of the album for sure is the very experimental track "call" which lasts more than 17 minutes.

1. Radio Marrakesch/Orient-Express (9:53)
2. Dreaming Girls (10:26)
3. Call (17:22)
- a. Call (part 1)
- b. Organ Walk
- c. Marimba Village
- d. Clouds
- e. Call (part 2)


- Roman Bunka / guitar
- Christian Burchard / drums, marimba, vibes
- Jörg Evers / bass
- Edgar Hoffmann / violin
- Jimmy Jackson / Mellotron, organ
- Dave King / bass
- Mal Waldron / electric piano

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jade Warrior - Floating World (1974)

01. Clouds (2:52)
02. Mountain of fruit and flowers (3:16)
03. Waterfall (5:38)
04. Red lotus (4:31)
05. Clouds (1:25)
06. Rain flower (2:44)
07. Easty (5:23)
08. Monkey chant (2:24)
09. Memories of a distant sea (5:07)
10. Quba (2:44)


- Tony Duhig / acoustic & electric guitars, bass,
piano, organ, glockenspiel, vibes
- John Field / Gælic harp, gong, vibes, alto, glockenspiel, concert & Japanese flutes, conga drums, bell tree, African talking drum, cello, piano, organ, acoustic guitar
- Chris Carran: drums (1-2)
- Graham Deacon / drums (4)
- David Duhig / electric guitar (8)
- Coldridge Good / string bass (2)
- Skaila Kanga / harp (9)
- Martha Mdenge / spoken words (10)

The Orpington Junior Girls Choir (1-5)

Jade Warrior - Waves (1975)

1. Waves part I
2. Waves part II


- Tony Duhig / guitars, percussion
- Jon Field / percussion, flutes
- Dave Duhig / electric guitar solo
- Graham Morgan / drums
- Suzy / vocals (Whale theme)
- Maggie Thomas / alto recorder
- Steve Winwood / Moog and piano solos

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jade Warrior - Kites (1976)

01. Songs of the Forest 3:13
02. Wind Song 4:05
03. The Emperor Kite 1:58
04. Wind Borne 6:52
05. Kite Song 3:05
06. Land of the Warrior 3:29
07. Quietly by the River Bank 3:21
08. Arrival of the Emporer:'What Does the Venerable Sir Do?' 1:07
09. Teh Ch'Eng:'Do You Understand This?' 2:33
10. Arrival of Chia Shan:Disclosure and Liberation 4:11
11. Towards the Mountains 2:04
12. The Last Question 0:37

- Tony Duhig / guitars, percussion
- Jon Field / percussion, flutes
- Roger Bryson / piano (3-7)
- Fred Frith / violins (9)
- Pete Gibson / brass (1-4)
- Coldridge Goode / bass (4)
- Debbie Hall / violin (2-3)
- Graham Morgan / drums (3-7)
- Joe O'Donnell / violins (10)
- Clodagh Simmons / girl's choir (1-2)
- Jeff Westley / electric piano (4)
- Willie / snare & bass drums (1)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jade Warrior - Way Of The Sun (1978)

01. Sun Ra
02. Sun Child
03. Moontears
04. Heaven Stone
05. Way Of The Sun
06. River Song
07. Carnival
08. Dance Of The Sun
09. Death Of Ra

The duo of guitarist Tony Duhig and virtuoso flautist and woodwind player Jon Field were signed to Island records in 1974, following the recent break up of the four piece Jade Warrior (who recorded three albums for Vertigo records between 1970 and 1973). Island founder Chris Blackwell signed the duo upon the recommendation of Steve Winwood, declaring Jade Warrior to be "an ornament to my label". Blackwell gave Duhig and Field access to unlimited studio time to create four albums that were later hailed as instrumental masterpieces, all of which fused ethnic African and far eastern influences with superbly innovative rock guitar playing by Tony Duhig.

Way of the Sun was perhaps the band's most fully realised work, drawing upon South American musical influences which blended effortlessly with western rock.

Each of Jade Warrior's Island albums was a revelation, both musically and thematically. Floating World's exploration of the Japanese philosophy of Ukiyo, Waves' oceanic voyage, the ninth century Buddhist monk whose story is told on the B-side of Kites (and who takes airy flight across the flip) -- all were extraordinary expeditions into the Orient. Having conquered the East, Warrior now turned their Jade eye westward, toward Latin America. By this time, Jade were already moving toward a more orchestral sound, as Kites had evidenced, but Way of the Sun was positively cinematic. Within, the duo -- aided by a host of guest musicians -- created an incredibly vibrant set that quivers with emotion and life itself. Dawn announces itself with a clap of thunder on "Sun Ra," waking the earth's denizens from their slumbers. Birds soar into the sky, creatures large and small scamper through the meadows and woods, while overhead the sun majestically rises, all of which Jade bring to vivid life across both "Sun Ra" and "Sun Child." "Heaven Stone" and the title track are similarly interconnected, both thematically and musically, and tied to the spiritual beliefs of the continent's indigenous peoples, while broadly hinting at the coming of the conquistadors and their conquering culture. But even as the Spanish laid waste to the land and its peoples, they too would be changed by them, which is reflected by "Carnival" and "Dance of the Sun," songs melding together indigenous and Spanish traditions. The album ends with the haunting "Death of Ra," as the sun sinks below the horizon. Although Latin styles predominate across the set, Warrior weave in myriad other musical threads -- Eastern, jazz, surf, and more. The album itself was arguably Jade Warrior's best, their apotheosis, or at least their grand finale, for after its release, Island promptly dumped the duo. Drummers John Dentith and Graham Morgan now went their separate ways, and the Warrior were no more.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jade Warrior - Horizen (1984)

1. Images of dune: (11:58)
...a. Prescient dawn
...b. The freman
...c. Journey on a dream
2. Carribbean wave (5:37)
3. Horizen (2:18)
4. East wind (7:08)
5. Grey lake, red mountain (5:29)
6. Long wait at Mount Li (7:02)

Total Time: 38:32


Tony Duhig - acoustic & electric guitars, guitar synthesizer, percussion
Jon Field - alto, concert, Chinese flutes, percussion
Jeff Barak - drums (6)
David Duhig - 2nd electric guitar solo (2)
Brad Lang - bass (2)
Anisse Hadeed - steel drum & timbales (2)
Gowan Turnbull - saxes (2), flute (4)

Members of the Pro Musica of London Chorus (6)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pierre Moerlen's Gong - Expresso II (1978)

Expresso II is an album by Pierre Moerlen's Gong, issued in 1978.

Like the other Pierre Moerlen's Gong albums, this is predominantly jazz-fusion and has little to do with the psychedelic space rock of Daevid Allen's Gong, even though the bands share a common history.

Expresso II is an appropriate title considering it is very much a companion piece to the band's previous release, Gazeuse! (called Expresso in North America). It is an extension of the melodic mallet percussion infused progressive jazz/rock that very much dominated this incarnation of Gong, and would be the last album released on the band's Virgin contract before Pierre Moerlen changed the name to Pierre Moerlen's Gong to distinguish this (very different) incarnation from that of the Daevid Allen-led chapter.

01. Heavy Tune"
02. Golden Dilemma"
03. Sleepy"
04. Soli"
05. Boring"
06. Three Blind Mice"

* Pierre Moerlen: drums, glockenspiel, xylophone, tubular bells, tympani, vibraphone
* Hansford Rowe: bass, rhythm guitar (2)
* Mireille Bauer: marimba, vibraphone
* Benoît Moerlen: glockenspiel, vibes, xylophone, tubular bells, claves
* François Causse: congas


* Allan Holdsworth: guitar (1,3,4,6)
* Mick Taylor: guitar (1)
* Darryl Way: violin (3,5)
* Bon Lozaga: guitar (2,3)

In popular culture

The song Heavy Tune is featured on Fusion FM radio in the game Grand Theft Auto IV.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gong - Gazuese (1976)

01. Expresso (Pierre Moerlen) – 5:57
02. Night Illusion (Allan Holdsworth) – 3:42
03. Percolations (Parts 1 & 2) (Pierre Moerlen) – 9:57
04. Shadows Of (Allan Holdsworth) – 7:47
05. Esnuria (Pierre Moerlen) – 7:58
06. Mireille (Francis Moze) – 4:01

- Pierre Moerlen – drums, vibraphone, marimba, timpani, glockenspiel
- Allan Holdsworth – guitars, violin, pedal steel
- Mireille Bauer – vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel, toms
- Benoît Moerlen – vibraphone
- Didier Malherbe – tenor saxophone, flute
- Francis Moze – fretless bass, gong, pianos
- Mino Cinelu – congas, gong, maracas, triangle, cuica, talking drum

In America, this album was released called Expresso (followed by Expresso II).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gong - Shamal (1975)

The band's first post-Allen release, Shamal was an album of transition and confusion. The only three holdovers at this point were Mike Howlett, Didier Malherbe, and Pierre Moerlen (with cameos as well from Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy). Marimba goddess Mireille Bauer, who was in the background of You, was now on board as a full member. Keyboardist Patrice Lemoine filled out the quintet. The sound was decidely shifting more towards a tuned percussion-fusion-funk direction, a European parallel to Frank Zappa's 70s fusion band here in the States. Lemoine particularly contributed to this redirection, with the electric piano overtaking the dense, dreamy moog and mellotron textures of his predecessor Tim Blake. The tracks that work best are the instrumentals. Stepping up to the plate with lead vocal duties, bassist Mike Howlett tried his best. Still, it sounds hollow and uncharismatic, especially following in the footsteps of Daevid Allen. Howlett probably realized this, and departed the band right after this. A worse offense are the lyrics, which on this effort are abysmal. The music is enough to make Shamal a minimally interesting listen. Still, though, it's a disappointment, barely capturing an ounce of the spirit and fun of before. The next release, Gazeuse!, while still being dry, would show an increased maturity of this stage of the band's new style, drifting ever further from the land of pot-head pixies


Virgin (CDV 2046)
UK/France 1975

Mike Howlett, bass, vocal; Didier Malherbe, saxes, flutes, gong; Pierre Moerlen, drums, vibraphone, tubular bells; Mireille Bauer, marimba, glockenspiel, xylophone, gong, percussion; Patrice Lemoine, piano, electric piano, organ, mini-moog; with Steve Hillage, acoustic and electric guitars; Miquette Giraudy, vocal; Sandy Colley, vocal; Jorge Pinchevsky, violin

1. Wingful of Eyes — 6:20
2. Chandra — 7:18
3. Bombooji — 5:11
4. Cat in Clark's Shoes — 8:50
5. Mandrake — 3:03
6. Shamal — 9:54

total time 40:43

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Amon Düül II - The UA Years-1969-1974

The Best of Amon Düül II 1969-1974, a collection that charts the best moments from the best period of one of the most fascinating (and often bewildering) German groups of the '70s. Included are tracks from several of Amon Düül II's best LPs: from Yeti comes "Soap Shop Rock" and "Pale Gallery," from Tanz der Lemminge comes "A Short Stop at the Transylvanian Brain-Surgery" and "Stumbling Over Melted Moonlight," and from Wolf City there's "Surrounded by the Stars," "Deutsch Nepal," and the title track. Though Amon Düül II's albums of the period are necessary for fans of the group, this makes not only a perfect introduction for new listeners but also a handy summation of what made the band great.

01 Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse
02 Archangels Thunderbird
03 Deutsch Nepal
04 Kannan
05 Surrounded by the Stars
06 Improvisations
07 Soap Shop Rock
08 Wolf City
09 Cerberus
10 Henriette Krotenschwanz A
11 Race from Here to Your Ears
12 Kronwinkl 12 Weinzierl
13 Utopia No. 1
14 Stumbling over Melted Moonlight
15 A Morning Excuse
16 A Short Stop at the Trans-Sylvanian Brain-Surgery
17 Pale Gallery

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Suntreader - Zin Zin (1973)

1. Zin-Zin 13:52
2. Stardance 9:57
3. Orinoco 12:50
4. From The Region Of Capricorn 12:17

The Band :-
Morris Pert - Drums & Percussion
Peter Robinson - Electric Pianos
Alyn Ross - Bass Guitar

R.I.P.: Morris David Brough Pert (9 September 1947 – 27 April 2010) was a Scottish composer, drummer/percussionist, and pianist, who played as a session musician with many musicians, including Paul McCartney, Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Williams, Kate Bush, Mike Oldfield, Peter Gabriel, Bryan Ferry, Phil Collins, Elkie Brooks, Talk Talk and the jazz-rock band Brand X, as well as having his own solo career...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Moving Gelatine Plates - The World Of Genius Hans (1972)

Moving Gelatine Plates

1. The World of Genius Hans (14:00)
2. Funny Doll (4:25)
3. Astromonster (6:15)
4. Moving Theme (3:46)
5. Cauchemar (3:46)
6. We Were Loving Her (3:28)
7. Un Jour... (1:25)

Total Time: 60:17


- Maurice Hemlinger / organ, trumpet, soprano and tenor saxophone, flute
- Gerard Bertram / electric guitar, vocals acoustic guitar
- Didier Thibault / bass, vocals, 12-string guitar
- Gerard Pons / drums, percussion

Easily one of the most interesting groups to have come outta France in the early 70's along with Magma and Gong, Moving Gelatine Plates second album is certainly impressive.

The title track, the awesome 14 min+ 'World of Genius Hans' is probably their magnum opus displaying excellent capabilities from all musicians. But clearly the star of the show is Hemlinger and his never ending switch from trumpet to saxes , flutes and Kb works. 'Astromonster' yet another highlight and 'Moving Theme' is without a doubt a leftover of lengthy concert improvisations. The album ends on a calm note with a short sax-filled Un Jour... Their vocals are sparse and in English and generally very Canterbury-like...buy the CD and ya get a buncha outta sight bonus tracks...check it out!...it's all good!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Quiet Sun - Mainstream (1975)

Mainstream is the only album of the UK band Quiet Sun. The band split up in 1972, Manzanera to Roxy Music, MacCormick to Matching Mole, Hayward to This Heat and Jarrett began to teach mathematics.

In 1975, Manzanera booked a studio for 26 days to record his first solo album Diamond Head and got Quiet Sun together again to record a studio album from their previously composed material at the same time. The result Mainstream was critically acclaimed and became the New Musical Express' album of the month, apparently Island Records' fourth or fifth biggest seller at the time, close up to Bad Company and Cat Stevens.

Reworked versions of two tracks from Mainstream ("Mummy was an asteroid..." and "Rongwrong") were performed by Manzanera's 801 project during 1976 and feature on their acclaimed LP 801 Live.

A CD release of Mainstream was released in 1997 on Manzanera's label, Expression Records.

01. "Sol Caliente" (Phil Manzanera) – 8:02
02. "Trumpets with Motherhood" (Charles Hayward) – 1:30
03. "Bargain Classics" (Dave Jarrett) – 5:37
04. "R.F.D." (Jarrett) – 3:09
05. "Mummy was an asteroid, Daddy was a small non-stick kitchen utensil" (Bill MacCormick) – 6:09
06. "Trot" (Manzanera) – 5:00
07. "Rongwrong" (Hayward) – 9:39

* Charles Hayward - drums, percussion, keyboards, voice
* Dave Jarrett - Fender rhodes, steinway grand piano, farfisa & hammond organs, VCS3
* Phil Manzanera - electric 6 & 12 string guitars, treated guitars, fender rhodes piano
* Bill MacCormick - electric bass, treated bass, back-up voices


* Brian Eno - synthesizer, treatments & oblique strategies
* Ian MacCormick - back-up voices

Monday, April 12, 2010

Henry Cow - Concerts [1976]

Henry Cow Concerts is a live double album by English avant-rock group Henry Cow, recorded at concerts in London, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway between September 1974 and October 1975. Sides one and two of the LP record consist of composed material while sides three and four contain improvised pieces.

The album includes Henry Cow's last John Peel Session, recorded in September 1975 and extracts from a concert with Robert Wyatt at the New London Theatre in May 1975. "Groningen" (recorded in September 1974) is part of an instrumental suite where the band improvised around fragments of an early version of Tim Hodgkinson's "Living in the Heart of the Beast" from In Praise of Learning (1975). Another performance of this suite (in full) later appeared in "Halsteren" on Volume 2: 1974-5 of The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set (2009).

01 - Beautiful As The Moon; Terrible As An Army With Banners,Nirvana For Mice,Ottawa Song_Gloria Gloom
02 - Bad Alchemy Little Red Riding Hood Hits The Road
03 - Ruins
04 - Groningen
05 - Groningen Again
06 - Oslo
07 - Off The Map
08 - Cafe Royal
09 - Keeping Warm In Winter Sweet Heart Of Mine
10 - Udine

* Lindsay Cooper – bassoon, flute, oboe, recorder, piano
* Chris Cutler – drums, piano
* Dagmar Krause – voice, piano
* Fred Frith – guitar, piano, violin, xylophone
* John Greaves – bass guitar, voice, celeste, piano
* Tim Hodgkinson – organ, clarinet, alto saxophone, piano (Greasy Truckers set, CD release only)
* Robert Wyatt – vocals ("Bad Alchemy" and "Little Red Riding Hood Hits the Road")
* Geoff Leigh (Greasy Truckers set, CD release only) – tenor and soprano saxophone, recorder, flute, clarinet

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fred Frith - Gravity (1990)

Gravity is a 1980 solo album by English guitarist, composer and improviser Fred Frith from Henry Cow and Art Bears. It was Frith's second solo album and his first since the demise of Henry Cow in 1978. It was originally released in the United States on LP record on The Residents's Ralph record label and was the first of three solo albums Frith made for the label.

Gravity was recorded in Sweden, the United States and Switzerland and featured Frith with Swedish Rock in Opposition group Samla Mammas Manna on one side of the LP, and Frith with United States progressive rock group The Muffins on the other side. Additional musicians included Marc Hollander from Aksak Maboul and Chris Cutler from Henry Cow.

Gravity has been described as an avant-garde "dance" record that draws on rhythm and dance from folk music across the world. Allmusic called it one of the most important experimental guitar titles from Fred Frith.

01. "The Boy Beats the Rams (Kluk Tluce Berany)" – 4:54
02. "Spring Any Day Now" – 3:04
03. "Don't Cry For Me" – 3:28
04. "The Hands of the Juggler" – 5:31
05. "Norrgården Nyvla" – 2:54
06. "Year of the Monkey" – 4:11
07. "What a Dilemma" – 3:11
08. "Crack in the Concrete" – 1:24. "Come Across" – 2:47
09. "Dancing in the Street" (Gaye, Stevenson, Hunter) – 3:20
10. "My Enemy is a Bad Man" – 1:22
11. "Slap Dance" – 2:32
12. "A Career in Real Estate" – 4:42
13. "Dancing in Rockville Maryland" – 3:04

Bonus tracks on 1990 CD re-issue

14. "Waking Against Sleep" – 2:08
15. "Terrain" – 3:50
16. "Moeris Dancing" – 5:03
17. "Geistige Nacht" – 5:18
18. "Life at the Top" – 1:40
19. "Oh Wie Schon Ist Panama!" – 5:02

musicians include:
Fred Frith – guitar, bass guitar, violin, keyboards, drums (tracks 1,5,7)
The Muffins
Chris Cutler – drums (tracks 3, 15-18)
Lindsay Cooper – bassoon, oboe (tracks 15,16)
Tim Hodgkinson – alto saxophone (track 15)
Dagmar Krause – voice (track 17)
Tom Cora – bass guitar, percussion (track 19)
Samla Mammas Manna
and others...

Friday, March 5, 2010

RAHMANN (Musea, France 1977)


Musea (FGBG 4261.AR)
France 1977

Mahamad Hadi, synth-guitar, electric guitar, fretless guitar, oud, bouzouki, snitra; Amar Mecharaf, drums, percussion; Michel Rutigliano, acoustic piano, grand piano, ARP Odyssey; Gérard Prevost, acoustic bass, fretless bass; Louis-César Ewande, percussion; with Nadia Yamina Hadi, vocal; Didier Lockwood, violin; Sylvain Marc, fretless bass; Richard Gérard Kurdjian Guem, ney, tablas, darbouka; Liza Deluxe, vocals; Joël Loviconi, electric piano; Ali Shaigan, violin

1. Atlanta — 5:26
2. Nadiamina — 6:23
3. Ab — 8:00
4. Danse Sacrée — 6:35
5. Leila — 9:38
6. Marche Funèbre — 5:00
7. Marche Funèbre — 5:04
8. Danse Sacrée — 10:13
9. Nadiamina — 7:08
10. Atlanta — 4:51

This album is probably as close as anything can get to zeuhl without having any vocals. All the instrumental elements are here: lots of heavy throbbing bass, very active drumming, repetitive themes, and an overall dark, somewhat oppressive feel. That said, Rahmann inject a very distinct feel to their brand of "instrumental zeuhl" - for one thing, the colors are somewhat more varied than the standard bass-drums-piano, with lots of interesting keyboard patches, some wind instruments, and some various plucked strings. There's also a lot of ethnic-sounding percussion, particularly in "Nadiamina", where Middle-Eastern-sounding percussion forms a constant backdrop for much of the piece. Overall, that nebulous Middle-Eastern ethnic feel permeates the whole album, which shouldn't be too surprising, given that the bandleader (as detailed in the excellent liner notes) was born in Algiers.Didier Lockwood and Liza Deluxe (Magma), and Gerard Prevost (Zao).Give a good listen to the astounding "Ab," which sounds like Univers Zero if they were from Algiers. Not your run-of-the-mill fusion workout.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Boris - Vein (2006)

Vein is the sixteenth (or seventeenth) studio album by Japanese experimental doom band Boris, released as an edition of 1500 copies in October 2006. Two versions of this release exist, 1100 copies sold in the US contain one set of audio while 400 copies sold in Europe contain a completely different recording. One of their most controversial and delayed releases, it was sold for $32 USD as a single clear record with an inch-wide image screen printed along the outer edge.

Alternate recordings were confirmed shortly after its release, when various people[who?] proclaimed their Vein record had no vocals at all. While the number of tracks differ between both versions, aesthetically, the packaging is identical and the records can only be differentiated by inspecting the vinyl surface itself. One version, dubbed the "Hardcore version", has somewhat of a crust punk sound with elements of hardcore and drone. Atsuo contributed the lead vocals on this record for the first time in many[weasel words] years, with Takeshi contributing vocals in some of the songs as well. The vocals on this record are notably different from most Boris albums, as they are screamed rather than sung. The other version, dubbed the "Noise version", has one side of pure noise drone and a long punk jam drenched with feedback on the other. There are no vocals on this version.

At the very beginning of track 3 on the hardcore version the listener can hear a man say "И пусть посмеются над своими страстями" (Russian for "Let them laugh at their own passions"). This is a quote from Stalker, a 1979 film by Andrei Tarkovsky.

In the beginning of the final track on the hardcore version the listener can hear a man say "I hela mitt liv har jag väntat på det här. Hela mitt liv har varit en enda väntan på det här." in Swedish, which in English means "For my whole life I've been waiting for this. My whole life has been a waiting for this."

Side One

1. untitled - 4:01
2. untitled - 2:15
3. untitled - 1:37
4. untitled - 1:14
5. untitled - 1:18
6. untitled - 1:49
7. untitled - 2:21

Side Two

8. untitled - 1:14
9. untitled - 0:46
10. untitled - 1:01
11. untitled - 2:01
12. untitled - 10:31

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jon Rose & Eugene Chadbourne - Kultural Terrorism (1987)

Jon Rose & Eugene Chadbourne
Chadbourne/Rosenberg "Kultural Terrorism"
[LP: Dossier, Germany, 1987; #ST 7551]

"Not quite sure why I went with the 'K' on the front of kultural. It somehow seemed German, or at least at the time I had made up my mind that I was heading to Berlin, centre of kultural otherness, an island refuge for musicians and artists who couldn't stomach being in the Ronald Reagan western.

A number of people have been asking me about the album Kultural Terrorism, this is the story.

The project lasted from 1985 till 1988, and in that period every tour that Eugene Chadbourne and I set out on seemed to be on a new continent. It was primarily a duo, and although a few guest musicians tried their hand at joining us on stage, none (with the exception of Chris Cutler) went the full distance as I remember. We would play two simultaneous solos which, although containing our own personal languages of improvising, also contained as many quotations from popular music as we could cram into a two-set concert. At the end of one concert in a seedy little bar in a forgettable midwest town, a guy came up to us after the concert and handed us a couple of sheets of paper upon which were listed all the songs he had heard us quote that evening, a total of seventy songs (and there was a bunch missing too). He said he felt somewhat elated and confused--elated that he knew so many tunes, confused because we had eradicated almost all support mechanisms. If a tune had the right notes, it would often have another song's harmony. Occasionally two songs from the same source might collide at the same time, the music of Dylan and the Beatles often received this kind of treatment. For many of the concerts we asked for a television on stage to add further ingredients to the already over-spiced cooking pot. If it all became too much, we or the audience could just settle in to the evening news or chat show.

But to be fair to the tele, it never let us down coming up with the most bent, juxtaposed commentaries night after night. Eugene actually realised a dream by playing with (if not actually on) a repeat of an old Johnny Carson show. I had my big moment when we hooked up to a particularly dry doco on 'instruments of the orchestra'. On one night in the depths of Southern Germany after the tele show, we were asked if we could do the sound track to a splatter movie or two--kein Problem. Once someone asked us if we could play a song from beginning to end, and eh, properly. We never tried, but I suspect that it might have been beyond us. I can't speak for Eugene, but for myself, I had suspended belief in any and all popular culture. It had been like that for years. This was the time of Michael Jackson and Madonna; just the thought of those two would bring on extreme nausea. On the other hand, bringing out great tunes from the periods of music when there were great tunes seemed to give them a new context; they proved in effect that they were indestructible. Having worked in commercial clubs and everything from restaurants to weddings to C & W bands, I did know a bunch of tunes. Eugene was and still is the ultimate bent cover songster.

And then there was the album.

In a dusty pile of old LPs, I found a copy of Herbert Von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in Brahms' Fourth Symphony. It was on Deutsche Grammafon, and my reason for selecting it had been inspired by an article in a Sunday newspaper. The article reported that the French horn section of this orchestra had been accused of playing wrong notes on purpose as a demonstration against Karajan's increasingly dictatorial actions against the musicians. A number of issues were presented.

1.It is hard enough to play correct notes of such a recalcitrant instrument; things must be really bad if you want to play wrong notes on purpose. The journalist let his imagination run away with him as to how the orchestra might continue their industrial action. Supposing Herbie gets up and starts conducting Beethoven's Fifth Symphony; the orchestra, however, plays the Fourth instead, or even a combination of the Third, the Seventh and the Ninth at the same time. At this stage, I realised it was beginning to sound a bit like the aesthetics and technique of the Kultural Terrorism project.

2.The notes on the back of the Brahms LP were some of the most sycophantic nonsense I had ever read. They spoke about the orchestra being at one with the maestro, about how the orchestra would do anything necessary to realise the maestro's grand plan. It looked like a good opportunity to put the record straight and paste the newspaper article on the back of the LP cover.

The cult of dictator/genius/conductor reached its zenith with people like Karajan and Bernstein--although an award for over-acting should be given to the orchestra's present conductor Simon Rattle. Significantly, Karajan was an ex-member of the Nazi party and his out-stretched arm, photographed on the front cover of the LP, had that authentic pose.

Anyway, this Karajan album seemed perfect cover and THE cover for our homemade kultural terror action. I got to work with felt tip pen, white out, paper, photocopies, scissors, and glue. In half and hour I had the cover ready. I sent it off to my little Berlin record company, Dossier. They were delighted. By chance an old friend and lawyer of the company's part-time manager dropped in for a chat and happened to see the art work. He suggested that Dossier have nothing to do with this; DG were a touchy lot but if they insisted on releasing it, then a list things had to come out.

The DG name had to be changed, Karajan's face had to be removed ("but you can leave the arms maybe"), the catalogue number removed, the name Karajan removed from all the text, etc. I was busy with the white out and felt tip pen for another session. Days later, the phone went again. Even more had to come out in the text and a disclaimer added. By this stage, it was hard to find any reference to the original DG LP left in the whole messy confused piece of an album cover. I was disappointed, compliance was demanded or no release, and the whole enterprise had become pointless. I felt I had been compromised too much.

A thousand copies of the album were released. Within one week, Deutsche Grammafon had issued a writ against Dossier and were taking them to court. All copies of the album had to be withdrawn. It begs belief that DG would be bothered with such a small-scale enterprise as Dossier, or that they would even know or care about small releases of postmodern music. One imagined some bureaucrat sitting in an office in Munich whose job it was to sort through all record releases of all music worldwide, looking out for anything that may cause offence to Herbie von K or DG itself. Extraordinary. Meanwhile, Dossier was in deep shit. BUT as it happened, DG's lawyer was a personal friend of our Dossier man's lawyer in Berlin. Lawyers drink and eat from the same trough, so an out of court settlement was hastily fixed up. All copies of the offending album known as Kultural Terrorism would be destroyed, and in its place would come a fully legal copy with absolutely nothing on the front cover. It seemed that a headless Herbie was the principle cause of insult and DG's main complaint, so the conductor's arm giving the Hitler salute had to go as well.

The Kultural Terrorism project was an exhausting form of performance counterpoint. After three years and dozens of concerts, we had had enough of it. The appropriation of everyone else's music had become the modus operandi for the new music composer, but from my perspective, when global capitalism took over the whole planet in 1989, dj reality began to outstrip the powers of satire."

(article by Jon Rose, 2003 and original intended cover above from his homepage)

Prof. Eugene Chadbourne: acoustic guitar, lap steel guitar, fender plunger, harmonica, classical guitar, electric guitar, voice

Dr. Johannes Rosenberg (Jon Rose): acoustic violin, 19-string cello, 10-string double violin, recently restored megaphone violin, pianoforte, voice

Side A
1. 1st chair (2'03)
2. 2nd chair (5'21)
3. 3rd chair (13'20)

Side B
1. 4th chair (2'13)
2. 5th chair (5'15)
3. 6th chair (1'16)
4. 7th chair (1'44)
5. 8th chair (1'33)
6. 9th chair (6'01)
7. 10th chair (0'55)
8. 1st bed (1'53)

Recorded by Jörg Völker at Tonstudio Bamberg, West Germany on March 17, 1987.
Live extracts from a concert in Munich on March 15, 1987-
8 is a location recording made in Amsterdam.
Produced by Jon Rose & Eugene Chadbourne.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pell Mell

* Live Cassette (Indoor Records, 1982)
01 Spanner
02 Some Things We Do For Fun
03 Dad's Top Drawer
04 Shirts and Skins
05 Estacada
06 Food, Clothing and Shelter
07 Almost Happy
08 All This and More

* For Years We Stood Clearly as One Thing (K Records, 1985)
01 Week of Fire
02 All This & More
03 Dad's Top Drawer
04 Estacada
05 6, 9, or 20
06 Cinecitta
07 Work, Health & Love
08 Barn Dance

01 Fuck the Boss
02 Pet Dub
03 Chrome-A-Key Beach
04 Business 80
05 Love Trek
06 Bubble Prawn
07 Beat Cut
08 Par Avion

* The Bumper Crop (SST, 1987)
01 Week of Fire
02 Dad's Top Drawer
03 All This and More
04 6 9 or 20
05 Love Trek
06 Alligator Stomp
07 My Three Sons
08 Estacada
09 Cinecitta
10 FTB
11 Pet Dub
12 Chroma-Key Beach
13 Work, Health, and Love

* Flow (SST, 1991)
01 American Eagle
02 Breach of Promise
03 Bring on the China
04 The Devil Bush
05 Smoke
06 Aero
07 Flood
08 Little Blue Dance
09 Signal
10 Blaming the Messenger
11 Mopping Up

* Interstate (DGC, 1995)
01 Nothing Lies Still Long
02 Revival
03 Anna Karina
04 Saucer
05 Pound Cake
06 Constellation
07 Blacktop
08 Butterfly Effect
09 Drift
10 Vegetable Kingdom
11 Ether
12 Floating Gate

* Star City (Matador Records, 1997)
01 Sky Lobby
02 Salvo
03 Orange Roughy
04 Interloper
05 Smoke House
06 On Approach
07 Upstairs
08 In Polka Dots
09 Everything Must Go
10 Low Light
11 Headset
12 Field of Poppies
13 Gelatin
14 Coral

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pell Mell - Rhyming Guitars

Pell Mell was a tremendous rarity: an instrumental combo who landed a major-label deal in the wake of the alternative rock explosion touched off by Nirvana. Its most prominent members were better known as producers, and with their highly sporadic recording schedule, it took them nearly a decade of existence to issue a widely distributed album. Their music could be seen on some levels as a forerunner of post-rock, sharing its eclecticism and fusion of acoustics and electronics, but shying away from its more self-conscious avant-gardisms and free-form qualities. Instead, contrary to their name, Pell Mell was melodic and usually tightly structured, much like the instrumentals of the early rock & roll era. In fact, those instrumentals -- especially surf guitar and its formative influences, like Link Wray and Duane Eddy -- were a palpable influence on the group. However, not wanting to be pigeonholed as mere revivalists, they switched up their attack with touches of funk, punk, Krautrock, dub, and vintage ambient, among other sources, which resulted in an atmospheric, effects-laden sound that was certainly aided by its creators' production prowess.

Pell Mell was originally formed in 1980 in Portland, OR, and spent the next four years playing around the Northwest. During that time, several members came and went, with founding drummer Bob Beerman anchoring the band. In 1982, they issued their debut EP, Rhyming Guitars, on the small Indoor label, as well as a self-released, cassette-only live album, It Was a Live Cassette, which they recorded as a trio. Keyboardist/effects man Steve Fisk -- who would eventually become the most successful outside producer in the band -- joined in 1983, and the following year, the band decided to relocate to San Francisco. Their lineup solidified to include Beerman, Fisk, bassist/guitarist Greg Freeman (who left his main gig with the Call in 1984), and guitarist Bill Owen. Owen was, in turn, later replaced by guitarist David Spalding, the onetime guitar tech for the Call. Another cassette-only release, For Years We Stood Clearly as One Thing, appeared on the then-fledgling K Records in 1985. In between, Fisk issued the first of several solo cassettes, a stream of which would continue into the '90s.

Pell Mell came to somewhat wider national attention via their association with the groundbreaking SST label, which issued the first widely available Pell Mell album, The Bumper Crop, in 1988. It consisted of recordings from the first half of the '80s, and while the song selection overlapped with For Years, the versions on Bumper Crop were generally shorter and more concise. By this time, Fisk was working as a producer for groups like Screaming Trees (also on SST), Beat Happening, and Soundgarden; he soon went on to helm several tracks on Nirvana's Blew EP. Freeman was also beginning to branch out as a producer and engineer, initially with Bay Area eccentrics Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 and singer/songwriter Barbara Manning, and later with Royal Trux.

With its members having split to live in different cities, Pell Mell didn't reconvene until the early '90s; by that time, SST had reissued Rhyming Guitars. 1992's Flow was actually the first album on which David Spalding was a fully integrated member of the group, and it was also their tightest effort to date. Microsoft licensed one of its tracks for use in a television commercial, which helped bring the band to the attention of Geffen Records. Signing to the label's DGC imprint, Pell Mell completed its hugely unlikely major-label debut, Interstate, in 1995. In the meantime, Fisk had begun playing with two actively recording side projects, Pigeonhed and the Northwest indie all-star band the Halo Benders (which also featured Beat Happening's Calvin Johnson and Built to Spill's Doug Martsch). He was also producing new artists like Unwound, Some Velvet Sidewalk, the Geraldine Fibbers, and Boss Hog, among others. Writing some of the songs together by mail, Pell Mell completed a follow-up to Interstate in 1997, but DGC -- somewhat predictably -- dropped them not long before its scheduled release date. Matador stepped in to issue the album, called Star City, which was produced and engineered by cult favorite Tchad Blake.

Pell Mell subsequently went their separate ways. Fisk and Freeman both continued their blooming careers behind the boards, while Spalding went on to play with the reunited Love Tractor. Fisk and Beerman later reunited in the more electronic-oriented Cut-Out, which issued its first album in 2003.

Pell Mell - Rhyming Guitars

1. New Saigon
2. Spy Vs. Spy
3. Par Avion
4. Red Rhythm
5. Week of Corn

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Belgium 1971-10-15

Maison de la culture
Dizon, Belgium

Time: 46:44

1. Stoah/"Iss" Lansei Doia (08:39)
2. Ki Iahl O Liahk (09:59)
3. Soi Soi (06:35)
4. band intro (03:47)
5: Mekanik Kommandöh (17:42)

Line up:
Vander, Blasquiz, Moze, Lasry, Cahen, Seffer, Toesca (Engel?)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Alcatraz - Vampire State Building (1971)

Krautrock • Germany

This album was a huge surprise for me.It's one of those obscure gems that i'm so glad i took a chance on.ALCATRAZ were fom Hamburg ,Germany and originally did covers of bands like VANILLA FUDGE,TEN YEARS AFTER,BLACK SABBATH,URIAH HEEP etc. Over time they decided they didn't want to that anymore as they became more interested in jazz avant-gardists like SOFT MACHINE,COLLOSSEUM and TONY WILLIAMS LIFETIME. When they started to compose their own material they united the jazz and rock elements.For example in the liner notes it says the band mixed music fragments of Cannonball Adderley with influences of DEEP PURPLE.I didn't hear any of the latters sound here but i love the way they combine the jazz with the raw guitar.This band refused to compromise back then with promoters,managers,record lables whatever.It was their way or no way,their music would be played and recorded the way they wanted.You can hear their thoughts about that in the lyrics of the second track.Anyway they played live with bands such as BIRTH CONTROL,IKARUS,NEU,JANE and many others. "Simple Headphone Mind" opens with drums which are joined by piano,bass and flute.This is classic jazz ,it sounds so good.Then after 2 minutes the guitar comes in changing the mood completely.This is just as good only different.These contrasts continue.The tasteful guitar 5 1/2 minutes in reminds me of Santana,sax follows.Bongos come in late.Amazing tune. "Your Chance Of A Lifetime" has lyrics which talk about the lies bands are told about becoming rich and famous by managers and record labels who in reality care nothing for them personally, in fact they're just using them for their own gain.The drums and guitar sound great early then sax joins in around a minute replacing the guitar.Incredible sound here.The guitar is back lighting it up 2 1/2 minutes in to the end. "Vampire State Building" has a good beat as sax joins in.Nice bass and drum work before 1 1/2 minutes.Guitar arrives a minute later.Drum solo 3 minutes in.Piano after 4 minutes with a different soundscape.It turns psychedelic with flute 6 1/2 minutes in.Jazzy a minute later with guitar and flute as vocals also join in.The tempo picks up 12 minutes in, then sax joins in. "Piss Off" is a good title for the "in your face" guitar and drums early on.The sax and flute start to trade solos with the guitar,back and forth with some dissonance as well. Vampire State Building is a killer release from 70's Germany underground. The band delivers a bunch of bombastic, extremely freaked out fuzzy improvisations including jazzy tendencies. Simple Headphone Mind opens the album with a surprising hippie like groovy jazz variation that features powerful piano bases, enchanting flute line and a very catchy rhythm. The break session provides endless screaming fuzzy guitar solos accompanied by a very jazzy instrumentation. Tour chance of a Lifetime is a heartbreaking, cloudy compositions for dense, spacious melodies with beautifully dramatic vocals. Where the wild things are is an hyperactive freak 'n roll piece with killer riffs, mysteriously atmospheric jazz fusion links. Piss off is a bizarre, curious, fuzzy & druggy jam making a large part to atonal guitar / sax dialogues. Change will come is a retro jazz rockin' piece including a nice groove and agitated stoned vocals. Dirty, Heavy druggy psychedelica. An important musical document.

1. Simple Headphone Mind (10:00)
2. Your Chance Of A Lifetime (5:06)
3. Where The Wild Things Are (3:03)
4. Vampire State Building (13:10)
5. Piss Off (3:18)
6. Change Will Come (6:08)

Rüdiger Berghan - piano, vocals
Klaus Holst - guitar
Klaus Nagurski - flute, tenor saxophone
Ronald Wilson - bass
Jan Rieck - drums, percussion

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mallard (1975)

Mallard was a short-lived '70s experimental rock band featuring several former members of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band: guitarist Bill Harkleroad (aka Zoot Horn Rollo), bassist Mark Boston (aka Rockette Morton), and percussionist/drummer Art Tripp (aka Ed Marimba), the latter of which also played in Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention for several albums, as well. Both Harkleroad and Boston had been members of the Magic Band from 1968 through 1974, when a falling out between them and Beefheart (over their unhappiness with the album Unconditionally Guaranteed), led to their exit. The trio of Beefheart graduates was joined by a host of others for their 1975 self-titled debut (including future Who keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick, singer Sam Galpin, and percussionist Barry Morgan), an album that was financed by Beefheart fan Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, but was only available in the U.S. as an import. Mallard's sophomore release, In a Different Climate, was issued two years later (their first to be domestically issued), and saw Tripp replaced by George Draggota. But like its predecessor, the album failed to attract fans outside of the Captain Beefheart cult network, ultimately leading to Mallard's breakup.

1. Back on the Pavement
2. She's Long and She's Lean
3. Road to Morrocco
4. One Day Once
5. Yellow
6. Desperados Waiting for a Train
7. Piece of Me
8. Reign of Pain
9. South of the Valley
10. Winged Tuskadero
11. Peon


Bill Harkleroad G/PROD
Mark Boston B/V
Art Tripp D/PERC
Sam Galpin V/P
John "Rabbit" Bundrick P
Barry Morgan PERC

Monday, January 11, 2010

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Ice Cream For Crow (1982) U.S.A

1. Ice Cream For Crow (4:29)
2. The Host The Ghost The Most Holy-O (2:22)
3. Semi-Multicoloured Caucasian (4:15)
4. Hey Garland, I Dig Your Tweed Coat (3:09)
5. Evening Bell (1:58)
6. Cardboard Cutout Sundown (2:35)
7. The Past Sure Is Tense (3:17)
8. Ink Mathematics (1:39)
9. The Witch Doctor Life (2:35)
10. 81' Poop Hatch (2:36)
11. The Thousandth and Tenth Day of the Human Totem Pole (5:36)
12. Skeleton Makes Good (2:14)

Total Time: 36:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) / vocals, harmonica, Soprano saxophone, chinese gongs, prop horn
- Jeff Moris Tepper / white jew, guitar, slide-guitar, steel-appendage guitar, acoustic guitar
- Gary Lucas / guitar, steel-appendage guitar, glass finger guitar, national steel dualion
- Richard Snyder / bass guitar, marimba, viola
- Cliff Martinez / drums, percussion, shake bouquet, glass washboard, metal drums

- Eric Drew Feldman / Rhodes piano, synthesized bass

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Captain Beeefheart Bat Chain Puller (Unreleased LP)

1. Bat Chain Puller
2. Seam Crooked Sam
3. Harry Irene
4. Poop Hatch
5. A Carrot Is As Close As A Rabbit Gets To A Diamond
6. Brickbats
7. Floppy Boot Stomp
8. Flavor Bud Living [Performed by John French]
9. Carson City (Owed T' Alex)
10. Odd Jobs
11. The Thousandth And Tenth Day Of The Human Totem Pole
12. Apes-Ma