Saturday, September 1, 2018

det var i morgen (den endelige grænse)





a name unfamiliar to me

space obsessed even before he got his mitts on synths



this is a cool album cover




Friday, August 31, 2018

riddim and culcha



we did have dance music in the British Isles, you know, before jazz

not very funky dance music admittedly, but rhythmic movements to an explicit or implicit beat

the music was added later to these creaky old films, a bit of which i first saw on Ken Russell's In Search of English Folk Song, which is very eccentric but heartily recommended


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

mouth music (bit of a cult)



One of those projects where you think "all that technological ingenuity, all that studio expertise - and this is what you came up with?"



Definitely something where the back story / modus of making is more interesting than the front story / actual end product.

Slightly more interesting.



Met Todd R once - in a bar in Oslo with some Norwegians. He's a cult figure there. As he is in many places.

It's odd interacting with a musician who is a legend but towards whose work you don't have a particularly strong feeling.

I mean, A Wizard A True Star is great, amazing, "how did he do that?" etc - but you know what: I never listen to it.

Got it on vinyl for 3.99 at the Virgin Megastore in the Eighties, having gleaned a sense of its reputation from the writings of certain admired critics. Played it just the once, I think.

Later a CD version that belonged to my brother ended up in my possession. That's been played perhaps twice in 10 years. Every time I play it, I do think it's stupendous. But there's nothing that pulls me back to it.

All that Hermit of Mink Hollow, Something / Anything stuff   I had that taped off of someone for years. Remember being mildly beguiled for a while.... but it didn't stick.

"Hello It's Me" seems awfully awfully wet, nowadays.

If I'm honest, the only thing I  ever actively crave hearing is "Open My Eyes".



And now I remember: at the end of this drunken evening (sluiced by a steady flow of astronomically priced - this being Norway - vodka sours),  as we all stood on the snowy pavement outside before dispersing,  I did ask him if he was going to play "Open My Eyes" at his gig the next day.  (We were both "performers" at a music festival). Purely making conversation, since I had no plans to attend the concert and in fact was moving on to another country.  Somewhat tartly he replied that it would be rather hard to do the song live, don't you think, with just one guitar?

No doubt TR finds this early Nazz number somewhat jejeune...  perhaps he finds it annoying when people harp on about the late Sixties and early Seventies stuff, and never mention the Eighties conceptual-technical projects, or the CD-ROMs or whatever....

Zappa-like in many ways: the embrace of the latest cutting-edge technology, but results that are surprisingly old-fashioned and florid.  (Thinking here of my repeated efforts to find anything memorable or mind-blowing in Uncle Meat).



Made with the NewTek Video Toaster, whatever the fuck that was... As if the images could redeem the runny stuff trickling sickly into your ear holes!



The only other thing I remember TR saying during that Oslo night was a bitter bout of complaining about Andy Partridge and the whole sour saga of his production of XTC's Skylarking.

Final thought: "Bang on the Drum All Day" is one of the most heinous things ever committed in the name of rock. Is he essaying a Trinidadian accent there in the chorus?



the Eighties










The Eighties seems as far away in time, and as cruddy in production values / generalized TV aesthetics, as the Fifties and early Sixties did back in the Eighties

although you don't have that stark divide cut-off effect of things being in black and white

the footage is in colour, just like today

but the lighting, the camera movements, the stilted pacing...

not to mention the look of the outside world and everyday people

feels so very long ago


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

electronic Cowboy / synthedelia (slight return)




Rewatched Midnight Cowboy for the umpteenth time last night and noticed that in - favoritest scene of many favorite scenes - the psychedelic Plastic Inevitable-modeled party / happening - it isn't just "Old Man Willow" by Elephant's Memory that's playing but some pretty cool electronic music.



And pretty cool electronic music pops up in a few other places.

But it's not on the soundtrack, which is all John Barry - plus that Fred Neil written / Nilssen sung tune "Everybody's Talkin'".

Seems those bleeps and bloops were built by Sear Electronic Music Production.

Founded by this guy Walter Sear

And here's an in-depth piece at Tape Op (but you'd have to pay to read the whole thing)

This is a whole album created by SEMP



Very much in the generic mold of the Moog-sluiced novelty albums of that time - groovy, Muzak-y toons lightly laced with a electronic tint.



The obit says Sear did a lot of electronic bits for movies - but BFI lists only Puzzle of a Downfall Child (never heard of it before - starred Faye Dunaway, apparently tells the tale of a top model's mental and emotional breakdown "in intricate flashback style" - all sounds very late Sixties!).




Anyone know of any other films containing Seartronica?

Another question for the massive: is "Old Man Willow" literally the only good thing Elephant's Memory ever did, ever? I grabbed the album on which it appears in a used record store in NYC back in the early Nineties only to be most disappointed to find that nothing else on the LP resembled "Willow" in the slightest.  It was much more raw 'n' groovy psychedelic-backlash era rock. And then Elephant's were John & Yoko's backing band on one or other of the albums.



"Willow" is very much proto-Broadcast / Trish K in vibe - a sister-source to United States of America and White Noise.

Perhaps I should have included E's Memory, just for that one song, in this piece on synthedelia.

This record, newly Creeled, also fits the bill - Steve Dunstan's Magnetic Fields.



 The Creel blurb also alerted me to another synthedelia candidate I missed - The Spoils of War



Here's an interview with Spoils of War main man James Cuomo