"Really awful is more interesting to listen to than pretty good" - Eno ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. welcome to the drivel blog of "music detractor, Simon Reynolds"
love it when the proggers just carried on as if New Wave never happened - this is 1979 "A hardback book and double vinyl album... conceived, written and illustrated by Patrick Woodroffe, with music written and performed by Dave Greenslade. The title means, approximately, 'the first five books (pentateuch) of the creation (cosmogony)'. The story and artwork within 'Pentateuch' concerns the discovery of an abandoned spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter, and the project to decipher the ideograms in the pentateuch 'document' discovered within. Most of the book is a retelling of the document, in much the same way as a modern translator might retell the contents of a Babylonian tablet or Egyptian papyrus scroll. Particularly remarkable is the combinatorial ideographic script created by Woodroffe and used throughout the artwork." Although I've seen the band's logo and their album covers countless times when flicking through piles of second hand vinyl, it doesn't feel like Greenslade is a name that comes up much in discussions of prog, either pro or anti (like the articles written around that new book The Show Must Go On) it's a man and it's a band at the same time well that one starts with some quite nifty drumming and jauntily florid keyboard work Other not-often-mentioned proggers: - Stackridge - Barclay James Harvest - Gryphon - Camel - Renaissance - Strawbs (not precisely prog but on the edge of it) Who else gets forgot?
i'd have had to have been a very different 15 year old than the just turned fifteen year old i was in July 1978
As I've noted before, one thing that's striking - and surprising if you had preconceptions - about Hillage’s music from 1977’s Motivation Radio onwards is its sheer funk - the hot rhythm section of Joe Blocker and Reggie McBride shimmy and strut on a par with the Blockheads.
in a mini-interview he told me that he was mad about Parliament-Funkadelic which can hear on "Unidentified" for sure
read the most fantastic thing the other day, can't remember where, gist of it was that - far from dub being the one thing that united the members of Public Image Ltd, it was actually a shared love of Wishbone Ash!
it was from the horse's mouth too, Johnny R himself...
their one moment of moderate sublimity
(he says having not listened exhaustively to the discography in all honesty)
(but i'd take a small wager that was and is in fact their one moment of moderate sublimity)
studio is even better - so fresh and so clean
listening to it now for the first time in a while I feel increasingly certain it was a source for Blind Melon when they came up with this (their one moment of moderate sublimity)
it is really rather unbelievable to contemplate - i mean, it's a bit like having interviewed Miles Davis or Coltrane, or - in non-jazz terms - Stravinsky or Stockhausen - these would be equivalent figures in terms of 20th Century modernist out-there-ness....
but there I sat for a couple of hours, in a New York hotel, listening and taping, and I do not believe getting in so much as a word edge-wise
and - what's truly absurd - then having to edit it down to be a third-of-a-page featurette for a section of Melody Maker called Sidelines generally dedicated to up-and-coming bands.
(although in mitigation, I'm not sure NME or Sounds or Select would have given him any space at all by that point - MM was pretty much alone in holding fast to the cover-everything spirit of the golden-era music press)
(still, in the early 70s, Melody Maker would have - and in fact did - give Sun Ra a double-page spread)
"San Francisco Bay Area: 1969 - I'd been playing Buchla music in various galleries for openings, as well as MOMA openings. They liked them enough, since the music gave a good time, was infectious and totally new to people. So MOMA asked me to provide music for their annual Christmas party for Children on a Saturday morning. So I took off one evening for Mills College where the Buchla now was kept to take up my usual time time slot of 8pm. At the time use of the Tape/Buchla room was very loose; I could stay as long as I liked after the building closed at 10; sometimes I would be there almost till dawn. There were times, however, when I'd go back home at midnight dejected at having found nothing exciting. This night I was already across the Bay Bridge when I realized I hadn't brought any Christmas music, no carols! I was going to have to remember what I could. Turned out I knew enough of them to play with. The Buchla doesn't' have a keyboard like a piano (with twelve notes to the octave), just slits in a metal plate with two tuning knobs to give each slit a pitch or a pair of pitches. I didn't have to reconstruct all twelve notes of a scale, just the notes needed in the song. Tuning what few notes I needed for each tone was fairly easy. But one carol sounded like church bells because it one of the notes sounded out of tune as some church bells because their tuning doesn't fit with a tempered tuning so goes out of tune with the other notes. At first I thought this a problem, but since it did resemble church bells it decided it added to the charm. Other sounds reminded me of lighter caroling bells as I imagined in old Germany or the Alps, at least, as I remembered hearing them. The most pleasure came when I incorporated the sequencing module that gave a tune rhythm that it never had nor would have, since it came from a synthesizer with a different kind of creativity that a human wouldn't have. The unusual rhythm added a kick to the carol.
I didn't have enough carols to make a long enough session so I added here and there, especially at the end, some synthesizer music that I'd previously made on the Buchla that sounded shimmering and might evoke a starry sleigh filled night" - Warner Jepson.