Monday, 3 April 2017

On The Hi-Fi In Brief - Autumn 2017


SONGS OF THE HUMPBACKED WHALE - Roger Payne (1970)
Been meaning to listen to this LP for like 20 years. I'm sure this was the first ever album released that contained whale songs. It apparently became a massive hit. This is pure whale song with no crashing waves, pan pipes or gimmicky new age keys. Aquatic animal dub jazz masterpiece.


READY FOR THE HOUSE - Jandek (1978)
I've never actually taken the time to sit down and given Jandek a proper close listen until now. Most outsider musicians I can take or leave but Jandek feels more essential than that. He really came up with something unique. This is a man alone with his voice and a strangely tuned guitar. The way Jandek plays and sings is incomparable to anyone else before him. I've tried to come up with a description of what he does but his music is beyond words. Is this spooky rudimentary acoustic blues played randomly? I tried.......but that does not do Jandek justice.


THE GHOST OF HOPE - The Residents (2017)
I did not think I would be listening to a current LP from the legendary Residents this year but hey I am. The residents are in the midst of an absurdly productive phase. They've issued over 15 recordings since the beginning of the 2010s. The couple I've heard are terrific, better than their 80s and 90s output, almost up there with their 70s golden period. The Ghost Of Hope is a concept record about train disasters in the olden days. These tales are compelling, grim and quite touching.


PAWN HEARTS - Van der Graaf Generator (1971)
Van Der Graaf Generator released a bunch of ridiculous prog albums in the 70s that are cherished to this day and not just by prog fans. Their influence was broader than that, glam and punk people also appreciated this singular and very British vision. If only the rest of prog was this good. VDGG's 4th record is colossal in its chaos. Epic.

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