Showing posts with label 70s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 70s. Show all posts

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Shango Dance Band - Position Pass Power

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE NIGERIAN ARMY BARRACKS



Deep in a rabbit hole on the youtubes last night I discovered this lost gem of psych tinged afrobeat from the early 70s. Some of these dudes were from Fela Kuti's 60s group Koola Lobitos. Position Pass Power is on the Shango Dance Band LP which was reissued last year.

I'm amazed that there is any undiscovered stuff from 70s Nigeria left after the massive excavation of the last 20 years. They made a hell of lot of great music in those parts during that era. I still haven't got around to listening to Now Again's Ten years in the making 4 LP compilation from 2016 Wake Up You: The Rise & Fall of Nigerian Rock 1972-77. I thought that was probably going to be the epic final chapter in Nigerian 70s archival sets but maybe not. Let's hope the gems continue to be unearthed.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Anthony White - Block Party

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE DISCO - PART 12


1977
More funky 12" mix gold from Walter Gibbons. How bout those high-hats and that cow bell? 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Double Exposure - Ten Percent

SPACE DEBRIS GOES TO THE DISCO - PART 10 (%)


1976
According to Turn The Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco, Peter Shapiro's excellent 2005 book, this was the first disco mix released commercially on a 12". Walter Gibbons was to go from strength to strength in the remix department. Ten Percent was an auspicious start.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Angel Rada



This is taken from the Soul Jazz comp Venezuela 70 which was released this year. I don't think I'd ever heard anything from Venezuela before. I have many records from Brasil, Columbia & Peru but this is a new territory for me. The above tune is the outstanding one for me on that collection - South American space synth jam dedicated to Klaus Schulze.



This one's on Venezuela 70 as well.... pretty good too. Details about Rada on the web are v sketchy. He was in the band Gas Light then went solo. He studied music in Germany in the 70s. That's about it.



Wow...this tune is not on the Soul Jazz compilation but is incredible. Upadesa puts me in mind of an even stranger Illitch if that's possible. This is fabulous lost Kosmische synthesiser music. A musical revelation to the eardrums. So all of the above tracks were on Angel Rada's record Upadesa released sometime in the 70s (???). This is the kind of thing that would have been posted on Mutant Sounds back in the day. Is there more unheard gold out there?

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Mac Bits....


I loved this when it came out. I would have only been like 8 but it got played to death on the regional radio station of my childhood 3MA when I lived in Buronga. Of course I wouldn't have realised the Stevie Nicks connection. Maybe I thought it was Fleetwood Mac though, I mean it's co-produced by Lindsay Buckingham. I think I actually only learnt that a year or two back!






This was on a hits compilation (Chartbusters?) when I was like 10. I wouldn't have realised who he was until at least 5 years later. I remember my sister thinking he was a bit of alright. I dunno though, he's stacked on a few pounds and isn't as cool as he was during the Rumours/Tusk era or even circa The Dance. Is this a good tune? I have no idea. I can't get it out of my head though.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

RIP Stevie Wright




Surely Friday On My Mind should be Australia's national anthem. Strangely, I had written an entire post about this song for my 2015 wrap up but never posted it because I thought it was too negative. It was about how this tune ceased to be my weekly anthem as I'd given up the booze and finishing work on Friday had become something to not look forward to....blah blah blah...anyway after a couple of years I decided to have a wee drink on Friday nights again and well...the song's status may well be restored soon, I hope. Stevie, the lead singer of The Easybeats, died a few days ago. He had hedonistic demons that nearly destroyed him at one point. Wright suffered brain damage due to controversial treatment of his addictions in the 70s. He made several comebacks though. I saw one of these appearances that he made on the telly late one night and it was heartbreaking yet triumphant at the same time. That brought me to bittersweet tears which is no mean feat for the hard arse I thought I was at the time. So this guy touched me like few artists ever have plus he was fucking awesome! RIP.



Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Top 3 LP Covers Of All Time

I was filling in a questionnaire about best LP covers the other day and found it really hard. My conclusion in the end was that movie posters are much better pop art than album covers. What surprised me most was how much I didn't give a fuck about the artwork for albums. Perhaps movie posters are better because they promise so much yet the actual movie rarely delivers on that promise. Movie posters as an entity unto themselves seem like a much more successful artform than the poster as part of the combination with the movie or album artwork by itself. Album artwork really seems to be an afterthought doesn't it? Music doesn't need it's sizzle to be sold because it speaks for itself.

Sure I had a few other favorites but below are my top three LP covers of all time and the music is awesome too...just slightly magnificent.


Big Fun is surely the best LP cover ever. The soundz within are bloody exceptional too!


In Concert is quite possibly my fave Miles record.....uh and that cover!



An amazing trilogy of funky ghetto pimp shit that really suits the tunes. The album sleeves for In Concert & On The Corner were once described as 'tastelessness' by Canadian jazz magazine Coda, ha...the last laugh is on you Coda, tastelessness never tasted sooo good. Don't you love how people with a different taste to you describe it as no taste as if there couldn't possibly be an alternative to their specific tastes. Stupid. I love these Corky McCoy cartoon covers more than the covers Mati Klarwein did for Miles Davis but they're great too (see below), if a little tasteful.



How good is the Live/Evil one? Fucking mental.

The two different styles of cover art really sum up where Miles was at, at the time. A culture clash of high culture and trash. Davis was making mercurial epoch defining art and designing sonic templates for future genres to plunder but he also really wanted to be down with what was happening on the bad ass fonkay streets. He wanted to eat his cake. I think he did and then some.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

On The Hi-Fi - Part !!!


The fog has lifted slightly but I feel like I can barely string a cohesive sentence together. I'm strugglin to get past 'I like/don't like' sort of writing at the moment. Deep analysis might be out the window until my brain gets flowing again. Sometimes it seems you need to be a musicologist to review this (above) kind of shit but no, I'm gonna give it a Space Debris crack. This is very bloody good. Before we had jungle we had the polyrhythmic mentalness of this Latino shit. Some of this music is as outre as Miles in the 70s while some of it sounds like it could have been off the soundtrack to The Love Boat. Many a legend is to be found on this comp that came out 20 years ago including Palmieris Charlie & Eddie, Joe Bataan, Ocho, Grupo Folklorico etc. This new version has an added cd with 8 tracks that weren't on the original collection.  Do I need to mention Cuba, Boogalooo, Salsa Classic, Puerto Rico, New York, Fonkay or whatever? This is Superfly, sometimes soulful, jazzy, summertime and everything else in between! Makes you want to drink cocktails in the sun and dance like you think you are the greatest dancer ever.


LIVE IN ALCALPULCO - DDAA (1981) (Tape 2)
Well I was not expecting this. I had previously heard DDAA's Nouvelles Construction Sonores Sur Fondations which was a lengthy drifting sonic art collage released in 1991. When the opening tune Ready With The Answer came on with it's rubbish bin percussion and mental guitar I was so shocked I thought this was a different group altogether. It caused a flurry of research and no it wasn't two different groups, it was the one and only DDAA. As far as I can tell they were a 3 piece who had formed in France in 1979. This release is surely where Sun City Girls got all their inspiration. Live In Alcalpulco is fabulously minimal stuff that sometimes sounds like a Middle Eastern no-fi Slint gone acoustic with drums made of cardboard. Then it goes psych post-punk like a No-Wave group stranded in the desert jamming while imbibing mushrooms then incredibly inventive drones, space invader noises and gamelan-esque percussive sounds enter the fray. The crowd of two like it a lot and clap enthusiastically (surely this is a faux-live record). I thought I was hip to all the under-underground classics by now, but no way, I was not even aware of this double cassette until today. Subterranean Gold!


I have been waiting for a new release from Gesaffelstein since his classic Aleph from 2013. I guess this isn't the true follow up to that masterpiece of 'beautiful paranoid atmospheres, bangin streamlined EBM and Cold Rushes.' It does have the cold and paranoid atmospheres but not so much the bangin club tunes. I assume Maryland is a horror film because this is quite the grim soundtrack. An hour earlier my brain had been comparing Burzum's ambient black metal tunes to those of the mid 90s electronic doom/gloom-core variety ie. Miro, The Mover, Reign etc. so it was weird that this turned up as surely Gesaffelstein loves all that stuff. Wall Of Memories could be a Burzum track with it's simple but bizarre piano phrase that is chilling to the (hard)core. Could a horror score be album of the year two years in a row?

*The Space Debris airwaves have been featuring the aforementioned Burzum plus the likes of Bathory, Ulver, Celtic Frost, Wolf Eyes (??), Bene Gesserit, Skin, Swans, Crime & The City Solution, Clint Ruin & Lydia Lunch, Terror Danjah, Isolee, Ricardo Villalobos, Arthur Russell, Future, Young Thug and er.....Gong. A little old school hip hop has been on the decks too including the likes of LL Cool J, Schooly D, EPMD, Slick Rick, NWA, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Dr Dre etc. with a blog post coming up on these ye olde artists and the current state of Hip-Hop.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

2015 - How Shit?


I've gotta say 2015 has got to be the worst music year since fuck before the 2nd World War, I reckon. I'm stuck in 90s musical zones (see above) myself and don't particularly care that my listening isn't drifting back to the now. In fact I want to stay right in those places when and where the possibilities seemed endless. Me and the Mrs discussed a furniture shop closing down near our house the other day and ended up in the terrain of "Is that it then? Music's finite so i guess furniture is too." I was saying how these retro interior design shops had become so uninspired and formulaic, why would anyone want to spend money on this new old shit when there's plenty of old shit anyway?. The retro eclecticism, of the products in these shops, is disappearing up it's own arse at an accelerating rate. Is it that no one is game enough to say right here's a new style? So we just continue down these tasteful but conservative aesthetic avenues? Nobody's killing their idols. There's way too much reverence. We lived through a modernist time but that has gone. Where are the generation gaps? The kids don't even want one. Teenagers don't seem to exist anymore, kids don't leave home until they're over 25 now. You used to leave home and disassociate yourself from your family and become a whole new you, severed from the past. Emma went to the Bowie exhibition in Melbourne last weekend and said there were kids sans parents there. I thought what the fuck? These youngsters are going back 40 years. In 1985 diggin the 60s seemed old but it had only ended 15 years prior. When I was 17 (by then we had Public Enemy, The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jnr., Acid House, Hip-Hop etc.) I wouldn't have been caught dead being interested in a culture that was 40+ years old. Strange days indeed.

*This is raw thought data that's still being processed in my mind.



**A retro curio in itself. First issued in 1971 (maybe the year I was born) on his Hunky Dory LP then was later released as a single in 1973 when Bowie had reached stardom. It became a massive hit in the UK.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

70s Indonesian Meta music



'Every music and melody I love.'

You can't love music much more than that can ya?

'I love Rolling Stones/I love Led Zeppelin.' 

*Funnily enough after that last post about The Doors I went to bed and put on this album for some reason and this is the first track. So this is Panbers from the fabulous compilation released a few years back (2011) by NowAgain Records called Those Shocking Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock & Funk 1970-1978. Anyway this is my 3rd perhaps final contribution to Blissblog's Music Music series. Great tune eh?

Thursday, 18 June 2015

MUD - Groups I'm really starting to get Part 1



Who knew Mud started in the 60s? I thought they must have formed in about 1972 as a bunch of charlatans jumping on the glam bandwagon to make a fast buck. They obviously had deep talent and a love for for music though. This was released in 1967 and didn't bother the charts but it stands the test of time, reminiscent of contemporaneous influences The Bee Gees. I don't know what they did between 67 and 73 but that's a big wait for success innit? I know they released several singles on different labels but with no chart action. For some reason they kept on truckin. Mickie Most saw something in them in 1973 and signed them to his RAK label. Mud finally hit pay dirt with 3 singles from 1973 all Chinnichap productions and compositions. These are the following three videos of which two were top 20 hits and Dynamite reached no 4.



This is fucking fantastic. Mud could have been a serious proposition. I mean I guess they were were with huge record sales by the mid 70s. Lead singer Les Gray was so charismatic. But they kinda had a bit of the class clown about them which wore thin after less than a couple of years. Then again Glam was all about good times and having a laugh was it not? This one carries over a bit of freak beat into glam as well as almost inventing new wave at the same time. One of the coolest tunes ever surely. Talk about atemporal. Absolute classic!



Hypnosis puts me in mind of like a cross between Love and Abba. Who would have thought that would have been a good combo? I'm not even sure if Abba had records out by that stage, anyway who cares this a tuuune and and half.



Classic glam jam right here. Gee the Chinnichap team had a winning formula didn't they?



The Cat Crept In was released in April 1974 and reached number 2 on the UK charts. Les's Elvis-isms start creeping in at this point and would really come to the fore on their Christmas No 1. Lonely This Christmas later that year. Although there was quite a bit of The Big O on that one as well. I guess the use of Lonely in the title was a bit of a giveaway. I can't bring myself to post it though. All those years of waiting to make the big time and by their 7th hit, the aforementioned Christmas single, they'd lost it. They were still reaping in the rewards though weren't they?



This one actually reminds me a little of one my old band's tunes which I didn't write, Greg our drummer did, maybe he was referencing it. The only song of Mud's I vaguely knew back (Youtube not yet invented) then was Tiger Feet from when I was little which must have been on some kind of mid 70s hits compilation. I certainly wouldn't have known who it was by. Mud mustn't have been as big in Australia as Slade, Sweet, Suzi, Marc, Gary Glitter et al. Anyway Rocket's got more Elvis inflections in the verses here. This was issued in 1974 and hit the number 6 spot in the UK.


Undeniably infectious pop smarts are displayed on their early 1974 single Tiger Feet. which became their first UK No.1 smash. Tiger Feet stayed on top spot for 4 weeks running. This tune brings out the shoulder jive moves when heard amongst the company of my wife's side of the family who come from North Wales.

Anyway a good little run of tunes over an 18 month period, I reckon. Better than anything Blur or Oasis could come up with.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Lobby Loyde Part 3 or 4 or 5


My Lobby Loyde posts have been a bit all over the shop. They've featured his stints in 60s bands The Purple Hearts and The Wild Cherries and his short stints with The Aztecs at the end of the 60s and Rose Tattoo at the end of 79 into 80. I've covered The Coloured Balls Ball Power a couple of times and his great production jobs for X and The Sunnyboys. The above tune, Devil's Disciple, I saw on Rage once and thought what the fuck is that? It later turned up on the Ball Power deluxe reissue from Aztec Music. It turns out that it was a B-side to their inferior version of Mess Of The Blues the 7" A-side that originally came out in 1973. Devil's Disciple is a Lobby original and, let's face it, a blueprint for his successors AC/DC. Lobby was on the (coloured) ball and saw them coming and left them a gift. Funnily enough AC/DC had supported the Coloured Balls a few times. Before joining AC/DC Bon Scott would sometimes get up and jam with Coloured Balls when they played in Adelaide as he was a friend of Lobby's from the old days. Bon Scott had been in Perth mod/bubblegum unit The Valentines in the late 60s and Adelaide's Fraternity in the early 70s before joining AC/DC in 1974. Devil's Disciple, along with a handful of other 7"s, was a bridge between the first and second Coloured Balls LPs.



Heavy Metal Kid their 2nd album was released in October of 1974 and just isn't held in the same esteem as Ball Power. It isn't a bad LP by any means. Heavy Metal Kid just isn't as singular as its predecessor. Still it has classic tunes like the opening title track and the existential Just Because that's like a counterpart to Ball Power's Human Being. Other tunes look back to Rock'n'Roll roots like Do It and Leiber & Stoller's Baby I Don't Care. Private Eye is the band at its most pop with a glammed up Peter Gunn riff and lyrics about being a spy. If it was released as a 7" it would surely have been a hit. EMI didn't see the potential for Private Eye to be hit worthy, huh!? The record company didn't release any singles off Heavy Metal Kid and subsequently failed to promote it much as they saw it as commercially unviable.



See What I Mean is a Trevor Young (drums, vocals & keys) composition which takes them into 70s power ballad territory complete with synths sounding like strings before just deciding to sound like synths along with absurd drum fills but it stays on the good side of such zones. Dance To The Music is a strange one where you think its gonna be all good time Rock'n'Roll but turns out to be a muted melancholy tune, like they couldn't actually be bothered getting off the couch to do what they're singing about. Yes and No 's 50 seconds of psych noodling is followed by Back To You, a classic guitar driven Coloured Balls tune with reverbed to the max vocals and keyboards that give it a strange edge. The best bits though are when Lobby gets going and does a little shredding before ending up in space/stadium/lighters in the air rock territory. Need Your Love is almost comic like a Ringo Starr throwback. Sitting Bull is a bit wrong with its faux Native American chants and a little bit awesome because it sounds soo good with its 70s west coast vibe. This tune is reminiscent of similar themed tunes by Silver Apples and JD Loudermilk. The vocals are then over with and the last four tunes are a panoply of instrumentals starting with the boogie Custer's Last Stand then Metal Feathers which is a mellow acoustic and keyboard jam ending with ticking and gonging clock, nice. Space rock enters the fray again on Tin Tango with what could be an early computer game soundtrack which gets all plinky plonky early electronics stylee at the end. The LP closes with 27 seconds of musique concrete. These last four tracks give an indication of where Loyde was to go a couple of years later with his concept cosmic rock sci-fi concept record Beyond Morgia.

I've never really analysed Heavy Metal Kid before as I just took at face value, it is what it is. Now thinking about it it's quite a bizarre LP. Maybe they were trying to shed some of their fans here. Who knows? How a spelling era got through on the cover is totally mystifying too. Anyway this eccentric little journey is pretty good though. The Coloured Balls were ahead of their time with their atemporality.

Oh we're missing a u.
*Next Time: The final Part Of My Lobby Loyde Obsession including Beyond Morgia, Obsecration, Hall Of Fame, Retromania Concerts and whatever else.

**Special thanks to Ian McFarlane (Legendary Oz Rock Historian) whose Heavy Metal Kid liner notes I only just read after writing this (new spex), so I added on those AC/DC connections. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Ekoplekz - Reflekzionz

Loving that artwork and the music contained within
A new month must have ticked over because hello we've got a new Ekoplekz release. I couldn't sleep, went on the interweb, saw Reflekzionz was coming out. By chance I checked i-tunes and they had it available a week or so early. I couldn't wait for the physical copy, being the instant gratification era and all, several clicks later walla! the album was sitting in my i-tunes and my earphones were sitting in my ears. How was I meant to get back to sleep after that? My excitement levels were high and 3 hours later Refekzionz was still swirling around in my brain. Thank god it wasn't a work night. Then I started hearing chooks. I had to give it a rest. These 12 trax at 54 minutes will be released on Planet Mu as a double LP. Something had to interrupt my Conrad Schnitzler obsession. Of course this recording led me back to current music in a very smooth manner as Nick Edwards aka Ekoplekz would probably be a big fan of Schnitzler's. While I mentioned in my article on solo 70s Schnitzler that he had an immense spatiality in his music, as large as King Tubby's, on the 1978 classic Con, that didn't mean Conrad was informed by or using similar techniques to Mr Osbourne Ruddock aka King Tubby. Mr 'Ekoplekz' Edwards however does come from from a dub lineage that was probably picked up from the likes of 70s Cabaret Voltaire who probably were into King Tubby and dub in general. I guess the feel here is more like post punk stylee dub filtered through German 90s dub-tech like the Pole/Basic Channel/Chain Reaction milieu. I guess they're interesting parallels caused by my own recent listening habits but funnily enough it's all fairly closely related in a coincidental manner to Ekoplekz and his new LP.

Opening tune A Caustic Romance continues Ekoplekz's foray into melodic idylltronic zones albeit over a gritty but almost cute clipped industrial-lite beat. Quakers Road Skank is awesome robotic electronics. Seduktion is radiophonica funk that sounds like it was recorded in the emptiest place in the universe giving it an uncanny hollowness. Repeater (How did it feel?) is as fucking good as classic ambient dub tech gets. Downtone is wintry technoid dub with amazing bass tones bringing the foggy darkness in close and those rudimentary beatz feel like their trying to warm up but their coal's running low and there's no 50 P's for the meter. The classic British isolationism, with extra synth squelches, of Midnight Cliffs is next and it couldn't have a more perfect title.

Tremulant is a slice of ye olde Ekoplekz with its alien warfare dub splatter but as has been recently noted Edwards now has his once outta control machines in line and almost compliant to his every command. Dubnium 268 is a dark techno ditty but kind of playful at the same time. On this tune and at several other stages during Reflekzionz I'm taken back to my Cologne days in the 90s. In an unusual moment of zeitgeist there has been an article over at FACT, I noticed, on the likes of some of my 90s Cologne faves ie. Mouse On Mars, FX Randomiz etc. Maybe Ekoplekz is trendy now. Canon's Marsh is is a marvellous piece of technoid minimalism with curious reverbed drones that leave you slightly mystified as to what that felling you've been left with is. That's quite a remarkable artistic achievement. Ominous transmissions create an insidious intensity on Black Calkz. The machines here sound as though they could run out of power any second as a power surge is imminent and the circuits feel like they're about to burst. Saturation (Full Rinse) is an Ekoplekz banger! Nick Edward's has been heading towards this zone for a while and perhaps he's finally achieved this goal ie. a tune that could get played out. Just as you're thinking that though his erratic machines, who have been acquiescent throughout the entire LP, seem to have a sinister plot to sabotage his plan, by being contrary and slowing the bpms right down toward the end. Day In May is glowing sunshine one minute and pastoralism gone awry the next which brings Reflektionz to a close.

Halfway through like the 2nd listen I was beginning to wonder if this was perhaps a concept album or some kind of tribute/homage to the 90s. Even in this review I've used the word classic several times. The thing is with Ekoplekz is he could never pull off a homage record, like say Urge Overkill's Saturation where they recorded brilliantly perfect facsimiles of some of their favorite 70s stadium rockers like Kiss, Cheap Trick etc., because with Ekoplekz it will always be Ekoplekz. You may have been able to detect Cluster or Cabaret Voltaire influences previously (probably still can) but it's never a straight copy because he's always reshaping sounds and experimenting. He uses their ideas as much if not more than their actual sonic artillery. That's probably not a good way to make millions of bucks but his idiosyncrasies will always endear him to original music fans. When I think of Ekoplekz I don't usually think of the 90s much, I mean sure a bit of techno but to me that's like 15% of his shtick. A reactivation of several 70s approaches to music but with a here and now experimental feel is how I have him pegged in my brain. Experimenting, moving along, not giving a fuck about fashion and well just making cool dub inflected electronic music is what Ekoplekz are all about. The first song A Caustic Romance could be a dead giveaway ie. Is this referring to his love for Aphex Twin's alias Caustic Window? I mean I'm sure he listened to some of the same gear we all did in the 90s like rock, house, bleep, hardcore, ambient dub, techno, jungle, trip hop, darkside, electronica, isolationism, gabber, trance, tech-step, speed garage, post-rock, pop and whatever else I can't think of right now. It just hasn't seeped through so much until this LP. Maybe next month we'll have a bizarre take on music from the 00s by Ekoplekz. Not sure he'll have much to work with there. Perhaps he could go back further to say the 60s. Anyway he's on quite a roll isn't he? This is his 3rd fine double LP in 12 months then there have been mini albums, EPs...


*On Twitter I got a reply from the man himself. See below.


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

LOBBY LOYDE

Does a photo exist of LL sans ciggy?
Lobby Loyde is a legend! His guitar style is yet to be topped in Australia or probably the world despite the best efforts from the likes of Angus Young, Billy Thorpe, Deniz Tek, Ed Kuepper etc. You've also gotta love a guitarist who has a name for his guitar. Loyde's was called 'George' which is pretty funny, I reckon. He wasn't just an Australian legend though American hardcore bands such as Black Flag cited him as an influence, grunge act Nirvana acknowledged him as did Steve Malkmus of 90s indie darlings Pavement. UK's Stiff Records even wanted a Coloured Balls album in the Ball Power style but by the late 70s Loyde had moved on and wasn't interested.



After writing that article on the Sunnyboys release of the original tapes of their second LP Individuals, I realised I'd never posted any tunes off the best Australian rock record ever. That is Ball Power by Coloured Balls which was Lobby Loyde's early 70s rockin band's debut LP. As noted Lobby Loyde produced the first two Sunnyboys albums. Lobby Loyde at that stage was an older statesman of Australian Rock. He was a singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire for many years before becoming a noteworthy producer. In the 60s he had been in hit groups The Purple Hearts who had a top 40 smash with Early in the Morning in 1966. The above clip Of Hopes & Dreams & Tombstones is from 66 as well and is soo good, I couldn't resist. Fun fact it was written by Joy Byers who mainly wrote tunes for Elvis. Anyway Lobby then joined Wild Cherries writing two of their classics Krome Plated Yabby (previously posted here) and their 1968 top 40 hit That's Life which became a hit after he'd left the groop. He briefly joined Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs and had quite an impact on the band's future development as one hell of a heavy blues inflected boogie band. Loyde played on The Aztecs1970 LP The Hoax Is Over. He soon left. I think even before that record came out. Lobby revived the Wild Cherries moniker briefly. They performed at the 1972 Sunbury Festival and subsequently broke up.


That brings us to Coloured Balls. The line up on Ball Power was LL on lead guitar & vocals, Bobsy Millar on guitar & vocals, John Miglans on bass and vocals and Trevor Young on drums & vocals. Ball Power was released in December 1973 on EMI. I haven't even mentioned Sharpies, violence, Box Hill or police harassment. You could write a book on that stuff. I'm tryin to stick to the music here not necessarily the bollocks that goes along with it.



Surely one of the greatest pop/rock songs of all time. This was released as a single but didn't even crack the top 40. Go figure that one.



OMG how good is this? Nothing was this good in 1973 rock I'm fairly certain of that. Challenge me on that and you lose.



Ten minute epic to end Ball power. I can't recall if i ever ended up doing that best last tunes on LPs list but hey this would have been in like the top one.



Now this is fucking astounding. 16 minutes of all manner of guitar goodness. The band would sometimes turn this into 30+ minutes of transcendental rock at their live shows. Actually I haven't come across a studio version of G.O.D.(Guitar Overdose). I guess they never captured the magic that you can hear and feel here. Sonic Youth wish they were this innovative. They couldn't have been though because all their future noisy guitar fuckery was right here at least 10 years before they had the ability to try to challenge Loyde's greatness but you could only ever come out second best.



Alright this was meant to be a short little trip but now it's turning into a Lobby fan site. Along with his Sunnyboys production triumphs are his other two production triumphs, the first two LPs by perennial outsiders X. X were originally a Sydney band and just didn't fit anywhere. Were they hard rock, garage, metal, punk, post punk, hardcore or none of these? When you don't care for fashion and just wanna rock as hard and raw as you can, categories are fucking meaningless. X didn't give a fuck just as long as they were awesome and they certainly were here on Delinquent Cars and the rest of their 1979 debut LP X-Aspirations.



Hey I could post the entire album really, it's that fucking good. Here's another bewdy from X-Aspirations. Funny song too.


One last one here from X. This time it's from their 2nd classic Loyde produced album At Home With You from 1985. This was when they had become a Melbourne Band with ace new drummer Kathy Green. Original crack drummer Steve Cafiero refused to go to Melbourne. He died a few years later in a bizarre medical accident. This wasn't the first time tragedy had struck the band. Ian Krahe their original guitarist when they were a Sydney four piece in the late 70s died of a heroin overdose before they made a record. From then on they would always be a 3 piece except when they were occasionally joined by a horn section like on this here classic TV Glue

*This youtube picture has nothing to with X. I couldn't imagine a more incongruous image. Youtube eh?

**RIP Ian Rilen 1947-2006. The best bass player I ever saw live.


Saturday, 9 May 2015

CONRAD SCHNITZLER

Conrad's self-released 6 90 minute tapes
put out in 1982
Well it's been a bit hard to listen to anything but Conrad Schnitzler recently as I discovered quite a bonanza of his music over at Electronic Orgy. The post I'm referring to is from October last year where they uploaded his entire Container project which must have been originally released in 1983 as it contained material recorded between 1971-1983. I'm confused. Information on Schnitzler is sketchy at best. Even David Stubbs's underwhelming book on experimental German music of the 70s Future Days didn't shed any new light on the great man. Details from different sources are contradictory. It really doesn't matter, though. I'm trying to not get too bogged down in conflicting information because at the end end of the day its all about the music not trivial pedantic matters like titles, renamed records, bonus tracks, recording and release dates. Schnitzler self released Container as a six tape package. It got a reissue in 1983 and it was notoriously rare until Vinyl On Demand pressed it for the first time on vinyl in 2012. I think they only pressed like 550 copies. It's now a set of 9 discs well 8 and a half. Anyway I never managed to find this collection which I'm pretty sure sold out. So having it available online is very cool. It's not just a cool archive or something to obtain and be smug about, the material is of such a high and consistent standard you often find yourself rather astounded at the vision and talent of this musical maverick. Some of these future musical visions are yet to arrive. Schnitzler puts artists like Brian Eno into perspective. 1971-83 is part of Conrad's golden era. A couple of releases beyond that point were good too but what stopped me going beyond 1988 was his double tape set Contrasts with Wolfgang Hertz under the name Con-Hertz which had me baffled. A previous collaboration from Con-Hertz, two years earlier was good stuff so what happened, I don't know? Who cares? I don't wanna be negative about quite possibly the best electronic artist of last century. He had a a great run of 15+ years so whatever! I mean there's even a recent choice Kluster 6 cd set of unreleased archival material from 1969-72 issued by Vinyl On Demand as well. Where do they keep digging this shit up from? Would you believe Schnitzler has another mammoth archival release this time in conjunction with Wolfgang Seidel titled 10 Kw/H . This is another 10 cd set of material that was unearthed in 2010 containing music from 1973-1977 that is high quality too (perhaps I'll write about that another time). But this here piece I'm writing is about Conrad Scnitzler solo and there were many excellent albums he put out at the time ie. not really archival. Many of these are 20th Century electronic masterpieces.

An article on his collaborations is
in the works. 
What's most striking about Container, apart from its ridiculous length, for me is Conrad Shnitzler's transition and progression from abstract, sometimes atonal and experimental shadowy electronics to more proto-techno electronica and disorientating sonic ambience then onto pioneering industrial soundscapes but next toward the last few discs he begins an unexpected transformation from unorthodox electronic pioneer to some sort of esoteric purveyor of electro pop.

The LPs of Schnitzler's that I love (9 of which are listed below) don't really delve into his forays into almost conventional NDW. I mean Neue Deutsche Welle (er..that's German Post-punk-new-wave-schtick) was hardly chart pop fare Scorpion's stylee but all the same NDW did become generic. This usually happens when a bunch of loosely affiliated like minded arty individuals set themselves apart from the mainstream to try and create some kind of musical environment where strange and uncompromising music can develop and thrive. This usually in turn, if successful, creates a scene where the music if not particularly sonically similar often prides itself on its reluctance to be categorised. Once someone, usually a journalist (well in the old days anyway, now it could be anyone on social media etc.) identifies this loose bunch of outcasts doing something artistically different the Utopian dream starts to go pear shaped. These disparate artists all end up thrown into a category and become co-opted by corporations and major labels and cracks start to appear. Then as a flow on effect a second of wave of groups who are usually less innovative and less talented begin to homogenise the sound palettes used by the original milieu of artists. This then creates a dwindling affect where a conventional set of rules regarding sounds, production styles, art, fashion, performances etc. are set up. Subsequent waves of artists following in this wake then begin the 'revival spiral' of further diminishing returns.

Getting back to Conrad. It's pretty weird to hear him singing and perhaps not being as outre as usual. Disc 8 & 8.5 are the ones on Container I'm struggling with. It might very well be good, perhaps great, interesting and even innovative. I do also have the Auf Dem Schwarzal Kanal EP from 1980 but I'm not sure I'm ready for Schnitzler's forays into NDW after years of knowing him as my favorite German experimental sonic guru from the 20th century. It's a bit like if Elvis started doing avant-garde classical midway through his career perhaps. Lets forget about all that for now.

Lets backtrack a little now and discuss the great man. I think I first read about Schnitzler in the early 90s as he played on that rather crappy first Tangerine Dream LP. He was also a footnote in the history of the terrific duo Cluster. But this guy ain't no bloody footnote. He's a genuine innovator and one of the best sound artists period. Is this where I mention West Berlin's The Zodiak Free Arts Lab? This was a melting pot of musical activity where many future legends of Krautrock and experimental synth music congregated in the late 60s/early 70s. Schnitzler co-founded with Hans Roedelius and some other chap. Anyway I can't understand why a handful of Schniztlers's solo LPs didn't make it into Julian Cope's Krautrocksampler top 50. He could have got rid of a few records from the likes of Cosmic joke(ers) and Amon Duul II post Yeti don't you think? Next I encountered Schnitzler in that brilliant book from 1996 on German rock, experimental, electronic, Kosmische and progressive music titled The Crack In The Cosmic Egg written by Steven & Alan Freeman. I was into the usual suspects back then...er still am actually... such as Can, Neu, Harmonia, Faust, Cluster, Kraftwerk, Amon Duul II and more, but Conrad Schnitzler I noticed had the most absurdly lengthy discography in the entire book. The Freemans wrote good things about him as well so his name stuck in my brain. He was originally in Kluster with a K in the late 60s with future members of Cluster with a C not a K, Moebius and the aforementioned RoedeliusCluster went on to critical and cult success while Conrad remained an outsider pretty much for the rest of his life. I did used to see the occasional Kluster cd around in Melbourne record shops in the 90s & 00s but never bothered to check them out. Now living in the desert city I wish I'd bought them. I'm finally getting around to them now though. I got into Cluster with a C in the 90s in a big way though (more on them another time perhaps).


The first record I found by Conrad Schnitzler solo though was Con released in 1978. This is an absolute fucking classic record, one of my favorites of all time and a great place to start if you're not ofee with Conrad. On Con he travels a great path with no cheese and nothing too similar to what other (un)popular electronic German acts were doing at the time. This is electronic art that's not too academic therefore quite listenable. The amount of space in the music on Con is incredible and by that I don't mean outer space. I mean room like in King Tubby's 70s dub reggae. This is a beautifully recorded all electronic album with great attention to detail. It was produced by Tangerine Dream's Peter Baumann. Some of the sounds here were so far ahead of their time that similar timbres were not heard until the mid 90s in dance music genres such as techno, jungle, doomcore, darkside and tech-step. Upon hearing Con Schnitzler rapidly became one of my favorite electronic artists of all time, up there with The Primitive Calculators, Suicide, Severed Heads, Ilitch, Cabaret Voltaire, John Foxx, Kraftwerk, Cluster and er....Depeche Mode.


The next one I came across was Rot which was released in 1972 and was his 2nd solo outing. Man this LP was good too. Rot was no Switched On Moog record, which were all the rage at the time. Rot is the antitheses to that sub-genre. This LP was full of thick synthesiser textures that wouldn't be out of place on like a PCP or Cold Rush release from the 90s. Germans know a thing or two about getting voluminous squalls of sound from their electronic machines. I wouldn't say this was particularly melodic, its more like a mental cacophony that's intensely visceral. Sometimes it ends up in a dark abyss but always remains riveting as the music continuously mutates into other spheres. Rot is a fine otherworldly noise that must have alienated most people that came across back in 1972. It would have been great fun to play this to a James Taylor or Jackson Brown fan back in the day wouldn't it? Actually it'd be good to do that today.


1981's Control was reissued in the mid 90s and contained the T5 tracks from the aforementioned Container as bonus tracks. This was the first time I was alerted to the legendary 6 tape pack The Container. Anyway Control was the first Conrad Schnitzler album from the 80s I'd heard. It starts off in kind of a nice melodic almost conventional musical manner but by track 5 we're into his idiosyncratic synthesiser darkness. Untitled 5 is one of his most incredible tracks, with its clusters of doomy modulations comparable to no one. Untitled 6 wouldn't be out of place on say a hauntological or strange ambient LP from the last 20 years or so. Untitled 7 & 8 contain soundtracky vibes but in a Schnitzler universe of course. The remaining tunes (yes tunes! previously I couldn't really have used that term) are wonderfully mysterious and surreptitious.


I think the next one I got into was Conal which I must have found on a sharity blog back in the day when they were still a big thing. This one was recorded in 78 but not issued till 1981. This is more classic electronic transmissions from the mind of a genius. On side one's track N1 Schnitzler creates great atmospheres and synth swirls that despite not really being tunes as such or conventional ambient electronics are a very enjoyable listen and almost relaxing. Conal's second side N2 is like a delirious yet subtle 70s urban update of Forbidden Planet's OST with the sounds of rocket exhaust vapour trails mixing with dipping electronic lines that become siren-like at times making it slightly ominous in places. It feels like there's trouble afoot in the nerve centre of a future metropolis. A gentle rhythm flows in and out of the sound of rocket ships and spacecraft coming and going. Then there's little electro motorik pulses, like the baby sized aliens have landed and are driving around in mini toy vehicles. But it's like you're looking down at this future precinct from the safety of a mountain range a long way away. So it never becomes too intense and is quite unreal and mirage like. Splendid stuff.


Blau was my next discovery and was originally released in 1973 or 74 depending on who you believe (Discogs or The Freemans) making it perhaps his 4th album. Side one's Die Rebellen haben sich in den Bergen versteckt is all gentle cyclic electronic rhythms that become incredibly hypnotic. This is way before hypnotic was commonplace in music and I suppose is now a cliche. I think there's even a guitar towards the end of side one. Blau isn't a hundred miles away from Cluster or Harmonia on a superficial level but Schnitzler has such an individual way with synths and home made electronics that this record could only have come from him. Side 2 Jupiter is more intense than side 1 but this is still the gentler side of experimental 70s German music and I think its time is still yet to come. Fucking amazing when you think about it, as it was recorded 40 years ago. While Neu and Can have a thousand and one imitators Schnitzler has such a specific sound he's not such an obvious influence. All I can say is try imitating him suckers and you'll come off worse for wear.


Gelb was formerly known as the Black Cassette and originally released privately in 1974. Then in the 80s it got renamed as Gelb? Conrad's convoluted catalogue can get irritating at times so lets just go with this one as Gelb that is sometimes subtitled 12 pieces From 1974. This 2006 Captain Trip reissue has three bonus tracks from god knows where? Anyway this was his first foray into shorter pieces instead of side long odysseys and it suits him immensely. On the LP we've got proto-industrial, embryonic techno, gloomcore sounds 20 years early, stuff David Lynch and John Carpenter would like, evocative atmospheres and even the occasional piece of enchanting melodic synth goodness similar to 90s idylltronica. Schnitzler's electronic music is really charming and enjoyable as opposed to difficult electronic academic music. The twats who made that music may have been innovative but they didn't seem to have a clue about the aesthetics of music and were more interested in doing it just to be pioneers. You didn't necessarily want to listen to their music more than once or, lets face it, even once, which kind of defeats the purpose of making music in the first place doesn't it? Conrad made groundbreaking music that wasn't tedious, which I suspect was a much harder thing to achieve than what his scholarly contemporaries were doing. Making such alluring music that was also trailblazing was a hell of a feat from Mr Schnitzler, not that it was particularly popular but hey that's like a marketing/business thing innit?


Silber contains previously unreleased material from Schnitzler's prime era of 1974/75 that didn't see light of day until 2009 and this Bureau B version came out in 2013 adding a further 3 tracks. I'm known for my dislike of bonus trax but these are great. Silber made my best reissues list of that year. We've got some primo pioneering proto-techno here and gear that would later be known as electronica. This was way ahead of its it time once again by like 20+ years. I mean this sounds like a record I would have bought in the mid 90s like Mouse On Mars, Lithops or something but way fucking better. He heads off into pitch black zones on some tracks, dark ambient eat your heart out. I'm sure on track 7 he even uses a guitar or a very good electronic facsimile. If you told me some of these tracks were Ekoplekz, The Mover or Coil without me knowing I'd believe you. Schnitzler remains relevant 20, 30 and 40 years later and still sounds futuristic. What a man!


Now Grun is a cracker. If Cluster or Harmonia ever made a record with modern beats this is what it would have been like, on this first side anyway (don't get me wrong Cluster & Harmonia are 2 of my all time favorite groups, fucking love them!). Again this was so far ahead of the game it was absurd. Grun was released originally in 1981 and contained material from 72-73 and once again got reissued by Captain Trip and later Bureau B in late 2014 thus missing my end of year reissue round up. Side 1's Der Riese Und Seine Frau is pretty much 32 minutes of amazing ambient techno that predates the likes of Basic Channel by many, many years. It's minimal, hypnotic, beautiful and some of the greatest art of the 20th century. Conrad Schnitzler makes every other cool German musician, sound artist and composer seem just not up to scratch. I've got Stockhausen records but they lay dormant and unplayed most of the time whereas I could put on a Conrad record at any time and in any kind of mood. In my mind he is the king, THE innovator. Side B starts with the first version of Bis Die Blaue Blume Bl├╝ht, this is only a short one at 20 minutes. More happens in the first 2 minutes of this tune than in the entire previous track. This has its own kind of internal logic. Improvised Synths splatter, chirp, swirl, throw weird shapes and splash added colour and texture, a bass of the synthetic variety throbs along in its own world, a drum machine beat quite low in the mix tries to get the momentum going but the rest of the instruments seem quite content to meander in their own time. They might get a move on or they might take a different path for a while. The other part of the tune I guess is the part which is a composed repetitive keyboard melody which is probably looped or Conrad would have had severe RSI after this session. Nobody else is as good as this with regard to accessible experimental electronic music from the 70s. Oh... I nearly forgot the bonus track which is the second version of Bis Die... Musically nothing has changed its just played at 45 rpm instead of 33/3. Maybe someone said 'hey mate this would be awesome if it was a bit faster!' and yeah if you thought the first version meandered a little this version tightens it up and makes it nice and compact. This was a trick that Neu also used on their 1973 LP Neu 2 but that was more out of economic concerns not artistic endeavour. Neu went one better though and sped two tunes up to 78 rpm. Now that would be interesting to hear Bis Die... at that speed. It would possibly have invented speedcore or gabba 20 years early. Anyway just a thought I suppose.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Lord Of The Rings - Bo Hansson

On The Hi-Fi Part 43


Bo Hansson - Lord Of The Rings
For years I've avoided this album for some reason. I mean I love me kosmische and synth based gear but I think it was the title that put me off. I thought it was probably music for Tolkien nerds and trainspotters. Anyway I finally took the plunge and hey, due to my ignorance, I've been missing out. There's way more guitar than I imagined but it's got plenty of Moog and organ too. Guitar-wise it's a little reminiscent of the more outre moments from Robbie Krieger, like if he'd been tripping on acid in the desert for five days straight sweltering in the hot sun. I guess for me this sound conjures up images of arid dusty plains, scorching heat, sand dunes and cacti rather than middle earth. In amongst the beautifully evocative atmospheres it even gets a bit groovy in places. Lord Of The Rings is just the right side of good psych prog. This is another Swedish gem from the early 70s along with LPs from Algarnas Tradgard, Harvester, Trad, Gras Och Stenar and Handgjort

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Industrial By Alessandroni

Totally love the cover.

I think I have about 8 of Alessandoni's solo library records, some Spaghetti Western soundtracks and a horror OST. He was also behind Braen's Machine who have two albums Underground (1971), that one is a particularly great groovy fuzz rock monster of an LP, and Temi Retmici E Dinamici (1973) and of course he was a frequent collaborator with Ennio Morricone. He also used the alias just Braen on the occasional collaborative library LP like two of my all time favorite library albums Biologia Marina (1973) on the Rhombus imprint and Ittiologia (1973) on the Cardium label. So it turns out he's in my record collection way more than I ever thought. I think the record company Dead Cert are claiming that Industrial is unreleased stuff from Alessandro. He did have an LP on Coloursound called Light And Heavy Industry from 1982 and Ritmo Del Industria from 1969. This LP does appear to be from 1976 and no tracks as far as I can recall I've heard before but I have a feeling this material was circulated in 76, probably in a very small quantity as I think I've seen copies on the interweb. Anyway this was a happy little surprise waiting for me in the morning. It's good stuff too. Industrial is a soundworld where acoustic and electronic instruments collide to create a wonderfully unique record. From start to finish the edgy intensity never dips below maximum. This is not easy listening library music which Alessandro Alessandroni is quite capable of and exceptional at. It's the opposite ie. not for the faint of heart or listener not willing to be challenged. Intense swirling electronic pulses, mental pianos, dissonant scrapes, repetitive violins, distant clangs, bubbling synthesisers, wayward dark bass throbs, weird percussion and tense guitars all add to this dramatic and incredible LP. Avivcendamento sounds like 3 different tunes playing at once and it's fabulous. A bit of atonal noise here, a little bit of discordance there. Horror motifs raise their zombie heads as do minimalism's, all with a Euro/Italo vibe and then some of it is quite uncanny, unlike anything he'd ever done before. This is incredibly outre and innovative music. His guitar playing in particular is mesmerising, strange, suspenseful and idiosyncratic. It's beautifully recorded and produced. Only a few listens in but its gotta be one of the best archival releases of the year already.



This is from his terrific Light & Heavy Industry LP from 82 and sounds not dissimilar to some of the tracks on Industrial By Alessandroni (couldn't find any of them one the youtube).

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Future Days Part 3 - Eroc


Not mentioned in Fututre Days: Krautrock And The Building Of Modern Germany by David Stubbs (well in the index at least I'm only up to page 327) is Eroc's classic Eroc 1. What happened there Dave? No lost Krautrock classics eh?.......



Funnily enough a band Eroc (Joachim Heinz Ehrig) played drums for during the 70s Grobschnitt get some coverage in the book for all the wrong reasons. Stubbs gave Limbus (another obscure act signed to Brain) a listen but failed to check this treasure out. Recorded between 1970 & 75 and released on Brain records in 1975.

Future Days...again.

Something is really irking me about the cover of Future Days by David Stubbs. It's the faux fadedness of the background colours. Should this book go with my mock 50s radio, my new retro toaster and my brand new football shirt that looks like I've been wearing it since the early 80s? Faux fadedness is something I've come to detest particularly in fashion, art and furnishings. In the case of Future Days it feels like a crass statement of "Yes these were once Future Days but... ha... now everything is old even the ideas and music contained within this book." The thing with this music, modernist architecture and some other Avant Gardes of yesteryear is that some of them still have a shiny futuristic relevance. I haven't seen a David Bowie book come out looking old already, so it does seem peculiar and something I'm surprised Mr Stubbs let slip by him. I would have had the cover as modern as possible in the spirit of the music being covered in this tome. They got the graphics and cover art sort of right. Musicians in 70s Germany weren't dreaming of shabby chic as the future though were they?


*Note to future editors of future editions: Fix up the future bloody cover.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

KRAUTROCK


Funnily enough I was listening to Faust and Eroc's Eroc 1 today and hello to make my bad days a little brighter here's David Stubbs and his book Future Days: Krautrock And The Building Of Modern Germany. There have been other good books on this topic of course. Particularly gonzo rock guru Julian Cope's KrautrockSampler, which is long out of print. Then there was The Crack In The Cosmic Egg by Steven & Alan Freeman which has also been out of print for some time but is a fabulous resource for the more obscure side of the genre. A scaled down internet version of this encyclopedia by the Freemans is available here in pdf form. Stubbs is of course a legend from the Melody Maker in the 80s. He wrote an excellent book a few years ago Fear OF Music about how modern music isn't given the same respect critically, culturally and monetarily as modern art is. Simon Reynolds really revs up the book with an astonishing  quote "Future Days does not capture Krautrock so much as unleash it. At long last the definitive book on the ultimate music." Now that's saying something. As I recall a highlight of the 90s Reynolds & Press book The Sex Revolts was a chapter on Can which blew my mind. The best writing on the German group Can ever or any other group for that matter. Maybe there's better to come. Stubbs seems to show up at  times in my life when I'm in bad health. There's a picture of me reading Fear Of Music on a hospital bed from a few years ago. It's like he knows when I need cheering up.




Any reason to play Can is a good reason.
You really need to listen to this LP as a whole.
It's Genius (and I hate that word's over use!).