Showing posts with label Chrome. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chrome. Show all posts

Sunday, 20 July 2014

We're In The 70s Again...

A really great weird list over at FACT on their top 100 LPs of the 70s. It's just one LP per artist. I love how they really don't stick to the rock-crit consensus. I couldn't have predicted that they'd put half of these in their list. I own about 63 of these records. There's no Bob, Neil, Bruce, Pink Floyd, The Clash or even Led Zep! That should rile up a few rock bores. Some of my faves on the more esoteric side of things from the list include A.R. & Machines Echo, Guru Guru's UFO, Libra's Schock, Annette Peacock's I'm The One, Bruce Haack's Electric Lucifer,  Rot by Conrad Schnittzler, Flower Travelling Band's Satori,  Fern Kinney's Groove Me, First Utterance from Comus etc. Hawkwind make an appearance but no Ash Ra Tempel or Amon Duul 2. Funkadelic but no Parliament or Bootsy. Heaven forbid no Big Star what will the indie kids say? Black Sabbath's Master Of Reality over Vol. 4 and Paranoid. That would have been a hard choice. As would the Bowie decision with at least 11 classics to choose from. No T-Rex! No AC/DC! They went wild with their Lou Reed pick Live-Take No Prisoners. Nico in, John Cale out. No Iggy, that's outrageous! The 70s I guess was a peak time for fine albums so really they could have made a top 200. Can's Ege Bamyasi over Tago Mago, Future Days and Soon Over Babaluma. There's plenty of Krautrock, Jazz, Avant Garde, Punk/post-punk and the just plain weird. Not much Glam (That was more of a 7" trip) or Prog, No Country at all (it must have exhausted its hipness).

Of the punk & Post-Punk we've got Wire, The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcock, Stiff Little Fingers, Suicide, No New York, Patti Smith, Cabaret Voltaire, Crass, Pere Ubu, The Slits, New York Dolls, Nurse With Wound, Throbbing Gristle, Modern Lovers, The Residents (another hard choice, so many classics), Richard Hell, Devo and Talking Heads who all make the cut. Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures is mysteriously overlooked. The Saints (I'm)Stranded is the highest placed punk record, right on FACT!. No Radio Birdman or X(Legendary Australian band not the inferior American one) though, or X-Ray Spex, Dictators, Germs, Gang Of Four (is Entertainment not one the best album of the 70s?), Magazine, Television or The Ramones?! Metal Box by PIL is oddly missing. There ain't no Tubeway Army, Pop Group, Durutti Column, Thomas Leer & Robert Rental, Swell Maps, Minny Pops or Gary Numan solo. Der Plan's Geri Reig would have been my left field pick with its gloriously demented electronic toy town post-punk German stylee.

Soundtracks are thin on the ground. You could make an excellent list of 100 70s soundtracks I reckon. I think there are only 3 OSTs in the list. I'd have probably had Life On Earth, Eraserhead, Clockwork Orange, The Exorcist, Death Line, Quintet, Wickerman, Enter The Dragon, Shaft, Cannibal Holocaust, The Taking Of Pelham 123, Phantasm, Vanishing Point etc. etc.

On the soul and funk tip Curtis Mayfield makes the grade with his excellent Curtis/Live but Isaac Hayes doesn't. Stevie Wonder in, Michael Jackson's Off The Wall out!? Sly Stone, Gil Scott Heron, Last Poets, Shuggie Otis and Millie Jackson are here. The Meters, James Brown, Bill Withers, Al Green, Betty Davis, Marvin Gaye, Bobby Womack, Teddy Pendgrass, The O'Jays, The Isley Brothers et al. are not. My esoteric Pick would have been Lightnin Rod's Hustlers Convention from 1973 which is a proto gangsta rap concept album that is some funky superfly shit man. On the disco tip no Risque from Chic or Donna Summer's Once Upon A Time. But we do get Cerrone's Cerrone 3: Supernature and the aforementioned Fern Kinney.

There's no records from Sweden ie. International Harvester, Harvester or Trad Gras Och Stenar (I'd probably have included an LP by each of those groups even though they're all pretty much the same group). Maybe my other Swedish pick would have been Algarnas Tradgard's Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden. That's a nice slice of folky space prog jams. From France you get Serge Gainsbourg, Magma, Ghedalia Tazartez and Heldon. Some other French weirdness would have been good too like Pole's classic meandering electronic psych trip Inside The Dream from 1975. Brazil still seems to be on the hipster map with several entries, however Milton Nascimento & Lo Borges sprawling opus Clube Da Esquina misses out as does Jorge Ben, Edu Lobo etc. On the Yank/Brit folkish tip you get Linda Perhacs, Judee Sill, Bridget St John and Robbie Basho but no Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyan, Dr Strangley Strange, Tim Buckley (losing his hipster cache?) or my fave of the lot John Martyn. It would have been a toss up though for a Martyn LP between Bless The Weather, Solid Air, Inside Out or One World. Only one LP from Japan shows up so there's no Les Rallizes Denudes, Masahiko Satoh, People, Far East Family Band or Brast Burn. Nothing from Turkey at all! I'd have perhaps put in Baris Manco's funky Anadolu psych classic 2023 or LPs from Mogallar, Bunalim, 3 Hur-el or Eric Koray's masterpiece Electronic Turkular. On the Avant Garde front you get Bernhard Palmigiani, Charlemagne Palestine, Gavin Bryars, Basil Kirchin, Harold Budd, Robert Ashley etc. I reckon Taj Mahal Travellers August 1974 would have got my overlooked vote for its eerie deep psych drone goodness. Even maybe something from the legendary Ron Geesin who put out several classics of 70s cult electronics on the KPM label. Where's Delia?

I could go on forever, perhaps I should have made my own list. Klause Schulze's Moondawn gets a guernsey but it could just have easily been 7 of his other 70s classics. Tangerine Dream's Ziet would have got my vote over Phaedra. On The Corner from Miles Davis seems a conservative choice to me. I'd have gone for something like Get Up With It, Dark Magus, Big Fun, Agharta, In Concert or Live/Evil. Cult bands like The Screamers, The Electric Eels and Simply Saucer, I don't think had official LPs released in the 70s, which could explain their absence. On the more rock front The Rolling Stones, Blue Oyster Cult, The Allman Brothers, King Krimson, Dr Feelgood, Thin Lizzy, Steely Dan, Buffalo, Budgie and The Pink Fairies don't get a look in. I guess those bands are for other lists. FACT do things their way and the worlds a better place for it.

Here's ten LPs that haven't been mentioned yet in this or the FACT article that are essential 70s recordings in my book:
Edge Of Time - Dom
No Other - Gene Clark
For Your Pleasure - Roxy Music
Ball Power - Coloured Balls
Tres Hombres - ZZ Top
Split - Groundhogs
If Only I Could Remember My Name - David Crosby
Alien Soundtracks - Chrome
Delta Momma Blues - Townes Van Zandt
Dub From The Roots - King Tubby

Wow this has made me realise once again how rich and deep the music goes in the 70s. I'm lookin forward to going through all my Miles Davis and Klaus Schulze records oh and then there's some I've never heard from the FACT list. I might finally check out Henry Cow, Millie Jackson, Cymanade, Judee Sill or Gary Wilson. I never could get into Stiff Little Fingers, Joni Bloody Mitchell, Genesis or pre-Swordfishtrombones Tom Waits though. But hey any list with Throbbing Gristle's 20 Jazz Funk Greats at number 1 is fine by me.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Ooga Boogas - Ooga Boogas

I was gonna write a review of Ooga Boogas by Ooga Boogas. But who cares about reviews anymore especially when they're writen about rock albums right? How passe!

Circle Of Trust starts off the LP in an uncharacteristically Wire-esque fashion but the drummer in Wire was never this fuckin good. This is the best Melbourne rhythm section since The Birthday Party and you know what they're probably better! Who cares right? rock is dead.

Archie & Me is next and well it's kinda close to my heart with lyrics like "We'll be pretty sore by the time we hit Red Cliffs. So we'll get Big Lizzie rollin again." Mentions of red sunsets and swaggys. Then there's "When we get downtime, When we get downsized, When we get out." Having lived just outside Red Cliffs as a child and planning a move back to the Sunraysia area I was shocked to hear those words. It was like did they just say what I think they said? Fuck yeah they know where its at. This song was speaking directly to me and urging me to use it as a manifesto or at least a theme tune for the big move from the big smoke, that doesn't want us, to the land of red sunsets where property prices aren't so offensive. I know this song is a fantasy and a pretty silly one at that but for me and the Mrs it's where we hang our hat, song or no song.

That drummer is fuckin cookin. This is real rock drumming like fuckin better than John Bonham. How does he get that sound like like he's a caveman bangin on the earth the most primordial beat ever. This beat is cavernous, it's gigantic. You gotta turn this right up and let your inner caveman/cavewoman out. And I've just realised they're called Ooga Boogas a very unPC nod to old ideas and visions native primitives. The funny thing is at the same time Ooga Boogas personify the urbane, the suburban, the hipster, the loser and the castrated.

FYI's next and this is some swingin noirish urban tale from the underworld with talk of coming back to the real world. Then Leon goes into this "fa fa fa for your information.." in a mock cockney tone and why wouldn't he? It's another nod to Wire but at the same time so Australian considering the cadence of the previous line.

Oogie Boogie is precisely what it purports to be. It's a fucking glam stomp with beats like axes to heads and filthy guitar licks that are loose and taut at the same time.

Mind Reader is a tale of male/female relationships and Stackpole is bringin the comedy in a voice occasionally reminiscent of Rob Forster of The GoBetweens. It's an urban, male & Australian voice and it concerns his condition. He's pissin off his woman obviously but he's not willing to see the clear as day reasons for this and snaps arguing back defensively "I can't read your fucking mind!" But this was a song about ice-creams right? That's what you thought!

It's a sign is a giddy love song about when everything's going good and you're happy and you're lovin it and you're proud you're not fucking up and your confidence is breakin through and it's about sex and your Mrs actually liking you and she's not puttin her knickers back on for a while and it's halcyon days and it's salad days and it's days of wine and fucking roses!

Sex In The Chill Zone is a creepy strut through what could be a dream or some kind of suburban spa party or just maybe being drug fucked and fucked at the same time. It's so damn hazy it's unclear.

Studio Of My Mind....and we're in Chrome territory or is it like a tribute to Whirlyworld or Primitive Calculators. I'm put in a very Melbourne soundworld but it could be San Francisco or Sheffield in 1979 or Iggy in Berlin. Then I'm thinkin this is definitely a nod to Ollie Olsen and a tune he did with NO, a forgotten late 80s Melbourne electronic rock band. They had a song about feeling "like a walking TV camera." Parallelling this tunes depersonalisation experience of being "locked in the studio of my mind." It's cold, scary and disturbing.

Ecstasy.... and then there's a country twang and your thinkin its The Captain by Kasey Chambers. Then you think that's fucked up having Chrome and Chambers conjured in your mind within the same minute on the same record and in this same sentence. The tune continues on with its strung out Sticky Fingers. It's a love song or a lament, probably for the drug and you're feeling the waste which is palpable in Stackpole's voice.

A Night To Remember....and it's a relief, it's good times. It's dancing into the void and spitting in the face of of it all with a laugh and a smile. The joy is put back into the meaninglessness and... it's a rock record!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Created a little controversy on Twitter and over at The Quietus all about Ariel Pink. I just think he's had all these theories thrust upon him and in one interview was quite frustrated by it all saying he just wrote songs whether they were retro, now or future he couldn't care less. Finally got the vinyl of Ariel's Mature Themes today and there is a lyric sheet but I have not read it yet. Geneva Jacuzzi co wrote Kinski Assassin with Ariel which I didn't know. I may check out out what he says about North Korea in Farewell American Primitive but that's about it.

*Listening to Lucifer by Peaking Lights I was thinking they sound like no one else really which is incredible  in this day and age, but there was one tune on the last record that had a little keyboard interlude (of like 25 seconds) that had me flashing on Laika's Sound Of Satellites record. Then there is another one on Lucifer which had me thinkn very vaguely of Moonshake/Laika, all very tenuous links. Like saying someones similar because they use the same guitar. They are very allusive group! You kind of think surely there's been 10 groups like this before but there haven't.

**Been listening to both the Gary War LP and The Human Teenager one and they are both fantastic. The way they try to be Chrome but just end up sounding like a kids version which is even better because we've already had one Chrome. I think it's pop music. Gary's Pleading For Annihalation could be from a prime era Chrome LP. This Ilitch 10 Suicides record that I only discovered this year seems to have been a secret influence on a lot of this American underground stuff. I think I said at the time Oneohtrix Point Never must be a fan and you can add Gary War and Oneohtrix and War collaborator Taylor Richardson as fans. Then I put on Lamborghini Crystal's Roach Motel and well they got a little closer to Chrome's dementia and Human Teenager were probably listening. Fuck me Roach Motel is one of Ferraro's best efforts, really grimy (not in the D.Rascal sense) and mental.

Chrome-A couple of funny guys.

2008 Classic
Roach Motel - Lamborghini Crystal

Friday, 22 June 2012

RE: Being ruthless

I dig UV Race

 I was thinking about that former post where I asked about The Flying Lotus album and whether I'd missed anything. I don't really have any anxiety there. There are hundreds of top records out there. I can't listen to all of them. So it doesn't really bother me when I get rid of something or don't give something much of a chance. Maybe if someone exposes me to that Dick Diver record more, I might come around but I can't see any reason to seek out another listen of my own free will.

It's what makes you go back to something that interests me. Like why do you do it. Records I don't understand when I first hear them is a pretty strong reason for a repeated listen like when I first heard Slint, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282,  Mars, New Kingdom, Sly Stone's There's A Riot Going On, early Roxy MusicChrome, The Fire Engines, This Heat's Deceit, The Axemen or Royal Trux's Twin Infinitives. Had to keep playing them, to in some way try and figure out what was going on or what was making it interesting even if it was just plain bafflement. But when I got it  fuck I really dug it. Then there are some things that are more immediate that you're just gonna dig no matter what, like when I first heard Kraftwerk, The Fall, Prince, Neu, The Clean, The Pixies, MBV and Boards of Canada. I love these bands just as much today as the above bands.

This is a mental LP.

Wholesome family fun by a couple
of lovely boys.

I don't really care to analyse why I reject things. Usually they're just shit or I've heard it all before. Some things just seem gross or wrong. Sometimes it's just not my bag alhough I have e very open mind when it comes to music. Don't get me wrong I like cheap and nasty as much as drug fueled over budget/production.

God I don't really get this and I've been a fan of James Ferraro for many years now and pretty much enjoyed everything I've been able to hear of his, which is over 30 releases (I think there maybe twice as many I haven't tracked down) This new release however under the name of Bodyguard I can't seem to grapple with. I don't really get it but I'm not sure I want to listen to it for the 4th time. I must say he's had a bloody great run over the last 6 or 7 years so one disappointing record is hardly going to ruin his reputation with me. Will I give it another spin or is life too short?