vendredi, mai 23, 2008

EDWARD KA-SPEL, Tanith and the lion tree (weird electronic tales?, 1991)

LEGENDARY PINK DOTS' Edward Ka-Spell in one of his numerous solo albums, probably one of his best. Melancolic tunes are mixed with / in noisy tracks and electronic bubbles / collage, it's boring sometimes but can also be really moving, like in the tracks "Tanith and the lion tree" and "Prithee". At last, don't forget that Edward is an early fan of kraut and weird rock and you feel this in his music, transposed in the 80s and 90s. Anyway, very interesting even if you may feel a little depressed at the end of the album : it's a bit dark and tortured.
Find this curiosity here.

CODE III, Planet of man (1974, krautrock)

One of my Krautrock Top 10 albums, a very weird and spacey one. I've probably posted it last year, but once again won't be too much. If you're into early Ash Ra Tempel / Popol Vuh, it's obviously for you!!

From Julian Cope's website :
"Another obscure release from Shulze's little stable of cosmic electro-acoustic troubadours and a fine one at that. Taking as its pretext a concept as big as the formation of the cosmogony itself: this far-out piece of German-ness is in the same vein as Sand's Golem, and The Vuh's first two monoliths. A huge adam-and-eve-adelic experiment into sonic territories hitherto unexplored in 1974. This really was Delta-Acustic's year wasn't it. From the cover onwards the LP is a beautiful fusion of electronic and acoustic folkiness, the Sand LP is really the nearest comparison. Cosmic electronics of whistling and wind effects open up Side One and give the LP a very "Ligeti's contributions to 2001: A Space Odyssey" feel, formless moog ululations and spectral robot voices speaking about primitive (wo)man. The brainchild of Manfred Schunke and Ed Key the LP them merges into a sublime acoustic ur-folk plainsong, picked acoustics and English vocals, the bird whistles bring us right into Granchester Meadows (its very Roger Waters in fact, a re-write of that track and Atom Heart Mother's If); flutes are added and we are in the krautrock Book of Genesis. Primitive atmospherics dominate, until 10 minutes of random drum sounds ruin it slightly (in that 5 minutes would easily have sufficed).

Side Two and Aparna Shakravati adds tambura and chanting one-chord Indian wordless vocal, the whole thing morphing through more elctronic storms and tumult, samples from American and German voices, and we're into a sudden jump into early drum-machine motorik shuffle and trance-synths. Its very "Black Dance" and Klaus finally makes an appearance on Side Two - mid-way - on drums. The epic closer brings back the acoustics and it all builds into a spectacular finale of choral oooohhhs and aaaaaaaaaaahhs that the Germans do so well, including (according to the liner notes) a "Stone Age Choir" and a "Cosmos Choir." Fans of Sand, early Vuh, and early Schulze will love this LP."
I could not say it better!
Download it here, and believe me, you'll listen it for years...

jeudi, mai 15, 2008

ALIEN SEX FIEND, Who's been sleeping in mu brain (1983, "bat cave" punk)

Back to the old days, again.
Probably because of my interest in JOY DIVISION and consequently in BAUHAUS whose albums were among my first CDs, I've been exploring (a little) the early "batcave" / "gothic" scene - I still think that it has nothing in common with the gothic rock scene from the end of he 80s, it sounds more like a dark version of punk art rock.
ALIEN SEX FIEND has turned during the 80s into a kind of pre-electro dark rock band, a kind of pre-MINISTRY / NINE INCH NAILS (though I don't really know those bands...), sometimes they were ok, but most of the time they were not. But in their early days they really sounded good and quite innovative. What is it precisely? Basically, deviant punk rock, no bass, only old synths / guitar / drums (sometimes tribal) and screaming voices. And I insist : during side A this formula is very good! Tracks like "Wild Women", "I'm not mad" or "Wig Wam Wipe Out" are some underground classics in my opinion, and don't contain yet what would later become the gothic rock clichés. Unfortunately, side B has almost no interest and seems weak in comparison.
Try it here.

THE BUZZCOCKS, Peel Sessions (1977/79, punk pop)

Back to the old days... This is probably one of my first CDs, when this edition was released in 1989. What a shock! Even today I think that 1 : these are some of the best compositions ever in pop music; 2 : even if they are excellent, you won't need BUZZCOCKS' 3 official albums after having heard this collection of songs.
You'll find there the best versions of "Pulse Beat", "What do I get", "Noise Annoys", "16 again", "Hollow Inside", "E.S.P" and probably "Fast Cars" (je me souviens des Inrocks qui expliquait que la basse de Fast Cars était ici dangereusement en retard voire à contre-temps.. ah bon?? Elle est pourtant infiniment plus suggestive que celle, trop lisse, de l'originale non?).
Anyway, because of this, I had immediatly bought the 3 albums and still consider their early discography some of the finest ever.
Here are those 4 Peel Sessions (please note that 2 of them were produced by Factory's Tony Wilson, I confess I didin't know he was a producer too) compiled as "the Peel Sessions Album".

mardi, mai 13, 2008

ZOMBIE ZOMBIE, Live Paris Nouveau Casino 6.3.2008

By request.
Opening for SILVER APPLES when in Paris in March, ZOMBIE ZOMBIE consists in 2 fans of krautrock making NEU-like excellent music... but a little too NEU-like maybe!
Don't download this live performance if you donnot have their album that just has been released (see picture above), each track played live is good but much longer than the album's tracks and, to say the truth, much too long! Mechanic drums, vintage monophonic synths' sequences, drones and noises can also be compared with what TANGERINE DREAM would have become if they had not turned into their new-age cliché at the end of the 70s. That means : very good in my opinion.

Find their live sound on this Sharebee link and please try to purchase their album.

Un reproche que je ferai quand même en français à nos petits amis de ZOMBIE ZOMBIE, de TURZI et tous ceux de la bande à PAN EUROPEAN RECORDINGS : est-ce qu'on n'entend pas un peu trop NEU / CAN derrière tout ça, et tant qu'à rejouer le plan, est-ce qu'il ne serait pas plus fun d'y ajouter une touche d'AMON DÜÜL 2 / GURU GURU, un truc un peu fou quoi? Parce que, pour moi en tout cas, à un moment donné tout ça sonne un peu trop mécanique et répétitif - et les albums ne sont jamais loin de tomber des oreilles sur la fin. Pas pour rien si NEU n'a jamais fait que 3 (vrais) albums...
Bravo quand même, parce que c'est globalement extra.

PS : les prochains CDs Pan European ne pourraient pas être en digipack plutôt qu'en plastoc?

vendredi, mai 02, 2008

LEGION, False Dawn (1992, ambient electronic)

Another Lagowski's release, under the name LEGION. Same digital electronic ambient sound as the previous SETI album, but in a more basic structure : it consists mostly in 2 very long tracks (more than 30' for the 1st one) of floating dark ambient. Even if it doesn't evolve enough, it surely create a particular state of mind for those who will listen for the whole recording.
No artwork found, and I'm not patient enough to scan the horrible artwok of the CD.
The music is here, ripped at 192kbps.

Let's go back to kraut and psych for the next posts, maybe.