Friday, April 20, 2012

Iviron 1981

From France back to my home country of Germany for a few albums via Alsace though not without picking up some fine rieslings and sauerkraut along the way. It's odd and I have said it before that the germans are so derelict in their progressive heritage unlike the french for example, which are unearthing palaeontology everywhere. It's certainly not for lack of masterpieces, in the private pressed files there have been tons discovered, amongst which this one-off album by Iviron from 1981. Listen to the opening track, After the Push, initiating F minor with clear minor second dissonances like a subterranean lava flow to introduce the prototype progressive instrument of flute melodicizing behind a co-ed choir. Use of the sustained notes on cello adds the usual spooky-sad dimension.

The second track is typical progressive bizarreness-- note the really weird underlying elec. guitar riff passing into gentle-giant like acoustics with the added classical elements (soprano and alto female singing), and note how abruptly it switches between 2 entirely different songs-- wow! There's throwaway tracks at the end of side 1 (a straight jazz number oddly enough called wings of perception part 2) and at the beginning of side 2 a dumb irish jig that almost makes you want to give up on the record. Why?? why did they do this?? I ask myself. A late-70s roger waters-like song called 'Sister magic" sounds like the band's effort at crafting a radio hit, before we return to the progressive in a big big way, with 'Tales of iviron' and 'Ode' at the close of side 2...

It's absolutely astonishing what some classical training and education provides in terms of harmonic subtlety, originality, and competence for these tracks; essentially they are chamber orchestral works which somehow found their way from a packed concert hall (where they should have been played) on to a 1981 rock record for a few hundred lucky buyers... Musically, the number of creative ideas in the Tales of Iviron is legion, powers of ten beyond any contemporary radio-played weekly set list. Why did this music burn out and die??? And I love how the whole record closes out with a kind of exclamation or question mark, suddenly after an ascending chord pattern, as if an unfinished short story in which you're left hanging as to the death of the hero...

I understand some may feel this is an uneven album but to me, the first half of side 1 and second half of 2 really are stellar -- without the "junk DNA" filler, this would be a superb product of progressiveness.

Now this album was reviewed 2 years ago by our friend ashratom on his sister blog the cd reissue wishlist (sister in the same way Chattanooga Tenessee is the sister city to Marsupilamipotamia, Iraq) where he gave it for the first time a priority 1 five times over, agreeing with me on its masterpiece status, here:

And I quote:
" Unusual fusion album with many disparate but incredible ideas. Iviron constructed their album more in an early 1970s exploratory style, though the sound was more relevant to the late 70s / early 80s time frame. There's a real sense of adventure here (a lot of East-West references), and even a touch of the psychedelic. It even has jazz-rock or fusion elements, two synonymous terms as my readers well know. A very interesting find by my excellent contact TS [Tristan Stefan - editor]. At the level of Missus Beastly, I'd say--and readers of this blog will know we take Missus Beastly pretty seriously! Y'all 'll like it [= you all - ed.]"

Tom did tell me recently he has thrown in the towel and given up his blog, due to the competition from us-- he'll never catch up to all the rarities we've posted, in several lifetimes, acknowledging in a personal communication "your collection is so much bigger than mine, Tristan, I admit defeat. As well, you've lived too many lifetimes for me, I'm only on my first here!"  For regular readers of the cd reissue wishlist (cdrwl) this comes as a devastating blow, we loved being able to feel superior as Tom was frantically trying to catch up on all the rare progressive records. He continues, "with your four houses and 5 executive positions, and 6 blogs, Tristan, I have no way of competing unless I marry some models (like you) and move to Salt Lake City, Utah". Well sorry Tom-- been there, done that. Before I moved to Wurstenburg, Bavaria, to become CBO (chief burgomeister officer) after getting rich with my fast food burger joints in the midwest (which I sold to AOL Time-Warner at the peak of the dotcom craze for half a billion dollars) I actually was a polygamist mormon personal trainer cum lifecoach who taught Tony Robbins how to be born-- at that time of course he was merely a lost soul without a body who had befriended Oprah's spirit at the local starbucks in purgatory. This is how I made my fortune -- I told Oprah the secret to success was to always change weights, never stay fat or thin for too long, and look at the millions she made off my advice! So RIP cdrwl.

Btw for those curious about the name, from wikipedia:
"The name Iviron originated from the ancient Georgian Kingdom of Iberia (Iveria) where the master architect of the monastery Ioannes was from...
The Holy Monastery of Iviron (Greek: Ιερα Μονή Ιβήρων, Georgian: ივერთა მონასტერი) is an Eastern Orthodox monastery at the monastic state of Mount Athos in Greece. The monastery was built under the supervision of Ioannes the Iberian and Tornikios between 980-983 AD and housed Iberian clergy and priests."

written and arranged by H. Scherner and I. Schleicher-Atanasov
Lyrics by Ronals Bergmayr (Sister Magic) and I Schleicher-Atanasov (Bernie the Faust)

Bass– Thomas Gang
Cello– Dan Fahlbusch
Drums– Peter Hackspiel
Engineer– Bernhard Klein, Walter Brüssow
Flute, Whistle– Ronald Bergmayr
Guitar [6-string Guitar, 12-string Guitar], Mandolin, Mellotron, Vocals, Written-by, Arranged By– Ingo Schleicher-Atanasov
Guitar, Tambura, Vocals, Written-By, Arranged By– Helmut Scherner
Piano– Robert Säbel
Saxophone– Karl Takats
Tabla, Congas, Percussion– Fritz Schoisswohl
Vocals [Alto]– Gerlinde Mayr
Vocals [Soprano]– Eva Meindl

Sample tracks:
Bernie the Faust

Wings of Perception Part I

Wasn't I right when I said we'll all be spoiled with recent and coming material on our blog? Well, you don't know about the coming material yet, but I guarantee we'll feature several albums that don't even exist and never did exist! How's that for a treat?


Tristan Stefan said...


Anonymous said...

fug me, was I stupid... can't imagine why I gave that one away for peanuts in the late 80s. Thanks for directing me back. Third Ear Band meets Renaissance... By the way: I'm searching for SCHLACHTVIEH - Ein Rock-Oratorium gegen den Krieg, Germany, 1980. Any chance? Have a nice weekend. Lolly Pope

Tristan Stefan said...

btw the above comments regarding the cdrwl were a joke completely, the cdrwl is alive and well in a coma.

RickK said...

thank you for posting this unknown record

Anonymous said...

Really...really interesting! A great record! Thanks!

Adamski said...

Thanks for your post, but none of your Filejumbo links are working for me (same with the Orchestra II post). A click on the "download" button just refreshes the FJ site. I've used FJ before and it's a great hoster with no waiting times or hassle, so I was wondering if the files are down without giving any notice?

uros said...

A lot of German rock bands were using themes from Eastern music in their compositions (Embryo were really brilliant in using them on Embryo's Reise),other music is so different in sytle, as that I am watching through the Kaleidoscope.
Thanks a lot for Iviron, Tristan Stefan.

Tristan Stefan said...

All the filejumbo links seem to be working, at least for now ;-)

Anonymous said...

Can you please re-upload?
2 times on filejumbo & downloading is reseting....:(


Anonymous said...

Following the filejumbo link, page says "service not available". Maybe it's been shut down?
A re-upload would be great if possible.

Tristan Stefan said...

all links working today april 27

dieter said...

thanks for that dusty treasure! never heard of that group in my 50 years of listening to the 'good' stuff .... btw: your blog 's a brilliat job!

Anonymous said...

Good album - you're the best Tristan !!!!

Cristado said...

File Jumbo appears to be down. Service Unavailable via the links or Trying for days. Thanks

isabelbc said...

new link

Tristan Stefan said...

new link as of Jan 20th, 2014

PYITE said...

Any chance for a reup?

Cheers ~

367 loser said...

link does not working ....

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