Saturday, February 23, 2013

Compromis - Een Jobstijding (Neth, 1981)

I really love the cover of this record, which I'm pretty sure must be from a work by Gustave Doré, famous for his wood engravings.  Here you can get an idea of what I mean:   The choice and the drama of the unseen hands attempting to kidnap the baby from the mother are so incredibly evocative.  How often have I mentioned the importance of covers!
The music is very reminiscent to me of the Natdamperen material I posted so long ago now on this website, it could just as well be a fourth N. album, with fusiony jazz-jamming and raw laryngitis-like sax melodies.  It even has the same lo-fi 4-track basement-recording sound to it.  Most of the compositions are by the keyboardist, Ronald Buijk.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Häxmjölk‎ - "Eskimo Heat" (Sweden, 1976)

I think I posted this in bad rip form almost three years ago here.  So let's update it with a better.
We've heard a lot of music in that time haven't we?  A lot of great music, some amazing discoveries... a lot of crap too, necessarily.  I wager that in those 3 years we heard more new music than 99.9 % of humans hear in their entire lifetimes.  But of course we who do this and read this are not ordinary people-- for us music is our passion, our drug, our first love, the only taste of heaven we'll ever have on this earth (as I said before).

Here, the second track, "The Despirator" is utterly amazing.  Both this and "Flower of Eternity" are just ne plus ultra hallmarks of the complex and well-thought-out euro-fusion style.
Those minor second guitar arpeggios in the former song, perhaps invented by mahavishnu John McLaughlin originally (?) just kill me every time.  All compositions are by the guitarist Jan Tolf (he with the hooded monk's beard on the back).

Now prepare for The Despirator to run you over and leave you gasping:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

J. Fiddy and O. Sieben -- Pastoral Scenes and Underscores (Library)

Another beautiful library album, a discovery from discobasso from growing bin.
Orchestral pieces often with a melancholy edge evoke a plushly verdant landscape, the irresistible earnestness so typical of this era in music almost could make one believe the earth was a garden of Eden, though one now deforested by diesel-powered caterpillar trucks for mining, logging, and clear-cutting to grow either palm oil (for your nutella sandwiches) or soybean for the export industry to go into the insatiable maw of the western world's frenzied desire for animal feed for hamburgers, biofuels to drive SUVs, and wood for cheap Ikea furniture destined for you Europeans and N. Americans… At least when we hear these songs we can remember there was a time when the planet (and our stereo) was pure and fresh and full of wildlife like frogs not yet decimated by chytrid fungus and fish not yet sickened by PCBs, and the woodland winds Fiddy and Sieben composed were not full of mercury particles from coal plants or nitrous oxides or CFCs designed to turn unprotected UV photons on caucasians into skyrocketing skin cancer statistics, nor could they truly have foreseen the 'continental sunset' they scored for the sonoton orchestra was the cultural sunset of your own western civilization designing its own gradual but certain demise in a plenitude of technocratic lassitude punctuated repeatedly with perpetually bored but impatient 'twitter feeds' along with instinctual overindulgence of every gluttonic form…
Anyways, it's a beautiful album!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Dean Rouch and Michael Mayer - Face of the Wind (USA, 1983)

Sometimes we fall in love with a record for no apparent reason, knowing it's not highly inventive or beautiful or impressive to the majority, like the Wolfgang Schmidt - Wolfhound I shared before in the past. Though it may seem average to you when you hear it, I don't want anyone to pass up the opportunity for this because it has some very wryly individual, interesting tracks, particularly the two prayers that close out each side.

As usual this was a discovery of the mighty osurec who first ripped this virtually unknown item some years back.  Side a is written by Dean Rouch (not Rough as it sometimes appears), and side b by Michael Mayer; the two sound very similar though.  Even the cover has a DIY charm to it, don't be surprised to hear it was Rouch who was responsible for the (exquisite?) drawing.  I love the lyrics too, the highly priceless zeitgeist comment: "I don't want to die in a nuclear war" from the A2 song "You're a Bitch" is exemplary--  try as I might I can't figure out how the title and the nuclear war reference fit together--  and pay attention to what Mayer is saying in his "Pentagon Prayer," (track B4) -- it's just wonderful.  (How it takes me back to those wonderful cold war days of Star Wars and SDI, ballistic intercontinental missiles, reaganomics and air traffic controller strikes, the 'evil empire', wall street masters of the universe and deregulation, and "it's morning again in America" -- which actually was devised years later as someone once corrected me -- doesn't matter, it's still clear by now that faint gloaming was really the last burst of energy at the end of a long day to which we now are turning in for a sleepless night.)

"When your peaceful nighttime silence explodes through a nuclear dawn
load the heart with errors and we can learn to sing along
and when the nuclear winds do come cold and your best friends are blowing away
perhaps if you can hold on to come and fight another day"
 --from " Pentagon Prayer "

The competence of the musicians is without question, all instruments are played beautifully with a lot of layered textures involving synths and guitar runs and scales in the arrangements.  Of course I'm not crazy about the silly Island song that starts off side b, nor the mandolin piece, but you couldn't expect a solid record from beginning to end at this late stage in the hunting game.

I will sample the most progressive tracks, the last song on side a which is a "power prayer,"  and the third song on side b, "Fly".


I would really love to hear from these guys to know what their thoughts are about this utterly unknown and lost private pressing, because I just adore it.  No chance it will score priority 2 on the cd reissue wishlist but why can't we see more records like this rereleased for 20 dollars, so we don't have to hunt down the vinyl and pay an arm and a leg for it to some random person in an auction?