Thursday, July 25, 2013

VA - The Many Names of Eva (Net, 1982) [Library]

This is, as far or more distant still than I can tell, a library record with a softcore theme, perhaps it was actually a bona fide soundtrack for a movie-- yet the generic style descriptors on the back suggest these tracks did not make it to an actual trenchcoated cinema.  I was forced to cut off the bottom half of the front image due to its highly suggestive nature and the provincially small-minded censorious government in my area.  Yet when I was young in the eighties our very liberal local TV cable (and even more liberal parents) carried many European channels which ineluctably after the 11 PM hour chimed played endless succulent softcore porn productions ex Euroland.  And like others perhaps my approximate age I might be forgiven for remembering with fondness those lavish productions full of beautiful castles and costumes, the endless Emanuelles, the classic Story of O, the repetitive undressers Nastassia Kinski, Edwige Fenech, Laura Antonelli, and the pedophiliac tendencies of David Hamilton including Bilitis my favourite ridiculis title (cum beautiful music though) -- any one of whose movies today would be castigated as pedophiliac dross due to the teenage actresses featured therein.  But I remember going to the local bookstore or University library and being able to go through David Hamilton's many books of 'art photography' which were as beautiful esthetically as they were unarousing libidinally due to the interference between the intellectual brain and the hormonal brain.  How I am led to wonder that in my lifespan women went from being fully naturally hairy to, currently, completely shaved.  It was surprising to me already some 20 years ago when the fashion arose to shave the area albeit it was a logical development both for esthetic reasons, practical reasons (underwear or swimwear), and for evolutionary reasons (the imperative for women's desirability in our patriarchal society is always to spend time and effort to beautify themselves... many times I have reflected on how women risk their lives applying makeup in the morning commute's rear-view mirror, driving while applying sundry adherent chemicals to their faces-- it's that important to them, a matter of life and death).  Yet I was surprised some years back to find grown adult women now shave completely (in my line of work a side effect of learning).  Then again this also seems logical to me, as a reductio ad absurdum, but also given the prevalence of oral sex.  I wonder what will happen 20 years from now, since as I said, this evolution occurred entirely within my lifespan-- what new technologies will be brought to bear on female dermatological corrections, or what even could be invented given that depilation has achieved totality?  (Yet perhaps a rising incidence of oral cancers will curtail the habit of oral contact... or could vaccines bring about a breakthrough in commonality?)  Surely it comes as a shock now when we see a 1978 classic like "La Fille" (Cosi Come Sei) in which a teenaged N. Kinski plush with her mammalian hair, runs around naked in front of a married man (Marcello Mastroianni) old enough to be her great-great-grandfather and of course inevitably falls in love with him and has repeated sex with him by the end (though at least her axillae were shaved).   Amazingly, the music was by Ennio Morricone, and in my opinion one of his best-ever scores.   And without a doubt the high production values (compared to current porn), plus the work that went into these Euro-movies, the music, all these elements created a kind of genre that is classic in its own way, now sadly gone and forgotten.  So this album that I present to you today is kind of a soundtrack to exactly this style of movie, in which beautiful young women in Capri or Nice shed their clothes moderately while discussing who is sleeping with whom and engaging in the same.  Some time back I saw that one 1982 Spanish movie that I always remembered fondly from childhood called Faustine ou le bel ete, featuring a teenaged Isabelle Adjani in a supporting role, had been rereleased to DVD so I bought it and watched it with my wife.  It was boring, for both of us, and believe me this is not a sad reflection on the state of our marriage, but the actresses were stunningly beautiful and it was a joy to see such a beautiful young Adjani long before she became a true mega-star in France.  As a bonus I have included a long lost disco classic also previously available (along with the current offering) on the great discobasso's record store, growingbinrecords.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Matthias Frey - Onyx (GERM, 1982)

I'm back from holidays with a little warm-up album.  It's hard to get back to work after being so relaxed for a couple of weeks although a scan of the internet banking balances and credit card balances sure performs well as a cold shower wake-up to reality.

This album was available in the past, I realize, but because this artist is one of my all-time favourite German musicians, I wanted to make a clean new rip off an NM vinyl.  Everything he touched turned to gold-- recalling Toto Blanke, Wolfgang Dauner, etc.  At times he reminds me a lot of German Chick Corea with the very staccato style of piano playing, but his imagination can really run riot in some of these compositions, and he brings that typical European classical music sensitivity to everything he plays.

His mixing of progressive songwriting and chord changes with jazz is just about perfect in my opinion, plus, we get Trilok Gurtu on percussion here.  The earlier albums he did with cellist Wolfgang Tiepold were particularly expressive too (Ziyada, Colibry, Inversion).  Although I may be wrong, he also turned to new age style music later on, just like Chris Hinze (I never bothered to listen to any of the later stuff, the titles alone scared me off).

Others will know more about this than me, but have none of his early albums ever been released to CD?  If so, it's a horrible injustice.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Christy Doran - Harsh Romantics (GERM, 1984)

It was perhaps a bit embarrassing when a song on the second Yugo Birdland album dedicated to Christy Doran I mistakenly thought was dedicated to a sexy woman -- but Christy is neither sexy (to me) nor a woman.  After the seventies passed it seems he too turned back to acoustic music, similar to Toto Blanke's recidivism from the virtuous sainthood of fusion, with this album and the next one poetically called "The Returning Dream of the Leaving Ship."  For me his work with nirvanal supermen OM is in fact eclipsed by sister Bridget Doran's magnificent hard-funk-fusion band Kjol, and she was both sexy and a woman-- two big plusses.  His style here is reminiscent of both Toto and Ralph Towner and the ECM feathery strumming / dissonant and atonal business of poking, amusing, tickling and enlightening the inner ear with its attached acoustic nerve and the brain located deeply medial to both right and left cranial nerves number VIII.  The music is complex & difficult to follow, but at the same time familiar and pleasurable with the colloquialism of those folksy guitar strings.

Why did all these masters abandon fusion, hallmark of the seventies?  And why did that musical style become so popular in that particular decade?  Was it the cheap energy, the optimistic future, the youthfulness of the listeners (those notorious oh-so-tedious self-absorbed baby boomers)?  Fusion was such a sui generis style it was like big band jazz, something hugely popular in one time, one moment, but despised and forsaken in all futures to come, except among those like me, who believe that it constituted one of the greatest art-forms humans ever created.

The progressiveness they crafted with their alloying of modern classical music, the best from rock, and the emotions of jazz, to me are the greatest musical artistic creations possible, like a configuration space or hamiltonian phase space in which the universe has selected an ideal position in the locus of perfection, an equilibrium of beauty that balances the three temporals: eternity to come, the present moment, and everything and all from the past in one inflectionary point, one stationary action.  As if one could see all  universal history and existence from the past to the future's end as a single block of completion.  This is what progressive music is to me, as I said before: the only taste of heaven we will ever have here in this impermanent world.

From wikipedia:
"Christy Doran (born 1949) is a jazz guitarist born in DublinIreland and raised in Lucerne,Switzerland.

Doran founded OM with Fredy StuderUrs Leimgrumber, and Bobby Burri in the 1970s; this ensemble recorded for ECM Records. He and Studer also worked together on a Jimi Hendrix tribute project in the 1990s. Doran has worked with a number of well-known free jazz and avant-gardemusicians such as Marty EhrlichRobert DickRay AndersonHan BenninkAlbert Mangelsdorff,Louis SclavisMarilyn MazurHerb RobertsonJohn Wolf BrennanPatrice HéralJamaaladeen Tacuma, and Carla Bley. Doran founded New Bag in 1997, and toured the world from 1998 to 2000 with the ensemble. Doran now teaches at the Musikhochschule at Lucerne."
Here are two of the best tracks from this record, 


I will be on holiday next week for our usual summer beach trip, so check back again in a couple of weeks… and have a great early July everyone.