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The Story so far...

1970's- FM radio, Alternative Magazine & 1st US Indie Distributor of Euro Rock

1980's- D.I.Y. LP + Cassette & CD label

1990's- Distribution via the WWW

2010- Eurock.com ~ Multimedia Podcasting, Interviews & Reviews.

Label & Artist Submissions Accepted for Review...

 

Webzine

Exclusive Post Millennium Interviews

w/ Musicians & Producers

Pioneers of Euro Electronic

Space, Progressive, Experimental Music

Past ~ Present ~ Future!

 

 

Podcast

A Special New Feature!
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Latest New Releases
MP4 Excerpts
Interviews w/ CON, Cluster,
Damo, Mani & More...

Download from:
Eurock.com
or
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Mikhail Chekalin

Gallery

 

Interview
Music
Art

 

EUROCK ~ European Rock
& the Second Culture

 

A 30 Year History of Experimental Music
Electronic, Progressive & Space Rock

Interviews – Biographies – Reviews
7 X 10 ~ 714 Pages
250 Pictures ~
2,700 Artists Indexed

Read the Reviews

 

 

THE GOLDEN AGE
CD-ROM
 
Eurock Magazine 1973-93

"The Millennium Edition"
Updated to the Year 2000


A Special Enhanced CD that contains 40 minutes of music by Japanese master musician Hiro Kawahara (of Heretic).

Plus CD-ROM session that includes 25 minutes of 16-bit audio w/ digitized video by Amon Düül II, Popol Vuh and Urban Sax,
the complete texts of all original EUROCK Magazine back issues, rare photos, discographies & index.
Special Bonus ~ the Millennium issue EUROCK Magazine 2000 ~

System Specifications
PC: Pentium 166 or higher, Windows 95/98/NT, 32 MB RAM

MAC: PowerPC, 166 MHz, OS 8, 32 MB RAM

Promo
Manual
Press
Archie 1

Archie 2

 

 

 

Klassik Krautrock

 

 

 


Amon Duul 2

 

 

 


Ash Ra Tempel Live Paris

 

 

 


Manuel Göttsching

 

 

 


Baumann & Roedelius in Studio '78

 

 

 


Can

 

 

 


Embryo in Tangiers

 

 

 


Guru Mani

 

 

 


Klaus Dinger

 

 

 


Ralf & Florian - LIVE USA 1975

 

 

 


Bartos & Fleur - LIVE USA 1975

 

 

 


Mythos

 

 

 


Popol Vuh

 

 

 


Conny Viet

 

 

 


Tangerine Dream OHR Era

 

 

 


Uli Trepte Spacebox LIVE

 

 

 


CON

 

 

 


Wolfgang Sequenza

 

 

 


Wallenstein

 

 

 


Klaus Schulze

 

 

 


Floh de Cologne

 

 

 


Emtidi

 

 

 


Hoelderlin

 

 

 


Manuel & Rosi

 

 

 


Tangerine Dream Virgin Era

 

 

 


Witthuser & Westrupp

 

 

 


Starry Eyed Girl

 

 

 


Robert Schroeder

 

 

 


Rolf Trostel

 

 

 


Rudiger Lorenz

 

 

 


Din A Testbild

 

 

 


Der Plan

 

 

 

Artistes Français

 

 

 


Lard Free

 

 

 


Urban Sax

 

 

 


Gilbert Artman

 

 

 


Art Zoyd

 

 

 


Univers Zero

 

 

 


Etron Fou Leloublan

 

 

 


Pascal Comelade

 

 

 


Armand Miralles

 

 

 


Eskaton

 

 

 


Annanka et Ivan - Fondation

 

 

 


Thierry Muller - Ilitch

 

 

 


Magma

 

 

 


Yochk'o Seffer

 

 

 


Richard Pinhas

 

 

 


Patrick Gauthier

 

 

 


Pulsar

 

 

 


Shub Niggurath

 

 

 


Pataphonie

 

 

 


Andre Baldeck - Decko

 

 

 


Déficit des Années Antérieures

 

 

 


Didier Bocquet

 

 

 


Dominique Grimaud - Video Aventures

 

 

 


Monique Alba - Video Aventures

 

 

 


Patrick Vian - Red Noise

 

 

 


Wapassou

 

 

 


Zazou et Racaille - ZNR

 

 

 


Jean Pascal Boffo - Troll

 

 

 


Surya

 

 

 


Bernard Szazner

 

 

 


Igor Wakhevitch

 

 

 


Xolotl

 

 

 


Robert Frances - Sirenes Musique

 

 

 

Esperanto
 

 

 


Neuronium & Ashra

 

 

 


Neuronium & Vangelis

 

 

 


Michel Huygen - Neuronium

 

 

 


Carlos Guirao - Neuronium

 

 

 


Juan Crek & Victor Nubla - Macromassa

 

 

 


Jordi Garcia - Suck Electronic

 

 

 


Luis Perez

 

 

 


Carlos Alvarado - Via Lactea

 

 

 


Jorge Reyes

 

 

 


Chac Mool

 

 

 


Decibel

 

 

 


Size

 

 

 


Hiro Kawahara & Heretic

 

 

 


Stomu Yamasht'a

 

 

 


Far East Family Band

 

 

 


Chronicle

 

 

 


Magical Power Mako

 

 

 


Mikhail Chekalin

 

 

 


Sven Grunberg

 

 

 


Edward Artemiev

 

 

 


Artemiy Artemiev

 

 

 


COS

 

 

 


Wigwam

 

 

 


Cybotron

 

 

 


Samla Mammas Manna

 

 

 


Ragnarok

 

 

 


Anna Sjalv Tredje

 

 

 


Eurock Notes 
 
 

Eurock in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
In July 2013, Jennie Thomas, Head Archivist for the Museum & Archives of the R&R Hall of Fame contacted me. She asked if I would like to include my work created over the past 40-years of doing Eurock to their Archives. I was stunned and amazed, as well as honored they asked me. To date I have sent them copies of all the issues of Eurock Magazine, a complete set of Eurock Distribution Catalogs, the 1st book, CD-ROM, the brand new book and other related materials. More will follow. I am thrilled to add to the museums historical archives as well interviews, reviews and biographical features of the work of artists I wrote about and documented over the years. To celebrate I just published a brand new book with updated Interviews, archival photos & contemporary insights into Music & Culture.
Read: 40 Years of Eurock


 


1950 Rockin' to the Radio Beat

Eurock 40 Years On... March 15, 2013
View: Eurock Magazine Cover Gallery

March 15, 1973, in addition to the radio program which had been running for 2 years previously, Eurock also morphed into a music fanzine. Today that seems like a long time ago in a land far away. Remarkably, Eurock still lives on reincarnated as a Webzine, as well a radio program every Friday night broadcast via Translove Airwaves on San Francisco Community Radio. To the right you see me in 1971 entranced by the music, back-dropped by the art prints from Faust's 2nd album SO FAR and art prints from a German Bellaphon Records 1971 calendar. Above you see the covers of the first 4 issues of Eurock magazine. Feature articles, Interviews & Pictures from these as well as all issues of Eurock Magazine have now been reprinted in the book European Rock & the Second Culture. Click the Gallery link above and you can view as well all 40+ original covers of Eurock Magazine.

 

Music & Second Culture Post Millennium
Patterson, Archie
[ISBN: 9781493627974]

Available as Book & eBook format

Information: https://www.createspace.com/
Book Preview: http://www.amazon.com/
eBook Preview: http://www.amazon.com/
[Compatible on all eBook Platforms]

Review March 2014, France
This book is the follow up to a first book, which appeared in 2002, European Rock & the Second Culture, offering a musical perspective on European music by a journalist from the American Pacific coast. That original publication contained 700+ pages (reprinting articles from the original Eurock magazine, which appeared between the early 80s & 2002). 

This new book, Music & Culture Post Millennium, with its updated approach presents more insights, offering readers a more current synthesized vision of the history of the main musicians featuring more archival graphics along with the articles & interviews. There are also included first hand reflections by many artists on their personal evolution as well as the music scene, then and now. Featured are articles that are more recent & interviews covering several bands and artists including Christian Vander, Richard Pinhas, Manuel Göttsching, Florian Fricke, Gilbert Artman & many more...

In the 1970’s, Archie Patterson initially created Eurock as a radio show and magazine devoted almost exclusively to the European rock. Over the next 30+ years, he also developed a sales network by correspondence, based in Portland, Oregon. From 1980 on he produced over two dozen cassettes, featuring then unpublished music by many European artists including Pascal Comelade, Eskaton, Plastic People of the Universe, and others. Today Eurock continues as a webzine, he still produces a radio program, and has done over 50 productions on LP, CD-ROM and DVD.
-Pierre Durr
Revue & Corrigée
N° 99

 


Perfect Sound Forever Eurock Interview 2014
Read: Archie Patterson Interview
Back in the Me Decade, rock fandom broke down into two distinct camps - Stones-lovin' bar-rockin' trad fans and the stoner art-rock boosters (there were plenty of others, but for the sake of our story, we'll stick with these for now). For the arty-types, the rise of Brit prog was a blessing, but of course the trad folks saw it as a curse. I startled both camps, moving back and forth, before deciding that ELP/ Yes etc. was a pox on music. But thanks to a publication and distribution service called Eurock, I had my head turned out quite a bit, as did thousands of other music fans. Suddenly the world of Krautrock/ Komische was being spread in the States as well as all manner of smaller/ stranger English varieties of prog-rock, in addition to all sorts of literally/ figuratively foreign music from around the European continent including Magma, the Plastic People of the Universe & the Rock In Opposition (RIO) movement, a/o.
- Jason Gross/ PSF


 


Music Millennium Eurock Book Talk & Signing
Watch: European Rock & the Second Culture

To commemorate 42 years of Eurock in JAN 2013 I gave a book talk at the place my career took off, Music Millennium in Portland, OR, one of the greatest record stores there ever was. I talked about how it all began for me, my personal love of music and the development of the music and culture I promoted.  also shared a few colorful stories and asides about my adventures in life and the business of music. A nice crowd turned out of friends old and new. A DIY video was recorded so you can watch and will hopefully enjoy...

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Preview eBook Edition & Preview Book Edition
[Compatible App for
all eBook Platforms]

European Rock & the Second Culture
Patterson, Archie

[ISBN: 978-0-9723098-0-6]

Kirkus Indie Review 02/06/2013

In this thick anthology of rock history, Patterson compiles every feature article and interview published by Eurock magazine.

Described in the foreword as a documentation of a time in history when “the limits of imagination and what was possible sonically were stretched beyond the norm,” the anthology is organized by year, starting with 1973 and ending with 2002. Fans of European rock and electronic music will value the variety of content, from interviews with Holger Czukay to collections of mini-essays by Robert-Jan Stips. Without commentary or sidebars, the reprinted musings, essays and articles about and by musicians speak for themselves. And there’s a lot of rich information to mine; the reader may discover Klaus Dinger of the German rock scene or Heinz Strobl, also known as Gandalf, and might learn a few things about the underlying philosophies and theories that contributed to new waves of sound and sonic technology. Here, composers discuss the way they probe into their inner “soulscapes” for a truer, more authentic expression of sound, and reviewers rave about the new albums and LPs of the ’80s and ’90s. One artist, Mark Shreeve, describes music as an “undemocratic art” where many solo electronic musicians are more satisfied by developing their own ideas than by collaborating with one another. The interviews dig deep into the inspirations and motivations behind different movements, albums and periods of creation. If anything, the nostalgic experience of reading through these artifacts helps one appreciate the combination of moments, innovations and risks that created each new step of a growing musical force across a continent. For those readers interested in particular research, an index in the book’s final pages organizes all artists, bands and record labels mentioned. It makes for a fascinating aerial view of a music scene spanning three decades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urban Sax Inside
Watch Video Trailer @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gxUBXGwTKo
Order Direct @ http://urban-noisy.com/release/inside/
Cost 39 Euros + Shipping
Order via Credit Card - Click "Ajouter aux Panier ("Add to Cart")

During the long lifespan of Urban Sax, the band has never been prolific in terms of releasing proper studio albums. Leader Gilbert Artman envisions his music and the group as a multi-faceted evolutionary project that performs live. He releases albums, as well as books that document the group’s music and concerts visually, at times enhanced by the inclusion of special music CDs.

Primarily Urban Sax is a performing ensemble that plays several times a year, often aided by the French Ministry of Culture. Their latest release Inside is a stunning realization of the Urban Sax Live experience and concept. It’s a conscious attempt to offer a complete sight and multi-media sound experience. Included are – Stereo vinyl LP, CD audio, 5.1 Digital Audio/ Video DVD featuring Urban Sax broadcast Live on TV in Beijing, enhanced by an 18:35 minute groundbreaking animated futuristic Virtual 3D Visualization + 32 page art/ photo book in full color. Everything comes packaged in an elaborate 12” X 12” sleeve, the artwork is full color, full sized and fantastically surreal. The entire production is conceptually and artistically linked in every way.

Musically Inside also demonstrates the full range of Gilbert’s concept of sonically illustrating the essence of the urban landscape – indoors and outdoors. Recorded in Beijing (except for the CD/ DVD Bonus track “Baalbeck Under the Stars”), it features Urban Sax enhanced by choirs of singers, vibes, bass, guitar and dancers, all combining to create a melange of repetitive sonic sequences and loops. Elements of the very early Urban Sax extended wall of sound dirge echo throughout the mix at times. Urban life now however has devolved into a garish pastiche of sight, sound and cultural detritus. Gilbert’s recent creations have evolved as well musically. He attempts to create sonic architecture with his work, so now offers a more vibrant sound reflecting not so much post-industrial social decline, but instead offering up perhaps a soundtrack for a future where a more harmonic sensibility comes about. His work has always mirrored culture to some extent, but as a visionary artist, he also tries to create work that offers a glimpse of what could lie ahead.

The DVD illuminates that vision clearly. In essence, Urban Sax is always best as a live spectacle. Their live performances are always intentional acts of performance art and interactive theater, meant to involve and engulf the audience in sight and sound. In the beginning, they took to the metros of Paris. I saw them and interviewed Gilbert, when he came to North America for the first time at EXPO ’86 in Vancouver, BC. Especially stunning was their performance at their Palais Versailles for the G7 summit in the era of Ronnie Raygun. They have also performed for decades in countless other countries around the world.

Fans sometimes say they like the music of Urban Sax’ early albums better. In a sense all art and music is subjective, one gets from it what they get, and likes what they like. I for one believe that Gilbert does not simply create music, there seems to be a social context embodied in both the style and sound Urban Sax has developed over the years. From the time, the early band Komintern took to the streets of Paris with the students of the Sorbonne in the 1960’s, to the performance venues of the world today, I think Gilbert has envisioned music as a form of cultural intervention. In some sense, art can be a catalyst to stir people’s imaginations into visualizing what life might be like outside the walls of the box they reside in, mentally or otherwise. Urban Sax’ music is provocative.

Documenting that experience on a physical object to be listened to in isolation later can never be the same. It’s like the Internet. We now communicate with people all over the world, which is wonderful and some sort of technological miracle to be sure. However, it’s a completely disembodied experience lacking in real flesh and blood human interaction.  Fortunately, YOU can now listen, watch and experience Inside, which is a stunning virtual artifact of the sight and sound of Urban Sax. There has never been an “album” like this, just like there has never been another band like Urban Sax. A LTD ED of 1,000 copies!
 


David Sinfield
Oblique Strategy - Eurock Magazine Interview SEPT 1981

When in Los Angeles, it is said, do what the Angelinos do. Not so for one David Sinfield, musician and producer, who it seems attempts to do things in a manner very uncommon to his peers. 

David has just released a striking new cassette of synthetic pop music titled Oblique Strategy, a title inspired by the black box set of “Oblique Strategy” cards by Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt. In this interview, David speaks of his ideas in both the creative end of things, in the business and of his future and present projects.

AP: A good place to start would be, what is your understanding of music within an industry, and what does it have to do with your own work?
DS:
That is a good one. Music or any art form for that matter should be treated as such, not used as a vehicle for the achievement of the dollar. If it happens, fine. However, it seems to me that too many latch onto trends and dress the part because it’s chic. In the end, I think they suffer. I really don’t care if I don’t make Top of the Pops, just so long as I may continue do things as I feel.

AP: So you feel that the business restricts a person’s creativity?
DS:
Well, at least I know it would mine.

AP: Do you look as the commercial attitude as being damaging?
DS:
It depends on the person and who’s in control of the situation at hand or you.

AP: Do you keep in touch with the musical situation around you?
DS:
I try. I used to listen to the radio a lot, but now that things are so restrictive, I spend more time with tapes. I would go to clubs, but there’s really not anything I’d like to see.

AP: What would you like to see happen and whom would you site as an influence?
DS:
I’d like to see avant-garde solo artists becoming more active and getting exposure. As for influences if you had 20 minutes, I’d name them all, mainly people like Eno, John Cale, Fripp, King Crimson, etc.

AP: You’d like to see the “Frippertronics” type thing become more acceptable?
DS:
Yeah that type of thing. Totally, against a set market, Fripp has guts to do that. So does Eno. People like Kraftwerk don’t have to worry because they have the Top 10 success things going now.

AP: A biased question, how do you think the public will react to your music?
DS:
I hope with favor, but I suppose I’ll have my audience.

AP: After Oblique Strategy, do you have any other projects in the wings?
DS:
Definitely, I’m doing another work towards the end of summer, and also I’m playing synthesizer for an upcoming Laurie Jean record. I hope that I’ll stay busy.

AP: Would you like to collaborate with other musicians in the future?
DS:
Sure, I’m always open to the idea. I’ll try something with anyone I’m compatible with on some level, from instrumentalist to producer.

AP: Will your next work be similar to what you’ve already done?
DS:
Yes and no. the second recording will be rock mixed with ambience, and available as an EP length cassette. It will have possibilities, I think. The second one after that will be titled Rough Trade and be very different, Very concise and heavy, with greater emphasis on rhythm and structure and very Eastern/Balkan sounding. I think it’ll work out fine. I’ve even brought in others to help with it. Laurie Jean (the drummer) comes with some fantastic ideas for the rhythm basics. There will be strings with various percussives and such. It’ll be a much more involved work.

AP: Do you plan to perform live to support the recorded work?
DS:
I’ve been trying to work something out in that respect. It will be more of a presentation than a concert. There will be continuous film and such to accent the music. We may even record it, however, probably not until Rough Trade is finished, maybe a bit before.

AP: Something along the lines of a multi-media event?
DS:
Right, I think film, art and music can go hand in hand to bring a point across.

AP: The point would be?
DS:
Those unconventional ideas could be presented to a mass audience on one’s own terms, and be accepted.

AP: Who will you be working with next?
DS:
Laurie Jean and her recording. With the making of the films and two other recordings, time will be full, but I’m always open to others. I’d like to see everyone with a different idea get a chance somewhere. I’m sure they’ll all do it eventually; you just have to stay with it. One can only achieve success on both economic and personal terms and truly be happy when you are doing what YOU want to do. At that point, everything will fit into place rather nicely.

League of Nations (Anna Logue Records Anna 040-CD 2013)

In early 2012, I was back in touch with David after over 30 years. He contacted me wondering if I had any old Eurock materials related to him and his work from back in the days of yore when I lived down in LA. He said a label was interested in reissuing all of his music from back then. So... I dug through the boxes in my basement and sent him CD-R’s of what I had + Xerox copies of the issue of the magazine where I had done an interview with him, Eurock #19, published 9/1981.

Almost 2 years later, he sent me the production, which is quite an incredible artifact from those days when life was simpler and diminishing returns had not yet set in due to digital production on PC. You actually had to record in a studio (even if it was your bedroom) and manufacture + promote something to get it heard. Not just, upload an MP3.

I remember 1981 when he called me up. He came over to my small apartment and turned me on to his first release, Oblique Strategy, a great ambient cassette of techno/ synth pop, which was like a breath fresh air as the music blasted out of my small stereo.

Released on vinyl and CD w/ a 7” single, the package also included a double-sided printed poster and 2 insert cards, one with the Eurock interview another with the LON album credits. When it arrived I simply was WOW’d!

For me Oblique Strategy is one of my favorite releases of that era.  It’s simply produced and overflowing with synthe melodies that are absolutely pristine. I love the subtle sonic enhancements he weaves in throughout the diverse mix of synthe-pop mid-tempo ruminations on life and love, as well as the ecosystem.

Included are 2 absolutely beautiful instrumentals, “Sombre Whales” literally overflowing with layered warm synthe and high-pitched melodic whale-song effects and “Evenings”, a piano/ synthe piece with a simple piano melody line awash in a wall of sound melodic electronic backdrop. They bookend the ballad “Laurue”, a warmly melodic piano/ synthe piece that warms my heart every time I hear him softly sing how he laments past transgressions and hopes for yet another chance.

I literally wore the tape out, so to have that album on CD now thrills me.

The LON material is much the same with a stronger dose of techno-pop mixed in, which became very much the rage in the mid 1980’s. It’s fantastic as well, filled with the same synthe tones but more adventurous production techniques.

The music is comprised of the 3 releases David did – Oblique Strategy 1981, LON for a Moment 1982 & LON Music for the New Depression 1984, making for a total of 17 tracks.

Both LON recordings definitely display David’s more experimental musical tendencies. “Thin Ice Door”, “For a Moment” & “Overlord” makes use of spoken word and treated voice incantations, accompanied by highly effectual percussion and synthe. Two tracks, “Systematic Eyes” & “For a Moment” appear on both productions with radically different arrangements. The music is highly diverse in tone and tempo as well as very futuristic sounding. Much darker than Oblique Strategy, they seem to be much more in tune with the mid-1980s perhaps.

All 3 releases on CD make for a fantastic musical flashback experience, to a time and place when Eurock started my So. Bay Apt. in down La La Land. One of life’s real joys as it turns out is looking back at what you’ve done and realizing life has been one magical result of happenstance and serendipity, filled with interesting people met and fantastic music discovered. I was especially fortunate as I got to share that music with many friends and got to know many great musicians along the way.

In my case, it seems that what goes around seems to come around again. All because of music, I am still constantly thrilled when getting back in touch with an incredible number of people who back then shared that experience with me. It’s a sort of family reunion brought about by the love of music over decades.

An example at hand is the email I just got from David sharing his thoughts about life now, and what he’s been up to these past 30+ years. It brought back a vivid memory of our first meeting. Now here we are again thanks to the magic of music, another WOW moment!  As I used to say back in the day at the end of every Eurock Magazine Editorial I wrote, Read & Enjoy!

David Sinfield SEPT 2014

Hey Archie!

Oh, how right you are on the subject of the innocence of the era... I have talked to a few musicians of the era (some better known than others of course).  It was a time of some optimism with all the small labels and alternative radio popping up everywhere!  Alas, like current times and the internet, it did not take long for the dreaded 'establishment' and its corporate overlords to change that!

So, what have I been doing? Well thirty years is a damned long time my friend and much has happened! Many changes, 'evolutionary' I would (or will) call them....

Musically... you know after the League of Nations broke up (or I left - whichever story you choose to believe), I did in fact record from time to time.  Those projects have all languished. There was another late LON project (three titles recorded)Then I did another 'solo', of electronic Gamelan instrumentals and a more accessible project called Hymn for the Highlander.  (That one is sort of making the rounds as a 'demo' at smaller labels at present).  I also worked with a choreographer and came up with a project called Across the Waters Lies the Promised Land (bare bones, non-electronic, almost folksy - actually, my favorite) and then another known as Mojave, which was never recorded.   I have considered releasing these via the 'Net', such as SoundCloud, or what not... yet... I really do disdain technology and then what am I supposed to do. Promote them; get involved with the 'business' again?  In the twilight of my years - well, not quite friend - you know what I mean...

I've been living a relatively agrarian lifestyle on various ranches, homesteads, and tiny cabins since the mid-1990s!  It's been hit or miss, here and there, although the scenery is incredible and anything given up was well worth the small cost for the peace of mind!  No regrets here!

I must say, these western (and all in general) droughts are really about ready to wreak some serious havoc on our global and local food system.  Damn Archie!  The song "Visions" on Oblique Strategy was about global sea level rising from increased temps!  How many years ago was that?  I digress!

Back to the life...hand pumped water, arid dynamic gardening, passive solar, earth building, all the old 'hippie' era stuff is what I have been doing.  You really can live outside of the box, although only to a point without of course becoming 'homeless' or completely feral... the later does not sound too bad although the former definitely would suck!  Wandered I have across mountains and deserts in leisure and mostly in awe at this natural world!  The newest project is a small less than 200 square foot cabin sitting on the banks of a year round creek surrounded by juniper and sagebrush at a high elevation...my kind of place. 

Sometimes I play an Indian Harmonium and have tried to learn Native American flute.  Mostly I read, write some, hike much and build sets for festivals.... haven't done a Burner yet (too many people for me) although would like to check it out! So much... now I am yapping....

Yes, but not much musically these days.  You know, it's the business as they call it, has done taken all the joy from it.  If I could just sing in a jug band, let my long hair hang down (it's getting grey now), play a bit of harp maybe and sing the blues...that would be fine.  On the other hand, maybe play some nocturnes on a small piano.  Performing LON material with an acoustic world music type ensemble would be great, though the clubs don't want THAT...they want 30-year-old music done the way it originally was! My dilemma?

Take care my friend... I hope life finds you happy, well fed, and smiling.... What more could any of us possibly really want anyway?

Peace! David

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mikhail Chekalin Post Symphonic Music
More INFO @ Mikhail Chekalin

In 2005, MIR Records began releasing the music of Russian composer Mikhail Chekalin in the USA. This month the release of four new Chekalin albums brings his catalog to 43 CDs and 4 DVDs, which highlight the incredible range of one of Russia’s most adventurous modern musician/ composers in the post symphonic and electronic music idioms. In little under a decade, Chekalin and his music have gone from virtual obscurity to being available now worldwide via Amazon.com. 

Over the past several years, the full range of Chekalin’s talent has also gained some measure of acclaim in his homeland as well as outside of Russia. In 2008, he had a showing of his paintings at the prestigious Vincent Art Gallery in Moscow. In 2009, his modernist opera What is Po? premiered in Moscow. Most recently, on October 25, 2014, the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra featuring American wunderkind Scott Voyles conducting performed Chekalin’s Last Seasons symphony in Germany.

The first of the four new albums, Requiem pays homage to his Russian artist friends who have recently passed away and his wife Natalya Vlassova, who died on May 27, 2104, Chekalin’s 55th birthday. The title track Requiem for Unofficial Artist is dedicated to the late Moscow painter Alexander Kurkin whose painting serves as cover illustration for the CD. The composition is a powerful 26+ minute extended piece of impressionistic symphonic electronica the likes of which are seldom heard in today’s push-button sampled synthetic scene. The arrangements are a shape-shifting mix of ambient soundscapes, industrial, rock and symphonic passages. Alternatively, the music is warmly symphonic and overloaded with synthetic power surges propelled by high-energy rhythms.

The track culminates with a collage of field recordings featuring the famous Soviet dissident writer and sociologist Alexander Zinoviev. He fled the country during the Soviet era, but returned in the early 1990s to become an outspoken critic of not only the Soviet regime, but also Western democratic imperial pursuits and modern politics as practiced by the current government in Russia as well.

The other major work on the album Post Symphony #12 is a 3-part, 40+ minute piece dedicated to his wife, who was a renowned Russian actress. Descriptions of the music are impossible. Suffice to say it is one of the most sophisticated, adventurous and emotionally loaded electronic music works I have ever heard. The interplay between effects, melodies and thematic ideas developed are dizzying, at times breathtaking. The final musical segment Part 3 is dedicated to Chekalin’s former creative collaborator Moscow art designer Sergey Dorokhin.

All the music on Requiem composed, performed, recorded and mixed by Chekalin himself simply must be heard to be believed.

The centerpiece of Chekalin’s second new album entitled MonoOpera - What is Po? is a performance piece entitled Frother – The Dew of Death, a modernist reinterpretation of an avant-garde work by Alexander Ivanovich Vvedensky. All of the albums recitations are based on the avant-garde poetry of three Russian-Soviet poets from the 1920s-30s Vvedensky, Daniil Kharms & Igor Bakhterev who were part of the short-lived underground avant-garde group OBERIU (an acronym for the union for real art) which existed for a short time during the Soviet era.

Alexander Vvedensky was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1904 and grew up in the midst of war and revolution, reaching artistic maturity at the time Stalin consolidated control over Russia. He became a major figure in the OBERIU and had formidable influence in Unofficial and avant-garde art circles during the time of the Soviet Union.

In 1931, arrested for alleged counterrevolutionary literary activities, he was interrogated and sentenced to three years of internal exile. He was detained again in 1941 and on February 2 of that year died on a prison train. Much of his work has been lost, what remains has established him as one of the most influential Russian poets of the twentieth century.

For the recording and performance of the MonoOpera Chekalin worked with his wife Natalya to create a multimedia experience that made full use of her dynamic talents. The prestigious premiere held in 2009 at the Moscow Theater Na Passionate was a powerful audio/visual experience. Her stunning visage and powerful delivery serving as a vivid focal point set against a tapestry of post symphonic electronic music and kaleidoscopic visuals. On this album, the combination of her dramatic interpretations and Chekalin’s striking musical accompaniments result in an epic modern operatic tone poem. There are many who attempt such experiments, but few are able to pull it off successfully. The marriage of Chekalin’s music with Natalya’s flesh and blood incantations embodies the creative essence of true avant-gardism.

Natalya will be remembered fondly by many people in Russia for her other performances on stage as well as the many voiceovers she did for American actors in Russian versions of US major motion pictures like Dead Man Walking, The Thorn Birds and The Last Emperor. Children knew her as well for doing the voices of many cartoons, Disney characters in like Scrooge from Duck Tales, plus Casper (The Friendly Ghost) and others. Her memory however will live on now in an entirely unique way for the stunning performance she gives on the album The MonoOpera - What is Po? that reincarnates a masterful work of literature from the Russian past.

The remaining two releases Symphony #13 & PostAmbient Symphony offer perhaps Chekalin’s ultimate distillation of the dynamic synthesis between symphonic music and contemporary electronic music done to date.

Few artists have such an extensive catalog exploring the full stylistic spectrum of music as Chekalin. His solo piano works demonstrate a firm grasp of both jazz and classical technique. Electronically his techno experiments are not simply derivations of BPM automation, his cosmic explorations don't simply meander and whatever the style his music makes provocative use of melody and theme in highly diverse ways. Even more impressive perhaps, he composes, performs, records and mixes the albums himself.

Post-Symphonic music is his forte, several of his compositions having been performed live by orchestras both inside Russia and outside, in Germany. A prime example is his recent release Symphony #13, a dynamic composition and recording, which illustrates what sets his music apart from more orthodox symphonic music. While the sound does indeed contain rich melodic arrangements and strong thematic developments, at times it veers off-course transforming into a unique hybrid of free-form expressionist sound sculpture that mirrors creatively today's lifestyle that has become precariously out of balance, filled with chaos and disorientation.

Chekalin's combination of orchestra, solo piano and synthesizer on this album intertwines in such a dramatic way that at times you feel overcome by the sound and swept away by the musical flow. This makes for an album that is both entrancing as well as an ennervating listening experience.

PostAmbient Symphony is hardly ambient music, but does indeed cast a different musical spell than most of his other works. It features electronics prominently along with orchestrations; together they create of a musical palate overflowing with richly textured musical themes.

The album features five compositions that segue seamlessly one into the other, beautifully bridged by subtle surreal synthetic sequences, which change both the tone and tenor of the musical flow. One dramatic difference on this album is that Chekalin creates and employs a variety of warmer synthetic tone colors and melodies than he has before. The result is indeed a very different musical ambiance that at times lives and breathes YIN vibrations, as opposed to the YANG energy his music often exudes.

The album;s final piece is a low-key double-tracked vocal recitation of a poem by Alexander Vvedensky featuring his late wife Natalya Vlassova. Underscored by a serene electronic soundscape and simulated choir effects it makes for a reverential conclusion to an album offering perhaps some of Chekalin’s most engaging music.

Symphony #13 INFO HERE
PostAmbient Symphony INFO HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bosch's With You Wired Promise to be
More INFO @ Bosch's With You
Listen @ Les Folk des Hiboux

Bosch's With You hail from Moscow, Russia and was formed by Dima T. Pilot, who earlier fronted the band Pilots Up in Smoke. In 2004, BWY released their first album Birds & Fishes. The bands final album Wired Promise to be was recorded just days before Dima died suddenly, at the age of 29, May 7, 2009. The album was released posthumously by R.A.I.G. Records in Russia January 2010.

They had seven albums released between 2004 and 2009. Playing around Moscow, they made a name for themselves by staging concerts featuring long guitar-driven layers of atmospheric instrumental rock. Pilot along with second guitarist A.B. also recorded as a side project called Light Under Water who released two excellent albums. The first in 2008 was the haunting Reflective Landscapes of Nowhere, followed by 2006-2009, which included the previously unreleased album, Sky Noise Temperature augmented by tracks recorded shortly before Dima died. R.A.I.G. Records released it as a Deluxe Edition box set, as well as Digital Download.

Light Under Water made music that defies space and time, fusing improvised layers of ambient guitar, noise and field recordings to create a beautifully hypnotic mixture of intertwining guitars and sounds. The music by both of Dima's bands literally overflows with crystalline multi-guitar rhythms, melodies and otherworldly energy creating a uniquely powerful wall of post-rock sound.

Wired Promise to be is perhaps the definitive Bosch's With You album. The group lineup for that featured Dima (guitar, flute, noises), A.B. (guitar), Dima Ch. (bass, piano, field recordings) and Indol (drums, percussion). The album’s track sequencing is superb. It creates a seamless musical experience filled with rhythmic undulations of echoed guitar overriding shifting ambient tone colors, at times spiced up by noise effects as well as organic found sounds.

The opening track Caught Inside begins with gorgeous layers of melody, which morph into a swirling haze of intricate dual guitar textures, at times the notes ringing out like bell tones.  It segues into St. Michael’s Seed, a melodic soundscape filled with guitar chords and droning progressions that picks up speed half way through becoming a psychedelic wall of sound. As the sound fades, field recordings begin Hide and Seek to the Four Winds with Yourself. A 19+ minute opus, it features delicate guitar notes juxtaposed by fuzzed guitar overload, drums, noise and droning psychedelic melodies that climax in a three-minute haze of feedback melt down. Molecular Ensemble follows with dual guitar twang underscored by drums kicking it off. Half way through it picks up speed until the waves of heavy guitars crash into powerful rock rhythms, the melodic swell of energy ultimately tailing off into an ebb and flow of rippling guitar notes. The album closer is entitled Metathesis, a 22+ minute excursion into shape-shifting rock. The sound is an apparition of bone crunching dual guitar grunge and layered atmospherics, laced with shimmering guitar leads haunted by melancholy melodies, sparse flute and field recordings.

Listening to the best music, you sometimes get a sense that great artists tap into a special time and place where the energy of that moment simply flows through them. When that happens, you can hear and feel it, if you truly listen. If you do, then a feeling comes over you, and you too can experience that energy in your own personal way. The music of both Bosch’s With You & Light Under Water offers those special kinds of moments often. Dima T. Pilot may be gone, but the magic of his music lives on.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heratius Corporation

The Legend of Armand Frigico

I was introduced to the musique of Heratius Corporation in June 1978 when a surprise package and lettre arrived in my Postbox from Armand Miralles. He had discovered Eurock when Chris Cutler showed him copies of the magazine while visiting Recommended Records in London June 1978 to arranging distribution for the debut Heratius album Gwendolyne.

To pique my interest he enclosed with his lettre a couple of self-released cassettes entitled A Ciel Ouvert (Heaven Opens) & On Aimerait Que tu Arrives Avant le Fin (We Would Like that You Arrive Before the End) to give me an idea of what his musique was like.

The cassettes as it turned out contained prototype or alternative versions of some of the tracks that later ended up on the first album as well as recordings taken from various live concerts. Musically at times radically different from other French bands I’d heard up to that point, it was a mix of jazz, spoken word poetic interjections and quirky guitar/ keyboard and percussive outbursts, the whole presentation blew my mind.

He followed that up with a postcard informing me that my old friend Robert Frances of Sirenes Musique in Montpellier now had copies of the LP I could obtain for distribution in the USA.

Armand’s influences and inspiration came for various diverse sources. There was a musical affinity certainly with the RIO sound, but also the Dadaist art of Salvador Dali and Pataphysic* power. Heratius was for a time also a member of the legendary French musique collective Dupont et ses Fantomes along with Camizole, Etron Fou Leloublan, Grand Gouia, Herbe Rouge, Mozaik & N.A.C..  Armand was a student of philosophy and a poet as well, both of those intellectual aspects played a part in the bands music. 

Heratius Corporation (the group’s real name) was a four-piece formed by Armand (guitars, vocals) who had previously played in the bands Lapsus Sauna & Pre-Histoire, and Robert Diaz (clarinet & saxophone) whose first band was Velo Rouge, they were joined by Florence Leroy (organ, piano) and Jerome d’Aix Aubusson (drums, percussion).

All the bands recordings were done in their Studio Frigico in Montpellier. The Gwendolyne album, released on the label FLVM (French for DIY) sported a cover done in the spirit of Nurse With Wound and Anglo S&M artist John Willie. Upon release, it received favorable reviews in only a few publications like Tartempion, Atem & Rock en Stock.

The music was a melange of incredibly creative guitar work, minimalist atmospheric keyboard fills and imaginative wind and percussive instrumental forays overlain with oblique solos that went musically from melodic to dissonant in the blink of an eye. At other times, it was playful then abruptly mutated into bazaar intonations, interspersed with Armand’s poetic and philosophical wordplay. Heratius’ Gwendolyne is a truly original creation musically that arose out of le souterrain Française, a breathtaking listen if you have a nimble mind and are willing to take an adventurous listening journey. As it turned out back then very few were.

Including the two early cassettes followed by the Gwendolyne album (LP, 1978), Frigico released two other productions - Armand Miralles & T. Jeere Alkema Du Sol au Plafond (Floor to Ceiling) Live at Galerie Medamothi (7”, 1978) and Carré Noir Sur Fond Noir (Black Box Black Background) (7”, 1980), a collaboration release by Armand & Pascal Comelade. Also planned was a second Heratius Corporation LP entitled Les Boniments (aka, The Armand Bunnymen). I received promotional copies of both the Black Box & Les Boniments. Recently, I learned only three copies of both those titles were pressed. In retrospect, I view that as a real tragedy as the music of Les Boniments was amazing, quite unlike anything else I had heard at that time, or have since for that matter.

The last time I heard from Armand was late in 1982. He had moved and told me he had some financial problems that were delaying production. In the end, neither production was issued commercially.

IMHO, the unreleased second Heratius Corporation album is one of the great lost artifacts of the 1970s French underground scene. Whereas Gwendolyne was an excellent album, it did fit somewhat into the RIO music niche that was gaining converts in several countries at that time. That second LP stood outside any category I can think of even during that era of revolutionary musical change. As Armand wrote to me in late 1979, Les Boniments is a little bit in the spirit of the first album, but much more Pataphysical and very French.

It features some of the most diverse, incredibly intricate guitar melodies I’ve heard. Armand’s guitar playing is maximum minimalism at its best, at times creatively treated in striking ways. In fact, it feels almost like a solo album as Robert Diaz missed the session due to an accident the day the album was recorded. There are other exotic instrumental sonic enhancements and vocal recitations at times, but layered guitars are front and center musically most of the time.

The one influence I have seen referenced in regards to Armand and Heratius is Robert Wyatt who he met in 1977, just before Gwendolyne was recorded. Both albums do perhaps share a certain affinity with the Canterbury sound. The conceptual centerpiece of Les Boniments however is a unique genre bending musical experiment entitled La Naufrage de la Belle Excentrique au large de Dieppe (The Wreck of the Belle Eccentric off Dieppe), a spellbinding extended tone poem it’s (18:14) of pure sonic alchemy.

After repeated listening, I conjured up an image from a Pink Floyd Ummagumma era Fillmore West concert I witnessed in 1969. For the first 20-minutes before the band arrived on stage the audience sat on the ballroom floor in darkness listening to a segment from the Studio Album in 360-degree surround sound. The spectre of that experiment in musical strangeness echoing around the auditorium remains in my head today. That part of the Floyd album (and concert) for the most part came off as a free form soundscape. After the sound faded out the band came on stage in darkness and began playing the Live Album, which they performed in its entirety.

What Armand accomplished with his creation is very different from that. La Naufrage is a shape-shifting conceptual composition that is both haunting and enchanting. Slightly jazz inflected and musically spacy at various intervals, it’s a truly beautiful organic piece of music as well. I would say that honestly the only way to describe it is Pataphysical.

In the early 1980’s, Armand Miralles was reincarnated as Armand Frigico. The music he made was reborn as well, inspired by the birth of English cold wave and the Factory label sound. Thus began the second phase of his career, which was in some ways similar to the first, audiences were small and the few performances were often in small venues or clubs.

Joy Division was a particular inspiration, his music featured drum machine, synthe melodies and socio-philosophic commentaries. At times, he performed collaboratively with accompanying musicians, various painters, artists and filmmakers. Performances were often solo affairs featuring multi-media with musically hypnotic pre-recorded backing tapes and X-video.

Many of the song titles and lyrics of the album were provocative or dealt with edgy subject matter. The three tracks Fraicheur de Vivre, Katerina Blum and Une Après-Midi Chaud are a trilogy of songs about a prostitute who hates her job and wishes she could quit, but has to continue even though it makes her feel crazy. The cover art illustrates the songs concept. The track Albion 84/85 is about the legendary Pit workers strike in the UK under the regime of Margaret Thatcher. Most famously perhaps is the track What a Shame, an homage to the rare and little known John Lennon Beatles song, What’s the New Mary Jane.

Armand’s guitar was front and center musically as before, often treated or fuzzed out. He performed at Heartbreak Hotel in 1985, accompanied only by his guitar and pre-recorded tapes. There, he astonished everyone by exposing listeners to a new musical universe and poetic literary references filled with humorous texts and subtlety.

He recorded an album in 1984/85 titled L'Après-Midi Chaud (Afterwards-Midi Hot). It was released only on cassette by the Frigico label and sold exclusively to people on his email list or at concerts.

Armand’s work was guided by the masterful phrase of Nietzsche: l'art est la déformation de la vue (Art is the deformation of the view). With the release now of his complete works, people can see that his music truly does represent the work of an artist who saw things from a very different perspective.

Jerome Genin, the adventurous head of the French music label Fractal Records took it upon himself to spend over a decade searching out Armand Miralles in an attempt to release his music. As fate would have it, in 2013 he finally succeeded. Both albums, the unreleased recording Les Boniments, along with Gwendolyne have been rescued from musical oblivion after 35 years.

In addition, the later solo album by Armand from the mid 1980’s is also included on the DBL CD. While that album is musically light years away from the Heratius style, in its own way it is a uniquely strange conceptual Armand Frigico creation. Jerome has specially remastered it for this phantastic Fractal DBL CD release.

It has also been released separately as a LTD ED LP on pink vinyl with striking cover artwork by the famous artist Gilles Berquet. Also, included as a bonus on the DBL CD is Armand’s strange minimalist version of a Faust track titled, Variation sur le Theme de Faust it’s a Rainy Day Sunshine Girl.

If that isn’t enough, available in VERY LTD QUANTITIES is a special CD-r containing seven live and previously unreleased tracks. Included are two tracks by Armand’s early bands, two by Heratius and three by Armand Frigico. It is sent FREE WHILE QUANTITIES LAST to people that BUY either the Heratius Corporation DBL CD, or Armand Frigico L'Après-Midi Chaud LP.

In a world where it seems every squeak, squawk and obscure piece of recorded detritus from the past has been reissued, these fascinating artifacts unearthed from the original French musical underground are truly a gift that all lovers of adventurous music experiments should love.

More INFO @ http://www.fractal-records.com/

*Pataphysics (See Wikipedia)


 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eskaton Talking Miroirs
More INFO @ http://www.eskaton-le-groupe.com/

Watch @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06aPpElSzNc

In 1979, a 7-inch EP entitled Musique Post Atomique dropped into my PO Box by a French band named Eskaton. Magma and ZAO were early French bands I discovered that pioneered the “Zeuhl music” style and turned me into a lifelong Francophile. Eskaton had plugged into that sound adding their own distinctive flair, which to my ears was equally as fascinating. Their debut EP demonstrated an instrumental flexibility that opened up the style to a new less rigid musical construct than the earlier pioneers had. The sound not only flowed more fluently, but their lyrical concepts were more earthbound, dealing with the world as it was then and still is today in the Post Nuclear age (know what’s happening at Fukushima today anyone)?

I was very enthusiastic about their music so Eskaton asked me if Eurock would like to distribute the EP for them in the USA. A year later in 1980, Eurock also distributed their debut album Ardeur, which was an equally powerful listening experience. At that point, they asked me if I would like to issue their previously unreleased original first album 4 Visions on my Eurock cassette only label.

The pioneering Eurock cassette label had begun by releasing The Hundred Points, a recording smuggled out of Czechoslovakia by the banned Czech band Plastic People of the Universe. The label went on to become a long running cassette-only series of 22 releases featuring the music of many French artists, among them were Eskaton & Cyrille Verdeaux’s Kundalini Opera 6-cassette set.

Fiction was the final Eskaton album released in 1982. In 1983, they recorded tracks for a third album entitled Icare, but the band split up and it never came out. Four tracks from the album were later included as part of the Fiction CD reissue by Soleil Zeuhl in 2005.

That first Eskaton EP and subsequent Eurock cassette release in 1981 led to the development of a lifelong communication that continues today. Late in 2013, another surprise dropped into my PO Box.

The new EP Miroirs (“Mirrors”) is once again self-produced and features the first new music recorded by Eskaton since 1983. The cover offers a clue that Eskaton still musically has an eye on the dystopian future featuring two images of babies – one in color, the other shades of grey with vacant darkened eyes and a bar code tattooed on the cheek.

The music is comprised of four tracks containing vintage Eskaton elements still present in the sound of Eskaton today - bone crunching rhythm section led by Marc Rozenberg’s rumbling bass lines and vocal recitations that override powerful musical arrangements.  Unlike other current Zeuhl bands however, Eskaton doesn’t simply replicate the music of their past, but instead has created a brand new sound reflective of today’s ramped up life-out-of-balance lifestyle and social chaos.

“Automute” kicks the music off featuring Andre Bernardi’s staccato guitar riff erupting into a firestorm of acidic lead lines and power chords. It serves as a powerful forewarning that it’s a new musical day for Eskaton.

“Cinema” begins with high-energy slash and burn guitar backed up by thundering drums and bass line. The intensity of this track surpasses anything the band did in the past to be sure; it's capped off by a frantic solo guitar melt down at the end.

The album title track “Miroirs” (“Mirrors”) begins with synthe pulsations and Andre’s searing guitar chords. Metaphorically, the recitation warns of the impending dystopian crisis looming while Andre’s acidic lead solos dive in and out overriding a mix of relentless drumbeats and buzzing electronics.

“Les Deux Trucs” (“The Two Tips”) serves as a perfect ending. It opens with machine gun-like guitar chords, a splash of cymbals, pounding drumbeats and thundering bass. Andre’s guitar provides static laser-like solos erupting throughout. The entire energy level then downshifts, going into a slow melodic fade; the albums end leaves you with the feeling of a power outage.

This past year Eskaton has been playing select concerts as the band is back to making music again. Their new EP Miroirs makes a perfect musical bookend to Musique Post Atomique updating their timeline. Rather than relieving the past musically, they have taken on the challenge of going forward into the future creating a new sound.  That progressive impulse was always the essence of Eskaton, back then and still is now.

Eskaton Discography
Musique Post Atomique EP (1979)
Ardeur LP (1980)
4 Visions Eurock Cassette (1981)
Fiction LP (1982)

Miroirs CD EP (2013)

 

 

 

ZANOV Virtual Future
More INFO @
http://www.zanov.net/

In the early 1970’s I developed a couple of music friends in France, Robert & Anny Frances, who often sent me incredible packages of new music from there. The experimental music scene in France began happening in the early 1970’s, and was literally exploding with amazing musicians, bands and Indie labels by the mid ‘70’s. In 1976, they sent me a copy of ZANOV’s first album Green Ray.

In 1977 I began running Intergalactic Trading Company in Portland, Oregon. In a case of happenstance leading to serendipity, Robert owned an amazing record store in Montpellier called Sirenes Musique. His lovely wife Anny also wrote letters in perfect English. So happily, he agreed to export albums to the USA and Green Ray was included in the first large order I did of French imports. The floodgates had opened, and Bob supplied ITC with both major labels and indie label releases for the next 4 years. Today they still sometimes send me special music gifts.

ZANOV (aka Pierre Salkazanov) released three albums: Green Ray (1976, Polydor), Moebius (1977, Polydor) in and In Course of Time (1982, Solaris). Pierre contacted me early this past July to tell me he had retired from his career as a computer engineer and was going to release a new album, asking if I would help him promote it. I was excited, as IMHO Green Ray is one of the all time classic sequential electronic masterworks. After 32 years, I was more than ready for another dose of ZANOV EM. The great news is that his new album, Virtual Future literally overflows with sequential snap, synthetic crackle and melodic themes.

Before leaving the music business, he recorded tracks for another album, tentatively titled We Take Back Our Future, but it went unreleased. Therefore, upon retiring he went back to the original analog tapes and enhanced them using the high-end digital Arturia Origin synth, which replicates the warm analog sound remarkably well. The result is Virtual Future, an incredible album that sounds every bit as good as Green Ray.

The opening track “Very Far” begins the album with a big bang as a rich melodic theme develops over multi-sequential rhythmic counterpoint contrasted by high and low-end electronic exotica weaving in and out of the mix.

The album is uniformly excellent, tracks like “Neuronal Storm”, “Alone Again” and album closer “Final Cut”, each contain powerful melodies evoking distinctively different atmospheric moods. Musically, ZANOV combines an incredible array of vivid synthetic tone colors and sequential patterns, blending seamlessly into a multi-layered wall of sound, fleshed out beautifully by striking synthetic effects. Albums as warmly melodic and overflowing with high-voltage electronics as Virtual Future are rare since the early 1980’s. The emergence of digital electronic equipment at that time began its ultimate technological takeover of music in general.

Something that I felt always set ZANOV’s music apart was that he is French. Therefore, unlike most of the early (and current) German electronic explorer’s, rich melody and thematic development was always an integral component of his sound. He made music for the inner spaces – the head and heart, whereas the sound of German musicians resulted in music that was more minimalist and mechanical. The cultural context in which artists work shapes their creative ideas and influences their work, in this case music.

Perhaps the ultimate compliment I could give to Virtual Future is that when I first listened to it I simply loved the way it sounded. It gave me that same kind of intangible je ne sais quoi that I had when I first heard his music all those many years ago. The kind of feeling you get when you see a long lost friend for the first time again many years later and you immediately feel as if it was only yesterday.  To me ZANOV’s music feels like an old friend has just returned after too long away.

 

 

 

Thierry Zaboitzeff Aria Primitiva
More INFO @
http://www.zaboitzeff.org/

Thierry Zaboitzeff was one of the original members of the seminal French ensemble Art Zoyd 3; there were two earlier incarnations of the band with differing personnel. Their debut album entitled Symphonie Pour Le Jour Ou Brulleront Les Cities (Symphony for the Day Cities Will Burn) produced by Michel Besset was released by AZ Productions in 1976. A revolutionary excursion into jazz fused with avant-garde classicism the lineup who recorded it featured Zaboitzeff on bass guitar, percussion & vocals), Gerard Hourbette (viola, violin, jazz flute), Jean-Pierre Soarez (trumpet, percussion) & Alain Eckert (guitar, percussion, vocals). The band and album epitomized the spirit of the early French experimental music scene.

Later in 1980, the band then simply called Art Zoyd, featuring slightly different personnel, re-recorded a musically revised version of the album. It came out in 1981 on the Atem label, a spinoff of the excellent French music magazine Atem, published & edited by Gerard Nguyen.

Thierry was an integral member of Art Zoyd during the 1970’s, 80’s & 90’s while they toured and achieved International acclaim. He ultimately left the group to pursue his own music projects after the band’s 1997 album Haxan. Since then he has recorded 19 albums, which explore a diverse array of styles musically.

Recently we made contact again after too long a time and he was kind enough to catch me up with on latest releases. He sent me the new digital EP Aria Primitiva (2014), along with the new film soundtrack to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari CD + DVD (2014). In addition, he included the soundtrack, Sequences, recorded for the film Winds of Sand, Women of Rock (2010), along with two albums Sixteenth (2012) his 16th album since leaving Art Zoyd & Planet Luvos (2012), music he did for a theater performance piece.

Aria Primitiva (13:52) is a simply stunning piece of music that begins with a spatial melody and spare percussives before a beat and pulsing bass line comes in overlaid by electronics and exotica. Thierry employs e-cello, e-bass and samplers to great effect to creating a post-symphonic music opus alternating overflowing with rich melodic themes, changing time signatures and aggressive tempos. The piece closes with a striking return to the original spatial melody and percussives that does a slow fade to ZEN…

Sequences is a film soundtrack to Winds of Sand, Women of Rock. A documentary, it chronicles the yearly 1500-kilo march of the Tubu tribe women who trek alone through the desert to collect and sell dates in the marketplace. The music is an incredible fusion of natural sound evocations of the desert and myriad ethic folk-like themes, interspersed with percussion, electronica and e-cello symphonic interludes. As a music score, it’s masterful. I’ve only seen a video trailer of the film on YouTube, but the story about the life of tribal people in the Sahara on the face of it seems incredibly intriguing. The liner notes however characterize it as a story about male subjugation of women making it appear to be video missionary work by a female filmmaker injecting modern Western politically correct cultural ideas into an ancient tribal society. Comments on YouTube also raise questions about incorrect subtitle translations.

16 (Sixteenth) is a highly adventurous album that incorporates both rock and Zeuhl music influences. Musically it’s amazingly sequenced as the tracks flow together offering a fascinatingly diverse listening experience. The album demonstrates the wide range of Thierry’s compositional skills. Isabelle Farmini’s soprano voice is integrated into four compositions beautifully; he also makes use of an excerpt from Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech in “Free At Last” creating a powerful piece of musical sociology. The music at times is beautiful, strange, powerfully rhythmic and experimental, resembling a musical kaleidoscope of notes and sounds arranged into an incredibly adventurous organic composition.

Planet Luvos is a music score created for stage theatrical performance by an Austrian company. It too is quite different from the other CDs reviewed here. It’s hard to discern the subject exactly as there is no liner notes, the cover illustrated by bodies lying illuminated on a darkened stage suggests a modern dance performance. The sound is highly experimental musically featuring a striking mixture of electronic melodies, myriad effects and vocal interjections. The music certainly evokes a planet with an alien presence. In fact, just now while listening to “Act 7” the film Alien comes to mind.  The album certainly makes a fascinating 17th addition to Thierry’s catalog.

Last but certainly not least is his most recent release, a soundtrack to Robert Wiene’s classic silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, available on DVD as well as audio CD. I would recommend the DVD not only because it musically brings to life an original German expressionist classic, one of my favorites since I saw it in a film class back in college. More importantly, it also contains a 75-minute live performance by Thierry playing in accompaniment to a screening of the film. The camera work is fascinating as you watch him perform in real time while the film plays. He employs an incredible array of acoustic and electronic instruments in recreating the musical score, which ranges from electronic rock to post symphonic themes. The music is a masterful experiment in modern classical composition, haunted by spirits of the old masters as well as the creative essence of his Art Zoyd past.

After spending a couple days immersing myself in this music and writing about it, I’m left in amazement that one of Europe’s original pioneering experimental musicians is still today pushing the boundaries of sound further out there. All five of these productions explore completely different musical concepts, serving in a sense to encapsulate Thierry Zaboitzeff’s almost 40-year creative continuum. The music he makes transcends time and today still embodies that original spirit of experimentalism that was present way back in the 1970’s.
 

 

 

Pascal Comelade
Enregistrements + Videos & Compilations
(Out of Print!)
Avis aux Inventeurs d'Epaves
+ Despintura Fonica (New!)
More INFO @ WWW.PC.FR

It was 1976 when I received a batch of albums released from a French label Pole Records. Inside were various highly divergent musical treasures, the albums Kotrill by Pole (Jean Louis Rizet), Libra by Philippe Besombes, Pataphonie by Pataphonie, Pole by Besombes et Rizet, Images by Henri Roger, Krig Volubilis by Verto, Smooth Sick Lights by Mahogany Brain and Fluence, a remarkable spatial minimalist electronic album by Pascal Comelade. Pole was a short-lived underground label run by Paul Putti, Evelyne Henri & Jean Louis Rizet, which released 15 titles between early 1976 and late 1977 before disappearing.

Not too long afterwards in 1978, I got a copy in the post of another release, this time directly from Pascal himself, the incredible 7” EP Sequences Paiennes. It featured six tracks of minimalist synthetic voodoo entitled “Sequence 1-6”. My long time friends Anny & Robert Frances in Montpellier had turned him on to Eurock. I did a review of it in Eurock and people began asking me if I could get them a copy. In short order, Pascal and I worked out a quick deal and Eurock Distribution was born.

Following that, Pascal released the LP Paralelo + another 7” EP Ready-Made and Eurock distributed those as well. He recorded the Fluence album, along with those three Parasite vinyl releases and four other cassettes in his home studio between 1978 & 1980.

Sometime later in 1981 after I had moved down to LA, Eurock Distribution became my lifelong occupation and I started Eurock Records as a cassette label. Pascal then asked me if I would like to release his fourth cassette recording titled Slow Music. It came out on the Eurock label in 1981.

Pascal’s early music was primarily electronic. Gradually, he began employing piano and incorporating toy instruments into the mix. Ultimately, his work became more acoustic oriented and his use of toy instruments turned into a “Toy Orchestra”. He also began doing collaborative projects with other musicians and group projects like Fall of Saigon and Bel Canto Orquestra. Today his work literally knows no boundaries musically; his discography is approaching 90 releases and counting.

Late last year I received a nice surprise package from Anny & Robert in Montpellier. Inside were the two fantastic Book/ CD editions chronicling the early works of Pascal Comelade, listed above. If you are a fan of Pascal’s music, they are worth their weight in gold.

Enregistrements features rare and unreleased early music, including tracks from the aforementioned records and cassettes. It contains a CD of music Pascal recorded in Montpellier between 1975 & 1990. He now lives in Spain where he continues to release an incredible array of music doing various projects.

Videos, Compilations documents a treasure trove of rare music Pascal has done for films, videos, performance companies and private/ small label cassettes between 1979 & 1992. The CD consists of live and one-off tracks by Fall of Saigon & Bel Canto Orquestra. In addition, there are pieces from various vinyl or cassette only compilation releases, One for Bangkok, Unique No1, The Beat Goes On & Illusion Productions’ Sensationnel N.2 + N.5, a/o… Of special note, are two tracks from the ultra-rare handmade “Carré Noir Sur Fond Noir”, the Black Box EP collaboration he did with Armand Miralles (of Heratius Corporation). A private release done in 1980, it contained various prints, toy guitar strings and piano key + an EP with four tracks, “Sans Titre” (“Untitled”), only three copies made.

These books released in 2013 by Galletto Presente are perhaps the most fascinating presentations of an artist’s seminal work I have seen or heard. They include color photos, illustrations and cover pictures of the original EP, LP, Cassette & CD releases complete with track listings and discographies, richly illustrating each volume. The layout and design like Pascal’s music is playfully avant-garde, eccentric and quirky. The book’s presentation visually embodies that same spirit. All 400 copies were stamped with a number and hand signed by Pascal himself.

Today Pascal lives in Catalonia. He continues to be prolific, releasing new albums as well as two more recent special music projects.

The first is Avis aux Inventeurs d'Epaves (Notices to Inventors of Wrecks). It’s a part of his series "Illustrations", an art project by Pascal featuring 163 of his own personal paintings done to illustrate his favorite 1960’s & 70’ 7” picture sleeve singles. Included are two vinyl EP’s featuring Pascal doing cover versions of rock standards by some of his favorite 60’s and 70’s artists, the Rolling Stones, MC5, Kinks, Deep Purple, James Brown, a/o… A LTD EDITION Book + 7" vinyl EPs, 300 copies.

Despintura Fónica (Different Sound), also a part of his “Illustrations” series, features eight tracks performed by Pascal Comelade solo or with the Bel Canto Orquestra and Cobla Jordi in Barcelona. The album cover packaged in a tri-gatefold sleeve features a portrait of Pascal Comelade done by Spanish artist Miquel Barcelo in Paris in 2013. A LTD EDITION Vinyl LP + Poster, 200 copies.

 

 

 

 

Mikhail Chekalin Saturn
More INFO @ Mikhail Chekalin Music
Download: Mikhail Chekalin PODCAST
Listen: Saturn Part 1

It is hard to remember a time before the Net permeated and controlled most every aspect of our lives. Back then there was a country called the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics; remember the Beatles once sang a song about that place. It was then, and there, that Mikhail Chekalin began staging light and music performances as part of second culture artistic gallery installations.

Once upon a time, he had his own Light & Sound Studio working with other young Russian filmmakers and painters doing unofficial films and soundtracks. He was one of the USSR’s most adventurous and prolific artists. The KGB was not a fan, yet he still managed to breach the boundaries of the establishment when the official State owned label Melodiya released a series LPs of his music, later on CD as well.

That is the very short version of his history. Today you can find more about him on the Eurock web site and other sites around the Net. You can also find 39 official albums by Mikhail Chekalin released by the US label MIR Records, currently available on Amazon.com. They are reissues that represent the best of his past music as well as more recent works.

Saturn certainly is one of the most amazing albums in the Chekalin discography. Recorded in 2000, he dedicated it to his late father Gennady Fedorovich Chekalin who died in 2001. His father was one of the main aeronautical engineers in the Soviet Union that was instrumental in development of the very first Saturn rocket. It was part of the original Soviet space program in the early 1960’s used to launch the first powerful telescopic satellite into space, which took the first photos of sunspots.

The album Saturn, recorded in 1999-2000, contains some of Chekalins most powerful music. The first remarkable thing about it is that the music is a multi-track recording, performed live in real time in the studio. The album employs no sampling, no sequencers and no computer editing. It simply contains (75:51) of amazing music, creatively and technically.

A Suite in 18 Parts, Saturn incorporates myriad stylistic influences into a unique Post Symphonic work.  I offer up three names in comparison you might recognize - Yes, Magma & Shostakovich. I will stipulate that the music may not sound like any of their specific works, but it does embody traces of their spiritual essence at times. Chekalin's work however is a product of a different time and place that was politically and socially alien to the West. His art, music and perspective evolved out of a diametrically opposed cultural environment. His motivation was never to be a pop music star, but instead to become a serious composer who lived to create art for art’s sake.

Musically Saturn is a multi-layered celestial symphonic work, filled with rich melodies created using a multitude of different instruments. The sound is characterized by synthetic power surges and dense complex thematic instrumental arrangements. That combination results in an evocative, emotional listening experience. It is impossible to describe each major theme or subtle nuance, so I will simply remark on three tracks:

Saturn Part 1 (11:15) is an extended Overture, which stylistically runs the gamut from symphonic to jazz, incorporating adventurous ambient textures and syncopated rock arrangements. Near the end, it takes on a more celestial quality before transforming into a rhythmic mantra, which fades to conclusion.

Saturn Part 2 (4:18) continues with a rhythmic texture slowed down and augmented by a highly melodic theme that shifts tempo, adding other harmonic embellishments that flesh out the sound beautifully. It too ends with a fading rhythmic drumbeat pulse, followed by a string flourish and shakers.

Saturn Part 7 (8:43) begins with a rich piano theme, fleshed out by vibes, winds and high-end synthesized counter melodies. Midway through it picks up speed and intensity morphing into a jam of sorts with multiple instrumental sounds intertwining. The concluding section begins with a major key downshift into repeating keyboard notes underscored by electronic pulsations that ultimately fade the piece to a close.

Saturn is a remarkable album, that defies description, as does much of Chekalin's music. His work is truly original, cerebral, at time intense and impossible to describe with words; you simply have to listen & experience it.

Recommended for those with a musically adventurous spirit...

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monster Melodies Paris Record Collectors Mecca
More INFO @ Monster Melodies Paris
Online Store: ONLINE Store

In the heart of Paris lies a rare musical gem, Monster Melodies a shop founded in 1985 that has been a mecca for vinyl fans of all music genres ever since. Owner Serge Vincendet has gathered under his stores roof over 10,000 pieces of vinyl, and if you go down into the basement, you will find a gold mine of vintage audiophile equipment.

I made contact with Serge thanks to my friend Gilles Yepremian; manager of Urban Sax. Gilbert Artman appeared at the store to celebrate release of the brand Urban Sax multimedia LP, CD, and DVD production Inside. Gilles told me Monster Melodies in the past two years had begun a record label and released three great albums from the original French underground music scene.

I contacted Serge and he agreed to do an interview and kindly sent me copies of the three album releases. Here follows the Q&A, after which there is a rundown of the three albums.

AP

Serge Vincendet Interview

When did you open Monster Melodies?

After 10 years working for distributors and a famous retail shop on the Champs Elyses in Paris I decide to create my own business in August 1985, a small shop specializing in collectable rock vinyl. At this time, we were the first place to offer collectible out of print records in punk rock and new wave style from the UK and USA. The success was immediate. Located in the center of Paris we were given the great opportunity to exchange information with many customers from the entire world that came looking for music in many different styles, so we have expanded our inventory over the years.

Why did you decide to do a label?

We wanted to start a label in the beginning when we opened the shop, but had too much work at that time. We made an attempt in 2000, but an association with some wrong publishing people condemned the project. In 2012, we tried again with our own financing plan. The lessons we learned from the bad experiences in the past and the shops success made it possible. I think doing a label is very interesting because it offers the possibility to be more involved in the music you sell. Who knows music better than a sales clerk that listens to music all the time and learns a lot from all the passionate people they meet every day. Who knows better than a sales clerk does what records the music customer wants?

Do you specialize in any certain type of music for your label?

The vocation of our label is to publish unknown recordings from the underground French scene between 1968 and 1978. French rock bands with long hair in our conservative country at this time were considered too subversive, so the record industry preferred to promulgate la variété Française, singers and bands who sang middle of the road songs and mainly adapted or copied sanitized music from South American, British or American productions.  Rock festivals were forbidden.  Radio stations and TV controlled by the government broadcast French rock music rarely, or very late in the night. When they played rock music, they gave priority to English Invasion and American bands. Only a very few French great musicians gained a big reputation in foreign countries, like Magma for example. Many of the new French bands who were not well known on the music scene out of necessity had to explore new ideas and concepts from English bands, which influenced their own new style of music.

What titles have you released so far?

Three albums from the history of French music by Fille Qui Mousse, Bananamoon Band & Moving Gelatine Plates are the first Monster Melodies label releases.

What is your favorite type of music personally?

My personal taste in music is very large, from psychedelic music, free jazz, kraut rock, experimental and Brazilian music, also literature and poetry in French songs (I have written a few books about this).

Is there any kind of music scene in Paris today - commercial, alternative, underground, etc.?

In Paris today there are many young people making music so the level is very high. However since music is everywhere in movies, advertisements, or used as a soundtrack for commercials to buy a car or a pair of socks, there is little innovation or artistic concept. Radio and TV always play the same boring music. Before 1981 all radio stations were owned by the French government, so we were very excited in 1981 when we were able to create an independent radio station. However after one year it was worse as apart from Radio Nova, the record industry basically controlled the market pushing manufactured new artists of little interest. Aside from AIR and a few other bands emerging the last 10 years, there has been little creative music. Happily, now there are some small underground scenes in a disorganized manner where you can find a few new talents, like Fantazio for example.  

Do you find a lot of interest among collectors for the releases on your record label, as well as Distributors who will sell them for you?

Yes, we have had good response from distributors looking for original works different from the mainstream. In addition, there are many collectors who are passionate about music of historical importance, along with young customers who are curious and musicians from the French scene who are returning to their roots.

Les Trois Disques

In October 2013, Monster released in an edition of 500 copies, the legendary 1971 album by Fille Qui Mousse (Girl Who Foam) Trixie Stapleton 291 Se Taire Pour Une Femme Trop Belle (Trixie Stapleton 291 Silencing to Make a Woman Too Beautiful). It features a gatefold sleeve with unreleased photos of the band pressed on translucent red vinyl. Two postcards reproducing vintage concert posters and an insert featuring an unpublished text by Henri-Jean Enu, a leading figure of the Underground press, accompanied it.

Fille Qui Mousse was a musical collective that were politically involved in the movement of those times as well. The group consisted of Barbara Lowengreen (vocals), Sylvie Peristeris (sound effects), Henri-Jean Enu (guitar, vocals), Denis Gheerbrandt (vocals), Daniel Hoffmann (guitar), Benjamin Legrand (piano, vocals), Dominique Lentin (percussion) Jean-Pierre Lentin (guitar, bass) and Leo Sab (violin), François Guildon (guitar). The album was record in only one day, July 8, 1971, and went on to become legendary. Musically it’s a rare gem of the avant-garde French scene perhaps at times comparable to Can Faust and Pink Floyd Ummagumma period.

In April 2014, the second Monster album released was Bananamoon Band, the first new music recorded by Daevid Allen after the original Soft Machine prototype live album with the Daevid Allen Trio.

Daevid and Gilly Smith recorded the album in 1968 with the help of future members of Ame Son, Mark Blanc and Patrick Fontaine. A LTD ED of 1,000 copies in a gold metallic sleeve on transparent vinyl, it includes group photos, letters and family tree of Daevid Allen’s different musical entities.

The music on the album is very free spirited, a precursor of things to come with Gong in the future. It’s laced with a hit of spacy jazz, a whiff of pothead pixie dust and crude rock bottom end, which keeps the glissando vibes from drifting off into the endless void of nothingness. Tracks were recorded in EPC studios, March 1968 in Antibes, and July through August 1968 at Banana Moon Observatory on Majorca.

Soon after the students of the Sorbonne took to the streets, Daevid and the band went to the island of Majorca to continue their meditation practice and reinvent their musical concept somewhat. A short time later, they went to Avignon and were involved with the Living Theater performances. A few months later, Daevid and Gilly went back to Paris and signed a contract with Jean Karakos of the BYG label to record Magick Brother, Magick Sister. The first album of Daevid and Gilly as Gong, it was recorded in September 1969.

In November 2014, Monster issued a third MGP album Moving Gelatine Plates, which contains all previously unreleased music, a LTD ED of 1,000 copies on transparent pink vinyl, with deluxe gatefold sleeve with a MGP family tree. Also included is the rare MGP 7” vinyl single recorded in 1970, featuring the very first two songs they recorded, previously only one acetate copy was pressed.

The original incarnation of MGP occured in 1965 between Gérard Bertram and Didier Thibault. In 1969, Gérard Pons and Maurice Helmlinger filled out the bands line up playing their first gig at Sartrouville March 7, 1970.

Their first album, Moving Gelatine Plates was recorded in Davout studios, Paris during March 1970. The second album, The World of Genius Hans was recorded in 1971 at the Studio des Dames in Paris, in December 1971.  Both albums were released by CBS, but the music was not commercial and promotion was done in a very haphazard way so sales were minimal. Due to their lack of success and financial problems that became insurmontable the group ultimately broke up in August 1972.

In 1980, Didier Thibault attempted to reincarnate the band when he released an album entitled Moving with new members. However, the times had changed and the original spirit of Moving Gelatine Plates was a thing of the past.

The music on this new third MGP album consists of previously unreleased historical recordings taken from old tapes and acetates in good condition, which were remastered to achieve the best possible quality. The sound quality is quite good in fact, the music is perhaps a bit looser and free-form than on the original studio albums, but the Soft Machine, Canterbury influence that was present on the original albums is still present.

If you are a Francophile (as I Am) the three albums released by Monster Melodies are a must for your collection. Music like this simply can not be made anymore as it captures a particular time and place, when there was a special magic in the air that you can still hear when you listen today to music from that era.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mani Neumeier Talking Drums
Watch a video trailer now @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p38mIE18E3Y

Mani took the first step on his pathway to becoming as he describes himself, a ‘sound engineer of high rank’ by playing drums with the Irene Schweizer Trio, which also had Uli Trepte on bass. They recorded a session of free improvised jazz in Munich, January 1967. Later titled Early Tapes; it wasn’t released until 1978 on the FMP label. He and Uli then went on to form Guru Guru Groove in 1968.

In 1970 after a couple of other guitarists, Ax Genrich joined the band (“Groove” was dropped). That lineup released the first Guru Guru album UFO, followed by Hinten (1971), Kanguru (1972). I obtained via mail order in 1971 those first 2 albums from then hippie Richard Branson’s first specialty imports Virgin Record store in London. Upon receipt, I promptly played them on the original incarnation of Eurock, my first radio show on commercial FM in Central California. The airwaves and phone lines exploded like a hydrogen bomb. It was Kanguru however, that literally blew my mind. IMHO to this day it remains one of the ultimate musical artifacts of classic Krautrock.

After the original Guru trio split up, Mani continued the band and a revolving cast of other great German musicians played with him. He’s recorded a long series of recordings since, all continuing to throb with Mani’s “Guruvy” beat. As a drummer there are few who can match his unlimited imagination, physical dexterity and energy.

Outside of Guru, Mani also released 2 previous percussive solo albums; both were stunning in terms of the exotic nature of their concept, array of percussives he used and incredible packaging. They have to be seen and heard to be believed. That brings me to his brand new 3rd solo album.

Talking Drums is a concept album of sorts. It features 6 tracks all linked by shorter sonic bridges “jingles”, tying them together into one enchanting and shamanic listening experience. The stunning extended piece “Talking Drums” begins with a drip drop followed by thunder, and rainstorm morphing into slow percussives and drumbeats. Incorporated into the 16+ minute musical mix are chirping birds recorded in the Outback downunder, along with frogs, other nature sounds and exotica. All the elements are underscored and enhanced by Mani’s drums and low spoken incantation invoking the spirits of happiness, peace and harmony.

“Shamanic Dancer” follows that with wild rhythms and birds as the sound builds up into an intoxicating rhythmic energy, Mani’s Guruvy beat serving as the pulse. “Maori No Kaeru” (Frog of the Forest), begins with the sound of giant Japanese bells, followed by a chorus of strange frog species coupled with human voice, all of which Mani uses as sonic seasonings to display the mix of Japanese, Australian, New Zealand and German musical ideas he conjures up. “Maori Haka News” continues that with Mani and a group of Maori people all erupting into a spontaneous display of percussive beats and drumming pyrotechnics.

The album closes with 2 tracks “Im Zaubergarten”, a quiet magical meditation with slow rhythms and soft chimes, a soothing trance-like piece with the voice of Etsuko deeply chanting a low mantra. That flows into “Om Mani-Tom”, where Mani plays his self-made inflatable drum that changes its sound when he inflates or deflates the air pressure inside. It serves as a heartbeat. The music is a fluid, flowing montage of sounds - water, flutes and Australian birds reappearing, echoing the spirit of the albums opening track, Mani filling the musical space with free jazz percussive scat.

At 74, Mani is still going strong musically, offering all who will listen, his great musical gifts. The sounds of nature were in fact the first music. His solo albums illustrate that clearly. Mani describes his musical muse so simply by saying, “Go through the world with open ears”, Birds are the masters.” Talking Drums, as well as his other 2 solo albums are striking examples of Mani’s mastery of ethnological music fused with field recordings. A self-professed ”Globetrotter”, he now spends his life travelling the planet in search of new sounds, keeping the original adventurous spirit of the 1960’s alive.

 

 

 

Luc Marianni Impressionist  Electronique Français
More INFO @ http://marianni.pagesperso-orange.fr/html/music.html

During the heyday of French experimental music in the 1970s-80s, the scene literally exploded with artists and bands that made some of the most amazing music in Europe at that time. Other European countries as well had loads of creative bands, but none matched the French for shear eccentricity, avant-garde ideas on so many different levels and far out names as well as musical concepts.

Luc Marianni may not have been one of the more famous in terms of International exposure, but his catalog of releases surely is one of the most diverse and creative. Luc’s first release in 1979, Le Vent Souffle ou il Veut, featured his band Sylphe. In 1980, his striking electronic/ guitar debut solo album, Souvenirs du Futur, garnered critical praise from the French press. To date he has released 16 albums, including seven solo albums, 5 in various group formations and four collaborations with Jacques Jeangérard.  Since 2008, he has continued releasing newer as well as old music, including the reissue of his entire back catalog.

In 2013, Luc released Numéralogique, a collaborative double album with Jacques Jeangérard. Sourced from analog, improvised acoustic sound archives recorded in 1975-76 by Luc, the duo has created a digital soundscape comprised of both shades of light and darkness laced with minimalist melodies, which musically traverses the boundaries between avant-garde electronics, ambient and soft rock.

In 2014, Luc released Guitar Heroes (Karmic Energy Affinity Vol. 2), a tribute to the guitarists who inspired him to make his own music. It featured original material recorded in his home studio during 1975/76.

The seeds of inspiration for this album were sown in 1972/73 attending a series of concerts. In 1972, Pink Floyd performed A Saucer Full of Secrets and David Gilmore’s guitar played through an echo chamber with bottleneck sound effects musically turned him on (as it did many others). Can’s Tago Mago album is another influence. Later in 1973 at the Olympia in Paris, he saw Can perform and Michael Karoli’s long fuzzed out solos inspired him. Daevid Allen gained acclaim for his spatial bottleneck glissando guitar sound. When Luc saw Gong in 1973 at a concert in Paris, Daevid talked about how he had gotten the idea for his technique in the 1960s at a Pink Floyd concert when he saw Syd Barrett do it. The first album Ash Ra Tempel also opened his eyes to new possibilities. Later, at a 1973 concert in Boulogne to see Manuel Göttsching play mind-blowing guitar loops with Revox echo tape manipulations was a revelation.

Guitar Heroes (Karmic Energy Affinity Vol. 2) is comprised of music done in Luc’s own style employing these techniques. The CD also features a fifth bonus track, homage to Jacques Lejeune & Philippe Mion, highly influential composers at the GRM (Musical Group Research Group at Radio France) where Luc studied electro acoustic technique and composition with them.

Track 1 M.G. (10:15) opens the album with a double riff that sounds like a hybrid offspring of Inventions for Electric Guitar and the track “Traummaschine”, on the first album Ash Ra Tempel album.
Track 2
D.G. (20:14) loaded with echo, fluid elastic lead guitar melodies and trippy effects. It takes me back to the first time I saw Pink Floyd play Ummagumma live at the Fillmore West. Before the band came on stage, the place went dark and a long musical introduction consisting of part of that album echoed around the auditorium in surround sound.
Track 3
D.A. / S.B. (10:13) continues with celestial guitar effects, definitely in the vein of early Floyd laced with a hit of early Gong’s pothead pixie scent swirling in and out of the mix.
Track 4
M.K. (6:47) features free style riffing that morphs from jazzy to melodic and free flowing jams with ease. At times, they are multi-tracked and underscored by bongo beats with ethereal voice soaring above the soundscape. It’s not the beat heavy side of Can, but the more experimental side in evidence on Tago Mago.
Track 5
(Bonus) JL / PM, (3:05) is by Luc’s former GRM mentors Lejeune and Mion. It serves as a short coda demonstrating that his own musical roots are in fact much the same as the superstars he pays homage to on Guitar Heroes.

If you were around back in the late 60s/ early 70s, this album will flash you back. If you missed out, turn off the lights and turn the volume up loud you’ll get a real good idea of what it sounded back then. All that is missing will be the sweaty crush of human bodies in some dark smoky club or concert hall.

Solo Discography
Souvenirs du Futur
(1980)
D.G. Portrait
(1982)
Voyage vers l’Harmonie
(1983)
Video Screens Control (Between Light and Shade Vol. 1)
(1984)
Six Synthetic Suites
(1986)
Up & Down
(Reissue w/ 4 Bonus tracks), (1997)
Guitar Heroes (Karmic Energy Affinity Vol. 2)
2014
Group Discography
Sylphe – Le Vent Souffle ou il Veut (1979)
Rock Critics – Pile ou Face
(1981)
Rock Critics – T.V. Show
(1982)
Rock Critics – Talk
(2 CDs, 2012)
Four French Forms 4 Artists Compilation
(1985)
Luc Marianni / Jacques Jeangérard Discography
Unity in Diversity (Box Set 9 CDs w/ Book, Unreleased Music 1973-2008)
News From the Past Vol. 1 (2 CDs + Book, Unreleased Music 1975-2005)
Numéralogique (Between Light and Sound Waves Vol. 2)
(2 CDs 2013)
News From the Past Vol. 2
(2 CDs, Unreleased Music 1975-1976)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Markus Reuter Todmorden 513 - Concerto for Orchestra
For More INFO:
http://www.7dmedia.com/

My introduction to the work of Markus Reuter came in 2000 when the excellent UK electronica label DiN released an album entitled Blast, by the duo Centrozoon comprised of Markus and Bernd Wöstheinrich. That title was certainly appropriate as it featured 4 tracks, which can best be described as surreal impressionist sonic sculptures.

Markus has gone on from there to produce an impressive array of other provocative solo works, as well as collaborate and tour with super musicians in two major music projects – Tony Levin’s Stickmen and Robert Fripp’s Crimson ProjKCt.

My greater appreciation for Markus’ work began when a friend turned me on to Todmorden 513. Musically, an overpowering cosmic impressionist drone, compositionally it evolves slowly into a very dark wall of sound injected with wildly creative echoes of ambient minimalism. Originally a small ensemble work, it was released in 2011 on his Hyperfunction label. This album turned out to be a foreshadowing of even more adventurous music he had in store for the future.

More recently, Markus sent me a couple of his latest albums. They offer even more evidence of an artist whose work is beginning to literally exploding with new ideas and musical innovation. Both are equally impressive in very different ways. Live in Bethlehem 2013 is a 48-minute download only concert performance. Beautifully ambient at times and powerfully celestial at others, dissonance and delicate melodies phase in and out over the span of its long extended conceptual compositional structure. Sultry Kissing Lounge is completely different; it’s a sublimely sequenced selection of his solo instrumental concert introductory performances. They were recorded during a series of March 2014 Crimson ProjeKCt concerts and feature a mix of 13 spatial and intoxicating instrumental pieces, which morph effortlessly into a melodic musical tapestry comprised of diverse stylistic ideas and vibrant tone colors.

The musical future hinted art earlier finally arrived June 2014 when Markus released a major new recording, Todmorden 513 - Concerto for Orchestra. It features a studio re-creation of the 2011 work, performed by the Colorado Chamber Orchestra directed by Thomas A. Blomster.

Packaged as a Deluxe CD w/ DVD, the CD contains 2 audio versions, a hi-res 5.1 mix and alternate 2.0 mix by Robert Rich. Especially of interest, is the 70-minute documentary DVD, Breaking TM513 produced by filmmaker Jack Casadone. There Markus talks in detail about his ideas and composing technique for the music and Thomas Blomster elaborates on the unique printing methods needed to produce the score for the orchestra, and much more…

The new Todmorden 513 Concerto is a stunning work of post symphonic music and radical chamber orchestra reinvention of the original album’s music. It’s fascinating as you watch the DVD and hear Markus explain how he conceived the new musical arrangement and goes into a detailed explanation describing his unique concept for staging the live orchestral performance. The musicians spent extensive time rehearsing the music, backwards and forwards, becoming familiar with it inside and out, before arriving at the perspective he wanted. Orchestras are used to following a conductor and playing notes from a score, Markus’ hope was to achieve maximum sonic impact by having the musicians become emotionally involved thru’ developing their own individual interpretation of the parts, while still adhering to its strictly minimalist style and musical technique.

After hearing the philosophical and practical context of the music and entire production explained, then listening to the music, you will literally be in awe of what you have experienced. I can think of no other album production I have ever experienced like this one. Markus has achieved a remarkable result and at the end of the film seems very pleased, as he well should be.

It surely takes several viewings of the film, as well as listens to the CD, before you can grasp fully the totality of what Markus envisioned and has musically achieved with this album. For the most part, it lies outside the boundaries of most music you have likely heard before. Over the span of its 8 “Movements” it does touch on familiar influences - minimalism, ambient, avant-classical and more. The whole however is far more than the sum of such simple parts, representing a major step forward in Markus’ musical life and career. If you are interested in the creative process behind music making and truly enjoy adventurous listening, this release will be a revelation and offer you many hours of pleasure as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Luis Perez Ixoneztli Suspended Spheres
More INFO: Ixoneztli Music
Download: Luis Perez PODCAST

In 1981, the Eurock musical perspective expanded exponentially with its introduction to the music scene down in Mexico. I initially discovered a trio of albums - Carlos Alvarado’s Via Lactea (Milky Way) that pioneered an entirely new hybrid of space music & Decibel, who created on their first album, El Poeta Del Rudio (The Poetry of Noise), free jazz rock that charted new tonalities.

One album however stood out as something unique, the likes of which I had never heard before, En El Ombligo De La Luna (In the Navel of the Moon) by Luis Perez.  In the beginning, music of the global sphere was wind, water and other elements of nature. During the Pre-Columbia era, these were alchemized with ancient instruments made from shells, bone, wood, clay and skins to create ceremonial rituals by the indigenous people south of the border. Luis incorporated that fusion of sounds, transcending time and space into his album, adding modern musical instruments and electronic embellishments.

Sometime later, I saw Luis in concert at UCLA. Surrounded by a vast array of self-made replicas of Pre-Columbian and electric instruments, he performed the album live on stage. He bridged the time and space continuum successfully during his performance that day.

Luis’ brand new 2014 release, Suspended Spheres, is a 2-part concept work. Suspended Spheres Part 1 is an incredible 26+ minute long organic composition comprised of various movements revolving around a shifting sonic palate of instruments and themes derived from ancient spirits and modern musical impulses. The multi-layered arrangements incorporate a host of elements. From primal rhythms comprised of thundering percussion, laced with exotic instrumental embellishments, thematic developments evolve out of melodic moog tones, augmented by ritual chants and an incredible array of flutes and wind instruments. The piece culminates in a collage of natural sounds and human voices, concluding with Luis’ final recitation over a ceremonial musical backdrop.

The 13-minute+ track, Suspended Spheres Part 2, is a musical meditation filled with infectious rhythms and rich melodies. Dramatic themes are laced with solo flute, guttural incantations, harmonic chants and effectual sonic seasonings created by myriad pre-Columbian instruments.

Suspended Spheres is certainly Luis’ finest work to date. A living historical audio document contained within a multi-dimensional listening experience, it is also a powerful echo of ancient culture created by a modern artist who is a master of his craft.

Selected Discography
EN EL OMBLIGIO DE LA LUNA (1981)
TALES OF ASTRAL TRAVELERS (1998)
SANCTUARIO DE MARIPOSAS (2012)
LA NEZA (2013)
IN SITU (2013)
SUSPENDED SPHERES (2014)
MARE NOSTRUM (2014)

 

Luis Perez Ixoneztli Mare Nostrum
More INFO: Ixoneztli Music

In 2014, Luis Perez released two outstanding new download albums. I reviewed the first, Suspended Spheres earlier. It’s a masterpiece of Pre-Columbian ritual music performed with authentic instruments enhanced by electronic seasonings. 

The other, Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) is a double album that demonstrates the incredible range of musical talents Luis possesses. In fact, it contains two distinct albums that are very different musically. He recorded the music of the first album while living by the ocean down on the Southern California coast.

Album 1 is primarily acoustic with guitar, hand drums and other percussion instruments. Musically it’s a beautiful work filled with rich melodies and intricate arrangements. Luis also incorporates many exotic percussive and wind instruments into the mix, which enhance the music perfectly. Being familiar with Luis’ work since 1980, this album came as a pleasant surprise. All tracks (except two) are instrumental, the music falling into the category of folk with a distinct south of the border feel. His ability to do any style of music immaculately is incredible and his command of such a vast array of modern as well as ancient instruments is impressive.

There are 17 tracks in total, many of them recorded for various stage performances and documentary films produced in the USA and abroad, some are highly personal about special times in his life.

The last two on the album contain vocals “Amor Eterno” is a beautiful love song. The other, album closer “Por La Libertad”, is an incredibly powerful and strikingly arranged track. Luis says about it: “I wanted to add a speech on the subject of freedom, human virtues and the constant effort; political and social systems are making in order to manipulate, lie, punish, condition and ultimately kill those who dream and fight for a better world.” It’s ethnic rap of a sort with Luis reciting a rousing call for action with a choir chanting the chorus, “Libertad”!

Album 2 is radically different from the first and completely floored me. It features Luis’ original classical symphonic music compositions. His hope was that someday he could record them with an orchestra. So far, it hasn’t happened so he decided to release them now. Many of the pieces were recorded using samples of symphonic instruments; others use electronics, Luis then incorporates ancient instruments into the mix. The result is WOW!

Several tracks were recorded when he worked for the independent company “Alpenglow Films”, which produced soundtracks for TV documentaries. The company won awards for six films in 2 years before a corporation bought the network the company worked for and fired everyone.

Imagine time tripping back to Pre-Columbian times where you witness a symphony orchestra performing as part of an ancient ceremonial ritual – it might well sound like this. There are 14 tracks on the album and Luis has programmed the running order to create a conceptual continuum. The overall musical flow is symphonic in style, enhanced by myriad special sounds and acoustic instruments with colorful folkloric themes injected at times. The album begins and ends with two superb tracks.

“Comac Taheoic, “La Gente de la Isla Tiburon” (7:37) is the opener, a stunning fusion of symphonic music and Pre-Columbian influences that was used in an “Alpenglow Films” documentary. Beginning with birds, wind chimes and exotic instruments, it transforms into folk melodies played on flute and hand percussion, augmented perfectly by counterpoint between orchestral strings, wind instrument arrangements and tympani.

The album closer, “Cetaceos” (6:07) was used by a New York company “Gravity Films” in a documentary entitled “Xbalanque”. It begins with a powerful string section introduction. Luis then begins playing; multi-tracking dual acoustic guitar melodies over hand percussion and shakers, all the while a Pre-Columbian flute solo flutters different melodies overhead the superb musical mix. The music is folk, strings again add subtle enhancement to Luis melodic composition and playing. The track serves as a perfect conclusion to an album that overflows with authentic melodies and sympathetic symphonic and electronic touches, which literally breathe life into the ancient spirits inhabiting Luis’ ritual music creation.

When listening to both 2014 releases by Luis, you immediately recognize that the music he creates is a uniquely original fusion of styles from completely different cultures and centuries. He seamlessly integrates orchestra samples and synthesizer with ancient acoustic instruments from an era when music was an integral part of life and performance ritual, not written down. I’m amazed that at this late date in my listening experience that I could still hear something that reaches down so deeply into both head and heart, and resonates so strongly. Taken as a whole, both Mare Nostrum and Suspended Spheres stand out as rare musical creations by an artist whose talent seems to have no boundaries and offer proof that great music truly is timeless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Move Live At The Fillmore West 1969
DBL LP
180g Red Vinyl Deluxe Gatefold Edition! & DBL CD
More INFO @ The Move LIVE

I was a young Anglo-rock radical back in the halcyon days of the late 1960’s and took a road trip up to San Francisco to see The Move in concert at the Fillmore West. The bill also featured Joe Cocker & the Grease Band + Little Richard. That weekend the free spirit of rock and roll rattled the walls of the Fillmore with creative innovation and electric energy.

Now through what seems like some sort of divine intervention, in early February, a brand new Move DBL CD, Live At The Fillmore West 1969. Recorded direct from the monitor desk, Carl Wayne kept the original tapes in his personal archives in hopes they would someday see a release. Now, more than 40 years later, cleaned up using the latest technology, you can relive raw and alive, The Move in concert circa 1969.

I was very familiar with The Move’s music at that time as I had import releases of all of their records. What I didn’t expect, was that in addition to their great singles, the band could rattle the walls live on stage. They were an incredibly loose band, with high-voltage guitar arrangements, and very LOUD!

The 100 minutes of previously unreleased music you will hear on these two CDs demonstrates just how powerful a band The Move was Live. For their US tour, they had consciously designed their set to be different from what they normally played in the UK. They diversified, playing heavier, more extended versions with complicated arrangements of Shazam tracks. In essence, they wanted to let their hair down and go all out.

Their set at the Fillmore included songs by Todd Rundgren, “Open My Eyes” & “Under the Ice”, along with Gerry Goffin & Carole King’s “Goin' Back”, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil’s “Don’t Make My Baby Blue”, Tom Paxton’s “Last Thing on My Mind” and “Field’s of People”, originally done by the US band Ars Nova. The Move versions are heavily rhythmic and filled with harmonies. They reinterpreted vintage songs and to make them their own.

The Woody originals reincarnated into full-blown rave-ups here are – “Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited”, “Hello Susie” & “I Can See the Grass Grow”, all of which are expanded on and turned into high voltage audio mind candy.

The Move Live At The Fillmore West 1969 magnum opus is “Field’s of People”. The Fillmore LIVE version featuring Roy’s instrumental arrangement and playing on that track clearly illustrates his genius. The incredible solo on the “Banjar’ when witnessed live, stage dark, spotlight shining on Roy’s hands picking his instrument, golden light reflecting around the ballroom walls was jaw dropping.

As a special bonus, included is a Bev Bevan’s audio track featuring his colorful recollections of The Move’s 3-week tour and road trip on Route 66 across the US in ’69. His stories and details are funny and fascinating.

Topping the set off is a 10-page booklet filled with vintage Move photos from the tour, recollections about the band and love of the music, all of which kept this project alive over decades until it could finally see the light of day in 2011.

Upstairs I know Carl is smiling now, and most certainly listening to this music via Translove Airwaves wireless network.

 

 

 


First Encounter
of Experimental Music in Mexico
Read: MusicaExperimentaldeMexico

Mexico has had one of the most creative experimental & progressive rock scenes in Latin America since the early 1980's. Some of the best music Eurock has featured over the years has come from of Mexico. Bands & artists like Carlos Alvarado & Via Lactea, Decibel, Luis Perez, the late Jorge Reyes, Nazca, Eblen Macari, La Tribu & Arturo Meza stand out as truly unique in the annals of the International music scene. There are other bands as well however that have created music outside the structure of progressive rock over that same period that have remained relatively obscure. This article offers artifacts & information by three of them, Oxomaxoma, Hilozoizmo & Voldarepet, who have long explored the fusion of avant-garde, electronics, ethnic music & free jazz. I think you'll find this 2013 update on Musica Experimental de Mexico fascinating. Enjoy!


 


Carlos Alvarado Interview
Via Lactea in the USA
Read: Interview

Carlos talks in this interview about his first visit to see me in Los Angeles, which was one of the biggest surprises and wonderful experiences I've had in my long years of meeting new music friends. He arrived with gifts and many exotic sounding new cassettes by artists I'd never heard of from way down south of the border in Mexico. I was astounded and amazed as he opened my eyes to a whole new world of exciting and creative experimental music and musicians.

 From that first visit flowed other music people and contacts with stores who bought music for sale as well. In some sense it was the beginning of what has turned out to be a long friendship between me and Carlos, as well a continuing magical musical trip of discovering new friends and fascinating music throughout the subsequent 40+ years.
 

 

The Secret Music of Hieronymus Bosch
Listen: Amelia's Hymnal
Read: The Hidden Music of Bosch
There are hidden musical notes written on the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens on the right panel "Hell" which is part of the famous triptych, "The Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch. They were discovered by a young blogger named Amelia who decided to transcribe them into modern notation and create the music Bosch had written back in the 1500's. So in effect, what had been lost to history has now been discovered and actualized by Amelia today. Bosch, along with Pieter Brueghel the elder, are two of my favorite artists, circa the 15th Century. I used their artwork on the cover of Eurock magazine back in the day. Here you can see the related art works. Above you can listen to Amelia's piano piece & read the full story about the hidden music of Bosch.

 

5.05.2013 Interview @ AMBIcon
Interview: Michel Huygen
CD Baby INFO

Michel Huygen & I have been in contact for over 30 years. I've been reviewing and playing his music all along and the Eurock files are filled with information, photos and art work he has sent me. Just recently he and I crossed paths, literally and unexpectedly, in the same place at the same time. It was an incredible case of happenstance leading to serendipity. I had just gotten his new album, ExoSomnia, and prepared a new radio program featuring music from it, the incredible extended track entitled "And Man Created Gods". It + the entire Neuronium catalog in now distributed in the USA via CD Baby. We had a great time hanging out at AMBIcon & recorded an interview filled with incredible stories about his history and long music career. Take a Listen! It makes for fascinating listening and is accompanied by many artifacts from the Eurock Archives.


 

Entropy Records
Hutch Demouilpied - Otherness (DBL CD)
18eme Boudoir - Le Cycle Des Lumieres (DBL CD)
Esther Burns - La Valeur Du Vide (CD)
Esther Burns - The Genius of the Crowd (3" CD)
More INFO: Entropy Records

Entropy Records out of Paris, France, is one of the most interesting boutique indie record labels I have come across in several years. They release LTD EDITION art- concept CD packages. The music of the various artists featured explores the musical realms of ambient space and acid jazz, as well as neo-classical and chamber electronics.

Highlighted above are four of the labels latest album releases - Hutch Demouilpied's OTHERNESS (DBL CD) and 18eme Boudoir's LE CYCLE DES LUMIERES (DBL CD). In addition the two releases by Esther Burns - LA VALEUR DU VIDE (CD) and THE GENIUS OF THE CROWD (3" CD EP).

OTHERNESS by multimedia composer/ musicians Hutch Demouilpied features a surreal series of soundcapes that comingle cerebral electronics, musique concrete inserts, ethereal voice, keyboards, trumpet and the amazing atmospheric sax colorations of Pee Wee Ellis. Disc 1 features original compositions, while Disc 2 contains imaginative and unique remixes that take the music into an entirely different musical dimension. Both discs offer the listener a totally unique and haunting musical  immersion experience.

LE CYCLE DES LUMIERES by 18eme Boudoir is also double disc set that offers two distinctly different audio environments. The duo, composed of Philippe Lechat "Lipo Cat" & Jacques Vautier have created on Disc 1 a series of experimental acid jazz textures haunted by synthetic spirits that will musically linger within the mental spaces of your minds eye. The musical themes are subtle and spatial, filled with bass pulsations, synthetic winds and celestial splashes of percussives and exotic effects.  Disc 2 is more a series of dark ambient, scared soundtracks filled with subtle looping synthetic pulsations, deep warmly melodic themes, choral voices, an operatic oratorio and delicate neo-chamber classical melodies. Both discs combine to create a totally enchanting listening session.

Esther Burns is comprised of Emmanuel Chagrot & Philippe Sangara. Their releases are perhaps two of the most powerful fusions of music and spoken word philosophical tracks I have ever heard. An avid scholar could write a lengthy dissertation on both the music and socio-political theory behind the albums conception. The casual, listener will instead become captivated by trying to absorb and decipher the words and meaning behind the various texts by Ronald Reagan's Doctor of Voodoo Economics Milton Freidman, along with the counterpoint cultural analysis of poet Charles Bukowski featured on THE GENIUS OF THE CROWD, taken from his album 70 MINUTES IN HELL.

Their debut album, LA VALEUR DU VIDE , features tracts by Antonin Artaud, Robert Johnson & Charley Patton + Phillip K. Dick. The music on both works is an incredible amalgam of electronics, laced with guitars, old fashioned keyboards, vintage recordings, static, mechanical sounds, samples, percussion, exotica and more. The words and music fade in and out of each other to create a surreal tapestry of intellectual stimulation and deeply emotive tone colors.

Of ALL the music I've heard recently, these 4 diverse releases offer some of the most unique and compelling music and creative concepts that I've heard in the last few years. They are my personal Favorites from 2012! I highly recommend you check out the music released by Entropy Records!


 

The Larry Mondello Band The All American Underground Band
Read
: LMB
Watch: LMB

IN THE BEGINNING, there was the Leave it to Beaver show a television comedy of the late 1950s. The medium of TV delivered the message of society distilled into a handful of characters for half an hour each week, spinning the tales of an All American family.

There is always another storyline however, a parallel plane of existence, especially during the 1950s before the Pandora's Box was opened and America turned into what it is today. When secret lives were led and music was  something people did to simply explore their inner life, not be cool or make money. There was no internet to spread a virus or exorcise personal demons. People came alive by exercising their imaginations, not playing with computerized toys.

The works of The Larry Mondello Band are completely unique and can only be categorized as a product of Larry’s own personal state of mind. At the very least, they are an artifact of the time before the machines took over and downloading made music simply a product of the ether, a non-corporal substance. The LMB was the antithesis of all that.

 

The Cosmic Couriers Once Upon on Time in Germany...
Read
: The Cosmic Couriers
Listen to: Take Your Headphones

In 1970, there were no German record companies interested in German music. We showed the German people that they could trust their own music. Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser (Mojo Magazine, April 2003)

In Germany, and around the world, a new international consciousness came into being during that era, the times they were a changing, and forever altered in more ways than anyone could have ever imagined. The story of The Cosmic Couriers’, Rolf & Gille, was in many ways a paradigm example of that. Little known now and ultimately written out of the cultural lexicon, sometimes dreams die hard, old memories simply fade away. Rolf & Gille are still alive, now living out of touch with the world today by choice. Their dreams live on only as words in the ether.

This new article offers for the first time original documents from the Eurock archives, translated from German into English. You can also watch original video from a German TV debate about the German music industry. Kaiser debates Nikel Pallat manager of Berlin agit-rock band Ton Stein Scherben, and the plug gets pulled...

Read: The Mythos of Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser
Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa0rpCgVLs4

 

Via Lactea Carlos Alvarado 1980 Eurock Interview
Read
: Via Lactea Interview

In the early days of the Mexican Rock scene there have been few groups dedicating themselves to doing experimental music and being open to furthering their creativity. In the beginning, there were Decibel and Chac Mool, both featured keyboardist, composer Carlos Alvarado who also led his own group, Via Lactea (“Milky Way”).

This interview conducted in the early 1980s was rediscovered while organizing the Eurock archives and is published here in English for the first time. In the interview, Carlos talks about his ideas and his position in the Mexican rock & electronic music scene.

 

euroRock In Opposition
Read
: RIO

Rock in the beginning was a new form of music in opposition to mainstream culture. The metamorphosis from (black) race music into white rock ‘n’ roll shook the very foundations of society. It was an ungodly amalgamation of the blues from the plantation fields, jazz and poetry in bohemian enclaves, injected with country folk. Ultimately, it was all bastardized by white boys in US garages making noise.

The mode of music became revolutionized, and ultimately co-opted as corporate record labels began signing anyone up who could play an instrument, or not, and hyping it to make millions. The commercial record business literally exploded and FM radio hit the airwaves. Today’s music scene is a different animal. There are still bands around the world making creative music without purely commercial intent. The internet both facilitates their existence, and to a great degree consigns them to needle-in-a-haystack oblivion. In the real world, indie labels, music stores, a viable distribution network and counter culture ethos are withering, even major label record companies are dying on the vine.

Technology dominates.
Marshall McLuhan predicted the creation of mass media in his 1964 book, “The Medium is the Message”, offering fair advanced warning. In 1966, he talked of the creation of the Internet and its lifestyle changes, the concept of a global village, later twitter & more, envisioning its substance and impact: "All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. The Medium is the Massage. Any understanding of social and cultural change is impossible without a knowledge of the way media work as environments. All media are extensions of some human faculty--psychic or physical."

 

Art Zoyd Podcast
Download: Art Zoyd PODCAST

To usher in 2012 we bring you the 22nd Eurock LIVE Podcast, a very special multi-media program for you featuring music and video by Art Zoyd from France. Art Zoyd formed in the mid 1970’s. Their style ushered in a new form of French fusion, which combined influences of Magma, mixed with Zappa. They sonically alchemized diverse elements into a stark, skeletal and frenetic structure to create a new hybrid of freewheeling “gypsy jazz” and neo-chamber music

They were one of the 8 original bands in the “Rock in Opposition” music collective. The RIO philosophy was that rock was a form of art and culture, opposed to business as usual on all levels. Their ethos, “making music record companies didn’t want to hear". Later, the band began to evolve musically even more with the addition of Patricia Dallio on keyboards. The music became more structured and composed. They wrote scores for dance performances as well as multi-media installations. The bands focus has turned to making music that engages the intellect. Today Art Zoyd continues as a collective of diverse artists and musicians who continue doing numerous visual and stage presentations, as well as recording projects.
 


 

 

Electric Orange Podcast
Download: Electric Orange PODCAST
Dirk Jan Müller formed Electric Orange in 1992 and released the bands first self-titled album in 1993 on the independent German label, Manikin Records. The sound of the band often pays homage to early period Pink Floyd, injected with a mega dose of their unique modern cosmic krautrock vibe. Müller’s dense layers of keyboard and mellotron along with Dirk Bitner’s soaring space guitar excursions characterize their sound that is propelled by a dynamic rhythm section that mixes heavy beats with exotic percussives. To date the band has released 7 albums + a DVD. Electric Orange makes some of the best space rock to come out of Germany since the original golden era. The five tracks featured on this podcast demonstrate that well.
 

Stomu Yamash’ta Podcast
More INFO HERE

Download: Stomu Yamash'ta PODCAST

Stomu Yamash'ta performed his first concert, Percussion Concerto, with the Kyoto Philharmonic Orchestra in 1963 at the age of 16. By age 17, he had transplanted to NYC and entered Julliard. During the 1970s, he became internationally renowned, releasing a series of albums adapting his adventurous style to creating a new fusion of experimental jazz, symphonic, electronic and rock music. He released 3 albums entitled Go, featuring a cast of international superstar musicians.

In the 1980s, he reached a spiritual impasse, returning to live in Kyoto where he took up Buddhist studies. Yamash’ta returned to music when in the 1990s he discovered the musical powers of Sanukit stones which generate sound over an 8000 hertz spectrum, creating an 88-tone range. Using these stones, he created an entire line of instruments and began exploring a new sound concept “sacred music of the stones”.


 

Hiro Kawahara Heretic Interview & Podcast
Read Interview

Download: Heretic PODCAST

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Japan experimental scene was in its embryonic phase. Fools Mate Magazine was the main vehicle for promotion and a handful of groups were beginning to mutate the sounds of pop, rock and electronics into a new modern fusion of styles and influences. Hiro Kawahara was one of the early pioneers of a new form of Zen electronics, His early bands Astral Temple, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, followed by Osiris combined mystical and spiritual influences with experimental electronic rock. With the formation of his longest running band Heretic, his music transcended time and space. His guitar playing fused with electronics became truly transcendent. In this Interview he talks about the history of his music and release of the new album Requiem (see the Reviews page).

In the recent past while Skyping w/ Hiro Kawahara I learned that the air, water, rice and meat are approaching unsafe radiation levels in Tokyo. While mainstream media moves from one sensational headline to the next, it is important to always know and understand the real human story and consequences of what happens. In many ways music can tell that story, in the case or Requiem listening may will give you chills and fill your heart with the deepest of emotions for all the people in Japan who are now going through the aftermath of this disaster.

 

AskaTemple Podcast
Read
: John Ubel RIP
Download: Aska Temple PODCAST

One of the most provocative bands and musicians I have come across in my years spent chronicling the world scene of experimental and underground music is AskaTemple, led by Muneharu Yuuba whose stage name was John Ubel. The band name, derived from the small village he lived, also makes reference to the spiritual & shamanist mysticism of his music that also contains strong influences from the psychedelic era.

He passed away on October 20 2012 and though he was a virtual unknown, it's a loss to the world of music today in more ways than we can know. In this age of media saturation, it is rare that such intensity of emotion as evidenced in the music of AskaTemple is conveyed. Be it his guitar playing, synthesized guitar compositions or the band recordings, his music was devotedly non-commercial and filled with a depth of passion that only an artist who lives and works outside the realm of daily life as we know it today can create. The article by Nicolai Murahama, keyboardist for AskaTemple,  reflects on his strange story and includes an insightful look at his musical history and life history.

 

Eurock Audio Archives #5 CON-Speaks 2008
Listen:
Con-Speak1MP3  
Con-Speak2MP3  Con-Speak3MP3

Eurock Magazine had published articles and run an early mini-interview with CON. In the summer of 2008, I sent him some questions for a new interview and he kindly obliged. He even went a step further bringing his own special form of creativity to the mix. He chose also to create a recorded addendum that told his story, and conveyed the essence of what he really wanted to say. He sent me the answers to the questions and a recording, which consisted of three different treated versions of his monologue to use how I liked. CON passed away August 4, 2011. Listening now to this series of audio recordings I think serves as a wonderful reminder of the man, His creative energy knew no boundaries, and certainly in so many ways played an integral part in the beginnings of the German "Neumusik" revolution in Berlin back in the late 1960s.

[All Rights Reserved. Audio Content NOT to be Used Without Expressed Written Permission]
 

Eurock Audio Archives #4 2008 Interview w/ Cluster
Listen:
ClusterINT08MP3

This is a
Summer of 2008 Interview with Dieter Moebius & Joachim Roedelius w/ Tim Story done just before their USA Tour. Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius made music together for over 40 years before finally going there own ways in 2010. Their final concert was on December 5th of that year. After several releases done with Kluster and Conrad Schnitzler, the duo were joined by Conny Plank on their self-titled debut album released in 1971 on the Philips Record label in Germany. In 1996 Cluster toured the US for the first time and we met in Portland. Their concert was a revelation and our pancake breakfast the morning after was legendary. Almast12 years later they returned to the US and toured again. Sadly the didn't play in Portland however. While in the States they spent time with their good friend and old pal of mine Tim Story who did this interview for Eurock. Tim is a renowned, pioneering US artist in his own right. He and Joachim have also done several excellent music collaborations together. Tim also produced what turned out to be the final Cluster album, QUA, released in 2009 by the Nepenthe US label. Nepenthe also released in 2009 the legendary Human Being recordings LIVE AT THE ZODIAC -BERLIN 1968 done at the Zodiac Club. So take a listen to & enjoy the famed duo and Tim having fun and talking music back then...

[All Rights Reserved. Audio Content NOT to be Used Without Expressed Written Permission]
 

Eurock Audio Archives #3 Expo 1986 Gilbert Artman Interview
Listen:
GilbertINTMP3
For More INFO: Urban Sax

In 1986, I witnessed the spectacle of Urban Sax LIVE at Midnight during the World EXPO in Vancouver, BC. It began with barges floating across the river amidst a shroud of fog while colored flood lights panned the water.
The group was accompanied by a Native American drum circle and climbers rappelling overhead amidst the domed metal webbing constructed over top the open pavilion, as well as up and down the building walls. Urban Sax, attired in silver mesh and plastic tubing serenaded the packed outdoor arena for over an hour. Earlier in the day I interviewed Gilbert Artman, aided by his kind manager Gilles Yepremian serving as translator. We had a nice 25-minute conversation with Gilbert talking about his musical history and Urban Sax philosophy. The quality is quite good, so it makes for a very interesting listen with most of the information not dated at all. Again adjust your volume as needed & Enjoy!

[All Rights Reserved. Audio Content NOT to be Used Without Expressed Written Permission]
 

Eurock Audio Archives #2 1980 Conversation w/ Malcolm Mooney
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I was living in LA at the beginning of the 1980s when I met Malcolm Mooney former lead singer of Can. At that point Eurock Magazine was at its high point in terms of distribution entering the 7th year. Malcolm called and said he'd heard of my work in promoting Euro rock and suggested we meet up. He invited me to his home and there we had a free ranging chat about his time with Can, music, his teaching, music and art. It was recorded on a small Panasonic portable recorder. What was recorded of that conversation is not bad quality and has not been tweaked or edited for the most part. Adjust your volume as needed. Malcolm was a great cat and is still active today in art and music. You can check out his web site to catch his latest projects.

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Eurock Audio Archives #1 1977 Uli Trepte Interview
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In the late 1970's I was up in Portland running ITC and importing Euro music as well as well as co-programming a weekly radio program. In addition, Eurock Magazine was gaining traction in Europe and making many new contacts. One hilarious highlight of that era was the magazine being featured on the record store set of Robin Williams then popular TV program Mork & Mindy. Right next to the cash register in full display were visible several copies of the mag each time a counter scene was shot on the store set. In 1977, Uli Trepte of Guru Guru, Spacebox  and later Move Groove came to the US and stayed in LA with one of my original Euro musical guru's Dana Madore who ran a now legendary record store named Moby Disc at that time. A real high point for me early on doing Eurock was having a couple long conversations with him that led us to being life long friends.
At one point we recorded and interview that was aired on KINK FM in 1977. In retrospect he recounts his personal history nicely I think. The unfamiliarity with the technology involved only add a touch of humanity to process. The recording quality is not bad. Adjust your volume accordingly. My old pal Dana supplies the humor at the outset when he answers the phone. Uli passed away May 21, 2009, and I'd like to think he's still playing music up in the ether. This recording lets you hear him "in the flesh", perhaps for the first time, and for me in some way keeps his spirit alive.

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Agitation Free - Shibuya Nights ~ LIVE In Tokyo
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Of all the German bands, Agitation Free was certainly one of the most musically adventurous. Thirty-five years after first disbanding, the band has reformed and in February 2007 performed LIVE in Tokyo. October 31, 2011 Esoteric records in the UK released an album of that concert and it truly is an Agitation Free “best of.” It features five tracks from their 1972 release Malesch and five from 2nd (1973). It also includes three new compositions, plus “Nomads,” my favorite track from their 1999 reunion album, River of Return. Programmed perfectly, the track sequence creates a magical, mystical tour through those halcyon days when inspiration flowed freely, guitars and imaginative synthesizer soundscapes comingled to conjure up sonic panoramas of far-off imaginary lands.


 

Lard Free Reissues
For More INFO: Wah Wah Records

Lard Free was a pioneering French underground band formed by Gilbert Artman in the wake of the French student uprising and barricades in the street. Their first two original albums on Vamp Records are two of the greatest seminal albums of the 1st Wave of French avant-rock. Their third was the first step Gilbert's took sonically into layered soundscapes featuring undulating electronics. It laid the foundations for the creation of his amazing current ensemble Urban Sax. These first three albums have now been reissued on vinyl with the original sleeves and a special poster insert. Also released on vinyl for the first time are the very first recordings by Lard Free. It comes with a special EP featuring two previously unreleased early 70's studio and live tracks by the band. A LTD ED of 500 vinyl LPs released by Wah Wah Records, Spain.

 

Emerson Lake & Palmer
40th Anniversary Reunion Concert @  UK High Voltage Festival - July 25, 2010
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It has been a long and interesting journey for ELP. Formed in 1970, the UK music press dubbed them the first supergroup. They were a band composed of integral parts from three big UK bands of the time: The Nice, King Crimson and Atomic Rooster. Imagine just how super they might have been if Hendrix had not died as he was also rumored to be interested in joining the trio as well. ELP were the first band to combine rock, classical and jazz into a new and unique musical fusion that sounded like no one else, Today they are still today worshiped by fans around the world, and derided by hip critics as utterly pretentious. At the end of the video-doc on the new DVD when asked to characterize what ELP meant, Keith answers tongue in cheek, Extra Large Parts, (Lol), or Everyone Loves Potatoes, that's really what ELP stands for. (Lol)

 

Gentle Giant Derek Shulman Interview
Listen: Derek Shulman Interview

In the annals of "Prog-Rock" there were a couple English bands that didn't fall prey to the pomp & circumstance that led most others to the dinosaur bone yard, Gentle Giant was one of them. The Shulman brothers and their mates made intelligent rock laced with jazz, a quick breath of the classics at time and a bit of pop perhaps. It all combined into their own eccentric concoction that not surprisingly doesn't sound today like an old fossil from the past.

In 1997, they released a retrospective box set of rarities that was full of quark, strangeness & musical charm. In 2009, they lovingly re-mastered the Gentle Giant catalog and did a series of special reissues that also offered up a fair share of great music and memories of the glorious music from their past. It was at that time I had the chance to chat with Derek Shulman. He talked about the bands past and his present activities. I even got him to confess a secret he has never shared before as the conversation wandered a bit far from the point. Curious aren't you... So give a listen...

 

Elliott Murphy Interview
Listen: Elliott Murphy Interview

I remember the 1970's all too well. Post college, the reign of Reagan in California as Governor, the 60's dead end dream with it's fractionalization followed by the ascendency of the "me" generation" that led us to today's "new world order". One of the best things of that time was a new rock-poet who spoke of that malaise, strummed his guitar and had the voice of a choir boy pleading to the Lord for salvation. That was Elliott Murphy who recorded during that era 4 of the great rock-poet albums ever done - Aquashow, Lost Generation, Night Lights & Just A Story From America. A critics favorite, the masses were well past introspection and salvation even then, so sales dwindled. What's a poor rock 'n' roller to do, eh?

The answer was... Move to France where he could become a respected artist and have a long career. He met his mate there as well. Many years later when doing a 30-day US road trip he passed thru' PDX and I met the man, had his wife and son over to the house and shared a great family Vietnamese dinner at a place down the street. He was older and wiser, yet still had the gift, which he shared with a few fans at a local club that night. More time passed and in 2009 we hooked up again via the Transatlantic airwaves and did this Interview in. It's was real nice chat and he tells a good story, take a listen...

 

Plastic People of the Universe
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When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state always change with them. -Plato

The Plastic People of the Universe were a band who made music as an act of creation for a less material second culture, not centered on marketing and selling. In the process, the Czech government banned them and various members were thrown in jail. The government informed them they had to obtain a license to perform or quit playing. They then went underground and played secretly...
 

 

The Godfather of Deutsch Rock Interview
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Before there was Krautrock, there was "Schlager". Then along came the "Beat Club", Germany's answer to "American Bandstand" and the foundation was laid for a change in the mode of the music which would shake the walls of Berlin and ultimately all of Germany. Gerhard Augustin was the original co-host and creator of the Beat Club" and a prime instigators of the new German scene. As A&R man at Liberty/ UA in Germany he signed Can, Amon Duul & Popol Vuh to the first major label contracts on the Krautrock scene. This in depth Interview with him makes for fascinating reading.
 

 

Giorgio Gomelsky Video Interviews
Watch 1st London Blues Festival + Crawdaddy Club Video INTERVIEW
Watch Birth of British Blues
Read Eurock Interview

Giorgio Gomelsky is one of the true pioneers of  experimental rock music. In these excerpts from Joly MacFie's Punkcast he talks about his original Crawdaddy Club which was the first venue the Rolling Stones played. In addition to that he also produced the first recordings of the Yardbirds, Gong and Vangelis. He left the UK and went to France to produce Magma and they went on to create la scène souterrain musicale Français. Today Giorgio lives in NYC and still keeps attuned to exciting new musical and technological innovations.
 

 

The Residents...Revealed!
Watch1 Here
Watch2 Here

Today
in 2013 it's hard to believe, and many younger people don't know how different the music world was back in the late 60's and early 70's. Bill Reinhardt, a DJ, film maker and sound man for The Storefront Theater in PDX, was a friend of the Residents during that time. In their very early days he visited the boys down in SF and made a mini-documentary film, unseen until just recently. The "band" has since become a living legend and still makes some of the most unique and experimental "music" today. Bill's film is an amazing artifact of that time and that group of avant-garde artistes. Take a look. You will be amazed...

 

 More Artist Features HERE

   

Manuel Goettsching ~ Damo Suzuki ~ Attila Grandpierre ~ Giorgio Gomelsky ~ Luis Paniagua

   

Kraftwerk ~ Ian Boddy ~ Luc Marianni ~ Gerhard Augustin ~ Oculo Rapido