Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Toncho Pilatos - Killer Mexican Rock '73

My favorite mexican rock record from the early 70s.

From Guadalajara formed by the brothers Alfonso "Toncho" and Rigoberto Guerrero. Oak grove in low, Raul "the Güero" Briceño and Alberto completed the grouping Miguel "the Pie" Lopez in the keyboards. Rigoberto was in charge of the electrical guitar, Toncho acted like multi-instrumentalist singer and (flauta, harmonica, violin and guitar) giving to the grouping an eclectic hile character that included from the crude rock and the blues to classifiable forms of greater elaboration like progressive-symphonic, being his prolonged subject "Last Dance" one of the first and clearer approaches to this sort. They exhibit in addition, the air incorporation folkloric and a greater preoccupation by the letters that most of its Mexican contemporaries. The group Toncho Pilatos was another one of the legend of Guadalajara, Jalisco, to the height of Facade of Stone, the Revolcuión de Emiliano Zapata and the Spiders. After several changes of formation, they were in Los Angeles, under the name of Toncho Indian Braves. Sadley in 1988 Rigoberto Guerrero died and it followed Alfonso to him Guerrero in 1992.

A rare Beauty!

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Toncho Pilatos

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Musica Elettronica Viva - Leave the City

"Musica Elettronica Viva or MEV as they're sometimes called, were founded by Ivan Coaquette (pre-Spacecraft), and also included his wife, Patricia and Birgit Knabe, as well as various other collaborators along the way. The music we find here is an extremely experimental form of electronic jazz which is not a million miles away from the styles of early German Krautrock bands such as Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. Originally issued in 1970." This was the second of 2 MEV albums to released by BYG in 1970, following The Sound Pool (which featured Alvin Curran, Richard Teitelbaum & Frederic Rzewsi amongst others). It features floating, droning free music freakouts of the finest cosmic quality and this reissue is a major event by any sensible standard. A note of explanation from Frederic Rzewski about the various incarnations of MEV: "In 1968/69 MEV experimented with audience participation and took on a number of new younger people, many of whom were not musicians. We wanted to see how far we could extend the idea of free improvisation, surrounding the core group with people who happened to be around. The group expanded and spawned separate communities. In the early 70's there were three MEV's: one in Rome, led by Alvin Curran; one in New York, where Richard Teitelbaum was based; and one in Paris, which was organized by the Coaquettes. Birgit and Nona were members of the Living Theatre, with whom we also hung out a lot, and Stefano was one of the younger acolytes. Nobody ever found out really who was in MEV. At that time, it was part of a movement, and that part of it that was a part of the movement lived and died with that movement.

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Musica Elettronica Viva

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Dead C - DR503 (Classic New Zealand Underground Sounds)

I remember back in the early 90's being in a beautiful haze of great underground groups (Sun City Girls, Caroliner, TFUL242, Bugskull,ect..) and friend telling me about this group from New Zealand called "The Dead C." At the time I had yet to hear the wave of New Zealand music that was to come, or to become more available. All I had a was a dub of their classic and just released 2xLp "Harsh 70s Reality." A real fine listen of drifting tonal guitar feedback,meandering vocals, fragments of songs and a very noisy primitive recording style. Soon my mind was to be blown when I found a copy of their first Lp "DR503." This record pretty much deconstructs the last 30 to 40 years of music in one Lp. Elements of cult groups like "This Heat," "Faust," and even early "Kraftwerk." Produced on a 8-track machine by famed New Zealander Peter Jefferies this album is much more 'produced' than any of their later work. It actually seems that they started slightly more hi-fi and progressively record to record, decayed sonically into a 'c' of guitar feedback, songs barely being audible anymore.
This album really captured for me the sparseness and loneliness of the South Pacific Islands of New Zealand. I'm also going to tout while I'm at Peter and Graham Jefferies group "This Kind of Punishment" who I think where contemporaries but also a influence in ways on Dead C initially. Though the Dead C always had a much rawer experimental edge.

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The Dead C

Sunday, June 04, 2006

PÄRSON SOUND (Deep Swedish Drone Psych)

Self Titled 2xCD on Subliminal Sounds

Highly recommended swedish psych rarity.
Here's a few good reviews to fill you in,

Pärson Sound was a Swedish communal drone-sludge assemblage that preceded International Harvester, Harvester, and Trad Gras och Stenar. These are archival recordings, the band never released an album at the time (we're talking 1967/68). Imagine a reverb-drenched pact of the Godz and Sabbath jamming on "Sister Ray" played at 16 rpm, with Terry Riley dumping some time-lag-accumulated sax on top, while someone else is sawing a cello in two Cale/Conrad-style. And that's just the (approximate) scenario of the first couple of tracks. There are also some non-rockin' tape-drone experiments by bandleader BoAnders Persson, plus, on the second disc you'll find embryonic versions of songs that would later turn up on International Harvester's sole album Sov Gott Rose-Marie (I've heard there's a Korean CD of this one floating around, but haven't seen it yet), only these early takes even surpass the "better known" versions. A friend of mine exclaimed: "now Bardo Pond can go jump off a cliff." Now I'm not for violent imagery like that, so lets just say that Pärson Sound out-psychs all and everything. God-like!...Swedish rock rules. – Droneeon/USA

This is most definitely something any fan of psychedelic freak rock weirdness would want to be aware of. Pärson Sound would achieve wider acclaim a couple years later when it changed its name to International Harvester and Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Trees, Grass and Stones). Before then this Swedish ensemble specialized in an especially atonal form of trance or drone rock, a large sampling of which has been compiled here from various rehearsals and live recordings. I'm not sure if any of this has ever seen the light of day before now, but I'm thinking not. I can see why, as this isn't exactly dripping with commercial potential. Still the Pärson Sound proves to be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to expansive, wall of sound guitar drone hypnotism, especially considering this stuff was recorded in 1967-68, a good two years before the Krautrock explosion would really kick in. Similar trajectories could be found at the time in the works of the Grateful Dead, the early Velvets, and of course Floyd, the free-form improvisations of AMM, but the Pärson Sound brought something uniquely glacial and incredibly heavy to their sound. The massive guitar jams that comprise this double CD are the sort that Amon Duul II would take to monumental heights on their first two albums. But even then there's something intrinsically minimal and relentlessly repetitive going on here, no doubt inspired by several members of the band joining Terry Riley for some of his performances when he visited Sweden in the Spring of '67. Many of these tracks average 10 minutes or longer in length, but that hardly matters. Once you hear the first glistening rays of atonal violin screech of the intro on disk 1, such concerns simply evaporate. Violin and synth drones give way to the earth-shattering doom sludge of opener "Tio Minuter" (Ten Minutes), which rings and drones like some medieval church bell for a good six minutes before veering off into a mellower free jazz cul-de-sac for its remaining four. The very next track "From Tunis to India in Full Moon (On Testosterone)" is 20 minutes of blasted acid-destruction that screams for bonfires and naked virgins covered in streaked body paint, and acid.lots of acid. The similarities between what these people were doing then and Bardo Pond is doing right now are striking, only this is decidedly more Swedish, and primal. This is tribal improve/drone rock that you can bury your head under for hours at a time, but it's the mellower, and more minimal asides thrown in along the way that keep it interesting. This one's for fans of seriously damaged psychedelic excess only (that's everybody reading this, right?).
– mats gustafson/Broken face, Sweden

"I might as well go ahead and divulge a tidbit or two upfront: Pärson Sound is a musical outfit with Swedish origins and a predilection for psychedelia. Depending on the take, it's a concoction capable of sending you on a run to the nearest exit or reaching for the knob to crank the volume. What's more, prior to this year, the majority of the music world had never heard the name, much less encountered any of the music. Hence, a little rundown is in order: For a brief period during 1967-68, Pärson Sound was a frontrunner in the burgeoning Swedish music scene, leading to a few shows accompanying Terry Riley, an opening gig for the Doors and an invite from Andy Warhol to play an art exhibit in Stockholm. Regrettably, no album was ever cut and the band's activity ended almost as soon as it began-- although later manifestations would emerge and continue under the names Harvester (sometimes known as International Harvester) and Träd, Gräs och Stenar (translation: Trees, Grass and Stones).

Up until this recent release, Pärson Sound was basically just a blip on a musical roadmap, their name appearing sparingly in Warhol articles or Swedish musical histories. So I'll let you in on a little secret. As January rapidly approaches, I can say this two-disc set is by far the most unexpected surprise of the year. Serving up a platter of archival recordings (rehearsals, studio and live cuts), this Pärson Sound collection is drug-addled psychedelic mindfuckery at its best. And that's just the beginning. Successfully marrying the ideas of rock, jazz, and drone experimentalism, this Swedish quintet sounds like it wasn't just trying to break free of the limitations inherent in each genre; at times, it sounds like they were trying to blow the doors off the hinges.

Opening the first disc, "Tio Minuter" ("Ten Minutes") starts out quietly enough, beginning with a hushed guitar atop distant vocal chants. Don't let it fool you. It's a ruse. One minute in, the band forsakes the mesmerizing guitar for an intense, cacophonous clamor. Sounding as if someone suddenly set the stage on fire, Pärson Sound unleashes a grinding series of brutal guitar riffs. Stretching out beyond ten minutes, the band isn't content to remain in one sound territory. The track builds from a mammoth sludge-fest into a ringing guitar drone backed by the screeching sounds of Arne Ericsson sawing away at his electric-cello. Everything settles into a glacial pace near the end as the sounds of ghostly tape-lagged voices glide over each other, an invocation for the ether-regions (which makes sense-- séance is a credited instrument in the liner notes).

The blissed-out trance work continues with "From Tunis to India in Fullmoon (On Testosterone)," a miasmic sound orgy that drips with ecstatic energy. It's a Bacchanalian noise festival, an acid-drenched lunar ride in which everyone is whipped into rapturous primal frenzy while Pan taps his hoof and bleats out the age-old hypnotic spell. Driving forward into free-jazz, "Tunis" finds Pärson Sound openly and aggressively exploring ideas through improvisation. The entire track is a swirling sound-world, held fast by Thomas Mera Gartz's pounding percussion. Guitarists Bo Anders Persson and Ericsson immerse themselves in locked drones, enticing out a series of resonating vibrations, while saxophonist Thomas Tidholm reels off a series of rasping moans and pain-filled squeals. Coalescing into a tight-knit entity near the end, Persson hammers out a delirious buzzsaw solo over the increasing urgency of Gartz's percussion. The resulting din is pure astrophysical beauty.

"A Glimpse Inside the Glyptotec-66" leaves the instruments behind, abandoning them for tape-looped guitar and Persson's lagged-voice experiments. Recorded for 1966's Young Nordic Music Festival, "Glimpse" is a surprisingly early collage for guitar and voice that places Persson alongside contemporary minimalists Terry Riley and Steve Reich. Having captured several glittering guitar drones and sequencing them on tape, he slowly adds pre-recorded tapes of voice mixed with his live moans and vocalized syllables. "One Quiet Afternoon (In the King's Garden)" is a massive squall of noise. Again toying with pre-recorded tape experiments, Pärson Sound creeps along, drowning everything in a rumbling clatter (much of it produced from the feedback-saturated tapes). Howling, pre-recorded voices amble over each other while the tapes are either accelerated to furious speeds or slowed to a dazed crawl.

The second disc in the set both opens and closes with nascent versions of songs that would appear later on International Harvester's debut. Stretching to thirteen minutes, "Sov Gott Rose-Marie" is centered on a reverie-inducing guitar solo, but builds gradually into a frightening full-band chant of the title. With three members repeatedly intoning the title phrase, other instruments begin to pile up, climbing over each other and saturating the space. The result is a haunting, claustrophobic grumble filled with battered organ keys, pummeled bass strings and the fading remains of an earlier guitar drone.

A track that starts with smoldering embers, "Milano," moves at an increasingly rapid piece as time elapses and Pärson Sound stoke the fire. Subsumed within the booming percussion and electrically charged cello, Persson leisurely constructs a guitar solo that moves swiftly from rattling mess to drifting murmur. Moving in a recurring pattern, Persson's guitar workouts are sprawling meditative journeys-- shifting repetition often giving way to gradual movement and pulsing breath. With only five tracks per disc, the average length of each song is easily ten minutes or more, occasional stretching to the half-hour mark (the lengthy spiritualistic drone "Skrubba") and once or twice staying in the seven-minute range (the acoustic "On How to Live"). In spite of this, any concerns related to length tend to dissipate once your head is fully submerged in the band's constantly inventive surroundings.

During their brief stint, Pärson Sound had a rallying cry of "We, Here and Now!" that embraced their musical philosophy of a defragmented universal language. The time elapsed since their active years have seen a number of acts such as Amon Düül, Acid Mothers Temple, Bardo Pond and Taj Mahal Travelers traverse the same paths, garnishing accolades and international success. For a fan of any of these bands, or anyone fascinated by psychedelic, acid-blasted madness, this is ground zero. Rating: 9.3 – Luke Buckman

I also recommend their later groups Internation Harvester, Harvester, and Träd Gras Och Stenar.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Gorilla Aktiv - Nur Fur Erwachsene [7'', 1982]

This is a rare single by this bizarre german group from the early 80's. I actually don't know much about them but if you like early Synth Punk/Neue Deutsche Welle you'll love this. They were from Munich and there is a new Lp that just came out of some of their rarities available from WAS SOLL DAS? SCHALLPLATTEN.

Killer Garage Synth Drum Punk, German Style!

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Gorilla Aktiv

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Zweistein - Trip-Flip Out-Meditation

PHILIPS, 6630 002

Killer Rare Bizarro Early Kraut Freakout!!!

Review from sound projector magazine,
"This remarkable artefact from the underbelly of the Krautrock movement was released by the famous Philips label in 1970 as a triple album in an exotic metallic gold and silver sleeve with a small circular mirror mounted on the front cover. The music contained on these records was a mad mix of primitive electronic experimentation, fractured folk song and playground chanson, all of which was meant to illustrate the Trip-Flip Out-Meditation theme of the album's title. How Philips (who were also responsible for such ground breaking releases as the first two Kraftwerk albums and Cluster's important and influential debut) decided to front the considerable production costs such an extravagant release would demand is mysterious, but according to one source who was present at the time Zweistein were the product of a romantic obsession.

The resident producer at Philips was apparently infatuated with a young fraulein who had an uncontrollable urge to make a record and get it released. Under the cover of darkness when the studio was empty Zweistein were allowed to experiment using whatever equipment they could lay their hands on. Presumably as the project became more adventurous the tape recorders were left rolling, hence three records instead of one. On top of this a single ('I'm a Melody Maker' b/w 'A Very Simple Song') that didn't make it on to the triple was issued in a picture sleeve, but this too failed to attract any attention despite its more Eurovision approach. The producer was fired shortly after Trip-Flip Out-Meditation blundered its way onto the record racks. In a matter of weeks Zweistein's epic was deleted and sent to the vinyl junkyard never to be heard or seen again. 'Not recommended!' warns Dag Erik Ashjornsen in his German progressive and electronic rock guide Cosmic Dreams at Play. A warped masterpiece! say I. You choose who to believe."

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