Monday, December 05, 2011

Jandek - Your Turn to Fall (1983 Original Vinyl)

Corwood 0745, LP, 1983
Original Vinyl Rip.

Absolutely my favorite Jandek Lp. In my mind the B-Side is one of the best sequences of Jandek songs. All very strong flowing outsider blues. The A-Side is quite stark and features the first instance of drums or a guest musician in the Jandek catalog. This is the original Outsider Blues. If you've never really gotten Jandek I invite you to start here.

I hate to say it but the CD reissues of the Jandek catalog fall very short in sound quality to the original Lp's. I'm guessing Corwood has someone do extreme noise reduction to the recordings which takes away a lot of the room sound and vibe. It also added some bad digital artifacts to the sound.

Ripped by your Truly, and so Highly Recommended!!!

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Jandek - Your Turn to Fall

Saturday, December 03, 2011

39 Clocks - Pain It Dark (German Psycho-Beat!)

39 Clocks - Pain It Dark
No Fun Records 1981

Classic early 80s debut Lp by this Hannover, Germany duo. A dangerous combination of Velvet Underground, Suicide, and even a hint of the Young Marble Giants. The duo would utilize a variety of primitive drum machines behind their grinding riffs with hazed out vocals. This is the dark paisley underground!

Original Vinyl Rip. Highly recommended!

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39 Clocks

Thomas Leer & Robert Rental (1979 Synth Punk Ambient)

Thomas Leer & Robert Rental - "The Bridge"
1979 Industrial Records - UK

One of my favorite late 70s Lp's. Elements of Synth-Punk and moody ambient all on 1 album.

"Scottish musicians Robert Rental (born Robert Donnachie) and Thomas Leer had each released an important indie single a year before this collaboration. Leer's offering was the poppy lo-fi "Private Plane"/"International", and Rental's was the weird industrial "Paralysis"/"A.C.C.". Having relocated to England, the two mavericks were lent 8-tracks by Throbbing Gristle so they could record this album. As the liner notes point out, this was recorded in a two week span (June 18th to July 2nd) in one of their homes; interestingly, the back cover notes "all blips & unseemly noises were generated by refrigerators & other domestic appliances & are intrinsic to the music"! Both musicians take turns on guitar, synths, "synth percussion" (more on that later), bass, and other noises.

THE BRIDGE is divided into two distinct halves; the A-side features vocal work, while the B-side has four tracks of pure ambience. The vocal songs are definitely in a post-punk/synthpop mode. Leer sings lead on four tracks; the fuzzy "Connotations" and the bizarrely catchy "Monochrome Day's" are definite highlights. Rental takes the lead on "Day Breaks, Night Heals", and this creepy gem is the absolute standout. What's interesting about the percussion is that Leer and Rental didn't use a drum machine. Instead, they pounded out rhythms on synth and made tape loops of the results. While primitive, this technique lends a unique touch to these tracks. The flipside is a completely different story. Rental is credited with tapes, loops, and voice for this side, while Leer takes on synths, tapes, and voice (that's voice, not vocals). Long drones and loops, accompanied by TV sounds and those other "unseemly noises", flow effortlessly towards dark chillout bliss. The lengthy "Interferon" is the standout here, but the other three are amazing as well. Both sides add up to what is one of the best releases from Industrial Records; thank goodness Mute reissued it!

Around this time, Rental released an extremely rare demo called MENTAL DETENTIONS; this completely instrumental gem of early industrial heaven also features Leer on a few tracks and DEFINITELY deserves a reissue. Leer still has a synthpop career, and for a while was in Act; some is worth investigating, some isn't. Rental would collaborate with the Normal (Daniel Miller, Mute head honcho) on a single-sided live album (rare but worth the hunt); his last output was the excellent "Double Heart"/On Location" single on Mute, featuring DAF's Robert Görl on drums and Leer on piano (also recommended). After this, he retired from music to raise a family, sadly passing away in 2000. The fact that so little of Rental's output exists is reason enough to buy THE BRIDGE, but the music more than justifies adding it to your collection." Review by Prof. ~.a.~

Vinyl rip by your truly. Highly Recommended!

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Thomas Leer & Robert Rental

Franco Battiato - Clic (4th Lp 1974)

Franco Battiato - Clic
Italy 1974

Franco's 4th amazing Lp.

"Dedicated to a towering musical figure indeed -- none other than avant-garde giant Karlheinz Stockhausen -- Clic found Battiato working with a smaller core group than on Sulle Corde Di Aries, though both guitarist/bassist Gianni Mocchetti and drummer Gianfranco d'Adda make return appearances. Aside from backing vocals and a string quartet, everything else is Battiato's doing, with the Krautrock touches apparent in his previous work starting to surface all the more readily here. Things are generally more meditative and reflective, though certainly Battiato isn't far from his usual wry humor (thus "Propriedad Prohibida," the title of his bitterly wry take on more-leftist-than-thou Italian bands of the time like Area, though the song itself is a quietly entrancing instrumental). Such fun spirits turn up on the album on "Rien Ne Va Plus -- Andante," the string quartet gently going berserk and quirky vocal flutters interspersed with chopped-up piano and random fake audience applause. "Il Mercato Degli Dei" is as representative of the album as anything, an instrumental composed of various parts and consisting almost entirely of Battiato's various keyboard explorations arranged and overdubbed, but emphasizing calm, quiet arrangements rather than Rick Wakeman-like orgies of sound. "I Cancelli Della Memoria" makes for a great start to the album, soothing Tangerine Dream-like airs and bubbling synth bass loops mixing with everything from (apparently) Battiato's own sax work to his more expected piano parts. "Nel Cantiere di Un'Infanzia," meanwhile, finds Battiato in one of his spookier, moodier moments, the low tones of his keyboards setting an initially unsettling air, while familiar elements from the past -- cut-up radio samples and the like -- sound all the more alien and strange here. More of the same crops up at the start of the concluding "Ethika Fon Ethica," sounding like a romantic film continually dropping out of sync with itself."

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Franco Battiato - Sulle Corde Di Aries (3rd Lp 1973)

Franco Battiato - Sulle Corde Di Aries
1973 Italy

The 3rd Lp by this incredible Italian artist. One of the high points of 70s art music. This album is another of my favorites.

"Working with a smaller band and greater range of side players -- including, intriguingly enough, cellist Jane Robertson, fresh from working with Don Cherry on Relativity Suite -- Battiato aims at a somewhat more grandiose level with Sulle Corde di Aires. Consisting only of four pieces, the first of which, "Sequenze e Frequenze," is a mostly instrumental number spanning a full side, on the one hand Sulle Corde sounds like Battiato taking himself a bit more seriously. On the other, it contains enough vibrant life to be well worth a listen beyond the world of prog fandom. The combination of acoustic guitar elegance (credit Gianni Mocchetti in particular for his work) and electronic drum pulse and keyboard overdubs some four minutes into "Sequenze e Frequenze," for instance, has a Krautrock-inspired life of its own. Battiato subtly ups the ante a little bit later with an increasingly wacky and fun kalimba sequence over a rolling, stuttering synth/guitar loop that could be right out of Pink Floyd's "One of These Days," with even more keyboard drones and melodies adding to the at-once serene and playful mood. The remaining three songs offer up more in the way of general variety, touching on everyone from acid-folk tribalism to hints of neo-classical approaches, not to mention a playful pseudo-Renaissance jam via oboe and clarinet combined with Mochetti's mandolin on "Da Oriente ad Occidente." The jazz connection hinted at via Robertson's appearance on "Aria di Rivoluzione" gets a more conventional nod due to Daniele Cavallanti's work on soprano sax and Gianni Bedori's performance on regular saxophone. Both are competent players if not uniquely inspired, but Bedori's jamming on the increasingly intense "Aries" deserves a nod. Battiato himself sings only at a few points on Sulle Corde, but when he does, it continues the balanced mood between seriousness and sheer joy."

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Sulle Corde Di Aries

Friday, December 02, 2011

Pôle - Inside the Dream (France 1975)

Pôle - Inside the Dream
Pôle Records (France 1975)

Hazy outsider French Acoustics and Electronics released on the legendary Pôle label in the mid 70s. Properly dedicated to friends Heldon this record sits in a similar synth drone realm. But the first track is a beautifully soft acoustic affair that makes me think of the Charlambides.

"To start, "Inside The Dream" by Pôle the band / collective is a completely different beast from it's predecessor, "Kotrill" (both 1975). Not just musically but, beyond synthesist and Pôle records major domo Paul Putti, the line up is entirely different. Where "Kotrill" started with it's title track exploding out of the speakers in a synthoid götterdämmerung, "Inside The Dream" begins with an acoustic tranquility. A mellow folk riff (Michael Azad) rises into focus and is joined by a sopping wet electric guitar (Paul Putti) and near subliminal bass (Eric Dervieu). Then a smooth pleasant vocal (Christian Rouch) follows "Walking inside your dream now / So sweet, so cold / Watching your face in rainbows" . As so it goes, but somewhere along the line the electric guitar decides it's sick of playing nice and forces it's way into the front of the mix; if that means it's completely out of key and pushing the needle into the red - so what? The following track, 'Outside The Nightmare' (solo composition by Jean-Louis Rizet) is more in keeping with 'Kotrill' in that it is based in the realm of synthesizers, but if 'Kotrill' was the soundtrack to the apocalypse, then 'Outside The Nightmare' is most certainly the soundtrack to the post-apocalypse. You may have lived through the worst, but you're not out of the woods yet, kid. The third and final track, 'In The Mäelstrom', bleeds in from 'Outside', the sound of acceptance of the horrible turn the world has taken, and the will to face it, come what may. Slashing synths (courtesy Mssrs. Putti, Rizet, and Pierre Chavigny) march along with our hero, bloodied but unbroken. Along with "Kotrill", "Inside The Dream" feels like it was either quickly and cheaply put together to get some product on the streets for Pôle (the record label), or they were the projects that inspired the start of Pôle (again, the label). Either way, they are all the better for their raw immediacy and near punk primitivism."

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