Slapp Happy – Acnalbasac Noom (1980) (2020 Our Swimmer)

Slapp Happy – Acnalbasac Noom
2020 Our Swimmer – WELLE102 for Record Store Day
Original release 1980

Recorded with members of Faust at that band’s Wümme studio in 1973, this album was originally scrapped and then rerecorded (without Faust) and released as Casablanca Moon. This version finally surfaced in 1980, with the original title spelled backward.   I’ve seen it described as “more raw” than the rerecorded album, but don’t be fooled — these aren’t demos, this is a finished album, recorded and mixed immaculately. I love it to pieces, and although gets both the “prog” and “psychedelia” tags, there is a strong vibe of jangly folk-rock here too. In fact it is so tuneful and melodic that it is hard to believe this is the same band that would merge with Henry Cow a few years later. From Dagmar Krause’s double-tracked vocals to Peter Blegvad’s impeccably-crafted guitar work, this record is a pleasure from start to finish. Continue reading

Popol Vuh – Nosferatu The Vampyre (1978) (Original Soundtrack)

Popol Vuh – Nosferatu the Vampyre (Original Sound Track)
2019 Reissue (Germany)
Original releases, 1978, as “On The Way To A Little Way” and “Brüder Des Schattens – Söhne Des Lichts “

Werner Herzog had one of the most notable and singular relationships between a director and a composer/musician through his friendship with Florian Fricke (who was basically Popul Vuh – he did the “solo-artist-with-guests-marketed-as-a-band” thing long before the indie kids).  The soundtrack to the classic Nosferatu The Vampyre film has one of the more confusing release histories in their partnership, being drawn from music that Fricke had already released as a Popul Vuh album on his own.  And unlike some of their other collaborations, like Aguirre, where the soundtrack runs through the film like a recurring character, Nosferatu actually didn’t feature much music in the final edit.  Nevertheless, the music is as otherworldly and haunting as any other work from Fricke’s prolific career, with his characteristic blend of mysticism and melancholy.  I share it here on Halloween, 2020, when we don’t even need to use our imaginations to see the horrific all around us.  May it provide a soundtrack to however you chose to spend the day.

1 Brüder Des Schattens 5:45
2 Höre, Der Du Wagst 6:00
3 Das Schloss Des Irrtums 5:37
4 Die Umkehr 5:57
5 Mantra 1 6:15
6 Morning Sun 3:22
7 Venus Principle 4:41
8 Mantra 2 5:23
9 Die Nacht Der Himmel 5:03
10 Der Ruf Der Rohrflöte 3:39
11 To A Little Way 2:33
12 Through Pain To Heaven 3:47
13 On The Way 4:05
14 Zwiesprache Der Rohrflöte 3:26

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Daniel Fichelscher
Oboe – Bob Eliscu
Piano – Florian Fricke
Producer – Florian Fricke, Gerhard Augustin
Sitar – Alois Gromer
Tambora [Tamboura] – Ted De Jong

Remastered By – Frank Fiedler, Guido Hieronymus


Mirror 1 || Mirror 2

16-bit 44.1 khz

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Henry Cow – Western Culture (1978) (Interzone 1980)

Henry Cow
Western Culture
1980 Interzone IZ 1001
Original UK release – 1978 Broadcast Records

May Day, 2020.  Not long ago, the hashtag #notdying4WallStreet was trending on Twitter, as Vulture Capitalism quite literally proposed killing untold thousands to buoy their stock portfolios.  And this week a conglomeration of far-right Christians praying for the next apocalypse to spew forth from their divine vehicle’s tanning bed puckered sphincter-larynx, in a suicidal love-tryst with armed angry white men posing on the steps of capitol buildings demanding that a phantasmagorical Deep State restore their God-given right to choose between Coke and Pepsi.  After the revolution comes (the real one, not this bullshit), the first edition of the New Dictionary of the Year Zero will have an entry for “alienation” displaying  photos of these people with their banners equating “Freedom” with the right to wage slavery.  Continue reading

David Sancious and Tone – Transformation (The Speed of Love) (1976 Epic)

David Sancious and Tone – Transformation (The Speed Of Love)
1976 Epic Records PE 33939| Genre:  Fusion, Jazz-rock, Progressive rock

If, like me, you thought that Incident on 57th Street and New York City Serenade were the high points of Bruce Springsteen’s early career, then you should probably give your attention to musical polymath and chameleon David Sancious.  Sancious was keyboardist for the E. Street Band on their first two albums, and contributed to the title track of Born To Run.  I think it would be a safe claim to say that his sensibility probably helped sculpt the “epic” sound they were crafting, particularly on the longer songs, but if you have The Boss too firmly in mind when putting on this record, you might be jarred by just how dissimilar it seems.  I’ve always been a champion of things eclectic, but Sanscious might be too eclectic for his own good at times.  With his virtuosity on multiple instruments taking front and center stage, it is hard not to marvel at least a little at the breadth of vision, but sometimes they straddle the grey area between stylistic transcendence and plain confusion.  His debut record for Epic (Forest of Feelings, 1975) was produced by none other than legendary jazz-fusion drummer Billy Cobham, and at times the music comes close to holding its own with Return To Forever or Weather Report or Mahavishnu Orchestra, and at other times sounding a bit like a slightly funky Rush without the benefit of no horrible lyrics (everything here is instrumental).

Continue reading