Friday, February 24, 2017
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Stonishingly trippy 70s spaced-out fantasies featuring Robert Mason. A dynamic mix between super groovy cosmic waves and solar funkadelic improvs. Before to form Stardrive Mason gained a solid musical background in composition (Julliard Schools / Princeton Electronic Music Center). Stardrive is the result of his own and very singular musical experiments / discoveries in contemporary electronic pop music.
A1 Rushes 4:10
A2 Strawberry Fields Forever 4:00
A3 Stardrive 9:45
B1 Dr. Tandem (Takes A Ride) 2:48
B2 Want To Take You Higher 3:22
B3 Everything At Once 6:15
B4 Intergalactic Trot 9:00
Robert Mason / synthesizer
Jaime Austria / bass
Michael Brecker / tenor & soprano saxophones
Bruce Ditmas / percussion
Steve Gadd / drums
Harvey Sarch / guitar
Harvey Sarch / guitar
The Intergalactic Sonic Travels of Robert Mason and His Synth
Stardrive – a name synonymous with a 70s jazz-rock fusion band, its self-titled album, and as the liner notes would have us believe, the “world’s first multi-voiced synthesizer that can be played like a real keyboard instrument….” This name also holds the frame to the only window allowing us a glimpse into the world of its creator; a man the internet knows very little about. Lucas Benjamin takes us along on his quest to uncovering the story behind an enigmatic keyboardist and inventor.
Robert Mason began his formal music education at 12 years old. By his early twenties, he had accumulated some impressive credentials as a keyboardist and composer, having studied at both the Mannes and Juilliard Schools in New York City, as well as the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio where he earned his bachelor’s degree in composition.
Opportunities brought Mason back to NYC, where he continued composing at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center and for a number of years later, he worked in the studio with electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick at the New York University Electronic Music Workshop. There, he rubbed shoulders with innovative composers like Steve Reich and Paul Bley and expanded his repertoire to include mixed media concerts, rock band arrangements, collaborations with dance groups, and even a membership with Free Life Communications, a musicians’ cooperative formed amidst the revolutionary climate of the Vietnam War years.
Somewhere along the line, Mason outgrew the musical limitations of existing synthesizers available in the early 70s. These primitive monophonic synthesizers were not designed as instruments for performance, thereby confining their use largely to the studio. Keen to achieve more with a synthesizer, Mason set out to build his own. He started by making adjustments to the ARP 2500, including adding the option to use it as a polyphonic synth, a capability not yet possible at the time.
Two years and countless short circuits later, as recounted in the liner notes, “Stardrive” the synthesizer was unveiled together with a band of musicians assembled by Mason that bore the same name. Together, Stardrive became a pioneer in featuring a synthesizer as the lead instrument in live performances, supported by the more traditional sax, guitar and drums that typically make up a band.
As Mason described in Stardrive’s early promotional materials: “We are building toward a higher future, one in which music will be ultra-technological and yet truly human. The path is clear – man’s collective knowledge is immense and continues to expand – unless we make music with it, it will only serve itself and stifle our joy – and without this joy a future harmony of men and machines is impossible.”
Mason released two albums with Stardrive. The first, Intergalactic Trot, released in 1973 on Elektra, was accompanied by incredible jazz musicians such as Michael Brecker on the sax and Steve Gadd on the drums.
It features four original tracks and two spaced-out covers of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and Sly Stone’s “Want To Take You Higher”.
The last planned released album on BAR Records was a demo recording with the band St Helena
(during a period they used the name Foppen but later they took back the name St Helena).
The differnce between Akasha was that St helena were more typical progressiv and was more inspired by Jethro Tull and Gensis (the early period). During this recording session Willy Bendiksen drums Fezza Ellingsen guitar,vocals,fluite,piccolo,percusion these 2were the center of the band. They later becomed members of the legendery norwegian group Höst. bendiksen have also been a member in Flax, Blond on Blond and Perfect Crime.
Ellingsen was before he was a member in St Helena a member of Akasha. After St Helena he palyed in Cobra and a solo project named Kaptein Nemo. Other members of the band was Rolf Andersen Guitar, voclas and Kjell Arne Pleym piano, vocalsand Ray Briseid bass. These guys have been recording an album named "have your own feeling, have your own way"(HArmoni K 1278) back in 1971.
These album was only made in 250 copies and with a lyricsheet. ANd are maybe Norways first alternative release. http://musikk-labeler.blogspot.com/
A1 Hello Friend 5:13
A2 Concert No. 2 5:40
Monday, February 20, 2017
SPECIALE HENRY COW AND OTHERS PLAY THE MUSIC OF LINDSAY COOPER
01 The Bath Of Stars
02 The Winter Wheel
04 First Things First
05 Winter/War - Force
06 The Tube
08 The Summer Wheel
09 Moeris Dancing
10 A Little Something
11 On Suicide
13 The Dividing Line
14 The Skeleton
15 Rats & Monkeys / Man & Boy
16 Three Wheels
17 The Dance
18 The Hermit
Chris Cutler (drums, percussions)
Fred Frith (guitars, violin)
Dagmar Krause (singing)
Peter Blegvad (guitars, bass, singing)
Marc Hollander (keyboards, clarinet)
Random was a band in Champaign-Urbana, IL, in the late 1970's. We played small venues - mostly coffee houses. We played originals, as well as an eclectic assortment of covers (Stolen Moments, San Antonio Rose, ...). The band name was originally "Random Rhythm and His Miscellaneous Meter Review," but it kept getting shortened.
Nothin' Tricky was our only recording. It was recorded in a 16-track analog studio, with all songs recorded in one take - no overdubs. (OK, one overdub - the whistling in Becky.) We released it as an LP. Yes, genuine 12" vinyl. Since the master tapes are lost to antiquity, I digitized an LP in order to re-publish the music.
The album was dedicated to Werner Heisenberg. It was the 70's, after all.
A1 Not Yet
A2 It Hertz
A3 Becky, You Dental Hygienist
A4 Wind Ribbon
B1 Towner Hall
B2 Procyon Lotar
B4 Seminole Sam
Ralph Athey: Clarinet, Saxophone, Vocal
Jerry Fiddler: Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Vocal
Sam Kolmodin: Contrabass, Bass Guitar, Vocal
Sandy Robinson: Viola, Violin, Vocal
Paul Shimandle: 12-String Guitar, Vocal
Rocky Moffit: Drums & Percussion
Engineers: Harry Gilling, Jim Corbett
Production: Harry Gilling, Ralph Athey, Paul Shimandle, Jerry Fiddler
Recorded / Mixed at: Sunday Studios, Urbana, Illinois
Cover Design: Paul Shimandle
Cover Drawing: Katy Fortune
Photography: Jerry Fiddler