February 24, 2017

Ga'an – Ga'an (2009, LP, Usa)

This Chicago band's self-titled debut has been floating around since 2009 in a cruelly limited cassette-­only edition (why not go for eight-track next time, folks?), but early this year it got a fine vinyl reissue on the local Captcha label; I don't know what I expected to happen when these dark cosmic incantations became more widely available, but I'll admit I was the tiniest bit surprised when all heaven failed to break loose. Ga'an frequently and not without reason attract comparisons to Magma, Goblin, and Popol Vuh, and their debut's six longish tracks pulse, snake, and clatter—they're fond of meters built on sevens—beneath the chants and wails of vocalist and keyboardist Lindsay Powell, who reminds me ever so slightly of Grace Slick. It's cultish, occult, and thoroughly hypnotic—music for communing with a technologically advanced outer-space mushroom god, or for soundtracking a movie about same. The band, a quartet when Ga'an was recorded, is now a trio: Powell, who also plays solo as Fielded, and original drummer Seth Sher, who's never a mere timekeeper, have been joined by Tyson Torstensen on bass and synth. This lineup will release an album called Black Equus on Captcha in late summer or early fall, once the cover art's ready—the band will have homemade cassette copies tonight—and the new material delivers on the promise of Ga'an's stunning debut. The nearly 20-minute "Call of the Black Equus" in particular has a satisfyingly albumlike structure all by itself—a little like "Sister Ray," except with less jizz and violence and more messages from the Pleiades. —Monica Kendrick.

Ga'an ‎– Black Equus (2011, LP, Usa)

Ga’an are one of 20jazzfunkgreats favourite bands. A steel Hydra coiling and snapping from the undifferentiated sludge of contemporary music, an enigmatic troubadour staying for a night at the inn of this reality, regaling us with uncanny ballads about the chaos without so that we can writhe in gorgeous nightmares when we go to bed. They take off like Magma, into the heart of darkness like Goblin.

February 22, 2017

Stardrive With Robert Mason ‎– Intergalactic Trot (1973, LP, Usa)

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.

Side A
A1 Rushes 4:10
A2 Strawberry Fields Forever 4:00
A3 Stardrive 9:45
Side B

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
The Intergalactic Sonic Travels of Robert Mason and His Synth 
By Lucas Benjamin
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”.

St. Helena - Hello Friend (1974, LP, Norway)

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/
Side A
A1 Hello Friend 5:13
A2 Concert No. 2 5:40
Side B
B1 Song Is Sung / Lama And The Boy / Magic Garden 8:40

King Crimson - DGM Collector's Club - Club9 2000 Denver (1972)

King Crimson - KCCC9 Denver (1972) 
DGM Collector's Club - Club9 2000

**Removed by request**    

King Crimson - Live in Central Park, NYC, 1974

King Crimson - KCCC10 NYC (1974) 
DGM Collector's Club - Club10 2000

**Removed by request**

February 20, 2017

Henry Cow And Others Plays The Music Of Lindsay Cooper - Radio 3 FM Broadcast 15/11/2014



Il ritorno degli Henry Cow: "Inventavamo musica non ortodossa" 
di Aldo Lastella
 Il ritorno degli Henry Cow: "Inventavamo musica non ortodossa"
Dopo 36 anni la band inglese, simbolo del rock sperimentale anni 70, si riunisce per commemorare Lindsay Cooper. Il 23 unica data italiana a Forlì.

ROMA - Henry Cow è il nome di un fantasma del rock. Così si chiamava una band inglese, amatissima in Italia, che si dissolse alla fine degli anni Settanta. Militava nell'ala più sperimentale ed anarchica della musica, mettendo in scena una miscela esplosiva che frullava rock, free jazz, elettronica e contemporanea colta. E soprattutto coniugava la musica con l'impegno politico a sinistra. Scomparso nel 1978, Henry Cow ricomparirà in Italia, a Forlì, per un solo concerto, il 23 novembre, per commemorare Lindsay Cooper, fagottista e compositrice del gruppo morta a 62 anni poco più di un anno fa. "Un'amica e un'ottima collega, nonché una rara combinazione di talenti", la ricorda Chris Cutler, batterista e anima di Henry Cow assieme a Fred Frith, Tim Hodgkinson e John Greaves, tutti presenti alla reunion che avrà una anteprima a Londra il 21 e 22. Ma il concerto di Forlì sarà qualcosa di più della riunione di un vecchio gruppo in disarmo, si trasformerà in una specie di stati generali della musica radicale britannica con la presenza di nomi illustri del genere come Phil Minton, Zeena Parkins, Dagmar Krause, Sally Potter.

Mister Cutler, cosa ha rappresentato Henry Cow per la sua carriera?
"È stata una specie di università e una scuola di ricerca per me; è stato dove ho compiuto i miei studi superiori. Fu una formazione altamente sperimentale che investigò tecniche allargate e forme ibride. Imparammo insieme fra di noi piuttosto che da autorevoli figure accreditate, questo ci rese flessibili e aperti a possibilità non ortodosse. Ci siamo formati tutti in questi anni e ancora condividiamo il senso fondamentale di ciò che è la musica".

Come nacque l'originalità della vostra musica?
"I vari membri del gruppo avevano provenienze diverse e si misero insieme perché tutti avevano una inclinazione verso la sperimentazione. Abbiamo dovuto lavorare duramente per creare un linguaggio che potesse soddisfare le nostre differenti concezioni e che fosse comune a tutti. Sebbene il nostro primo discorso fosse rock, importammo a forza vocabolario e tecniche da altre discipline, in base al principio che il rock fosse un linguaggio misero e un campo aperto e non ci fosse nessun modo giusto di suonare o nessuna forma ufficiale che fossimo costretti a adottare. In sostanza volevamo fare del rock più interessante e più flessibile, così lo combinammo con elementi importati da qualsiasi forma ci interessasse o ci piacesse".

Malgrado la complessità della vostra proposta artistica vi seguiva un pubblico fedele.
"In realtà ci seguiva una piccola parte di pubblico, ma diffuso ovunque, perché eravamo parte di una sorta di mainstream. La cultura era un continuum. Oggi non c'è un mainstream, solo un crescente numero di schegge e generi specialistici che circolano in sistemi chiusi dentro Internet. Non c'è più un centro, e l'industria discografica si occupa solo di cose altamente mediatiche o garanzia di soldi. Questo rende tutte le altre musiche abbandonate a se stesse, in cerca di un proprio pubblico online dove tutte le idee, per l'ascoltatore generico, scompaiono nella generale cacofonia. Oggi è facile fare e far circolare la musica, ma è dura fuggire dalla propria piccola bolla elettronica e contribuire così a dare un senso a una cultura condivisa".

Avevate un rapporto speciale con l'Italia, vero?
"Sì, siamo stati fortunati a trovare un'accoglienza così calorosa e l'oppurtunità di suonare in molti festival politici che richiamavano frotte di borghesi innocenti, curiosi e tranquilli, la maggior parte dei quali non sapeva nemmeno chi fossimo. Per parecchi anni abbiamo potuto esibirci in Italia, un paese dove non poteva farlo nessun'altra band, fu un apprezzabile privilegio".

Art Bears - Roma 'Murales' (7 May 1979)

01 The Bath Of Stars
02 The Winter Wheel
03 Riddle
04 First Things First
05 Winter/War - Force
06 The Tube
07 Joan
08 The Summer Wheel
09 Moeris Dancing
10 A Little Something
11 On Suicide
12 Maze
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)

1. 2. 3.

Random – Nothin' Tricky (1977, LP, Usa)

Very interesting avant progressive band from Illinois. Starts off with a disco(?!) track, but you know it's a head fake from the beginning. Mostly the group Random go for a chamber music sound, with all sorts of other styles mixed in, most notably jazz. Highly inventive for 1977, and one has to presume Henry Cow were an influence here.
Side A
A1 Not Yet 
A2 It Hertz
A3 Becky, You Dental Hygienist 
A4 Wind Ribbon 
Side B
B1 Towner Hall 
B2 Procyon Lotar 
B3 MiddlesThree
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
Recorded / Mixed at: Sunday Studios, Urbana, Illinois