Saturday, August 04, 2018

Yet another ho-hummer this week. Do yourself a favor and read YOWP instead. It's a much better blog---really!

Gaea-FUTURE UNIVERSE CD (Gaea Records)

Otto von Ruggins' mention of Gaea Hawkins in the interview I did with the man a few weeks back really got me interested in giving this former Guardian keyboardist a listen to, and wouldn't you know it but the lass actually has not only this but other recorded wares out and about. And from the look of FUTURE UNIVERSE is sure looks swell especially in that whole OvR/Kongress/LMO fashion...I mean, take a gander at that garish outer space cover...seem familiar to you? Howzbout the title...FUTURE that 'un to another infamous album if you so dare! But does FUTURE UNIVERSE rank as an unheralded musical classic up there with all of those others we all tried finding to no avail back in those pre-internet hit and miss days?

Well, the answer to these and many other pressing questions is YES. this platter is a bonafeed rock classic that ranks with all of those other undiscovered efforts that seemed to moil about in the waters of indifference which only I seemingly find more than a shard of value in them for some not-so-strange reason or another.

The best way to describe this home made job'd be to call the thing electronic punk rock. Not that punk as in "punque" that many of you "aficionados" have given more lip service to than Harry Reems, but mid-seventies hard-edged blues-y neo-metallic gutter street sounds punk. Kinda like the early punky Giorgio Moroder sound with some Irmin Schmidt keyboardry ca. EGE BAMYASI complete with all of that gear that Gary Wright used on "Dream Weaver", only with a hefty does of pop styling tossed in. If THE IDIOT came off like this maybe Lester Bangs wouldn't have loathed it so much. A surprisingly refreshing effort that conjures up various mid-seventies feelings that we all shoulda had, and what's even stranger is that this disque came out in 2000, a good quarter-century after the whole underground hub bub regarding rock 'n roll as a under-the-underground effort was being birthed at a time only a few urban-encroached fans knew what was goin' on!

Makes me wanna know more about the gal and her other musical endeavors. Hey Gaea, if yer readin' this and wanna get in touch feel free to do so, even if yer probably gonna remain just as obscure as ya were before I pecked this particular write up!
Phew-LIGHT SLEEP LP (Mesh Key Records)

Since I liked her work with and without various members of Can, I thought I'd give this particular Phew platter a look-see. Hmmmm, seems as if I was RIGHT again, for LIGHT SLEEP is what anyone with half-a-braincell to rub together would deem a BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY AMAZINGLY DRIVING ALBUM that I sure wish I heard way back when instead of in the here and now I would have been alive longer to give it even more spins, ifyaknowaddamean...

On this debut platter recorded right smack dab inna middle of her own apartment, Phew manipulates electronics, mostly by herself with minimal synthetic assist, while she makes a whole bunch of those slyly askew gurgles and moans which fit the synthesized buzzes and blurs even more potent as she pants, talks Japanese and basically creates a strange cough syrup dream mood with her mere voice. The backing sounds though are what really adds the potent power to this platter, recalling various experiments from the likes of Nurse With Wound and Throbbing Gristle as the riffs repeat themselves creating atmospheres that are can be hypnotic, relaxing AND nightmarish all at once. Overall this captures the whole synthetic/electronic spirit of 70s/80s cusp electronic rock-oriented sounds a whole lot more'n those casioclowns that ended up owning the entire sorry 1980s once passion and terror were replaced by giddy goody feely music.

Definitely one to break the bank for what with the driving patterns that for once stir up those long-hidden reasons as to why one might have gone for this truly liberating experimental music in the first place. Forced Exposure had a bunch but I guess they sold out. Best to try again in case they do get another shipment in hopefully more sooner than later.
Josh Max's Outfit-MAKE IT SNAPPY CD (Swipecat Records)

I first came about this bunch while combing the CBGB cybercasts 'round 2000 way. Shrugged 'em off as something that wasn't quite conduit to my own rock 'n roll sense of sound-as-tension (the group was performing the Desi Arnaz classic "Cuban Pete", which also appears on this platter). However, this Cee Dee dos have its merits even though the rock unto boogie unto forties sounds Josh and crew make can be considered akin to a stripped down Manhattan Transfer churning up more than a few bad art deco memories. Yet the rockabilly track does elicit some smart moves while the tributes to various Tin Can Alley clanks of the past don't reek seventies nostalgia like too many similar efforts have. Not bad at all actually, and they ever manage to crank out a decent Merseybeat soundalike at that.
The Radiators From Space-TV TUBE HEART CD-r burn (originally on Chiswick Records, England)

Not bad Irish punk rock from a group that fortunately still remembered what punk rock was like in the mid-seventies before it began evolving into a creature that was nothing more'n the worst aspects of hippiedom with a demeanor that made the original ROLLING STONE look positively pallid. For one thing this is actually BRIGHT and KINETIC music that's a far cry from some of the woe is me doom 'n gloom sounds that was permeating England and perhaps the rest of the Isles in the mid-eighties. The playing's great as well, not that it always mattered but when it works, well it works! A boff reish complete with new material, b-side, singles and cassette-only rarities not to mention some live material that add a few more nuts on the top of this punkazoid sundae of a sesh if you do ask me!
Various Artists-SYDE TRIPS VOLUME SIX CD-r burn

I never knew so much commercialized yet vital psychedelic rock came outta England back inna late-sixties! Although I'm sure none of this would have rocked the Ladbrook Grove types I must admit that the quality of these records, recorded by acts I never heard about before, straddle the fine line between mere pop and honest enough for me psychedelia that might have been as canned as corn, but ya gotta admit IT SURE SERVES ITS PURPOSE! All of it has varying degrees of rock magnitude, though some tracks by the likes of acts with the typically psych pop names as Tropical Fish and the Phoenix manage to capture the late-sixties situation more than people with names like Grace and Jorma ever did, ifyaknowaddamean. Highlight of the set's most definitely Solent's fairer than fair cover version of the Sagittarius classic "My World Fell Down".

Straight from three fantastic days at the Des Moines Holiday Inn, the Links are just as innovative and as exotic as the chicken croquettes one would have been downing whilst listening to their groovoid sounds. And if you really like hearing such hits as "The Sounds of Silence" and "My Way" done up on a Hammond B-3 and sung in perfect three-part harmony before you trek back to your room to catch the late-moom, you can always get hold of this platter that's bound to bring back those vibrating bed and calling room service for extra towels days faster than you can say "Kit Kat Lounge". Not bad if you want to conjure up memories of some of the gunk that was goin' 'round in the seventies which did make all that punk and hard-edged music we liked sound all the more better.

When the Links move on to Holiday Inns unknown you can just bet that Gary Schneider will be there to keep those traveling salesmen well and happy. With his Hammond (well this time it just MIGHT be a Wurlitzer) and perhaps some other keyboard wizardry, Schneider sings double-tracked (with little regard for his voices matching up, or did he intend that?) on a variety of old time faves that not only got that nostalgic glimmer for the senior citizens amongst us but that cha-cha rhythm that'll really getcha goin'! If Suicide were a lounge band they woulda sounded like this. But in all, don't YOU think it's rather disturbing that Schneider got to make an album and all of those great mid-late seventies groups we've never heard DIDN'T?????
Various Artists-ENVELOPE STUFFING MAMBO SYMPATHY CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Not as much of a zip to this Bill burn as usual, but still a nice way to pass an afternoon. Which is much better than passing a kidney stone I would imagine. A variety of cheap soul jazz recordings, the typical country and western toss off, some krauts thinking they're doing mambo, slushy tit-squeeze pop and cheapo "song poems" permeate the disque making for some funtime sounds I would imagine, though it's only when Jimmy Witherspoon and James Brown work their black magic that this kicks into hi-gear and becomes one mighty entertaining spinner. The ads that Bill snuck in were fine...especially dug the old Esso ones because I remember when I was an early teenbo and here in the USA Esso became Exxon with that new seventies-styled box-y logo which did not appeal to me one bit given how much I liked the old, more streamlined one! I hear that you lucky Canadians still have actual Essos up there which is cool because you can still see that old glorious sign which has remained little unchanged (other's being given a wind-swept look) while traveling the roads. I'd move up there just for that, only with Justin in orifice I think my bank account would run out in a mere few days.
"We'll get right back to DECADE OF THE SEVENTIES NEW YORK CITY ROCK after this break. The chick peas served at Max's Kansas City may have been cheap, but the days of modestly priced buffets are gone... Won't you help Chris when he occasionally wants to suspend his diet by buying some back issues of the fabled BLACK TO COMM magazine? Pledge now and get a FANABLA coffee mug!"

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