Friday, November 24, 2006

The Enlightening Beam of Axonda

My copy of Bobby Brown's 1972 outsider psych oddity The Enlightened Beam of Axonda [Akarma Records] arrived in the post.

Brown created his own instruments for the album and the result was a 311 string and percussion contraption which sounds quite remarkable and is as critical to the atmosphere of the album as, let's say, The Simeon was to the Silver Apples. At first listen Axonda comes across as a proto-New Age Eden Ahbez meets Donovan bit of exotica and to be perfectly honest, that feeling never goes away entirely. This is due in large part to the concept of the recording:

"The Story: an original contribution to the field of Religion & Science - based on physics - to my knowledge not yet discovered by other humanoids - more Evolutionary than Einstein's revelation of Newtonian physics - the application of this physics will perhaps (in fact) lead to the most significant change in the history of humanity (plus total religious unity)" - from the liner notes.

If one is going to make a concept album, go for a really BIG concept. Then again, such grand conceptions are an intrinsic trait of the true outsider and which provides recordings such as this their unique status. That is, if you can bend you ears and step outside.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Acid Head Sounds

Wowza! Three posts this month, so I am managing to keep to my pledge of maintaining this blog.

I recently bought a copy of Ray Barretto's Acid + Head Sounds [Vampisoul] which collects tracks from two late 60's lps. You may be forgiven for thinking that the title suggests some sort of psychsploitation/space age bachelor pad/astro sounds fest. Well, no, but the eight minute Drum Poem (Free Spirit) and Espiritu Libre do take the listener on a trip. Overall, the cd delivers high energy percussion heavy latin boogaloo which deserves a place on your Christmas list.

Dipping into the used bins netted me a copy of Lee "Scratch" Perry & Mad Professor's Black Ark Experryments [Ariwa Sounds]. Perry extraplanetary dub reliably delivers sonic surprises and I'm guessing that the 'Professor is keeping Perry focused on the task at hand. High points: Thank You and Jungle Safari.

Krautrock veteran Uli Trepte [Guru Guru, Spacebox, Neu!, Faust, etc] has a new disk out. Credited to the Uli Trepte Quintett, Multiphonic Music [Ordnung & Hartmann Records] has ten tracks of his unique take on bass-heavy jazz instro's. He backed with regular collaborators Hans Hartmann, Edgar Hoffmann and Tapsi Kim and is joined by Geoff Leigh on flutes and sax. Trepte is one of the few sticking with the promise of the German underground and is deserving of your support.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Indian Record Shop

I stopped by The Indian Record Shop [1428 Gerrard St East in Toronto] and picked up two interesting releases. The first was an R. D. Burman collection entitled "Soulful Hits", part of Golden Collection series. The fellow behind the counter told me that it contains some of Burman's last recordings. Included from 1994 is Yeh Safar from "1942- A Love Story" and Khamosh Sa Afsana from the film "Libaas". It's all sounds mighty fine to my ears especially when the voice of Asha Bhosle leaves the speakers and circles the room.

The store also had a selection of vinyl and an lp by The Peter Moss Sound seemed to be a suitable purchase. "Eastern Avenue - Boney M Instrumental Hits" is it's name. What caught my attention (apart from the stock photo cover art) is that it features sitar, santoor, tabla and mandolin and plenty o'synths. Oh yeah, they also perform the psych tune "My Friend Jack". You might know the song by Smoke "My friend Jack eats sugar lumps/What wonderful things he sees", so goes part of the lyrics. No way I could pass this one by.

The album dates from 1981 and was released on the Multitone Records label out of Uxbridge, Middlesex. It sounds like a library release. Perhaps a little dry sounding but a nice east meets west project.

Nada as far as web goes, apart from folks selling this record or a listing of another Bollywood hits lp by the same outfit, perhaps someone could shed some light?

Friday, November 10, 2006

I Was a Creep

Henry Flynt & Nova'Billy: I Was a Creep [Soul Mash] b/w Left Ear [Greensboro
Senior High Song]
. Locust Music.

My copy of the latest Flynt arrived in the mail this week. I was looking forward to it as his music continues to surprise which explains why the cds are never far from my stereo. It's the odd synthesis of styles that appeals to me.

Recorded at a live show in 1975, the blurbs for this release propose a similarity to No Wave and yeah, I can hear it. But no Mudd Club habitué would have been prepared for the urban hillbilly square dance stomp of the flip.

The style of the music is similar to that included on the "Graduation and other new country and blues music" set. Very approachable for those interested in investigating Flynt's unique brand of Americana. Only 300 copies pressed so act quick.

I will wait patiently for the release of the full concert.
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