Not going to get maudlin.
My mum is here, this has resulted in an increase in tea and coffee consumption. It has also resulted in a lot of shouting watching the soccer, she truly is a fan.
The past weeks have been dominated by instrumental music, this week has not really been different, kicking off with some Edgar Froese albums and Clearlight Symphony.
First off came the Edgar Froese, they really deserve more than just a picture but I am still integrating them into my world, they have been sitting around for awhile without getting a play:
Clearlight Symphony apparently was Virgin records attempt to cash in on the sensation of Tubular Bells with another vaguely psychedelic album of two sides of instrumental music. Cyrille Verdaux got it together in the studio and recorded two rambling and exploratory 20 minute or so piano solos, then over time added some overdubs with some other musicians, notably Steve Hillage and Tim Blake long with Didier Malherbe on side 1, which originally should have been side 2, and Christian Boule and some others on side 2. which should have been side 1. This all came about because Virgin decided that the Gongsters had more pull and should lead off the album. Just goes to show the breadhead that is Richard Branson had only one thought in mind for all eternity which is what will make the most money.
Now if you like Soft Machine, Gong, Steve Hillage or Hatfield and the North you will get off on this masterwork. It’s suitably tripped out meandering stoned and funky music, as far as a French pianist and some stoners can be funky. It also has nothing in common with Tubular Bells other than two 20 minute or so sides of music. It’s not that restful meandering ambient music that I was craving, it’s a little twitchy in places and dragged me into head nodding raptures at times, which maybe is enough for late on a Saturday night.
So if you have the LP play side 2 first followed by side 1 to hear it the way the composer intended, if you have the CD you probably have it the way good old Cyrille wanted. Of course why would anyone want the CD?
At times due to the nature of the house we live in and the proximity of our bedroom to the living room where the stereo is I have to apologize occasionally to my wife due to the nature of the sounds filtering through the door. I do not have a designated listening space, man-cave or shed to myself, we have a shared living room. This week I have had to apologize twice as I played NEU! a little too loud for the tastes of the people I cohabit with. This is a little amusing to me, isn’t it supposed to be the kids apologizing? Side 2. of NEU! 2. was the last straw however, don’t even pretend Mr’s Rother and Dinger that you were pioneering re-mixes or sampling, and the in-jokes are only funny once, you just ran out of money and had to improvise for the second side, we forgive you.
NEU! and NEU! 2 are however three brilliant sides of German genius, one part noise and electronics and one part melody, last weeks NEU! 75 led me on quite the trip. Prior to this week I had not listened to NEU! and now apparently I own all three of the original albums, there is a fourth and I may get to it one day, although there are two different versions of it.
So this week I have been dancing around the living room gyrating to the germanic motorik beat and looking quite the idiot at times. This according to my beloved wife, what however does she know about getting in touch with the experimental side of myself, “lets face it the neighbors don’t want to see that either” was her reply. The vaguely punk aesthetic to both albums and consistency of beat have made this super enjoyable, I am considering joining that ecstatic dancing group at the community center. I am not however sure that they allow this type of music, it’s probably all new agey and trippy. They did both come on very pretty white vinyl part of that clean aesthetic I suppose.
This Faust album has just confused me to no end, mostly because I can’t figure out which is the A Side and which the B Side, at some point I just gave up and immersed myself in the thing. Tape manipulations, mumbled words and all, I have no idea what this is all about however I have been playing it fairly consistently, mostly when I am alone. The deluge of noise and confusion has been something of a clear out for my brain at the end of the day, unsettling, comforting and confusing, no wonder they are such an influential band.
For this reason I am getting close to declaring this my official year of Krautrock. Lets face it, it’s time to get away from the blues and Brill building focussed world and let the strangeness in, well let the strangeness even further in. It is refreshing to listen to music that is mostly devoid of the conventional in pop. I have been feeling a little comfortable and with so many changes this year it’s maybe time to shake it all up. Of course I have started myself out on many a theme and lost the thread before.
Man I rambled on.
As the week is ending here is where we are, mum has gone home it was a bit fo a disaster as the wheelchair never turned up in Amsterdam or Manchester.
Now for the played this week list along with those at the top of the page and not necessarily in the order of playing and really some of them need some discussion but they probably won’t get it.
So there you have it the week in review, boohoo.