Friday, May 7, 2010

how odd

so i know this blog is more or less dead, but i've been going back and downloading some of my own stuff because i lost some of the files. has anyone noticed these wacky franz de byl comments at the end of all my posts? they're all about a year after this blog closed apparently. i heard he's been doing this to a lot of other blogs too, some people think it's a really bad joke. any ideas?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New blog.

So I've started a new blog.

It's not a music blog. It has posts about music, but that doesn't comprise its subject matter solely.

I'm not sure how successful its going to be, or if it will even be successful at all. It might be a really stupid idea, in all honesty. I'm afraid it borders on being too ambitious, for one.


The idea behind it is kind of complicated, but it's basically a public version of my private explorations of all the wonderful things that have to do with art, society, and culture (music being one of them). It's a direct application of many of the ideas that the musicians featured on THIS blog espouse.

It might be crazy, it might be idiotic. Like I said, it's a bit more personal, and my persona might be rather distasteful to some. It's a version of my private interests made public so that other people might get something out of them as well. I no longer want to just listen, or read about things. I want to actually apply the philosophy to my life, to make THAT kind of music, to make THAT kind of writing, and so forth. I want to live it, and not just admire.

It's still very infantile, and there probably won't be a lot of posts until after mid-May. I have a lot of important dates coming up, and there's a lot of preparation involved in those dates. My time is being drained.

But if you're interested, read the intro post (and the one after that, if it catches your fancy).

I've also uploaded several albums; a few are NWW List gems I claimed to have a long time ago but could never upload. Well, now they're uploaded: the complete (well, almost) discography of Trans Museq, the Tamia LP, and so forth.

It isn't, however, a music-only blog, and I don't think many more upload posts are going to follow those. It's not another Direct-Waves. It does, however, encompass what Direct-Waves was, and what it stood for.

Happy blogging.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Banten - Banten, 1972, Denmark

Another NWW List item. I have almost NO info about this release at all. I do, however, have a line-up:

Rob Van Der Broeck, Piano
Ernst Reijseger, Cello
Jurre Haanstra, Drums

I know nothing of any of the three members of this album, except that Reijseger and Van Der Broeck both released a few solo albums on their own (Reijseger in particular appears to have been prolific).

Personally, this was never one of my favorites from the List, but it is by no means a bad album. It is very atypical and floats through many different styles and moods, reaching its highlight on track 4. No good comparisons come to mind, but if you like other groups from the list from about the same period and in the same vein then you'd probably like this a lot.

Interestingly, they appear to do a much shorter, piano-only version of Monk's Mood.


Side A:
Music for Nita and Bert
Honna Song
Dig Dick
Side B:
Monk's Mood

This link contains more info about Reijseger, the head of the group, but doesn't talk about the Banten project specifically.


Friday, August 3, 2007


I haven't been on in awhile...what with the whole Broken Flag issue and all...anyone have any particular requests?

As far as the whole Broken Flag thing generated some interesting debate. I'm not going to take sides either way, because to an extent I agree with both Gary Mundy and with the people arguing against him and those who fell inbetween the two extremes as well, nor do I really feel like it's necessary for me to argue about it either way. I respect the man's choice and understand the reasons behind it even though I don't necessarily agree with it.

However, I never thought I'd see Gary Mundy himself posting on my blog :) So personally I think it's pretty cool, even considering what he had to say...

But once again...any requests?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

No More Broken Flag Stuff

Apologies but it appears Gary Mundy himself doesn't want me to post any more BF releases...It is his right after all; can't blame the guy. I'm sorry but I'm gonna have to take it all down :( I'll leave the posts up to keep the comments but the links will be all gone. No future BF posts either.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Omar Khorshid and His Guitar - Rhythms From the Orient, 1974 (Lebanon/Egypt)

Just rediscovered this little gem of prog meets Middle Eastern music; thought I'd share. It's no experimental masterpiece but it's a great album nonetheless; it should be enjoyable to some. Some infos:

Omar Khorshid's 1974 release Rhythms from the Orient is the only Lebanese prog-related album that I know of. Omar Khorshid is a famous Egyptian musician who became well-known in his country both as a guitarist and as a film composer. While my CD doesn't contain too much historical information on Omar's history, it appears that at some point in his career he recorded a certain amount of music in Lebanon, and the music here is promoted as Lebanese music, though Omar is Egyptian(Thanks Bahy!). While Rhythms from the Orient might sound like a "solo guitar" album with gimmick percussion, Omar gave generous room for organ, Moog synth, accordion, along with percussion. Basically, the average listener will find an album with great guitar playing, and kick-ass keyboard/percussion interaction. Omar's style of guitar somehow mixes traditional Oud-like melodies with occasional 50s surf guitar(Dick Dale is of Lebanese ancestry, of course) and 60s psychedelia. The music is based entirely on traditional popular Arabic music, yet the influence of psychedelia, virtuoso organ playing, and Moog synth shows a noticeable western influence. The interaction between organ player and percussionists, though, really does it for me, and it will make the even the dullest Anglo-saxon dance to the rhythms. Try to imagine an organist playing bouncy syncopated Middle Eastern scales to percussionists who swing fast Arabic interlocking rhythms. And to top things off, Omar adds spacy Oud-like melodies with a guitar that's either clean sounding or hooked up to a vintage Swirl-producing pedal(and a unique one at that). Rhythms from the Orient is simply perfect music for your hash-filled(woops, I meant to say Narghile-filled) afternoons. Fans of the Turkish compilations Hava Narghile and Turkish Delights will love this stuff!

While it seems he is fairly well known by fans of exotica and Middle Eastern pop music (a couple of his lp's have made it to CD), facts about him are scant (in English, anyway) on the net. He apparently acted in and did music for film, yet I've been unable to find any soundtracks credited to him. Also, all discographies I've found seem to be incomplete. He has at least 8 lp's that I know of from the mid to late 70's. Some on the Greek label Voice of Lebanon, and some on EMI.


Skullflower - Xaman, 1988

Not a Broken Flag album, but another good 12" from Skullflower nonetheless. Their fourth release. This contains the three bonus tracks from the 1990 CD reissue.

As requested

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Broken Flag Cassettes Two

Friday, June 29, 2007

Maschine Nr. 9 - Headmovie

From wfmu:
Headmovie is a Nurse With Wound List item, a German Rock-audio collage of spoken word, electronic pulsations, psychedelic music, and borrowed bits from The Beatles White Album, among other things. The credited trio includes musician Georg Deuter, who at the time had released some great ethnic-flavored solo albums of instrumental music and was already veering towards "New Age." Krautrock luminaries Renate Knaup (Amon Düül II) and Daniel Fichelscher (Popol Vuh) also participated.

Crack in the Cosmic Egg:
Not a group, but a one-off sound-theatre project headed by Wolf Wondratschek, Bernd Brummbär and Georg Deuter. An unusual concoction of texts, sound effects and music, the title HEADMOVIE is quite apt, it is intriguing and bizarre: not least for some original Deuter music, weird singing by Renate Knaup, and fascinating tape-collage work including borrowed material like Roger Waters' "Several Species Of Small Furry Animals..." and John Lennon's immortal "number 9".


Wolf Wondratschek, Bernd Brummbär, Georg Deuter, + Vlado Kristl, Olimpia Hruska, Rolf Zacher, Waki Zoellner, Hans Noever, Temur Samy, Helmut Qualtinger, Peter Schranner, Thomas Schamoni, George Moorse, Alfred Edel, Hans Jürgen Diedrich, Louis Waldon

As interesting as it sounds, I can't help but feel that quite a lot of this album is lost to us non-German speakers, as most of the story is told through German dialogues. Nonetheless it has its moments...

As requested:


Ray Russell & Friederich Gulda

Two more NWWL requests.

Friederich Gulda & Ursula Anders - Gegenwart, 1976, Germany

One often hears that a piece of music is "ahead of its time"; however, the claim is difficult to prove until a certain amount of time has passed. In January of 1976, the great Austrian pianist Friedrich Gulda recorded the album Gegenwart (meaning presence or present time), which can now truly claim, with its 1993 reissue, to have been ahead of its time. The album was a collaboration with percussionist Ursula Anders and producer Eckart Rahn; it was and still is a challenging, dramatic collection of improvisations.
Actually, past, present, and future, all come together in Gegenwart. Gulda's worldwide reputation as an interpreter of classic Mozart and Beethoven pieces certainly did nothing to prepare listeners for the music on this recording. From its recognizably pianistic sounds to the guitar like strumming produced on (or more accurately, in) the electric clavichord, Gegenwart is a musical snapshot of a musician looking toward the future. It contains no solo piano works and the conventional sounds of the piano are simply one of a number of textures that Gulda uses.

At times, dramatic and abstract, sometimes spare and lyrical, Gegenwart is full of surprises. For instance, the strings inside the piano imitate an electric-bass and the high swoop of a synthesizer at the end of Duo 1 and Duos 2 and 3 include an assortment of percussion instruments, recorders, and even some whistling. Although all of the pieces are completely improvised, this is not an album of conventional jazz. Gegenwart is about sound, not form; as its German title indicates, it's about playing in the moment - about the act of making music. Even now, the album contains some of the most unusual sounds ever coaxed out of a piano or clavichord. More important, the pieces sound like they could have been recorded last month; the music is as daring and imaginative now as it was in 1976.

Not personally one of my favorite list items, but should greatly please many.


Ray Russell - Secret Asylum, 1973

Secret Asylum was Russell's most experimental solo effort, however it's one of the few that haven't been reissued. Very little info exists (not even on his own website!). Too bad, because it's a very interesting album full of jazz and heavy rock improvisations where all kinds of styles come together, meet and clash in their own very distinct ways. Line-up and tracklisting:

Ray Russell (g/b) - Gary Windo (ts) - Harry Beckett (tpt/flghn) - Daryl Runswick (b) - Alan Rushton (d)

1. Stained Angel Morning - 2. Spinetree - 3. Sweet Cauldron - 4. All Through Over You - 5. Nearer - 6. These That I Am - 7. To See Through The Sky - 8. There The Dance Is - 9. Children Of The Hollow Dawn

Anyone got a better pic?