So, the MV & EE thing has been somewhat problematic for me. Having been a long time fan of the Tower Recordings; the mothership that deployed MV and EE into our sphere of consciousness, I am somewhat surprised at how difficult it has been for me to get on the bus when it comes to the recordings of MV & EE with whatever wandering minstrels happen to constitute the Golden/Bummer/Whatever Road. There are always very good moments on each studio record but they rarely illicit follow up sessions. Being a firm believer in the power of the live electric testimonial, I have ventured to a few lofts/bars/and open fields and bent my ears to recieve the MV & EE gospel always leaving satisfied but not converted. With the exception of a 30 minute instrumental that took place at Free103.9's farm in the Catskills that to this day stands as one of the most revelatory aural experiences of my life, perhaps it was pure (un)luck that I always seemed to hit shows where the jams just didn't gel...Fortunately for all of us, the band was totally hooked up on 2008-11-03 at the Oxfam Cafe in Medford, MA, and the tape was rolling. Part of a seemingly endless deluge of live releases, Sasquatch Creamie is 60 minutes of timeless hazy psych with MV & EE combining the Dead's free rock approach with Crazy Horse's ragged crunch to gloriously lysergic effect. Backed ably by the Golden Road, Matt Valentine's guitar playing takes center stage as it spirals skybound from the front porch like some back-country astronaut. Sasquatch Creamie is a fantastic document of a band that has successfully absorbed 40 years of psychedelic music and are able to put their own cosmic signature on the wall of sound.
MV & EE with the Golden Road - "Sasquatch Creamie" *
1.Satisfied Rain (20:01)
2.The Burden (6:41)
3.Home Comfort (7:21)
4.Summer Magic > Environments > Get Right Church (29:14)
*This is a rip from the cassette version which was released by Yod Tapes in very limited qualities. It may still be available at Volcanic Toungue. There is also a CDR version that may still be available directly from the band, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for details...Always support the artists!
Friday, May 08, 2009
Seattle synth-duo Brother Raven melted our faces in the East Village Radio studio today.You can listen to today's show here. They are playing a bunch of shows in NYC this week, including a special dinner performance at Eat Records in Greenpoint on Saturday May 9th along with Tom Carter(Charlambides), and Purple Haze; a new duo featuring Marcia Bassett(GHQ,Double Leopards) and Taylor Richardson(Infinity Window, Sunburned Hand of the Man).
124 MESEROLE AVE
BROOKLYN, NY 11222
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Let's face it....Bands change. There are thousands of reasons for this, and we need not squander valuable time debating the catalysts for an artist's growth. When it comes to dealing with great music of the past we present-day travellers roam freely between musical epochs, unfettered by the tyranny of time. Now if you witnessed the visceral third-eye psych blues of Guru Guru's original incarntation as a saucer-eyed youth in Deustchland I could somewhat understand the confusion that would come as Mani Neumieier navigated the good ship GG through the burnt sienna hills of 70's fusion. Much like Soft Machine and Pierre Molan's Gong, the Guru Guru unit presented on "Mani und Seine Freunde" is far-removed from the band that recorded the classic "UFO" record both in personnel and intent. What we find on "Mani und Seine Freunde" is the back-end of the trip, with the musical field of vision widened. While by no means a front-to-back classic, "Mani und Seine Freunde" is a great summer record full of polyrhythms, nimble synthesizer and understated guitar. There are a few moments of Zappa-isms (mainly in lyrical content/delivery....Chicken Rock relates the story of a farmer who takes LSD and frees his flock)which are easily ignored and fail to detract from the "I can't believe how funky these Germans are" jams.The majority of the record swims in warm and fairly straight forward jazz-rock waters with the experimentation being limited to the two longer pieces. "From Another World" and "Woodpeckers Dream" utilize field recordings , acoustic guitar and African percussion to ecstatic effect. Despite it's shortcomings, Mani und Seine Freunde is a fine example of 70's fusion that does not rely on instrumental pyrotechnics. Lovingly ripped from my vinyl by Joe the Engineer.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
So the general consensus is: post-Wyatt Soft Machine records are prog/fusion noodlefests...So why is that a problem? If yr like me, that fucking rules. By the time "Bundles" was recorded, the only original member was Mike Ratledge, with guitarist Allan Holdsworth joining; bringing his considerable technical prowess without falling into cliche' soulless fret-workouts... Side A opens with the Holdsworth composition Hazard Profile in 5 parts. A blistering onslaught once the needle is dropped, the band's statement of intent is clear: we now have an electric guitarist. Parts 2 and 3 mellow things out with Ratledge's piano in the foreground reminding us all who daddy is. The Hazard Profile ends as it began, in a fiery maelstrom of beautiful jazz rock with jaw dropping synth leads by Mr.Ratledge. Side A concludes on a whisper with Holdsworth's ditty "Gone Sailing." Highlights on the B side include the title track featuring more stratospheric soloing by Holdsworth and the band displaying immaculate ensemble playing through several shorter pieces that flow in and out of each other culminating in the gorgeous atmospheric bliss of "Floating World."
Soft Machine "Bundles" (1975,Harvest Records)