MAGIC MIX

psych . krautrock . prog . rock

WEEK STARTING 21 Apr

Genre pick of the week Cover of Interlude Music by Cavern Of Anti-Matter.
The second of April‘s pair of ace new 12“ singles features the third release for Tim Gane‘s killer post Stereolab project “Cavern of Anti-Matter“. Following an exclusive 12 for Rough Trade and last year’s amazing full length “Blood Drums” for Grautag Records in Germany.

Tim Gane, Joe Dilworth and Holger Zapf formed the band in Berlin in 2012. Essentially a power trio of sorts, the bands’ incredible full length was recorded in mono and electronically processed for stereo. Pulsing, geometric electronics with an industrial kraut edge….

The tracks here; “Interlude Music” (parts one and two) were recorded live to two track half inch tape in Berlin in January this year. The idea for which was to record something to run as a backdrop live -faded in and out via Tim’s guitar amp- to run between tracks yet able to offer interaction onstage. Clocking in at around an hour- Tim has edited the piece down to two parts here, so what you have here are two sides of around 22 minutes each…

A fabulous record which sits superbly well with “Blood Drums”- released on vinyl only in a beautiful Ivan Liechti sleeve, pressing of 500 only expected to move quick. A tasty companion piece to the likes of Umberto, JD Emmanuel, Expo 70 and Colin Potter in the sold out Deep Distance cannon. Get on it!

Five years after the second life of Death was started with the release of their revelatory 1976 album, ‘For The Whole World To See’, Death’s ‘III’ slams the door on the vault with a powerful set of songs that bring equal amounts of rock and ethereal soul-searching, in high-fidelity, rich bottomed, studio-grade sound.

Alongside songs from 1975, 1976 and 1980, ‘III’ contains two songs from 1992, as the Hackney brothers reconvened nearly a decade after they’d stopped playing together. ‘III’ serves as a companion piece of sorts to the ‘A Band Called Death’ documentary, tracking the band’s movement from spiritual young rockers to older and wiser, bruised-but-undefeated brothers, in pure musical terms.

David Hackney’s visual representation of Death was a triangle, where ‘spiritual’, ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ formed the three angles. With this in mind, ‘For The Whole World To See’ is clearly the physical corner, with its undeniable proto-punk power. ‘Spiritual-Mental-Physical’ explores the mental axis, with Death working through some of their influences - including The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and even ELO - in their practice space. ‘III’ is the spiritual end of the portrait, bookended by the dreamlike rock visions of David Hackney that created and propelled the band called Death.

‘III’ starts with David inside a deep 1975 guitar improvisation, rising up through atmospheres and prehistoric guitar murk to coalesce in jagged monster-riff-dom. The whole exercise recalls Funkadelic’s great Eddie Hazel while reflecting the pure essence of David Hackney’s guitar style. This jump-cuts perfectly five years into the future, with the funky staccato of ‘North Street’, which finds the band’s punkish approach at its most aggressive. From there, the album moves back and forth from 1975 and 1976 (including two songs recorded at Groovesville in Detroit with the other ‘For The Whole World To See’ songs) to 1980, showing the band streamlining their frenetic core and maximizing the power.

The lyrical focus of the songs ‘Open Road’, ‘We Are Only People’ and ‘Free’ is more in the spirit / soul side of Death as heard on ‘Let The World Turn’ and ‘Where Do We Go From Here???’ - sensitive, searching, reflective.

‘We Are Only People’ is an epic journey that begins with another Funkadelic-styled spoken-word moment, progressing through a spacious solo-guitar-with-harmonies section and into the inevitable rock conclusion. Dark hues are generated by the relentless and speedy ‘Restlessness’, while remaining at a philosophical remove, and ‘Free’ is a heavy duo piece with Bobby and David exploring the meaning of the word.

The album’s climax is provided by a trio (once again, the triangle) of David songs, two of which hail from 1992. All three pieces together form a release of the soul of Death from its dark origins, building optimism upon the harsh realities they’d experienced in their lives, more relaxed without losing the spark and bite of those former times. The unaccompanied guitar instrumental ‘First Snowfall In Detroit’ is David Hackney at his most soulful, which gives way to ‘We’re Gonna Make It’, first featured as an emotional climax to the documentary and no less powerful here. With these songs, ‘III’ pays final tribute to David Hackney’s thoroughly original voice and vision, now stilled, but captured forever as a part of the remarkable story of Death.

The album’s cover was created in 1976 by Don Schwenck, working from David’s design and intended to be the cover of the album they were recording. Once that album failed to materialize, the brothers forgot about the commission, and when ‘For The Whole World To See’ was eventually released, Bobby Hackney Jr.’s distinctive image fronted the design. However, when Death returned to Detroit to play in 2010, Don Schwenck was there, with the artwork he had created 35 years earlier. Bobby Jr. added the logo to the image and it was ready to go. With the release of ‘III’, the final record from the vault, all things come full circle for Death.

Michele Mininni is from Southern Italy where he says people are not interested in his type of music so he was forced to reach out to Glasgow where it turns out some people most definitely are. Citing his influences as kraut, post rock, new wave and electronic amongst others, this is his debut release and most accomplished it is too. Lowering the tempo somewhat compared with previous OT releases, "Tupolev Love" is a sub 100bpm cosmic trancer while "Telekomdisko" raises the tempo, adds some hardware drums and heads off into lazer-guided drug-chug. The EP is completed by Michele's fellow countrymen, Boot & Tax's great acid-inflected remix of "Tupolev Love".

500 copies on, pure vinyl first pressing (clear). Amid the current industry of cool, Mount Carmel’s lack of gimmick is a welcome anachronism. The trio’s third album “Get Pure” is full of swagger, packed with great songs and inspired performances. This is true rock music like you haven’t heard in years. Crank it up!

“Like the blues, traditional rock ‘n’ roll remains a great musical building block and form. It’ll never be out of date. Mount Carmel shows their devotion to the crunchy riff on “Back on It”, a smokin’ tune from their upcoming album, Get Pure” Pop Matters.

“Plenty of bands drink from the well of tribute, allowing their vision to plateau in service of authenticity or Good Time Charlie-ism, because it’s fun and familiar, and for some quite easy to achieve. Mount Carmel is that rare band that takes an existing concept – here, British-influenced blues-based rock circa 1966-69, the times that bore Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Cream, the Steve Miller Band, and above all, Free – and steers it so that they become a continuation of that earlier dialogue” Roadburn.

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: Limited clear vinyl pressing.

Bruno Nicolai

All The Colours Of The Dark

As part of a devoted series of releases focusing on Bruno Nicolai’s soundtrack music to the films of Edwige Fenech, Finders Keepers proudly unveil what is perhaps the crowning moment for both actress and composer with the film that inaugurated them (alongside director Sergio Martino) into the critical Giallo royal family in the early 1970s. Presented here with previously unpressed tracks as an alternative to the extremely rare 1973 Gemelli library edition, this Finders Keepers special release includes the recently uncovered 1972 hard-hitting left-field psychedelic pop themes that unified yet another unholy trinity comprising of sitar wielding Alessandro Alessandroni (in true Pawnshop Braens Machine mode) and Italian cinematic songbird Edda Dell’Orso to create (under Nicolai’s gaze) what is regarded by many unified euro horror video collectors and vinyl detectives as the cream of this well furrowed crop.

Recorded in January 1972 at Morricone’s Ortophonic studio in Rome (home of Goblin’s Roller and Alessandroni’s Sangue di sbirro amongst many others) Bruno Nicolai balances psychotic free jazz, aggressive bass driven beats, schizoid Eastern motifs and childlike lullabies - the latter exacerbating director Martino’s proud Rosemary’s Baby influences in this Giallo tale of a rehabilitated relationship plagued by recurring nightmares and vague memories of a religious cult that teeter on the edge of Fenech’s consciousness. To claim this score as Nicolais’ all time best is perhaps a little ambitious for a versatile composer of such acclaim and widespread appeal, but for fans of that unique window of unhinged musical opportunity which came with the Giallo boom of the early 1970’s you’ll be hard pushed to find a record that covers all bases from an alternative universe where Fabio Frizzi, Goblin and Walter Rizzati were (haunted) household names.


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