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MODERN HARMONIC

Solar guided improvisations of unbridled cacophony! Recorded in ‘73 and rejected by tin-eared major label execs in ‘75, "Crystal Spears" (or “Crystal Clear” as it appears on the tape box) subsumes a cathartic brawl between Minimoog and Yamaha combo organ, with percussionists providing tonal textures, and plaintive oboe colliding with roaring electronic keyboards over waes of rollicking marimba, devilishly chattering below the fray. "Crystal Spears" is Ra’s once lost aural cinematheque! Intended for release in 1975 by ABC/Impulse!, "Crystal Spears" was ultimately rejected by the label, perhaps the new group of execs just didn’t 'hear' what was going on on these recordings. Certainly for the uninitiated, this is not jazz as they know it but unbridled cacophony...or is it? Modern Harmonic presents the first legitimate LP release of Crystal Spears, pressed on colored vinyl and with liner notes by Ra-ficionado Brother Cleve!

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Funny, despite the above claiming it a 'difficult' and 'cacophonous' listen - I actually really like this one! Such is the joy of Sun Ra - every fan seems to like a different facet of his personality and sound.

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: Includes poster.

MC5

Looking At You / Borderline

    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

    One of the earliest MC5 singles! Packaged in new envelope style sleeves, with rare unseen band photos! The Motor City 5 pressed on black vinyl at Third Man Pressing in the Motor City! Includes brand spankin' new liners by David Fricke of Rolling Stone, who says, "In a 1966 live recording, the MC5 played 'Looking at You' like Motown raga. At United Sound, the band hit the zigzag riff at light speed and stayed there, framed by searing lead guitar and explosive drumming. 'Borderline' was a frantic jigsaw of power-chord jolts and sheet-like harmonies detonated again, at the Grande, for the live recording of the MC5's first LP, Kick Out the Jams."

    MC5

    I Can Only Give You Everything / I Just Don't Know

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      The first ever domestic reissue of one of the first ever MC5 singles! Packaged in new space age envelope style sleeves, with rare unseen band photos! The Motor City 5 pressed on black vinyl at Third Man Pressing in the Motor City!!! Includes brand spankin' new liners by David Fricke of Rolling Stone, who says, "This session, at the city's famed United Sound, was soaked in local R&B aura; John Lee Hooker cut his studio debut, 'Boogie Chillen,' there in 1948. 'I Can Only Give You Everything' was in that spirit and faster: a rolling-thunder feature of the MC5's live sets pulled from Van Morrison's 1966 album with Them, Them Again. ‘I Just Don't Know' was the band's own bravado, a Bo Diddley-style gallop with a boxer's barrage of power chords."

      Sensuous dreamscapes to transport the listener to the lush tropical environs of the outer reaches of the omniverse. Your choice of three colorful inter-stellar saucers or two compact saucers of “Exotic-Ra” bringing you to a lush cocktail party where space is the place. All packaged in a beautiful Chesley Bonestell adorned gatefold package with two sets of extensive notes! Sun Ra. Exotica. Incongruous? Listening to the 25 tracks herein will showcase that Sun Ra was, indeed, an Exoticat of sorts, albeit in his own unique way, of course. That Sun Ra hasn’t been celebrated in Exotica circles is understandable. Though many collectors are fans of both, at cocktail soirées Ra has never seemed to make the cut. This album aims to change that! While Sun Ra never made an “Exotica record,” such tracks are mixed in his LPs alongside idiosyncratic space jazz, post-bop, electronic freakouts, and his other sonic experiments. Never an easy categorical fit, anyone who says “File Under: Jazz” doesn’t understand the stylistic breadth of Sun Ra’s recorded legacy. It’s a rhapsodic pandemonium of Afro-centric rhythms, Latin beats, ostinato grooves, and unissued tunes!




      Sun Ra And His Arkestra

      El Is A Sound Of Joy / Black Sky And Blue Moon

        Shining sounds from the dawn of the Sun Ra Arkestra. "El is A Sound of Joy" was recorded in 1956 and appeared the following year on the very first Saturn LP, Super-Sonic Jazz. Incredible is the fact that saxophonist Charles Davis, here providing the soulful baritone anchor line (counterpoint to Ra's formidable left hand), remains in the front-line of today's Sun Ra Arkestra directed by Marshall Allen. Shuffle swing breakdown jets leisurely, casually, masterfully, painting lush, post-modern impressions of ancient future worlds, of space, of time … of Chicago's elevated trains … Reaching for the sky, for Joy …. The “Joy” coda dovetails magically into the intro theme of "Black Sky And Blue Moon," before downshifting into another dimension of romantic outrospection. We follow The Nu Sounds, aka Cosmic Rays, on a faraway journey to the land of late-50s Chicago singing groups, the Arkestra supporting with quiet grace, pulsing in Nubians of Plutonia mode. An uncanny blend of antique blackness and bright satellites, ethereal voices perfectly in tune; thanks to Ra's disciplined coaching (plus Modern Harmonic's expert re-mastering), their sweet dynamics and exact harmonics are crystal clear. Flute solo from Marshall Allen. Hearts swelling like the full moon, ripening in the darkness to the point of bursting.


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