Saturday, 25 October 2014

John Cale & Terry Riley

Church of Anthrax (1971) ...

John Cale returns from Velvet Underground to his avant garde background joining up with arch minimalist Terry Riley ...  Early 'rock-based' minimalism group ...

Church of Anthrax ... 



Ides of March ... 

This album marks a cross-pollination. Cale may have been returning to his Minimalist roots, but he still had the sound of VU’s white noise ringing in his ears and as a consequence managed to produce a brilliantly messy, repetitious rock record. Early Minimalism had much in common with rock anyway: the ensembles which Philip Glass and Steve Reich were establishing, as well as the previously-mentioned Theatre Of Eternal Music, resembled rock groups as much as they did traditional classical ensembles... headheritage.co.uk ...
The Hall of Mirrors In The Palace of Versaille ...

  
This album is a fantastically raw piece of music which is unlike any of Cale’s other solo albums. It also has an strange ancient-ness to it comparable to Amon Düül II’s ‘Phallus Dei’. The combination of its general lack of conventional song structure and its street-suss edge makes it rank alongside much of what was being produced in Germany at the time, in that it was pushing the limits of rock music’s sound in a similar direction. Cale’s comment that “‘Anthrax’ is just an improvised gig with Terry” shows that he himself may not have regarded it as a particularly important album. However, it stands up as an inspired exercise in minimalist rock music... headheritage



 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Helene Grimaud

Brahms: Piano Pieces Op. 116 - 118 (1996) ...

Hélène Grimaud, pianist ...


Fantasias for piano Opus 116 ...


Drei Intermezzi for piano, Op. 117


Klavierstücke, Op. 118 ...


Klavierstücke, Op. 119 ...


Recorded: 28-29/11/1995, Reitstadel, Neumarkt, Germany 

Bournville Carillon

Canadian carillon tunes (2014) ...

 

Recorded this summer at Bournville.  Carilloneur is Trevor as usual ...

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Bill Nelson

Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam (1981) ...

Bill Nelson's 'debut' solo album following Be-Bop Deluxe and Red Noise ... retro futurism, keyboards to the fore and a love of Jean Cocteau.  Actually planned and recorded as a second Red Noise album, a change in record company meant a change in direction... The original vinyl release included an album of 'ambient' instrumentals Sounding The Ritual Echo ...
 
Quit Dreaming and Get On The Beam ... 



Do You Dream In Colour ...?

Banal ...



Quit Dreaming album ...




Sounding The Ritual Echo (Atmospheres for Dreaming) ... 



 

OMD

Dazzle Ships (1983) ...

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's fourth album, considered a flop after the hit Architecture and Morality, but now regarded as 'influential', comes across as a Cold War take on Kraftwerk's RadioActivity...  This was probably their highpoint in creativity in their 1980s period ...

Dazzle Ships (parts II, III and VII) ...

After the astounding reception afforded to Architecture and Morality in 1981, Dazzle Ships was a commercial and critical failure for OMD. Yet it stands the test of time as a heroic statement, succeeding, from the tinny brass opening of 'Radio Prague' onwards, in walking a tightrope of arch camp aesthetics and a seriously-minded, yet ludicrously overblown experiment. Try reading Andy McCluskey’s lyrics in hard print and they at times feel as empty as a wide horizon. But when harnessed to the deeply elegiac melodies (those rich synth tones, slow-marching drums), and a battery of sounds evocative of war at sea and radio propaganda, the whole comes alive with undeniable panache.
Of course, it was never going to sell, no matter how exuberant a pop song 'Telegraph' might be. Cold War geopolitics appear in 'International', which opens with a news report telling of a girl from Nicaragua whose hands had been cut off at the wrists. 'ABC Auto-Industry', meanwhile, features a Czechoslovakian radio programme on the use of robots in factories. 'Dazzle Ships (Parts II, III And VII)' is a three part instrumental composed of the soundtrack samples of conflict above and below the waves, foghorns and sonar pings, the throbbing of engines heard underwater. This is followed by the preposterously-titled 'Romance Of The Telescope' with its dreamy elegance and chorus of processed voices. 'Silent Running' is so magisterially pompous it demands a half hour of enforced standing ovation, the first one to stop getting a firm hand on the shoulder on the way out of the State Opera... thequietus.com
Radio Waves (Beach Boys meet Kraftwerk) ... 



International ...


Genetic Engineering ...




Dazzle Ships will be performed in full at Museum of Liverpool in November 2014 ...


Sunday, 19 October 2014

This Heat

Deceit (1981) ...

Post-punk prog released on Rough Trade (ROUGH 26) ...

Deceit ...

Makeshift Swahili ...
 This Heat's sound was something like a confrontation of prog, free-jazz and contemporary electronic music (think early Stockhausen, not Kraftwerk). They often get lumped into the post-punk (or even just "punk") camp, for no better reason other than they started at the same time. They certainly sounded as if they were angry about something, and taking a glance at the lyric sheet for this album (and you'd better, as often the vocals seem more musical element than communicative force), they had fairly intense political/social statements to make-- though pinning down their position is often as hard as pinning down their sound. In any case, they were "progressive" in the literal sense of the word, and though they came up with the first wave of punk, they didn't really sound like anyone else of the time (save a few other English radicals like Henry Cow or Art Bears, occasionally)... pitchfork.com
A New Kind of water ... 
 The band got its digs in once more for "A New Kind of Water," expressing the rage that seems to have been implied throughout the record, though rarely shown directly. Phrases like, "We were told to expect more/ And now that we've got more/ We want more, we want more," offer some of the only clear ideas about the feelings behind Deceit, and the music is appropriately insistent (crashing drums, wailing group vocals, very precise, discordant guitar lines). Over the years, there have been bands to play as aggressively, or even as strangely, but very few have been able to rise from their collective influences and histories to create music so singularly distinctive and inspiring. I don't know that Hayward, Bullen and Williams were trying to inspire (and that they debated over whether to release their music at all could be evidence to support that they weren't), but the overall feeling I take away from this album is that of revolution and a very creative form of protest. That's what I call punk.
Independence ... 

This Heat live (1982?) ...  also featuring songs recorded by Camberwell Now...