Thursday, October 10, 2019

He Played Percussion On Goat's Head Soup!

Electronic music! It's so futuristic! The thing with this stuff, if it can be said to be a thing, is that it's impossible to tell if it's "good" or not, even in relation to other music of the genre. It qualifies as sound over noise because it has been created and organized through an artistic process, but is it music? This kind of argument seemed to matter a few years back. Now, nobody gives a fuck. Futuristic music is a thing of the past, as retro as ray guns and personal autogyros.


Nic/Nik Raicevik/Pascal somehow finagled himself a major-label (Buddah qualifies) release for his first album, but credited it to Head, clearing up any ambiguity by titling its three lengthy tracks Cannabis Sativa, Methedrine, and Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. Happy times! It also came with a coloring book, a nice touch as many of its listeners were only allowed crayons.

Claims for him being some kind of sonic pioneer don't stand up to scrutiny, though. Head was released in 1970, three years after the Monkees premiered the Moog in a pop context and two after their Head project. Yes, the Monkees did everything first and best! [See Tear The Top Right Off Your Million Dollar Head, March - Ed.]

When the suits at Buddah realised that avant-garde hard drug advocacy wasn't the hoped-for cash cow after their bubblegum music bubble burst, they kicked his sorry ass to the curb, and over the next five years he released a string of albums on his own Narco label (see a pattern yet?), all of them featuring his gorgeously lurid pulp S.F. paintings.

And here they are. "Do not listen to this music if you are stoned", as he cheekily warns on the sticker, the scamp.

10 comments:

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    1. You're welcome, Stanley. I feel more like I do now than I did since I got on the bus.

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  2. Jumping Jack Flash, thanks for the stash!

    It is my belief that there is a sweet spot of electronic music that is yet to be discovered, a place of bliss that fuses all the best bits from the earliest electronic pioneers, the supersynth juggernauts of the seventies, and modern electronic dance music. Let me know if you find it.

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    1. I have a few favorites. Terry Riley's Rainbow In Curved Air, while perhaps not being truly electronic music, has been my sweet spot since it came out. It was a major-label hit for a reason - it got people high, and still does. I've enjoyed Ishq more recently, and few other relatively obscure acts, but I'm no expert. I'll post some stuff later. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

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    2. the first few Tangerine Dream lps and the earlier Klaus Schulze lps seem to fit the bill for me

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    3. I think what I'm saying is that electronic music seemed to offer a shortcut to the psychedelic sphere, but has it really delivered? I'm not sure. Most of the music you post here tends to be in the traditional guitar realm. Partly that's a historical/technological thing. Moogs didn't appear until the late 60s and were only available to the wealthy. But maybe synths, sequencers and samplers have led to a kind of complacency, and musicians haven't been able to marshal the capabilities of electronic music all that satisfactorily. I have a sense that some essential music is missing.

      I know Riley, but not in much detail and will explore further. I guess the Schulze/Namlook Dark Side of the Moog series is a personal high water mark, but you know all about that. Things I've heard fairly recently that I like include Jon Hopkins (check out the song Singularity - I think it's astonishing, apocalypse and rebirth in 5 minutes), the Portuguese composer Rodrigo Leao's - Florestas Submersas, Michael Stearns - As the Earth Kissed the Moon. There's lots of modern droney stuff I occasionally dip into - Pye Corner Audio, Gas, Richard Skelton - but I couldn't tell you the name of any tracks because I my heart's not in it. I do like the clean guitar loops and delays of Michael Brook, Emeralds, Mark McGuire. Mostly when I turn to electronic stuff it tends to be new age - Deuter's Silence is the Answer is a big favourite; Ashra, Steve Roach, Richard Halpern.

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    4. Steven Halpern

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  3. I'm purchasing this download for the wonderful cover art alone! A sound investment me thinks (since my clarinet is not paying off as planned)

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