Saturday, 3 December 2016

Pierre Courbois En Jasper Van 't Hof in 1981' s missing Perpetuum Mobile




Pierre Courbois En Jasper Van 'T Hof ‎– Perpetuum Mobile

Label: Varajazz ‎– 201
Series:  … And All That Jazz – Volume 1
Country: Netherlands
Released: 1981


Clearly missing from the available works of both Jasper and Pierre Courbois (in Association P.C.), this is a very experimental work with keyboards by Jasper falling all over the place.  Side a is devoted to him and his compositions played on various types of keys with a frenzied and almost random accompaniment by P.C. whilst side b, dedicated to the latter, becomes an exercise in percussive tedium unmatched in my opinion by any experimental work from the progressive era.


The shorter portemanteau-word track Courthof (a3) gives you a clear idea:





Tracklist:

A1 Ban De Bim 8:05
A2 Ecaps 5:41
A3 Courhof 4:22
A4 Latinuoso 4:20
B1 Er Zijn Nog Acht Wachtenden Voor U 22:30

Compiled By, Producer [For Radio] – Aad Bos
Design – Gert Udo
Drums, Cymbal, Gong, Electronics – Pierre Courbois
Engineer [A Side] – Bert Vervoorn
Engineer [B Side] – Jacob Cats
Piano, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Organ [Prepared], Synthesizer [PPG], Computer [PPG Wave] – Jasper Van't Hof
Producer [For Varajazz] – Co de Kloet jr.
Written-By – Van 't Hof (tracks: A1 to A4), Courbois (b1)




Thursday, 1 December 2016

Care Of The Cow ‎– I Still Don't Know Your Style (USA 1981)





A fabulously quasi photographic cover drawing reminiscent of Durer to start.

A completely unknown American Henry Cow or Art Bears-like RIO outfit, the B1 track Slope of her Nose will immediately give you an idea of the kind of modern composition on a rock basis we are dealing with here, augmented with demented vocals and random weirdnesses:





I suppose the biggest influence here would be Lindsay Cooper, who made some really magnificent albums in the same time period.

The artists of note here are singer Christina Baczewska (obviously looking very different on the verso for this LP) and guitarist Victor Sanders.  Notice they collaborated for a CD in 1993.  Would love to hear that one.





















To boot, much of the lyrics appear to be poetry with the most interesting ("Eternally at Work") being the poem about the 16 geraniums:

"A friend of mine brought me 16 geraniums
I will send you a list of them
14 of which are perfectly new to me
remaining invariant they may be parents in the spring
with a tail that curls like a snake or a head like a horse.
I am very obliged for the heart cc...
etc."

So this adds an extra level of interest at least for me to the album.



Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Fried Chicken Band's song Haunted





Here's a song I heard just recently and it quickly became my favourite tune partly due to its folksy American feeling and the way it aligns with the current zeitgeist in the United States.  In fact it could've been a theme song for the Trump campaign. For this reason I wrote up all the lyrics as well as I could below so you can read them.

You can hear it on youtube or alternatively just play it down here:






1.

Wandered by the old mines early one night
as the last pile of salt was being dragged out
went by the boat to the opposite shore
cuz they don't like strangers lookin' about
and security might (?) show on the dust and the gravel--
as the last truck was pullin' away
I heard a man sob and sittin' out on the porch
where the men always come to be paid--

with a pint by his side and his head in his hands, 
he looked up and he called me:
"why'd you come round here; you're wanted out here
you came to stare at my misery?
so you see how it is for thirty years in this place 
a man just gives you the news:
he says here's your final check and a pretty gold watch
cuz we're through payin' all of your dues--

"and I will be haunted-- by the thundering blast--
that rocked the earth-- each day at noon--
If someone has the courage to tear the whole place down--
it won't be too soon"

2.

"Know if I could I would leave this town but
I got a wife and kids to look after
and I don't go back to have a drink with the boys
couldn't stand the sympathy and the laughter
they would say when I was gone he got a top right that's all 
but he's too old to push the people around
in life there's work for the young and the strong
but I'll soon be layin' deep in the ground

"Don't know how the hell I got talkin' to you
but there's got to be someone who understands
worked all my life like a son of a bitch
usin' nuthin' but a pair of good hands
all society gives me the shame I can't handle
strugglin' anyway that I can:
changing as they want me from a strong old guy
to a snivellin' second class man

"and I will be haunted-- by the thundering blast--
that rocked the earth-- each day at noon--
If someone has the courage to tear the whole place down--
it won't be too soon..."


Pure American poetry.  Worthy of a Nobel too, according to senile Swede seniors?  Yeah, who isn't?  At the same time, the hint of violence-- that classic American crime of going postal at a workplace-- is so chilling too.

Having become haunted by this song, what I'd like to know is, who wrote it?  Is it a cover version of a previous folk song, or, unbelievably, did this utterly unknown German group from the late seventies actually pen it?  Someone out there knows something, as they say on America's Most Wanted...

Monday, 28 November 2016

Iskander remainder: Ouverture (1980), Mental Touch (1987) and Another Life (1990)











All their covers really were beautiful, I particularly love the Bacon / de Chirico-like last one.  The first album, credited to keyboardist Peter Tassius and the band, is the most rare, while all the remainder I believe were released back to CD.

They all have their moments, even surprisingly the last one, but only Mental Touch approaches the aforeposted Boheme 2000 in its inventiveness and compositional skills.


Saturday, 26 November 2016

Iskander's Best album, Boheme, from 1982 [brief posting only]





German complex symphonic rock band, mainly instrumental with rich keyboards, fluid guitar, elements of Camel, Streetmark, Anyone's Daughter, Novalis, even spacious Ashra.

They also remind me a great deal of Odyssee's White Swan, which is the masterpiece symphonic German album from that time, for me.  

It appears they made four albums in total, quite widely spread out from early eighties to 1990, but this one called Boheme 2000 is by far the best progressive composition.  The first, Peter Tassius's Ouverture, is mostly piano.

Easily the track Eltneg Tnaig (turn it backwards to understand) tells their prog credentials in full:





I can up all the others if there is any interest at all.



Friday, 25 November 2016

Manfred Schoof's Timebreaker from 1990 [brief posting only!]





I talked about this album in connection with the last Schoof post here and based on the strength of Power Station eventually I couldn't resist hearing it, although we are getting uncomfortably close to what we humans call the present for lack of a better physical or metaphysical description of that point in the unusual dimension of time.


Sadly this did not turn out to be another Power Station, being the equivalent in that regard to a small Punjabi wood-burning oven. It's replete with those annoying drum machines and the dramatic echoey chords, usually A minor, that remind me so much of my first cheap casio keyboard I bought in the late eighties, when it was a hallmark of all pop music.

Track 7:






Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Back with Jazz Cellula and "Cellula International's" 1982 Jazzissimo




Compared to the previous, and predictably, this record will be a bit too jazzy for tastes including but not limited to mine.  I thought that in the year 1982 fusion wasn't quite defunct and vulture-eaten yet but I was wrong.  Likely I won't be back with more from them.

The best track is old Sam's story: Starý Sam - Old Sam (by Laco Deczi)