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RECOMMENDATIONS - May 2009

The world is overflowing with music. It's totally flooded with music. Of course there's all the old stuff - hundreds of years of it, and now, on top of that there is masses upon masses of new stuff. And on top of that even more masses of reissue stuff. Across all genres there are new discoveries, represses and unheard thingies coming out all day long, on old formats, new formats, blogs, everything. I really can't keep up with it all. Also anyone can make music and distribute their very own music these days very easily, so there is also masses of brand new music hitting us all from every angle and some angles I don't even know about. And I can't listen to it all. And anyone can issue an old or lost recording these days without too much fuss; just google your fave forgotten composer, up he comes, email him, ask if he's got any old music hanging about in the shed, and off you go. And I can't listen to all that either. It's great in many ways but also it's getting very tricky to work out what's good, what's bad and what's very average. I've got no idea any more. But I currently like these:

THE LP BY RAMON MORRIS:
This is a good album all the way though, for lots of reasons. One of those reasons is that it changes a lot. At one stage I thought it sounded really bad, and then I realised there was a ball of fluff the size of a kitten on the needle. OnN another note, I wonder what instrument he plays?

 

MARAIS AND MIRANDA:
What have we here then? Yes, a couple of happy clappers, singing African songs quite badly, almost in a patronising fashion. That aside, this is a very early 1959 production by a bloke called Joe Meek, and you can hear in some of the more raw percussive tracks that he's obviously wired up a set of drums on the staircase and done something strange with a metal box he's made with big knobs on.

LES IMAGES MUSICALES:
Worth it for the cover alone, this is a bold and daring attempt at picture / brain music. It fails a bit but is none the less worth several listens. Well I've listened twice, maybe thrice. And I really like the track all about being water dreamers. This is an English album by an English composer, and I think they gave it a French title to make it sound more arty farty. Which it isn't.

ALT TAGS ARE BORING

 

DEIRDRE

Still here?

 


THE MUSIC OF FREDERICK JUDD:
It's quite unusual I reckon to put the phrases "Frederick Judd" and "he rocks" together, but they really do go together, but only in an old fashioned, amateur electronic way. He made three records you know. And all on his own label.

 

A COWBOY RECORDING:
Chaps, jeans, beans, whisky, horses and that, all condensed into this super duper album of cowboy campfire songs. Ghost Riders is a legendary prairie number, but for me it's all about Wringles and Wrangles, with a whip thing and a "Ya!" going on in the background. And before anyone emails in, I am fully aware of the homosexual undertones that percolate through that whole cowboy thing.

 

ONE OF THE MANY LASRY BACHET ALBUMS:
This is the one with the theme to Picture Book on it, And what a pain in the arse it was to find one. Most of the L & B musical records are quite easy to track down, but this one wasn't. Its taken about five years, because it only came out in France, and it's quite rare there. As you probably know, the music here is all made on sonorous sculptures, and has a churchy, Sunday sort of feel to it. If I mention to people that the theme from Picture Book is on this record, they all go "doodle-loodle-doodle-loodle", which is exactly how the record goes.

 

THIS UNFASHIONABLE FUSION ALBUM BY WEBSTER LEWIS:
It seems that "jazz fusion" is highly unfashionable. It's quite fast, sometimes furious, and not very "now" at all. I still like it though, it makes me remember times when I was wearing terrible clothes at the Electric Ballroom and watching talented black kids dance like possessed demons. I like this album because it's incredibly played, and also because of the track Barbara Anne, which is so deeply buried in my musical past that it's fossilised and turned into something quite precious. I think we should note that the album is also called "Touch My Love" which I think means something rude. Well that's how I'm reading it.

 

A SINGLE BY P. VERT:
While we're talking rude, this is an odd filthy thing. And P Vert is a fairly good pseudonymn for a rude record maker. This is a single that was put aside for me in a shop, apparently because I have thing about rude records. Well not all rude records. This one is very rude. Well anyway, I bought it from the shop and then lost it, for about a year. I've now found it again. This is quite disappointing though because the A side is the same as the B side. It also lacks a bit of humour.

Derek writes: A quick google reveals this as track 18 on the CD "Rude Rock 'n' Roll From The 50s To The 70s". You just know how crap these songs are and how suicidally grubby you'd feel by the end. Nevertheless I'm curious about Did He Eat Your T***y? by The Perversions. Thankfully they won't let me buy it cos I'm not in the U.S.

 

ANOTHER CHAQUITO ALBUM:
Never seen this one before, and it's quite unforgettable as the woman on the front could well be a man. This allows us to make a good link to some ladies who are men imagery...

 

GREAT, A LIBRARY ALBUM:
Hooray for rare library records like this one which aren't really library records at all, and are just weird records masquerading as music for TV. Fat chance this ever got used for anything because it really is just too strange, all funny tempos and stuff like that.

 

THE ORANGE WILLIE ROSARIO RECORD:
Everyone should own lots of records with girls in bikinis on the front. I like the photo of this woman with a bikini a lot, especially because she is part of several picture of her in a bikini, all stuck on top of each other. I have spent minutes trying to fathom what the devil is going on here with the pictures and failed. The record is musically very entertaining too, in that basic, addictive and quite hilarious style that only super latin albums managed to master. It's great party music, especially for girls in bikinis.

 

THE COLLECTOR:
Recently I needed this for a radio show. It's way better than I imagined it would be. I think I might even prefer it to those slightly larger, orchestral scores he did, like Lawrence of Arabia. I do love a soundtrack surprise every now and then.

 

TEN YEARS AT RONNIE SCOTTS:
No one I know has ever seen this album before. There is one with lots of circles on the front, but this is a different one, with a BIG TEN on the front, and a killer number called Bend Me (or something like that) by Don Ellis on it too. It was one of those records that when I got it I instantly loved it and played it loads while doing things like housework and putting toys back. Still not sure about that logo though Ronnie.

 

OUT OFF:
Yes, one of the most stupid, nonsensical soundtrack titles of all time. And pretty much one of the most stupid soundtrack recordings of all time too, for it's ability to lose itself on many occasions on both sides. That's said there are some redeeming factors, like the ugly cover, and a ploddy spacey thing that will gradually become more important in my life.

 

ICI PARIS:
A beatnikky album made in England championing the talented French people who can sing well. Great song about Petanque on here, which I think is the first song I have ever found about Boule. I'd write a song about it, but I'd probably have no words and just try and use the sounds of cheerful and drunk French men with the noise of the heavy balls bashing into each other as some sort of rhythm.

 

A SELF DISCOVERY ALBUM:
Brilliant, stick anyone in front of this record, put it on and after listening hard they will either feel so much better about themselves in the world or the very opposite may happen, and they might start hating everything and everyone around them. Brilliant. Really brilliant.

 

THE NEW ALBUM BY HEAVY GHOST:
or some reason I keep referring to this band as The Others. Anyway, I got handed this album by Ollie, who is mate of mine. He said it was good. So I have been listening to it quite a lot to find out why. What I can surmise is that it has quite a lot going on, like it's a sort of skewed pop thing with the complexities of a major but mental symphonic work knitted in, but it isn't classical. And there's quite a lot of wailing going on.

 

CD BY BEN REED:
This is about the third album by Ben Reed. It's quite mad, it's made in his front room and also sounds a bit like unfashionable fusion. I've spoken to Ben about his record a few times now. We have also discussed other things.

 



READERS RECOMMENDATIONS

If you have a record that you are enjoying at the moment, please write up a brief explanation of it, scan the cover in the style established on these pages (at 300dpi), and submit it all to:

send to.

 

TOM CLOWNEY

 

THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO - BRIGITTE:
Dear Derek and Jonny

 I just discovered lovely Brigitte. I thought i'd share. This is quite musique concretey, I dont understand french but what ever shes talking about sounds nice. The art ensemble of Chicago provide a jazz, folky, clinky accompaniment, at one point Brigitte sounds like she has been totally consumed by crickets, im not sure how they did that. Nice for hypnotic moods or evening hours.

Tom

 

 

JONNY WHITE

Hi Derek. Currently playing on my turntable are lots and lots of great records. Here are some of them.

Lately it's been Morricone O'clock at my house with these four taking up quite a lot of listening time:

Hornet's Nest. 1970 WWII movie that pays no lip service whatsoever to accurate fashion styling, thus letting Rock Hudson charge around in an entirely authentic 1970 hair cut and moustache. Music is mournful with oboes, French horns and a little group whistling. Side two is a collection of tunes from other films that I am guessing are fairly impossible to hear elsewhere, and tucked away right at the end of it is an absolutely gorgeous flutey tune called 1+1+1+1.

 

A 1966 Spaghetti Western featuring a purposefully out-of-tune guitar in the main theme. Was quite tricky to find, but now a South African label called 'West' has pressed it too, it is a doddle. In fact I got over exited the first time I saw it and bought it despite bad scratches. Then I saw a mint one for the same price 6 weeks later and had to buy that one too. Ho-hum.

A really rather scary 1972 trumpet soaked thriller soundtrack with electronic bits, loads of echo and a nice bossa tune thrown in for light relief. (Kirk Douglas stars).

And finally, "Malamondo", which I suppose means sick, or crazy world. 1964 documentary about odd habits in Europe such as nude skiing in Switzerland, hot-butchering in Italy, and an orgy in a graveyard. Music is great, a bit groovy, a bit mad (clue in the title), some jazz, bossa and comedy. A happy record.

Dude Looks Like A lady. This record absolutely rocks and fits in quite nicely with the new 'Ladies Who Are Men' page.

I thought this would be music, but it turned out to be a badly acted spoken word version of the film squeezed on to one 7'' single. It has the funniest fake German accent I have ever heard. I was not disappointed. (Through the large centre hole you can see my coffee table).

She smashes up plates on this record and it's fantastic.

CTI records did lots of cool jazz/fusion records in the early 70's with nice gatefold sleeves and here's one of them! George Benson (did you know he used to go by the name George 'Bad' Benson?) goes all breezy and Spanish with lovely acoustic guitar and castanets. Features California Dreamin' and White Rabbit which Grace Slick apparently wrote after listening to Miles Davis' "Sketches Of Spain" over and over again. Never really twigged the Spanish flavour of the original until I heard this version.

Eroteque. Do you see what they've done there? French women whisper, moan and breath very heavily in this fake orgasm delight. Tunes include music from Emmanuelles 1 & 2, Histoire d'O and Serge's Je t'aime. All done with extra vaseline on the lens, so to speak.

A cool DJ dude gave me this J.J. Johnson record to listen to in my local vinyl shop because he didn't fancy it much. Thanks dude! Cool from start to finish, soulful and funky in a low key way and lovely harmonica.

This is Eno sitting in bed reading. Do not, however, listen to this record in bed, because you will fall asleep before the end of side one and miss that lovely bit of music that was used for BBC's 'Arena' programme. You know, where the bottle floats on water and a pink neon light shines on the horizon?

The worlds greatest living artist talks you through how to make and play your very own 'wobble board', delves into the mists of time to recount the history of it's creation and treats us to two musical numbers: 'Lazy Days' and 'I Want A Coconut'.

Larry Robbins Sports Studio Band. The title has me imagining a recording studio full of musicians playing ping pong, throwing frisbees and putting on knee pads before a session. Great, beaty, tight 1970s library stuff with titles like 'Are You Fit', 'Are You Free' and 'Monocle Race'. One of those is definitely not a pick up line.

'Tales of Mystery & Imagination'. Hard not to buy this record really. Boris Karloff reads 'The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow' and other tales, with great 1950s sound effects by 'Myst-A-Rama'. Mr. Karloff pulls three more equally amusing faces on the cover so you will have to get the LP to have the full set!

Game Is Over. Nice soundtrack LP with beat and pop style tracks jostling for space alongside moody atmospherics and sitars. Jane Fonda looks naked, which reminds me, I saw Klute last night for the first time and it really is a good film. It's funny seeing something for the first time when one is so familiar with the soundtrack, anyway mustn't ramble on too much...

 



LISTEN WITH FRIENDS

 

Cosmo Helectra sent this one. The more you look at it the stranger it becomes. Which is very much my kinda image:

Oh go on you will send us any old 'listen with friends' images you may have lying around.



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