Straight from the source ...
Posted 05/09/2012 - 18:15 by El
MIND DE-CODER 1
"To rally every Black Sheep is my goal"
(Julian Cope, 2008)
CAROL BATTON POEM
I start the show with an untitled poem (as far as I know) by the poet Carol Batton who, depending on her mood/medication is, by all accounts, either a winningly eccentric poet genius, or a genuinely disturbed individual. She lives in Manchester, England, and can be found wandering the streets distributing her poetry to passers by on sheets of photocopied A4 paper. I follow it with a recording of a chant/mantra for the opening of the heart chakra.
You can see what kind of show this is going to be. Welcome to Mind De-Coder 1.
JULIAN COPE SUNSHINE PLAYROOM
This always seemed like the perfect single to me back in 1983, and still does now. This was Cope’s come-back single following the lysergic implosion that took The Teardrop Explodes with it a couple of years before; it also features on his debut solo album WORLD SHUT YOUR MOUTH. I bought it more or less the same week I left home and have had an affinity with it ever since. It speaks of loss, heartache and hope in a way that made complete sense to this 18 year old boy who had just moved into a bed-sit where all I owned was a record player and a kettle. What more does a boy need?
THE TAPE-BEATLES LISTEN TO THE RADIO
The Tape-Beatles were a pioneering cut-n-paste outfit back in the days when that meant you needed a very sharp razor and some glue. They were big fans of musique concrete and using the studio as an instrument in itself. Listen To The Radio is taken from their debut album A SUBTLE BUOYANCY OF PULSE, released in 1988. It sounds like this track all the way through, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. I’ve shamelessly plundered from it throughout the show.
PINK FLOYD LUCIFER SAM
One of Syd Barrett’s finest moments on the legendary PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN, released in 1967 and possibly the greatest psychedelic album ever made by a British band.
THE GO! TEAM WILLOW'S SONG
This gorgeous little version of Magnet’s Willow’s Song can be found on the bonus disc that accompanied The Go Team’s second album, 2007’s PROOF OF YOUTH, which means it was heard by next to nobody, which is a pity because it’s a lovely take on what is quite possibly my favourite song anyway. It’s a pity they didn’t go down this route a bit more often.
GORKY'S ZYGOTIC MYNCI BETTER ROOMS
Haunting and woozy, this is from the album BARAFUNDLE, released in 1997 and probably my favorite Mynci's release. The overall feel of the album is one of sublimely captivating psychedelic folk music played by someone coming up on magic mushrooms - it just opens up into a whole new world of melodies. Lovely album.
SALAKO THE QUEEN'S GOT A PRICE ON MY LIFE
Nobody does sad quite like Salako. This is from the VENTIMIGLIA EP, released in 1999. They were never going to change the face of rock music, but their mixture of whimsy and psychedelia was always going to appeal to me. I think I read somewhere that this song is about bees, not Her Majesty. Salako seem to have gone these days, and nobody knows where. Maybe they followed the bees - nobody seems to know where they're all disappearing to nowadays either.
STERNMADCHEN BEI-TIM/MEINE KOSMICHE MUSIK
Sternmadchen is really a krautrock supergroup in which Ash Ra Temple get it together with the Cosmic Jokers and star-maiden Gille Letmann, and produce a mind bending and surprisingly pretty space-rock trip which they called GILLES ZEITSCHIFF and released in 1974. I’ve mixed together two tracks for psychedelic effect.
THE LEFT OUTSIDES FALLEN BY THE WAYSIDE
Probably my favorite track on tonight's show, the lovely Fallen By the Wayside by the irritatingly named The Left Outsides. Their blend of dreamy psychedelic folk is not dissimilar to that of their previous band The Eighteenth Day Of May, which was more of a full on folk act by way of early Fairport Convention, whereas The Left Outsides seem to prefer the Syd Barrett side of things. None of this is to denigrate them - I love the wistfulness of this song, taken from their debut album ...AND COLOURS INBETWEEN, released in 2007.
LED ZEPPELIN A WHOLE LOTTA LOVE
I know, but, not that I have to explain myself or anything, I heard the original 7 inch vinyl of this played loud as hell at a wedding reception recently and thought it was the best thing I’d ever heard. Taken from 1969’s LED ZEPPELIN II, of course.
SPIROGYRA OLD BOOT WINE
Ah, here we go - this is fantastic; a haunting, eerie, hypnotic soundtrack to a vivid dream. Spirogyra were led by Martin Cockerham and featured Barbara Gaskin on vocals (she later went on to record It's My Party with Dave Stewart in 1981, trivia fans). This track is taken from their final album, the luscious BELLS, BOOTS AND SHAMBLES, released in 1973. By all accounts it sold poorly, the world having possibly moved on from flowery psychedelic folk by then.
WITTHÜSER AND WESTRUPP ORIENTA
Your second krautrock offering from the show, the lovely Orienta is taken from Witthüser and Westrupp’s 1971 release TRIPS UND TRAÜME and is, according to Julian Cope, in his authoritative KRAUTROCKSAMPLER, one of the most beautiful kosmiche pieces ever, on an album of flute driven melodies and bizarre FX. Lovely.
DAVY GRAHAM SHE MOVED THRU’ THE BIZARRE/BLUES RAGA
The legendary Davy Graham demonstrating complete mastery of the finger picking style he more or less invented. This track, a cover of the English folk traditional She Walks Though the Fair, appeared as a bonus track on the 2003 re-release of his 1963 album THE GUITAR PLAYER. I understand that Jimmy Page used the track as the basis for his solo White Summer.
STEELEYE SPAN THE BLACKSMITH
Steeleye Span were intended to be Ashley Hutchings' more traditionally minded group after he quit the electrically-inclined Fairport Convention. That's Gay Woods on what I can only refer to as the lusty vocals - you can imagine her with a tankard of beer in each hand and a hearty word for the boys. Their only album, HARK! THE VILLAGE WAIT was recorded during a three-month stint in a Wiltshire cottage in 1970. The Blacksmith is about as traditional and rustic as you can get, but in 1971 Hutchings left to form the even more traditional Albion Band in 1971. I've always imagined the blacksmith in question as having a commendable set of mutton chops, myself.
TIM BUCKLEY STARSAILOR
Ethereal and weird. Possibly weirder than Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica. Tim Buckley's STARSAILOR, released in 1971, confounded everyone with its highly experimental mix of menace and the avant garde. It's certainly not to everyone's taste, but the title track does just what it says on the label - it takes you to the stars, whilst at the same time guarantees that any guest that has overstayed their welcome will soon be leaving
DJ EARWORM L'EAU DE ROSE
This evening's only mash up, DJ Earworm mashes up Air's J'ai Dormi Sous L'eau with Louis Armstrong's La vie En Rose to mesmerizing effect, I think. You can find more DJ Earworm mash ups at http://djeaerworm.com/
KALI BAHLU COSMIC REMEMBERANCE
I can go either way with this – it’s either the most irritating record I own or a unique relic that stands apart from its era. KALI BAHLU TAKES THE FOREST CHILDREN ON A JOURNEY OF COSMIC REMEMBERANCE was released in 1967 by the enigmatic Bahlu and, what with all its gongs, tables and sitars, it should be a thing of wonder but sadly, Bahlu was blessed with the voice of a feral soprano which tests the patience of most ardent listener after a few short minutes or so. I usually put it on when I want people to leave, but it is not without its moments and I include it in tonight’s show in the hope you’ll enjoy hearing it just the once.
GALAXY DAY WITHOUT THE SUN
15 minutes of soaring spacerock from mysterious US stoner dudes Galaxy. DAY WITHOUT THE SUN is taken from the ultra-rare 1976 album of the same name. Be sure to listen out for the cosmic drum solo that takes up the middle five minutes. As one review I found of this track notes - it's just shockingly heavy electric shit. This group were 20 years ahead of their time - I'm just not entirely sure when that time actually is, or indeed, was.
BERT JANSCH ROSEMARY LANE
Still, too much spacerock can make your fillings ache, so let's bring it all back down to earth with the brilliant Bert Jansch and lovely Rosemary Lane from the album ROSEMARY LANE, released in 1971. This is Bert going back to basics after Pentangle went their separate ways. The album is simple and intimate, featuring Bert at his most beautifully poignant, playing songs that seem to come from the same place that myth and folklore come from.
BRIDGET ST. JOHN ASK ME NO QUESTIONS
Sombre and beautiful, ASK ME NO QUESTIONS is an album of melancholy and reflection, sung by St. John in her deeply monotone voice that was not entirely dissimilar to Nico's. John Peel produced the album and released it on his own Dandelion record label in 1969. She's not as immediately as captivating as Vashti Bunyan, say, but she sounds so perfectly poised and so deeply evocative of a pastoral Englishness, I can smell the freshly ploughed fields from here.
And that was Mind De-Coder 1. I thank you.
Posted 28/11/2011 - 16:42 by El
Posted 15/11/2011 - 07:48 by El
Posted 31/10/2011 - 19:53 by El
"All over Waiheke there are besmocked peasant girls recumbant in haystacks with a comely glint in their eyes and pupils the size of saucers".
Posted 26/10/2011 - 15:11 by El
And on this week's show you heard: