Thursday, November 26, 2009

FInal flights of « la dinde mélancolique »

In which M. crafts a heathaze/summer-dying-incandescence suite of filmic opportunism for a Super-8 remake of Wild Strawberries, starring the turkey that will be brutally and deliciously thrown on the altar of my own personal bloodfeast tomorruh night. Cheers from Kansas Citeeeeee ...

Le Groupe X, "Crawling," Frrrrrigidaire (Italy, 1973)

Some never-reissued pastoral-sympho-fusion in a way of which only Italians seem, for whatever reason, to have gotten the grasp -- it's an odd balancing act between ornate semi-classicist melancholia as might be found on some cross-country-railway-coming-of-age flick scored by Morricone (maybe Terence Stamp as the worldly but sensitive older friend?) and little bits of Yes (in the Wakemanized Moog themes) and Franco Battiato (in the buzzy synth orchestrations and rather rustic harmonic content). Music to which to break up with yr first girlfriend if ever I've heard it ...

Coste Apetrea, "Ockhams Rakkniv," Nyspolat (Sweden, 1977)

Scintillating Cubano-fusion from the solo debut of the Romanian-born guitarist for Sweden's brilliant art-prog-carnivalesque sonic terrorists Samla Mammas Manna -- think Chick Corea c. My Spanish Heart with spiky, very non-DiMeola/non-shredder fusion guitar and the sense of taste and restraint that has rarely, if perhaps not never, been one of Chick's primary strengths (particularly not in that era: The Leprechaun up through, let's say, Secret Agent represents a remarkable nadir in terms of aesthetic self-awareness in modern music -- which is precisely not to say that they're uniformly awful, and this in a way is the entire problem, given that a total lack of discernment between great and unbearably tacky strikes me as being more disturbing than simple, clean, American shittiness).

Fusioon, "Llaves del Subconsciente, Pt. I," Minorisa (Spain, 1975)

Let me tell yrself something about myself, and in particular something about myself and Mellotrons: I have this recurring dream in which I'm walking along the side of a browning-gold twilight European viaduct and a fleet of pendulous overhanging Mellotrons begins to drown me in the collective scree of their gradually decomposing "three violins" tapesets, and as the ferrous oxide fills my nostrils I am happier than I have ever known myself to be in waking life. While not "true," per se, the foregoing example perhaps displays, in a certain gestural or theumotic sense, a bit of my enthusiasm for the ambiance of thee tape-beast itsveryownself, and this rather Krautrocky/prog-trance track from the otherwise more Euro-symph-inclined Fusioon might well be the aural correlative to my personal equivalent of that Bergman sequence in which the young girl is raped by that giant spider that turns out to have always-already been God. That is actually in a Bergman film, right? ... right?

Exmagma, "25 Two Seconds Before Sunrise," Goldball (Germany, 1974)

They'd frankly have a lease in my private mindgarden for that cover alone (not even so much 'surreal,' in whatever force such a very co-opted word can have at a point in history at which it's taken to refer equally to R. Roussel and Charlie fuckin' Kaufman, as just bewildering -- who had that idea? Why did he have that idea?), but this post-Milesian murkeur sounds like the unmixed reels from two or three different Jarrett/Henderson/DeJohnette-group-era gigs accidentally group-copied onto the same master tape by a stoned Teo Macero, the latter of whom, upon finding within himself the glowing reservoirs of character to tell Miles what had happened, was greeted with, " ... sheeeeit. I dig that, though, Teo. Put some of that echo on it ... that weeeeird sheeit that you do ..."

Hermeto Pascoal, "Tacho (Mixing Pot)," Missa dos Escravos [Slaves' Mass] (Brazil, 1977)

As David Icke once said to the world-controlling race of reptilian alien-kings about the gold-isotope cure for AIDS that they were ritualistically and recreationally injecting, This is what I come here for: the spiraling, Piazzola-like intro is coy and beautifully postured, the surdo groove well membranous, Hermeto's Clavinet-and-voice improvisation lyrical and pithy with that deadpan Brazilian bounce that I've still yet to hear successfully replicated, and the Alphonso Johnson/Chester Thompson rhythm section positively dental in its attention to articulation and timbre. Around 6'30", when Alphonso's utterly characteristic fuzz line arcs over and through the toms-and-bells groove, tell me you aren't menaced with flashes of something altogether telluric and nautical ...