Saturday, January 27, 2007

Kosmische Musik

Klaus Schulze began as a drummer (and what a drummer! Just listen to him on the first Tangerine Dream's record or on the first Ash Ra Tempel's one), but on his solo career, that started in 1972 with Irrlicht, he became the wizard of synthesizers, creating his own evocative and grandiose style that made him the main pioneer of popular electronic music.
This video is one of the manies that have been braodcasted by the German WDR channel in the past August, during two long nights dedicated to the krautrock scene. It is part of a a TV concert of 1977, the long and hypnotic track is called For Barry Graves. Barry Graves was a popular German journalist and disk jockey, so maybe this tune was dedicated to him, maybe it has been played on his TV show...or probably both things are true.
Klaus appeares sitted on the floor, surrounded by a lot of keyboards and electronic devices; he has his back turned on the audience and there is a giant mirror above him reflecting his image.
The clip is certainly interesting not only for music lovers, but also for people interested in sound technology.

Italiano: Colgo l'occasione per ricordare il giornalismo rock creativo ed anticonvenzionale di Marco Lombardo Radice, il neuropsichiatra e scrittore legato agli ambienti dell'ultrasinistra, noto per aver scritto, assieme a Lidia Ravera, Porci Con Le Ali, il diario sessuo-politico di Rocco ed Antonia, e per aver ispirato il film Il Grande Cocomero. E' stato anche giornalista musicale per la rivista Muzak; anni fa ho trovato su di una bancarella una sua enciclopedia pop, la prima guida alla musica giovane scritta da un italiano (la prima edizione era del '74).
Il numero di artisti citati è notevole, considerato anche che all' epoca era difficile reperire molti dischi, qui da noi, ma oggi la lettura è interessante più che altro per lo stile "fricchettone", inspirato un po' al flusso di coscienza degli scrittori beat. Oggi suona datato forse, comunque era un bel tentativo di dare alla critica rock un suo stile autonomo, parte di quella che all' epoca ci si ostinava a chiamare "controcultura".
Vi trascrivo una parte della scheda su Klaus Schulze (al nostro piacevano soprattutto i suoni d'avanguardia):
" sua musica, espressa in quattro opere imperdibili, suites pazzesche, giochi sonori ossessivi ed ipnotici, riconduce al niente, all'ignoto, al sepolto, nascendo dal tutto, dal futuro, dal Kharma più vero dell'uomo ... ed in ciò è la purezza trascendentale, la cristallina intuizione di un uomo schivo dalla comunicazione di massa, vita a scorrere sul filo della vertigine elettroacustica, fino all'essenza purissima del SUONO, e non è questo il facile entusiasmarsi a livello infantile, piuttosto il riconoscere a questo artista una porzione di genio in più, che lo colloca al di là dei grandi nomi della musica contemporanea ... Schulze e John Cage, Schulze e Strawinsky, Schulze e Riley ... il disegno trova un prato d'erba colto sino in fondo e il prezzo stesso del pedaggio verso l'Infinito ... sono opere eccezionali ... "Cyborg" ed "Irrlicht", forse il dramma romantico della nostra generazione di freaks veri che sanno come vivere nello spazio del proprio cervello, nella consapevolezza della propria cosmogonia personale.
Quella di Schulze è una sinfonia unica, sconvolgente e libera, la cui appassionata e commossa tensione fluisce giusto dai terribili momenti dei nostri giorni ..."

Klaus Schulze - For Barry Graves (1977)


A presto


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

John Martyn In 2004

2004 saw the unexpected return on the scene of John Martyn, one of the most inspired and prolific British songwriters, not so famous as he'd deserve. Surprisingly On The Cobbles is one of his best records since the early seventies, a collection of touching and refined folk-jazz tunes that he recorded with some prestigious friends, like the ex-Pentangle Danny Thompson, also present on these videos, on bass. It's been a sort of artistic redemption from life's tribulations: John had just recovered from a long hospitalization, his right leg had been amputated because of an infection caused by diabetes.
The illnesses and the abuse of alcohol left their signs, he looks so old and fat that you'll hardly recognize him, but his voice and his amazing tecnique on the guitar didn't change.
Here he is guest of Jools Holland on his musical show on BBC, for a brilliant live performance.
One For The Road is one of the ten songs included on his last album, while Johnny Too Bad is taken from Grace & Danger, released in 1980.

John Martyn - One For The Road (2004)
John Martyn - Johnny Too Bad (2004)


See you soon


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Love With Arthur Lee

Before he died for leukemia in the past August, Arthur Lee, the leader of the legendary sixties' Californian band Love, found the time to obtain some of the success that was missing from his life since a long time.
He had passed through a long troubled period, culminated with almost six years of prison for illegal possesion of a firearm, from the fall of '96 till December 2001. After he got out he started touring again with a band called Love With Arthur Lee, accompanied by members of the Los Angeles' neo-psychedelic band Baby Lemonade. Arthur and these very good musicians began performig live in its integrity the 1967 album Forever Changes, that wrote the name Love into the rock history book. In 2003 they played all over the world, obtaining an enthusiastic acclaim by audience and critics. The tour is documented by a CD and a DVD.
On November that year they appeared on the BBC 2 program Later...With Jools Holland for another brilliant gig, joined also by a string and horn section, to reproduce the lush arrangements of these old songs.
The videos are very big, but the quality is as good as a DVD.
This post is dedicated not only to Arthur, but also to Bryan MacLean, the other singer and composer of Love (he wrote Alone Again Or) who died on the Christmas day of '98.

Love With Arthur Lee - Alone Again Or (2003)
Love With Arthur Lee - Maybe The People Would Be The Times Or Between Clark And Hilldale (2003)




Saturday, January 13, 2007


Today Music For Your Eyes offers a full concert that Tim Buckley performed in 1970 for a program called Boboquivari, on the Los Angeles TV channel KCET.
In those days he was at the peak of the most experimental phase of his career, four of the six songs he played are included on his mysterious and touching masterpiece Starsailor. Unfortunately this record is out of print now.
Tim is accompanied by a band of four musicians, including a trumpet player, that leads us into strange territories, closer to free jazz than to folk-rock. Tim himself uses his extraordinary voice as an instrument.
This is the tracklist:

1) I Woke Up
2) Come Here Woman
3) Blue Melody
4) Moulin Rouge
5) Venice Beach
6) Jungle Fire

The songs are played with no interruptions, as one long suite.
I have converted this 27 minutes video into a 160 Mb DivX file, and splitted it in two parts with WinRAR.
Unzip this archive to know how to download it.

Tim Buckley live at Boboquivari (1970)


See you


Monday, January 08, 2007

Sei Still, Wisse ICH BIN

Florian Fricke, the leader and composer of Popol Vuh, was deeply interested in cinema and in the spirituality that's behind any religion.
In 1981 he had already written the soundtrack for many Werner Herzog's movies, then he decided to direct one by himself, inspired by some books of the Old Testament. Sei Still, Wisse ICH BIN (Be In Peace, I AM The Messiah) had been filmed in the magical landscape of the Sinai Desert, near the Dead Sea and the Moses' Mountain, that was still thought to be the Sinai Mountain (the real Sinai Mountain has been identified in 1983 in Egypt).
By that time no one released the movie, only the soundtrack, played by Popol Vuh and perfectly produced by Klaus Schulze, was published on Schulze's own label Innovative Communication. It is one of Popol Vuh's best albums, on which the band is joined by the Choir Ensemble of the Bavarian Opera. The vocals play a main role, with a "mantric" effect, and the sound seems often inspired by Tibetan sacred music.
Ten years later Sei Still, Wisse ICH BIN has finally been published on VHS, then reissued in '96 by the French label Spalax with the title Sinai Desert. At this moment it is out of print again.
These are two excerpts from the movie, a perfect combination of very evocative sounds and very evocative images. Curiously the part of the Messiah is played by a girl, Vera Von Lehndorf, who wears a false beard.
The audio track Wehe Khorazin has been used also on the soundtrack of Herzog's Fitzcarraldo.

Popol Vuh - Wehe Khorazin (1981)
Popol Vuh - Geimensam Tranken Sie Den Wein (1981)


I'm a little late but I wish you all a happy new year