on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2015 31 Okt

Deep Digging In Ancient Times Not So Long Ago

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 10 Comments



Seems to be contradictory, but it isn’t. Snap with a finger, it’s the end of October, 2015, sunny day here in Germany, blink with the eye, and you know exactly (vagueness included) how it has been when you first heared „Penny Lane“ in your life. Yes, that Beatles song. It wasn’t just there. It might have „attacked“ you via Radio Caroline, and maybe, you’ve heard it so often that the first encounter may have been blurred by time’s running in circles on 45rpm forever and a day.

Now, autumn is a good time for another endless Indian Summer – musicwise – the colourful reappearance of awesome music that soundtracked our lives. It’s a memory game, it’s an adventure play, and you have to make your choices. „Excellent remastering“ may be the key expression for illuminations. Sheding new lights. Old stuff can now sound so  much better than ever, but there is no real replacement for our hungry, desperate and weird teenage years. The first kiss, the first Kinks single, the first Talking Heads record, the first cut is the deepest. Whatever, here are some wonderfully restored and remastered sounds from the past that still have the power to drive you crazy, to put a big smile on your face, to send shivers down your spine, to make you dance, sing or anything.

There is Van Morrison’s „Astral Weeks“, Gentle Giant’s „Octopus“, Neil Young sitting in the „Blue Note Cafe“, Underworld’s „Second Toughest In The Infance“ (yep, with Karl Hyde), the boxed set of the „Faces“ with young Rod Stewart, there is the No. 1 – collection of the Beatles (with great film footage, sensurround etc. – Richard Williams singing his praise in Uncut’s December edition), there is the merciless box of the the early nightmares of Pere Ubu, XTC going psychedelic on „Oranges and Lemons“ – there are fantastic vinyl remasters of the two best Peter Gabriel albums ever („3“ and „4“, also called „Melt“ and „Security“), there is the „Harmonia“ vinyl box set, there is that condensed beauty of Arvo Pärt’s „Musica Selecta“, and there is King Crimson’s THRAK BOX, an unsurpassable edition of refinement, reinvention and remastering. As I said, you have to make your choices, and these are mine.

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  1. Lorenz:

    … noch ´ne Box: durch Manafonistas habe ich „The Necks-Open“ dankenswerterweise erst kennengelernt. Jetzt habe ich die limitierte „Necks Box“ gefunden! 8 ihrer CDs auf einen Schlag zu einem prima Preis. Es ist ein Vergnuegen, durch die Necks Geschichte zu hoeren!

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Yep!!! Übrigens, der erwähnte Richard Williams leitet die diesjährigen Berliner Jazztage, und The Necks sind dabei, auch Lumen Drones …

  3. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Arvo Part: Musica Selecta – A Sequence By Manfred Eicher (Trailer)

  4. Martina Weber:

    Die Necks sind ganz wunderbar, Lorenz, zufällig habe ich genau acht ihrer Alben hier: Aether, The Boys, Hanging Gardens, Chemist, Open, Townsville, See through/mosquito und Drive by. Und wer es etwas wilder mag, legt „Solo live“ von Tony Buck aus dem Jahr 1994 auf.

  5. Michael Engelbrecht:

    King Crimson – Thrak Tour

  6. Uwe Meilchen:

    Also, there’s The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Volume 12 which chronicles the recording of the classic Dylan records Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde with a staggering wealth of unreleased songs, outtakes, rehearsals and alternate versions.

    I guess I’ll spoil myself with this new Dylan boxed set the Beatles One+ set with an additional second DVD and, of course, the recently re-released Ambient 3: Day of Radiance by Laraaji on GLITTERBEAT. A splendid time is guaranteed for all!

  7. Michael Engelbrecht:

    With the Gabriel remasters of his his first four solo albums i really made a re-discovery. I somehow lost track of his music since SO, US etc. (not my music anymore), but in the old days in Würzburg, his solo efforts till „4“ were great companions, and I then saw him at the Alte Oper, Frankfurt where he started with a killer take on „Rhythm of the Heat“.

    I even remember Ingeborg Schober’s review had been published in the SZ two days later, and it was a good one. These were my „Zündfunk years“ with Karl Bruckmaier, Carl-Ludwig Reichert, Michael Hutter, Till Obermeier and Ingeborg Schober …

  8. Lorenz:

    Ja Martina, die Necks sind fuer mich auch eine tolle Entdeckung. In der Box sind silverwater und mind set anstatt mosquito/see through und open. Sonst auch alle, die Du bei Dir hast.

    Ich mag an ihrer Musik sehr, dass sie sich oft nicht beim ersten Hoeren erschliesst. Mag ich das oder nervt es mich? Bei Hanging Gardens z.b. dachte ich zu Beginn – ach, das ist doch eher ein ewiges Intro. Aber mit jedem Hoeren schliessen sich Kreise (ein juengerer Arbeitskollege gab mir dafuer mal den schoenen Begriff „ein Grower“).

    Ein weiterer Kreis schliesst sich zufaellig mit Lumen Drones bei den Berliner Jazztagen. Denn die cd ütopia? von oiseaux-tempête erinnerte mich an Lumen Drones und der Bassclarinettist der Band wies auf seiner Seite wiederum auf die tolle Necks Box hin!

  9. Lorenz:

    Ausbesserung: ich meinte nicht Hanging Gardens sondern Townsville mit dem ewigen Intro.

  10. Michael Engelbrecht:

    I do not only think, 3 and 4 are his best works, the cover art, too, was brilliant. For example the one for solo album no. 3 (these were pre-digital times, remember)

    The original cover came about when Storm Thorgerson introduced Peter to the work that Les Krims was doing with Polaroids. They began experimenting with hundreds of Polaroids, having fun squashing, squeezing and smearing the developing images, a technique later known as Krimsography. The unsettling yet startling results were then re-photographed with B/W film, as Storm describes,

    “The cover for the vinyl album was in black and white. This is the colour Polaroid from which it was taken, without further adornment. In later years we came to prefer it.”

    Peter Gabriel recalls, “There was a photographer called Les Krims, who discovered that if you take a Polaroid and you squash it you can get the colours to run, and we used to go after them with different objects and sort of burnt matches and coins and fingers and all sorts of things and it was, it was a lot of fun ‚cause you had to get the timing right, but you got some wonderful effects out of the distortions.“

    Just have a look at the cover. Somewhere. Or just get the record!!:) The cover of „4“ is placed in good company on the photo above, along with Robert Wyatt’s biography, the Thrak Box and a book about I Dormienti …

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