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Archives: Weather Report



ONE The Beatles: Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (double cd oder, auch wenn das immer doof klingt, die „super deluxe edition“) – die Herstellung einer wundervollen Stereobalance beweist, dass die Jungs damals wirklich mono bevorzugten, die Transparenz ist atemraubend, der Bass druckvoll. Wer stets gern zu der Garagenband aus Liverpool zurückkehrt, lese das Buch „Dreaming The Beatles“.


TWO Brian Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (double vinyl) – die „vier half-speed masters“ von Enosvier Songalben aus den Siebzigern sind jeden Cent wert, obwohl die erhältlichen CD-Masters von 2004 auch keine Wünsche übriglassen. Ich schätze tatsächlich alle vier Alben gleichermassen, Favoriten wechseln mit den Jahreszeiten.


THREE Brian Eno: Here Come The Warm Jets (double vinyl) – das wildeste Songalbum ist alles, Protopunk vor Punk, wundervoller Pop, extravaganter Melodienrausch, das englische Wort „overflowing“ findet hier seine vollendete Entsprechung. Aus so einem Reigen  könnten andere Künstler ganze Karrieren schöpfen, Eno gönnt es sich nur einmal.


FOUR Brian Eno: Another Green World (double vinyl) – man garantiere mir 25.000 Euro, und ich schreibe ein 120 Seiten umfassendes Prosalanggedicht zu diesem sicher einflussreichsten der vier Alben, ohne ein pathetisches oder schwärmerisches Wort. Am 16. Oktober geht es um diese „big four“ in der „Nahaufnahme“ der Klanghorizonte im Deutschlandfunk. 


FIVE Brian Eno: Before And After Science (double vinyl) – ein Kieferklapptrunter-Erlebnis unter guten Kopfhörern, ich höre nie auf, das Album zu entdecken, und hatte in diesem Jahr gar einen luziden Traum, in dem ich einen perfekten neuen Enosong hörte, der nur auf dieses Album gepasst hätte. Echtes Copyright-Problem. Die englische Kurzgeschichte (non-fiction) dazu wird mit Ian McCartney verfasst. Kein Witz. 


SIX Radiohead: OK Computer NOTOK 1997 2017 – ehrlich gesagt, habe ich erst in diese Jahr einen Narren gefressen an diesem Album, besser spät als nie. Unfassbar „zeitgenössisches“ Werk, um diesem altbackenen Ausdruck mal etwas Feuer zu geben.


SEVEN Bark Psychosis: Hex – kaum einer kennt diese Musik, die ähnlich verstörend ist wie spätes Zeug von Talk Talk – noch heute absoluter „underground“ für die Psyche und nächtliches Lauschen!  „Sheer beauty. Knife-slit tension“. 


EIGHT Arthur Russell: Instrumentals (double vinyl) – es ist tottraurig, dass der singende Cellist, Tanzbodenforscher und Verhallungskünstler zu Lebzeiten nie das ernten durfte, was ihm posthum an Lobgesängen zugetragen wird, dieses Werk darf man auch unter „new exotica“ katalogisieren, aber es steht immer noch recht einsam da, wartet auf jeden Zuhörer. Und die kleine neue Vinyledition ist schon wieder vergriffen.


NINE Midori Takada: Through The Looking Glass (double vinyl) – japanischer Minimalismus, und so viel mehr. Ein Traum von Henri Rousseau, lauter „twilight zones“, ein einsam und allein eingespieltes Kunststück in arg begrenzter Studiozeit. „Beauty hurts, darkness works as medicine“.


TEN Pep Llopis: Poiemusia La Nau Dels Argonautes (vinyl)- die mediterrane, tiefentspannte Variante der Minimalisten & Argonauten, in der alles aquamarin funkelt, und jede Oberfläche eine eigene Tiefenströmung produziert. Ibiza ist nicht so weit von Valencia entfernt. Es ist das Jahr 1983.


ELEVEN Barney Wilen: Moshi (double vinyl) – eine schillernde Collage, die keine Verschmelzung der Welten vorgaukelt. Man spielt mit Einheimischen, schliesst Freundschaften, studiert neue Perkussionsinstrumente, singt alte und neue Hymnen. Die Musiker aus Frankreich lassen sich mit Haut und Haar auf die Fremde ein, lernen die blauen Menschen kennen – psychedelischer Jazz, erotischer Taumel, surreale Maskenbälle!


TWELVE Lal and Mike Waterson: Bright Phoebus – „Get past a couple of hokey moments to be transported back, first to the communal hopes of the ’70s, and thence into the country lanes of centuries passed“ (Jim Irvin, Mojo)



P.S.: I’m only refering to reissues that got a special treatment by excellent remastering techniques (that surpass the quality of other available editions), or by extended and highly valuable extensions, or by brilliant design matching the brilliance of the music, or, simply being gems being saved from forgetting and ridiculously high prices at Discogs. David Bowie‘ s Berlin days  will join the circle later on. No, I’m not a Prince fan. And if  the number would be twenty, Deathprod, Oregon, Weather Report, and Ray Charles in mono would have got their songs of praise. The one who knows the writer who coined the title phrase on „darkness & beauty“, will get a free copy of the next Eno album in 2018, MHQ promises. The four prints that accompanied Before and After Science’s first edition in 1977 (double click on the pictures) are beautifully reproduced in the reissue’s design. 

2016 21 Nov

The Butterfly Effect

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I figured out what happened. As many of you know, quantum physics asserts that there is a kind of dividing line every time an event or choice is made and all other decisions, possibilities etc are lived out in alternate realities. Somewhere perhaps there is a Brian Whistler who won that $56 million lottery. Somewhere there’s a Brian Whistler who didn’t make it out of a life and death situation in the wilderness two summers ago. Somewhere there’s a Brian Whistler who decided to give up chocolate. And somewhere a certain election had a different outcome.

I figure what has happened is we have fallen into an alternate reality in which we are now living out an extremely improbable time track in which an arrogant, narcissistic monster ascends to the American throne. In countless other alternative universes Brian Whistlers, friends and countrymen and women are enjoying the relief of dodging a bullet. Just not here. So that explains a lot …

My other theory is borrowed from that Ray Bradbury story in which big game hunters can travel back in time in order to shoot a dinosaur at the precise moment it was going to die of natural causes, thus not upsetting the timeline. In present time, there is a similar election to the one we just had, in which a smart, experienced candidate is running against a total buffoon. The smart one is favored to win by a landslide. The protagonist goes back in time and bags his dinosaur but in doing so, accidentally steps off the floating path he’s supposed to stay on. He gets back and notices the writing on the office door is all screwed up, phonetically written as though by an 8 year old. Then he sees the newspaper with the bold headline splashed across the top, declaring the idiot had won the race. Puzzled how everything could’ve changed so drastically, he looks at the bottom of his shoe, where he discovers a squashed butterfly.

So alternatively, I figure someone must have stepped on a butterfly.

So, I’m listening to a lot of music to raise my spirits these days. I’m also prone to escapism in fantasy books and movies. Sci fi, horror, anything to escape the real world horrors that undoubtedly await us.

I’ve rediscovered one of my favorite Weather Report albums, Tale Spinnin‘, newly reissued on SACD by the wonderful folks at Audio Fidelity. I had thought I already had the ultimate version on the Japanese 2007 remaster, but this one surpasses it. This album has always represented an affirmation of life, the old Man in the Green Shirt dancing in sweet wise elderjoy, the mystery and exotic magic of Badia, the urban loneliness of Five Short Stories, the icy heat of Freezing Fire.

Originally, when I bought this album back in 1975, I thought it a bit of a letdown after the cosmic ecstasy that is Mysterious Traveler. I picked it up a year later and recognized it for the masterpiece it is. It’s the perfect balance of freedom and compositional discipline. Unfettered and yet well organized, there isn’t a dull moment or misstep on the entire album. Ever since, it’s has been my go-to album whenever I feel like a dodged a bullet, survived an illness, avoided dying in a sticky predicament in the wilderness etc. I light candles and dance to it in the dark. I find it very redemptive.

This new Tale Spinnin‘ is understated in the high end when compared to the 2007 remaster – consequently is doesn’t grab your attention with exaggerated sizzle in the cymbals, nor does it pump up Alphonso’s Johnson’s bass. So at first I was unimpressed. But repeated listenings gradually revealed what’s actually there, a crisp and balanced mix without cheap tricks such as overuse of compression or pumped highs and a big bottom. Something magical happens when you don’t exaggerate the high or low end: you begin to discover the creamy mids. This SACD edition reveals so much of what’s really going on on this recording, that once I loaded the CD player onto my portable listening device, I was blown away by the separation of instruments and detail I heard on my headphones. And the SACD layer is even better.

My only dismay is that since this album was only one of two WR albums released in glorious quad, the quad layer is not included in this release. I inquired with Audio Fidelity and their response was, they just „couldn’t get it.“ (From what I’m hearing in the quad blogosphere, that means they just didn’t want to pay for it.)

Luckily, a wonderful man is practically giving away (for a $3 donation) incredibly well decoded DVD audio transfers of quad albums on I have found so many wonderful treasures there in the pop, jazz and classical realms- it’s really the subject for another post. It’s a good site for anyone who enjoys multichannel recordings. Anyway, he has a wonderful decode of this album up there. It’s well worth checking out. And incidentally, if you ever have the opportunity to pick up the officially released quad Sacd of Mysterious Traveler, go for it. The original quad mix by Ron Malo is clear and ungimmicky, and offers tremendous insights into the individual parts that make up the many layers of that mix. This is what quad is all about.

While we’re on the subject of uplifting albums to help me forget He Will Shall Not be Named, I’ve really been enjoying the Pat Metheny Group release, Imaginary Day in 5.1 Dvd audio. This one according to Metheny, was meant to be heard in surround sound, and really benefits from the spatial magic that only surround can impart to a mix. It’s a very dense mix, in a way the Pet Sounds of jazz albums. It was hard to come by a copy as it’s out of print, but well worth picking up. It sounds so freaking good. And the album is so expansive and spirited in the first place, at times I almost feel I’m in an alternate time line!

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