The Harvey Box Reviews, Episode 237-3A
Continuing with the bazillion or so CDRs Harv sent me, this series of articles is expected to wrap up in the year 2060, which –by an amazing coincidence – is the year noted mathematician Isaac Newton expected the world as we know to end.
I’ll start off with some notes from my favourite recording artist, “Various”
Byron Coley & Mister Moore ponder the meaning of Pulsallama
Various – (Soul Jazz) New York Noise Vol. 2
This makes a nice companion to Messrs Coley & Moore’s No Wave: Post Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980. No Wave was a loose term applied to a number of NYC based acts in the late 70’s who took the punk ethos one step further by playing aggressive electric music which removed virtually all of rock music’s previous parameters and references. Ergo, most of this will sound like noise to rock audiences. Nice noise, though, to quote Ed Breau. The big names of the day are all here: Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, early Sonic Youth, & Mofungo, all of which have ties to earlier epochs of post-orchestral 20th century avant-garde composers. There’s also a poppy thing from Pulsallama, which sounds ok to me, too. The Byrne/Eno cops/antecedents lose points, though
I don’t play this around Shirley... *** 1/2
Six Organs of Admittance – Dark Moontide
I missed “freak folk” when it came down the pike six, seven years ago. This outfit was one of the leaders of that pack, and there are some nice John Fahey-esque (he IS an adjective now!) guitar & drone bits. But the lack of song-craft discipline bothers me. I think I’ll get my haircut now..** 1/2
Hawkwind –Distant Horizons
Hawkwind was one of the groups associated with the space-rock tag. Best known for having incubated Lemmy from Motorhead, they have been recording releasing a steady stream of releases through the past two decades. In 1997, this meant pushing the electronics up & forward in the rhythm, presumably to attract rave attendees. I don’t think it worked as a career move (merely existing for 40 years works for them), but it’s not a bad disc per se, either. ***
Orange Bicycle –S/T
Twee British psych-pop from 1969, best known for siring artistes who would later clock in with some Andrew Loog Oldham string charts for the Verve. There’s a few pshit n’ giggle moments, but not enough to warrant taking 40 minutes out of my life. * 1/2
And again, from my fave artist, the pick of the bunch...
Various - Down In the Basement: Joe Bussard’s Treasure Trove of Vintage 78s
Easily the best thing I’ve heard from the Harv box to date. To say it’s a collection of old-timey 1926- 1933 78s doesn’t do it justice. There were loads of lame 78s back then. What Bussard has done is to take the shining oddities of that period from the folk genres of the day: blues, string-band, gospel, hot jazz combos etc and put them under an umbrella that makes contextual sense to the thoroughly modern listener. There is very little of that rare for rarity’s sake quality in the programming of this There IS a lot of hoopin and hollering and carrying on. Stack o Lee & the Garbageman await you here. Stick Out your can & buy this recording now! *****