It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

It's Psychedelic Baby is an independent, music magazine. We are covering alternative, underground, non-commercial and non-mainstream artists in variety of shapes and genres. Exclusive interviews, reviews and articles. A place where musicians can express themselves. We serve an international readership.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Jorge Antunes – Musica Electronica (1975) review

Jorge Antunes – Musica Electronica (Originally released on Mangione Edition in 1975; reissue on Mental Experience via Guerssen Records, 2016)

Antunes saved these recordings from the original magnetic tapes he recorded over 50 years ago. He carefully reconstructed the music for release in 1975 and at the time it was the first electroacoustic album ever released in Brasil. This reissue makes these important historical recordings available to a wider audience, with some politically sensitive material that was excised from the original recordings reinstated. The tracks can be appreciated both as experimental, minimalist drones or soothing, ambient messages from outer space. Either way, detailed liner notes explain the recording process and inspiration behind each recordings. The multipart opening suite was inspired by Vassili Vassilikos, author of the political thriller, Z, and finds Antunes building tension as he traverses through various sound frequencies. This may appeal more to academics, as there is really no “song” here to speak of, although the sounds he experiments with are very emotional.
     ‘Cinta Cita’ is a fun collection of bleeps and bloops that recall the sounds of an arcade room coupled with the robotic noises that Bebe and Louis Barron created for the soundtrack to Forbidden Planet. ‘Auto-Retrato sobre Paisaje Porteño’ finds fun and games with an old scratchy record Antunes found in a junk shop in Buenos Aires. Proving that a master sound manipulator can turn junk into art, Antunes plays with the inherent rhythm created by the lock groove the scratch in the record causes, manipulating the sound into a musical dance, an electronic, glitchy samba!
Granted, it is unlikely that the casual listener will play these tracks more than once, but historians and fans of the Conet Project, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and the eclectic OHM: Early Gurus of Electronic Music box set (on which Antunes does not appear) will thoroughly enjoy this intriguing collection of far out sounds from way out.

- Jeff Penczak
© Copyright

Saturday, October 22, 2016

JAZZ CORNER Presents: Alessandro Brugnolini - Overground (1970)

Alessandro Brugnolini - Overground (Cinedelic Records, 1970/2008 reissue)

Originally released in 1970, this stylish and polished bit of jazz meets psych with deep funky laden grooves, and laced with dark as night solos that boarder on short exacting jams has at last been released on CD as well as a limited edition of 300 numbered copies on vinyl … and without a doubt is a sincere treat for your ears.

Initially Brugnolini, from Italy, self released this gem and it was quickly lost to space and time, meaning that those who were in the know have been trading cassette copies of cassette copies for years. Now it’s finally available again, sounding as fresh and clean as if it had been laid down yesterday, refusing to be locked into any decade, and is certainly inspiring the likes of Electric Octopus, who are traveling this same blissed road, following the infused concepts laid down on this inspirational outing.

This is one of those records that’s gonna rock you back whether you’re a jazz fan or a mind altered psych traveler.  The musicianship is first rate, with the concepts refusing to take a linear path, while surprising the listener at every turn with unexpected effects and atmospheric sonically layered and textured shifts that will bring a smile to your face as it jettisons you to another dimension.

The re-issue contains two lush and unexpectedly welcomed tracks that extend the passengers traveling time just a pleasurable bit longer, freeing the body and soul for a night flight across the velvet cosmos.

- Jenell Kesler
© Copyright

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Jung An Tagen

Jung An Tagen © Philippe Gerlach

I don't see the need not to cover

After two hermetic tapes, Jung An Tagen breaks out with Das Fest Der Reichen, his vinyl debut on Editions Mego, which makes him continue a long tradition of experimental electronic music coming from Vienna.

Do you feel like Das Fest Der Reichen is the logical next step after Vielheiten and Äußere? Does a release on vinyl, on a label like Editions Mego, feel more 'official' than a tape? 

Musically it’s definitely a logical step after the previous releases, it kind of always is, but the overall gesture that I had in my mind while doing it was quite a bit different.

You see, Jung An Tagen started out as a very hermetic solo project, but this time I really wanted to crack things open and make it a collaborative work. It features artists, mostly from Vienna, that are extremely important to me and my work and I wanted to make these lines visible. Also having in mind that it would maybe be released by Editions Mego made me think a lot about its history and what it means to be a part of this continuous movement.

Your oldest release is from 2007, which means you're making music for about ten years now. How did your music evolve in that time?

My music and life is directly entangled in a feedback loop. Therefore it went through a lot of different phases. Over time I managed to crystallize my core intentions and work more on the nuances I guess.

Even in the 1990s, a band like Autechre said that the biggest bullshit is: "Live electronic acts playing with a video screen behind them." You're a multimedia artist but you play live without visuals. Why? 

Haha, that's funny. I did not know that they said that. At the end of the 1990s, when laptops became faster, I actually did visuals on raves. I was very young and I thought it was very exciting. But the whole movement became very arbitrary super fast. I still enjoy an audiovisual live act very much, when the concept is tight, but it’s true, it’s total bullshit when it’s not. Videos take so much attention and when they don’t bounce that ball back, it's a lost game.  The most of the time I prefer to play in pitch black darkness. Focusing on sound only, even away from me as a performer. I like it intimate. And the music can evoke very personal sensations. To me this is the most powerful and pure expression of art there is. I think the ideal gathering of sound and image is in form of an very controlled, concentrated experimental video, that's displayed in a cinema.

Do you think that your visual work and your music are linked to each other? Do you think that other people can see the same 'signature' in both your visual work and your music? 

I really hope so. I work hard on that. Plus I don't want to stop there, every word or gesture should add to a precise picture. It’s something that since Scriabin or even Bowie should be a more natural thing. Sometimes I think it's a bit weird that every pop act understood that more than people who work in the underground.

The press text says: "Jung An Tagen is the primary music act operating inside the Virtual Institute Vienna". But the Virtual Institute Vienna, that's just you, right? There is no real 'institute', right? Or can you just as well be an institute on your own? 

It’s virtual. It’s a vessel that allows me to pour my work from different disciplines into a form.

The artwork is credited to J. Fröhnel. Why do you do that, using monikers and changing names all the time, also with your music? Is it, like you said in an older interview: "To cover myself from the world"? Why do you feel the need to be covered? 

I don't see the need not to cover I guess. I think it’s very little productive to work with my actual persona. It’s way more precise to create one and let it function with the work. These are very old, postmodern ideas. Breaking the 4th wall and all that. I wonder sometimes why this is so alienating to so many.
I need to point out here that the artwork is actually done by J. Fröhnel, who is me, but in collaboration with Milica Balubdžić, who is not me.

You played together with Brian Pyle on this album, but what did 'playing together' mean? Sitting together in the same room and improvising? Or exchanging sound files? 

With every feature track I tried to create a skeleton first that would fit into the album plus in the universe of the featured artist. This was a lot of fun already. Then I sent them to Ensemble Economique and Miaux and they would send me recordings back that I would wove later into the final production. Because Superskin and Raju Arara live in Vienna, I came to their studios with the preexisting structure and then we jammed on top of it. This or that way, I thought it was very cathartic and they expanded my ideas quite drastically. 

In our previous interview, you said: "Ich sehe mich auch eher weniger als Musiker". Can you explain that to me a bit more? And if you don't see yourself as a musician, than how do you look at what you do? 

Haha lot of things that I said once haunt me here .. 
OK: I am definitely not a musician who has a specific instrument and practices every day with it to get better. My father would be something like that, and he does not see me as one. But of course this is actually completely unimportant. When you look at new departments of art universities the structuralization in disciplines seems to dissolve. It’s more about functions, ideas, aesthetics that can be achieved with all sorts of medias or practices. I do have to say though that music is definitely the center of what I do.

And some more from that previous interview. You described your music as: "50 % abstrakt und zu 50 % rhythmisch". Do you think that also counts for this album? 

This are definitely two big categories. Rhythm as a trance inducing stimulus, and abstracted sounds freed from a dominating rhythm. Live I make a more clear division, on records rhythm is more dominant. 

You called early Rave Culture as a main influence. What attracted you in that music? 

Ah, so much really. I'll try to keep it short: It was the last youth/subculture that really put things upside down.. They made extremely experimental music work simply perfect. On early raves they eliminated the cult of a "person to stare at" by hiding the DJ, also on records, all producers changed names constantly. The heavy use of smoke and strobe light was also a very effective technique to create a unified body. Also and this is the most important to me: it’s loop based music with machines. Meaning: you can take your hands away and time will still move on. Add another machine and you have a 2nd time dimension. This is the principle under which I understand music. The idea that there is a song that goes 2 bars intro, 4 bars verse, 2 bars refrain or whatnot does simply not compute with my system. I can barely remember song structures or sing along somewhere.

About ten years ago, you started with Lars Leerkörper as a noise thing. Does noise still have an influence on what you do today? (If not in music, than maybe in attitude)? 

Absolutely. Noise music is the primordial soup of everything.

For Vielheiten, as 'style' on discogs you wrote: psychedelic. Because this is an interview for a magazine about psychedelic music, I want to ask you: what would your definition of 'psychedelic' be?

It’s an ontological change of perspective. Truly everything can be psychedelic, but some try to amplify that phenomenon in art because it’s a lot of fun.

I'm going to try to explain why I think Das Fest Der Reichen is a good record and you can tell me if this makes sense to you, or not. So here I go: I have the impression that you worked hard on this record, but it doesn't feel like hard work. It's very well made, but at the same time, it feels very intuitive. It's clever music, but not brain music. It's simple music in a way, but by no means simplistic. Does this make any sense to you at all? 

It made me very happy to read these lines. Yes, it does make a lot of sense, thanks a lot!

© Philippe Gerlach

- Joeri Bruyninckx
© Copyright

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

JAZZ CORNER Presents: Joanne Brackeen - Aft (1979)

Joanne Brackeen - Aft (Timeless/Muse 1979)

Joanne Brackeen – Piano
Clint Houston – Acoustic Bass
Ryo Kawasaki – Guitar

1.     Haiti B
2.     Charlotte’s Dream
3.     Dreamers
4.     AFT
5.     Winter is Here
6.     Green Voices of Play Air

The former Joanne Grogan is a unique player. Using Monk and McCoy Tyner as starting points, her music has moved from early gigs with Dexter Gordon and Harold Land through work with Dave Leibman and Woody Shaw before becoming the first female Jazz Messenger and enjoying a celebrated stint with Stan Getz. In 1975 she began releasing her own recordings, and she has helped to define and redefine the piano trio since then. Aft is one of her lesser-known recordings and yet one of he most challenging and scintillating.
 “Haiti B” starts with a Tyner-ese fusion groove and Kawasaki’s guitar fanfare, leading to his McLaughlin-meets-Zappa guitar solo. Houston plays a remarkable arco solo, inventive, well articulated, atonal, full-toned (not scratchy), and at times reminiscent of Mingus’s 1964 Paris recording of “Mediations For Integration”. A remarkable player.
“Charlotte’s Dream” is a fast bop tune with a complex B-section. Clint plays a big-toned solo that shows him the equal of Stanley Clarke in the speed department. Ryo is inventive and Brackeen is stunning. This is a group that listens to each other.
“Dreamers” – a mellow yet dramatic legato 3/4 feel turns into a bouncy jazz waltz. Avant-lyrical piano, driving guitar and a gentle bass solo leads back to the head. Short and sweet.    
  “Aft” starts with a bizarrely playful, Ornette-like head, and then off to the races! Houston is a one-man rhythm section behind endlessly inventive Brackeen. Indeed, Clint is so strong throughout this album that you don’t miss the drums at all. You really don’t. Next Kawasaki builds his solo on a series of sequences. Houston’s unaccompanied solo is a marvel. This ride should be studied by young bassists as an example of how to groove while tearing off heads.
“Winter is Here” – lyrical Ryo visits Joe Pass territory and Houston shows his uncanny telepathic connection to Brackeen’s piano (they were destined to work together many years, including a trio performance with Freddie Waits at the 1983 Kool New York Jazz Fest) before yet another unique and powerful bass solo, which harkens back to Rufus Reid’s beautiful virtuoso statement on Eddie Harris’s “Summer’s On Its Way”.

   “Green Voices of Play Air” (does anyone have a better sense for titles than Joanne Brackeen?)…stately free piano leads to a sunny bossa groove that just cries for a Pharaoh Sanders tenor statement. Ryo and then Joanne and Clint give crisp concise statements. Tasty and playful.   
I have often thought that Joanne Brackeen and Jessica Williams should  work together. Two pianists fed by the same poetic bloodjet, virtuosos who are equally comfortable with standards, Monk, Coltrane and beyond, and who would find much to speak of together…where is the visionary producer who could make it happen?
Brackeen’s work is always challenging and satisfying. Buy this disc, listen and listen again. Trust me.

- Kevin F. Wozniak
© Copyright

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mark Fry interview. Dreaming With Alice ...

Near Carrara, Italy, 1971, photo Giorgio Cipriani.
Only 19-year-old Mark Fry recorded his debut album Dreaming With Alice for RCA in Italy in 1971. His album is regarded as acid folk masterpiece by many music lovers around the world. Mark Fry is still active in music by releasing other albums years later and in the meantime he's also a painter. In the following interview Ross Beattie tried to find out more about making of Dreaming With Alice.

How is the preparation going for your upcoming art exhibition and can you tell us about what is involved ? 

Putting an exhibition of paintings together is not a million miles away from recording a new album of songs. I work very slowly on both and try to be as rigorous as I can in the process of self-editing. Just because you've spent months and months creating something it doesn't mean it's necessarily any good. At least half of what I do never sees the light of day, paintings get painted over, songs get ditched. It's a long and painstaking process.

In the painting studio, 2003.

How closely are the art forms of painting and making music related for you ? 

Over the years, the more my paintings have leant towards abstraction, the closer the two strings to my bow have become. Music is an abstract form in itself, and although we listen to music in a myriad of different ways, there is also a visual language to help us interpret the structures in music. This upcoming exhibition of paintings is a kind of exploration of those different visual languages we use to help us navigate information, whether it be maps, architectural drawings, circuit boards, dance notation or counting beads. The different ways we convey information visually has kept me preoccupied in the painting studio for quite some time now.

Can you tell us how making Dreaming With Alice came about ?

Far away and long ago I was a young art student in Italy, having enrolled at the Accademia delle belle Arti in Florence in the autumn of 1969. I had just left school in England, and although Dartington Hall was very progressive in its educational philosophy for the time, it was nonetheless an institution, and I could not wait to be free, to leave England and head for Italy - a place I already had a deep affection for, having spent much of my childhood there.

In Italy aged 15, 1966.

Politically, Italy was not in a good way in 1969. There was an almost palpable unrest and strikes were a daily occurrence. The art school itself was often on strike, or otherwise closed in order to celebrate one of Italy's many saints' days. We were lucky to find it open for more than three days a week. I soon became frustrated, and felt I was missing out on being in this wonderful country, and so after a few months decided to leave the art school and devote more time to my music. 

I was lucky enough to be living in a beautiful palace in the middle of Florence at the time. The family who lived there were old friends of my father, and the youngest daughter, Laura Papi, encouraged me to write more songs, enough to record an album. In early 1970 Laura took me down to Rome, having set up an interview with RCA Italy. I had a very formal and slightly tense audition with men in suits and ties. I remember being perched on the edge of a big leatherette chair and playing them some of my songs. I was then ushered out of the room and told to wait. Eventually the door reopened and I was offered a ten-year contract with IT Dischi, a subsidiary label of RCA Rome. It was very exciting and heady stuff being offered a record contract, but by the same token ten years when you're nineteen feels like a lifetime.

Florence, 1971, photo Giorgio Cipriani.

A few months later I began recording in one of RCA's studios in the suburbs of Rome. It went badly to begin with. I was riding down to Rome twice a week from Florence with my guitar strapped to the back of my Ducati motorbike. When I arrived at the studios my hands were very cramped from the journey and my guitar almost impossible to tune. On top of that I had absolutely no experience whatsoever of recording studios, and found it difficult singing in tune with headphones on. It was a fair old disaster. However IT Dischi kept their belief in the project and finally put me together with some Scottish musicians who were in Rome at the time doing session work for RCA (I think while they plotted ways of getting back to Glasgow). They had a little home studio in their basement flat, and we made Dreaming With Alice on a couple of 4-track Revox tape recorders over the space of a week or two. I have often been asked who these mysterious Scottish musicians were, and strange as it sounds I'm pretty sure now that they were the band that went on to become Middle Of The Road. 

Would you share your insight on some of the album’s tracks?

I remember writing the principal track, Dreaming With Alice, in a hotel room in Calabria. Laura wanted to show me some of the wilder regions of Italy, and we were on our way down to Sicily. The Witch was written in Florence in her family's palazzo while coming off an LSD trip. I was feeling rather alone and paranoid, and that song was born out of that sense of alienation. I often can't remember writing songs, in the same way I can't actually remember painting paintings. It's all a bit of a mystery.

Italy, 1971, photo Giorgio Cipriani.

Who were some major influences?

There were so many musical influences at the time. Evenings and weekends at school were largely taken up with listening to the latest releases. I was very into The Kinks, early Floyd, The Small Faces, Leonard Cohen, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, a pot pourri of artists. All my girlfriends were heavily into Dylan, so I kind of went out of my way not listen to him too much, but of course some of his songs inevitably broke through my ridiculous teenage prejudices. Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat and Visions of Johanna were often on my mind, but it was the arrival of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band that all blew us away, we hadn't heard anything quite as far out and as inventive as this. 

Looking back and trying to trace the influences on Dreaming With Alice, I see now that they were as much literary as musical. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S Lewis and Jonathan Miller's 1966 adaptation of Alice Through The Looking Glass for the BBC must have had a subliminal influence on my songwriting at the time, although I confess I have never actually read the Alice stories from cover to cover... maybe that was a good thing at the time, in that the idea of Alice was filtered and distorted as she came down through alternative routes. The paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites were very popular at the time: Holman Hunt's painting of Ophelia is quite psychedelic in its way.

Can you give us an insight into your songwriting process ?

It's very like painting, you start with a completely blank canvas and try and break into the space and make something. Subject matter is very elusive, at least I think it should be so, because it is that very elusiveness that you are trying to capture. Work is often put aside for long periods of time because I may feel I'm onto something but can't find a truthful way to move it forward. That's the time to let things sit, let things settle, and at a later stage, with luck, you can then take things by surprise and bring the song or painting to a conclusion.

Did the use of psychedelics impact on your music ?

Not hugely, I quickly got rather bored with hallucinogens, they seemed to repeat themselves, where as real life was endlessly coming up with surprises.

London 1972, photo Colin Vallance.

Were there many lesser known folkies in your circle around the "Alice" times that inspired you or that you have found memories of ?

I have never really thought of myself as a folkie, the closest I got to being turned on by British folk at the time was listening to Bert Jansch. He had something very special, his music ached with a melancholia and sadness I could sort of recognise, having just lost my mother at the age of sixteen. I was much more influenced by American folk really, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie etc, that seemed to me to be so much rawer, grander and more wild, they didn't sing about fair maidens, they were riding around on freight trains and getting thrown into jail. 

What was it like going back into the studio in 2008 to make your second album Shooting The Moon

Not easy. I hadn't been in a studio since 1980 and things had moved on quite considerably since then. I put together a little recording studio next to my painting studio in France. I grappled with the manual of my Yamaha AW1600 recorder, and after many months of trial and error finally got to grips with digital recording. I laid down all the basic tracks at home and then took them to a professional studio in London where the producer Nick Russell Pavier and I added on further instrumentation with other musicians.

Do you keep in much contact with the A Lords who you collaborated with on the 2011 album I Lived In Trees

We haven't done any more work together since we made I Lived in Trees, but I still see Nick Palmer from time to time. Both Nick and Michael Tanner are extremely talented and interesting musicians, and it was a wonderful experience working with them, it got me out of my comfort zone and pushed me creatively in unexpected ways.

I was lucky enough to be in the crowd at Bush Hall when you first returned to a London stage in over 30 years, what are your memories of that night ? 

It was a great evening and an honour to be supporting Trembling Bells. Someone came up to me at the bar before we went on and asked me for my autograph, it turned out to be the guitarist of Trembling Bells, I was a little taken aback, I thought it should have been the other way around! Things happen at the bar before a gig. A few years ago I was in Chicago supporting Terry Reid at The Million Tongues festival, a guy sitting next to me on a bar stool turned to me and said he had always been a great fan of mine and would I mind if the bartender took a photo of us together, I said it would be my pleasure. He then said could I buy me a drink, I said I would be delighted if he bought me a drink, a few minutes later when we had downed our beers he turned to me, shook my hand vigorously and said "Thank you so much Terry, it's been a great honour to meet you at last."

Village Underground, London 2012, photo Diana Jarvis.

Tell us a bit about your latest album South Wind, Clear Sky and how you managed to get such a mellow atmosphere on the production ? 

Glen Johnson (of Piano Magic and the inspiration behind the label Second Language) thought I would benefit from letting a producer help me bring the songs to a conclusion in the studio. Guy Fixsen was brought in and I think from pretty early on we decided to give the songs a very light touch in terms of production to let them speak for themselves, no percussion, just a sprinkling of strings here and there and a little double bass, which was supplied by the wonderful John Parker (of Nizlopi). The songs on South Wind, Clear Sky were largely influenced by the life and writings of Antoine de St Exupéry, and as his life was mainly spent flying aeroplanes we wanted to keep it fairly airy in feel.

I bought a copy of your Live in Japan vinyl when saw you play at St Mary’s church in Rotherhithe and think it's is such a wonderful album! How was it for you to learn of your following in Japan ? 

I had such a fantastic time in Japan, it had been a lifelong dream to go there anyway. I have always felt a great affinity with the Japanese aesthetic, so it was a real thrill to be invited to play a series of gigs in Tokyo and discover that I had quite a following over there. Ken Matsutani of Captain Trip Records had put together a wonderful group of musicians to back me up, we all got on like a house on fire and they brought something very special to the Alice songs. I had sent some of the tracks to Tokyo ahead of my arrival and so we hit the ground running. I think we had two three-hour rehearsals before we took to the stage. It was very sad saying goodbye to them all, you get very close to people sharing and playing music together. I'm really hoping to get back there again for a much longer period of time.

Tokyo 2013, photo Soh Satoh.

Are there any musicians you'd like to collaborate with if time and space wasn't an issue? 

I would have loved to have hung out with Ali Farka Touré in Mali. I spent some time in Mali in the very early 1980s and the music I came across there was a revelation. I bought a lot of cassettes from street hawkers, Baba Mall, Youssou N'dour and the Super Etoile de Dakar as well as Ali Farka Touré. I had my guitar with me, and everywhere I went was treated as a travelling griot. One evening I was asked to play a concert for a very famous Tuareg chief and his family and followers on the banks of the Niger river, just south of Timbuktu. It was, I admit, fairly nerve racking. I remember saying to my friend as our Land Rover bounced across the millet fields towards the encampment under a full moon "I think I've got tent fright!" 

Do you have any new music heading our way anytime soon ? 

There will be another album at some point... I just have to get this exhibition behind me before getting back to the music.

London 2015, with David Sheppard and Angèle David-Guillou, photo Guy Fixsen.

- Ross Beattie
© Copyright

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Nudity - Is God’s Creation (2016) review

Nudity - Is God’s Creation (Cardinal Fuzz, 2016)

Like Black Sabbath crossed with Motorhead, Nudity strip all the flotsam and jetsam out of the way and head full on into insane, firecracking speed metalica territory on ‘Now I’m Resting’, the opening skronker from this compilation of headbanging lunacy original conceived and memorialised between 2005-2010. It’s more balls to the walls muthafucka when ‘This Man’ goes for the jugular with razor blades and buzzsaw guitars akimbo. Just take a deep breath and let the power wash over you.
     Garage sludge like this doesn’t come along too often these days, which may explain why this may sound a little dated (the tracks are a decade old), but garage nogoodniks and air guitar naysayers will want to build their collection of uncompromising rawk n roll with this retrospective killer.
     On the other hand, there’s a fist...full of mind expanding drones and acid fried goodies like ‘Birdsong’, which squeezes all kinds of other worldly sounds and space excavations into its 10-minute allotment, and who doesn’t love another chance to drool along to Hawkwind’s ‘Hurry On Sundown’, captured in all its shambolic glory.
     ‘Rubicon’ shows off their bluesy chops, with wah-wahs, buzzing guitars, and a galloping drumbeat that keeps that train a rollin’ on down the tracks. ‘Make-Up’ sets aside 12 ½ minutes for some boss soloing from all involved, and the whole enchilada wraps up with the sidelong (as in 21-minute) ‘Le Premiere Voyage Du Capitaine’, which tosses headswirling sitars into the fray just to see if you’re still awake and relaxed and paying attention. More bongloads of righteous boo from those cardinals of fuzz.

- Jeff Penczak
© Copyright

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Jeff Liberman

Chicago born Jeff Liberman is a guitar player in the best tradition of '70s guitar Gods like Hendrix, Trower, Clapton or Zappa. The perfect mix between virtuosity and feeling with a gift for brilliant songwriting. Between 1975 and 1978, Liberman self–released three albums on his own Librah label which were some of the first private pressings to gain recognition amongst psych collectors in the '80s. Guerssen reissued Jeffery LibermanSolitude Within and Synergy. Preorder available here:

Jeff Liberman was born in South Side of Chicago in 1954. Coming from a place where Blues and Jazz music has a strong scene, he got inspired by a few local musicians, including Charley Wolfer. “He was great and taught me such songs as 'Suzy Q' by Creedence and 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' by Iron Butterfly. Just a great player. Other influences are Phil Upchurch, Leo Pucinakis and Ron Seroggin.”

His guitar playing is mostly based in Jazz, Rock and Blues music. Jeff was spending many hours practising Blues and Jazz scales. He likes to integrate all of them into his own phrasing style. When asked about his impressive and unique guitar style he replied that he really tries to keep it simple but look for unique phrasing. “Playing fast can be cool at times, but often loses impact as it's hard to comprehend the statement. The reason greats like Clapton and B.B. King are so classic, is because of their coherent phrasing.” He was influenced by many but especially by Clapton and Zappa. “My tone is very important to me. Probably born out of Clapton's tone when he played with Cream. And Frank Zappa's 'Overnight Sensation’ album”
Liberman already wrote his first song when he was 12 years old and began playing guitar only a year later. “I wrote a song about Batman and Robin but it was never recorded.”
His debut album came out in 1975. “When I first went to PS Recording Studio in Chicago, I called in the best of musicians that I could to play on my songs. Phil Upchurch was one of those people. Phil was a great guitarist, he kind of befriended me and certainly went on to be one of the great guitarists in the Jazz field. Phil played Bass on my first album. Tom Radke played Drums. Tom had been playing with such bands as Uriah Heep.”
The album was produced by Paul Serrano, who has been working with Ramsey Lewis and Earth, Wind & Fire. “Paul tolerated me. He was always kind and enabled me to record stuff on a shoestring budget. He was a great trumpet player and philosopher.”
Liberman used Gibson ES 341, Gibson L65, Martin D35 Acoustic. Pignose and Ampeg. “It was recorded in 3 hour sessions at a time. Tight budget, great players.” 
Dave Clark was a friend of Jeff who made the cover artwork for his albums. Dave drew the cover as an idea. He was thrilled when Jeff decided to use it. “It was really typical of his creativity. I was sickened to learn of his passing soon after. Dave had some mental health issues that fell through the cracks. It's quite a societal issue that we all need to address sooner rather than later! I believe that we all have mental issues of varying degree. We need to accept that and keep working at improving people's lives.”
Highly motivated, playing music he decided to donate all the money from album sales to the local hospital. It was a very honourable thing to do for such a young man as Liberman was at the time. He recalls: “I was highly motivated to work at improving my playing skills through my desire to generate revenue. This revenue was to help people that were in need of help. Especially children. I wanted to make a difference. I thought that I could help others if people found value in what I did.”
“Jeffery Liberman”was self released in 1975 on Librah Records. It was just a simple variation of the Zodiac sign. “Nothing clever”, as Liberman recalls.

That same year, 'Solitude Within' followed in the same manner as his first album. These two first albums are highly regarded among psych collectors and the late Patrick "Lama" Lundborg was also a fan of Liberman's music.

A third album, 'Synergy’, was released in 1978, placing Liberman more into the jazz-funk-rock genre but still with some brilliant psychedelic / prog-rock flashes.
More releases in a jazz-rock style followed and Jeff is still involved with music today.
“I have been really fortunate to have been able to pursue my musical endeavours and continue to do so. When I was 13 years old, I heard Eric Clapton with Cream. At that moment I knew that I wanted to play the guitar like that and have a sound like that. To this day, I still love feeling and soul in the creation of my own style but the roots of my playing evolved around: early Clapton, John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana and Frank Zappa.
I put a lot of effort into my music and guitar playing. People can hear some of my current work at CD”
“I suppose I am still writing simple love songs. And playing guitar solos. But I enjoy it and it's a great therapy working with so many great players.”

- Klemen Breznikar
© Copyright

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dead Sea Apes - Soy Dios (2016) review

Dead Sea Apes - Soy Dios (Sky Lantern/Cardinal Fuzz, 2016)

Dead Sea Apes are favourites around here and this reissue of their debut EP is expanded into a 4-part, 40-minute suite. It is a prime example of what gets our blood boiling and our synapses frying. Like a trawl through the vast barren desert landscapes, the track stalks into the room, looks left, looks right, and proceeds apace to bend our brains and steal our heads with searing guitar lines, throbbing bass and maniacal drums splattering our brains against the sweltering noonday sun.
     Unrelenting string-shattering, migraine-inducing skin pounding and bowel-cleansing gutter tremblings are the order of the day...and that’s just the 10-minute opening segment! Shades of Black Sun Ensemble trickle into the meandering 20-minute middle section, like a session in a sweat tent or a serpentining trek across Joshua Tree with a head full of nasty juice. Is that eternal drone an early bout of tinnitus settling in, or have we launched full throttle onto the astral plane? Your mileage may vary, so just sit back and enjoy the trip.

     The new (fourth) segment blends so seamlessly into the original release that it’s tempting to suggest it must have been part of the original trip, but omitted for personal reasons. In any event, it brings the whole journey to a very satisfying conclusion and is a welcome bonus to an already essential recording.

- Jeff Penczak
© Copyright


Finding a tiny piece of gold in all that daily trash

An interview in English about a record in Flemish? An album about horses. With two dicks on the cover, and horses. Why not, of course.

Why a concept LP about horses?

Since the beginning of the Blaastaal emmisions on Radio Centraal in 2007 Mik Prims, who was my blaascollegue until 2015, and I made a lot of jokes about horses. Our first jingle was '106.7 gram van 't paardje', which refers to the fact that in Antwerp exists the habit of eating horse meat and the frequency of Radio Centraal.
Years later now I share the little gallery 'Troebel Neyntje' with Idris Sevenans on the Paardenmarkt in Antwerp. It seemed funny to do a concept album about The Horse Market. So I went through the Blaastaal archives to scan everything with horses and made a new collage out of that.

Was the cover your idea? 

I had 0% involvement in the artwork. 

Blaastaal was a duo until last year. Why did Mik Prins leave? 

After 10 years the formula of working together in the radio studio got worn out. It felt to me that Mik did not have the same urge to create than I had. It frustrated me in the end and we decided that I should go on alone. Fortunately without hard feelings, we 're still good friends.

You presented Blaastaal live and on record, but it's a radio show in the first place. Why did you decide to make Blaastaal as a radio show? 

Blaastaal started out with the CDr 'Ik Dank U Voor Uw Luistergenot' in 2005. A compilation of old tape recordings my nephew Pieter Hemerijck made in the early 1980's of the Antwerp local station Radio Zuiderlicht. All my live I had been playing with tapes and recordings and now I was learning to work with a computer to make edits. I laughed my ass off making it although it was a hell of a job going through all this old tapes and searching for that 1% of usable stuff. The CDr got some good reactions and Dennis Tyfus convinced me to do a radio show. I hardly knew how a radio mix deck worked so I asked my old pal Mik to join, with whom I exchanged a lot of radio edits, music and abstract jams over the years. We mostly made the intro's of the show together. We prepared a lot separately and we edited our own small language-collages. We brought these collages to the radio studio to surprise each other. We mixed these things live on the spot with all kinds of sounds and weird music. Sometimes it was chaos, sometimes something wonderful came to live. It's a lot of turntables, CD players, tapes, toy instruments etc working at the same time, with a lot of coincidence and improvisation.

Why do you mainly use voice samples in Dutch? 

There's a whole treasure of random bullshit to build pieces with, to turn everyday media banality like traffic information, weather forecast into surrealist poetry. It doesn't have to be Dutch but it just turns out that way. Be glad I want to do this interview in English... 

Where do you get the recordings you use? The library? Lp's at flea markets? The internet? 

Everywhere, indeed flea markets, internet etc. I hate listening to the radio but I record it often while I'm not home. When I get back I have some hours of random radio shit to shift out to search for stupid language. I must be crazy, it's in fact too much work but the laughter is so good when you find a tiny piece of gold in all that daily trash. There's also some record stores in Antwerp that keep all the language courses apart for me. Local TV stations like ATV are also a source of great idiocy. Friends sometimes share a link to me when they find some Blaastaal worthy stuff somewhere.

Does it take a lot of time to make Blaastaal?

Sometimes it's really a lot of work. I don't always have the time so some shows are more improvised on the spot. Or sometimes I re-use parts in different combinations. Sometimes I edit very quick, other times I'm really busy for hours to get a few seconds right. For the 'Paardenmarkt' LP I had some finished pieces from the radio shows but I wanted to get it right of course. So I worked quite a bit on it. For years I wanted to have a vinyl release out. Finally the first one is here. But I would like to bring out a lot more. The archives are getting huge...

The recordings you use are often everyday recordings, but because you put them in the context of an audio collage, it becomes surreal, absurd, funny. Do you think that, by changing the context, you change the meaning? 

Yes. I want to strip the language of it's 'meaning' to make it abstract and absurd. I want to create a new 'meaning'. Approximately 89,7% of language is completely stupid. Even most of the things I say in this interview. But I have to I guess. In English even...

Making the everyday, the ordinary, the mondain into art is a fluxus, dada and non-art kind of idea. Is that your background, your inspiration? 

Yes. And also the fact that I'm rather deaf. If I don't comprehend what people say I immediately make my own interpretation with the sounds I hear.
I also listened a lot to early Residents, Stockhausen And Walkman, People Like Us, Wevie Stonder, Ton Lebbink, Jaap Blonk, John S Hall, Kamagurka's music... people who turn language inside out.

When you started out with Blaastaal ten years ago, it was the only radio show made this way. Now there are several people doing these kind of stuff: Gerard Herman, Joris De Rycke, Bert Huyghe, De Occasio's,... Do you see these people as your students? 

That's a compliment. Maybe. I don't know. Partly true but I think it's in the air anyway. We all copy and paste.

- Joeri Bruyninckx
© Copyright

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Electric Octopus - Under a Black Moon (2016) review

Electric Octopus - Under a Black Moon (2016)

Without warning, and swinging into high gear, Electric Octopus deliver an unexpected delight of intoxicating tracks sparked with the essence of hypnotic jazz and stoner rock that ride on the distant edges of the horizon, waiting on the big ol' orange October moon to rise over the mountains, and then playing with it until it bursts into a thousands stars of shimmering delight.

What Electric Octopus seem to be doing, is sending back etherial postcards from their mind bending adventures, assuring us that the world is a magical and wonderful place to live in … especially with a band like this who’ve managed to not only capture the essence of a historic past, but bring it into the here and now effortlessly, timelessly, and without flaws.

Review of This Is Our Culture
Interview with Electric Octopus

- Jenell Kesler
© Copyright

Friday, October 7, 2016

LightDreams interview with Paul R. Marcano

Reaching for a higher "High Frontier" (re-purposed by Got Kinda Lost Records as bonus materials, 2016).

LightDreams is a project by Paul Marcano who managed to record several albums from the ‘70s onward using a DIY approach of home recording and mixing. Wanting to explore beyond what was going on in the mainstream at the time, he released Islands In Space on vinyl in 1981, and followed with a cassette release in 10,001 Dreams. Both releases were very hard to find and not well known at the time. Patrick Lundborg (The Acid Archives, Psychedelia) gave a rave review of Islands In Space and attracted some collector's attention worldwide. LightDreams already had a small following in Japan. Marcano's music is hard to describe, but let's say it's like cosmic waves of psychedelic and progressive rock with a home recorded vibe (which sound surprisingly good quality-wise). Got Kinda Lost Records—a subsidiary of Guerssen run by Ugly Things’ Jeremy Cargill—reissued their first album and are currently taking pre-orders for 10,001 Dreams. Read our story about the concept and production of this lost space rock relic. Space out!

Where did you grow up and how did you get involved with music?

I grew up in Pound Ridge, New York, and moved to the Ottawa valley in Canada when my mother remarried around 1960.
My mother played classical music almost exclusively while working as an artist and so I always had an ear for music and enjoyed learning to sing in school choirs too. One day my mother brought home a couple of singles by the Beatles. Those songs completely altered my appreciation for music and it was not long before I acquired a guitar. A few early formal guitar lessons almost killed my interest, as I was clearly more adept at playing by ear than struggling with reading notes off a sheet of paper. Later as a teenager I began to realize that the energy it takes to learn someone else's song is roughly equivalent to the energy it takes to come up with something uniquely your own, with a bonus that you are creating something new to share.

Was your first recording project Islands In Space? What can you tell us about your musical experience before the release of this album? Were you ever in any bands?

Islands In Space was my 12th album of original music following almost a decade of recordings using the reel-to-reel, sound on sound technology of a Sony TC-630. I did play in a cover band for a while in the mid-’70s and also performed my own songs with a loose association of other musicians, but my love for studio recording and production was greater. Islands In Space was only my second stereo album after an album I made called Silent Circuits. Both utilized the groundbreaking TEAC 144 multi-track recorder, which revolutionized home recording in the early 1980s. With care and attention it was possible to create some very reasonable results from that early technology. When I finally released a vinyl pressing of Islands In Space in 1981, the TEAC Corporation in Japan actually sent a couple of executives over to purchase a couple of cases of LightDreams' first album. I was thrilled and years later found that the album had entered the underground music scene in Japan where it was categorized as "Psychedelic Electronic Folk Music". Used copies were selling for rather higher prices than I could ever have imagined.

Islands In Space (1981/2016) album cover, illustrated by Paul R. Marcano.

You recorded the album in a time when the original wave of psychedelia was long gone. There weren't many people inspired to record albums inside the psychedelic genre at the time but still a couple of jewels like yours came to life. What were you listening to before recording your album?

I was coming out of having listened to the progressive rock efforts of bands like Gentle Giant, Pink Floyd, Caravan, Alan Parsons, King Crimson (and their former members' McDonald and Giles album). Progressive rock pretty much saturated the panorama of my listening throughout the ‘70s. I feel as if Alan Parsons taught me most about production values and mixing, while David Gilmour was my guitar teacher and McDonald and Giles were the gurus of lengthier song construction with an imaginative flair. It was as much about the technical aspects of progressive rock as it was about the music itself that influenced me. It is true that Psychedelics were waning in interest by the ‘80s (something about potential jail time takes the luster off of such things) but I found Psychedelics far more of a catalyst for creativity than my seeking another altered state. For me, it inspired my imagination and was an excellent way to acid test new songs and determine if they were really any good, everything tends to be perceived so incredibly fresh and new. Often after hours of working on a song, an artist has a hard time critiquing or listening to it objectively. Almost any altered state can allow you to 'hear it again for the first time' but I think psychedelics are remarkable in the way your mind opens up to an uncanny free association around a single perception of something. A song can simultaneously take on meaningful dimensions musically, structurally, emotionally and often as not, a spiritual significance you might not have previously realized. 

What is the concept behind Islands In Space?

The concept was always meant to be multi-fold. Side one focuses on the visionary ideas of Gerard O'Neill's concept for space colonies as illustrated in his book The High Frontier. He could see the advantages of space habitats and the notion that space exploration challenges the frontiers of the unknown. I was most intrigued with the underlying message that grand human endeavours involving international involvement and cooperation have the potential for unifying nations. What made space habitats such an intriguing theme for an album was the parallels I was seeing between the material adventure of outer space travel and the spiritual adventure of inner space mind expansion. On a purely practical level, with all our eggs in one basket it seems prudent that we expand our presence off-world 'just in case' and I wanted to share that idea with people. I am not a pessimist but there is a fragility to our existence given our exposure to random asteroids coming our way, geological changes or even major solar events. 

Original Islands In Space cover mockup, illustrated by Paul R. Marcano (re-purposed by Got Kinda Lost Records as bonus materials, 2016).

Side two of the album explores an inner space journey that for most of us is far more economical and accessible through mind expansion, meditation and exploring the depth of our being. In many ways one could say that space travel is kind of taking the long way home to a realization that we are citizens of an already existing 'island in space,’ one we call the the blue planet. This is, after all, our first journey through Galactic time and space, moving at approximately a million miles an hour, so who knows where the Earth will be tomorrow? Islands In Space illustrates musically the adventure of space travel and mind expansion.

Would you share your insight on the album’s tracks?

“The High Frontier”
This melodic piece bookends the album and offers an auditory launch pad for what is to follow. John Walker's warped guitar playing sets the stage for an improvisational composition that I had a lot of fun working on, using everything from backwards guitar inter-play to a launch sound effect derived by stuffing newspaper up a chimney and lighting it to burn off the soot buildup. I wanted to intro the album with a tribute to Gerard O'Neill's book The High Frontier, which for me was a life changing moment realizing technology's full potential as I was coming out of a ‘70s 'back to the land' movement. Building space habitats may seem impossibly challenging, yet trillions of dollars are squandered not building anything at all, just destroying infrastructure and peoples' lives. The high frontier lifts our gaze to the stars and beyond.

“Islands In Space”
Well this, of course, is the title cut and people may notice it fades in. The fact is, it is part two of a longer song I had to truncate in order to make room for Andre Martin's “Voiceless Voice,” which blew my mind when Andre handed it to me on a small tape reel. Unfortunately, vinyl records offer limited time per side and I needed to make a difficult choice to shorten "Islands In Space" to fit. It is really the only cut on the album where a full compliment of musicians appear. LightDreams was always basically made up of the three main writers: Andre Martin, Cory Rhyon and myself. Though, on “Islands In Space” we also had studio musicians Art Lowe playing bass and Tim Moore contributing a very sweet saxophone part. The lyrics are a poetic description of our origins and continuing drive to return, like salmon, as I sing "it was out of the stardust we were born to return... from this cradle... of our civilization." 

“Voiceless Voice”
When Andre presented this piece to me he had no idea what I was working on, yet it was so right for the project that I basically had to realign the entire album to accommodate his 7 minute sojourn into inner and outer space. I think he was like 19 years old at the time and had just bought a synthesizer. I did not want to add anything to it, just bookend it with some space shuttle and ground control chatter to set the atmosphere for this beautiful symphonic space journey. As was often the case in the years to come, Andre would contribute compositions like this that would alter projects I was working on. Sadly, he contracted cancer and died earlier this year at the young age of 54, but thankfully he lived long enough to see the reissue of the album and his excellent contribution spread to more listeners. He is sorely missed as we ended up creating a lot of music together over the years. 

“I Ride the Wind”
Islands In Space includes a couple of earlier compositions I wrote in the ‘70s that just happened to work well on this concept album. "I Ride the Wind" serves as a transition piece that takes us over to side two. It utilizes a twelve-string guitar and is reflective of my acoustic guitar songwriting style. The song was written outdoors where I often soak up inspiration from contact with the natural elements, whether under open skies or deep in the forest. The lyrics in this song express how we 'become the day' and how we have a fleeting relationship with each thought that wells up in us like a wave, which peaks and crests in a frenzy of intrigue only to subside as our stream of consciousness brings on yet another thought that passes on through us as we "ride with the wind."

“Atmospheric Dreams”
Side two opens with two pieces of music that Cory Rhyon and I melded. Starting with "My Spirit Soars,” where I make an effort lyrically to illustrate why "I feel ok" and that "I wouldn't miss this trip for the world today.” It is for me the equivalent of an inner launch pad and although it is psychedelically inspired, I like that it ends by recognizing that "everybody seems to like to find their own way home.” In matters of spirit I think so much nuance is made of our differences, when in fact it is not a political issue at all but rather a respect for an individual's taste and choices. I think it is best to acknowledge how truly amazing one's individual experience of the Universe can be from your unique perspective and then share it with others. The song merges delicately into Cory Rhyon's main contribution, "Atmospheric Dreams,” an incredibly lucid and spontaneously composed acoustic guitar journey. Cory was always the earthbound one who understood he was part of a cosmology and when he played you could feel his high frontier perspective, yet with feet firmly on the ground. Sadly, Cory also passed away from cancer a couple of years ago, but he left a huge body of work that can be accessed off our website at I have dedicated a page to both Andre and Cory featuring their independent work created outside their time with LightDreams.

“Solar Winds”
Cory loved my song "I Ride the Wind," and here you may recognize that he's playing the chords in his own illuminating way, while I create a background soundscape of solar winds and cosmic noises meant to punctuate the dangerous radiation in the extreme conditions of space. At the time of this recording I think we played the piece out to almost 20 minutes, from which I selected only a portion to include on the album. Aside from a very primitive (by today's standards) little synthesizer we rented, I layered other sounds, among them actual radio telescope sounds of solar winds that National Geographic had included as a flexi-disc in one of their issues. The track blending I did makes for a uniquely synthesized soundscape that rivals some of the more sophisticated sounds possible at the push of a button with newer synth technology. Yeah, love buttons!

“Farewell Goodbyes”

This is a final reprise mirroring the first song "The High Frontier" and adds in what I think of as a little futuristic bedtime story, something they might play from an actual space habitat someday. It has a retrospective feel that consolidates the underlying messages of the album if it has not been made clear all along. I remember Cory and I were listening to the final mix and I just started adlibbing the lyrics you hear. It was amazing how the lines just flowed out while listening to the music. I wrote them down pretty much as is and later refined how I would speak and sing them. I think it is a fitting concluding piece that encapsulates the concept of what Islands In Space is all about.

What was the writing and arranging process?

I mentioned a lot about the writing above, but my process is generally to play a guitar or a keyboard until something happens that moves into some kind of conceptual continuity. It is as much an act of self-discovery what is next as anything else. However, I have a funny mathematical notion that once 5 notes are played in a melodic sequence, the sixth note is almost a given, and so on with the seventh note, eighth note and onward. The certainty of how a composition comes into being seems increasingly self-evident as you dive deeper into it. I think the key to all creativity is just to get past the procrastination about starting something, anything. Sure, you'll either sink or swim, but the likelihood is that your creative survival instincts will kick in and you'll have something accomplished before you even know it! After I have a basic structure of music I then decide if it is sufficient as an instrumental, or whether it has the essence of a song that might include lyrics. If it does, I then cherry-pick a given stream of consciousness inspired by the rhythm or melody within the music and eventually I cull the best lines I write out, often discovering for myself what it is I am attempting to say. Being self-taught, I rely on an active imagination and careful appreciation of the subtlety of inspiration's fleeting appearance.

It was released in a DIY ethic, 1000 copies?

Yes, a limited edition of 1000 vinyl copies and a few custom cassette tapes that included the original unedited version of Islands In Space on the flip side of a C-90. The album itself was financed by friends, among them a fellow known on the west coast as Mushroom Dann. Dann was the main 'angel investor' with no strings attached, he just wanted to see this album out there and I am forever thankful for his encouragement and support. Of course, my wife Cathy has always been there supporting my work right from the start and we've been together since we were teenagers! As an early musical influence, my mother over the years has provided support, undying encouragement and enthusiasm for my musical efforts.
My friend James (aka Demetre the Clown) was also very much an early fan of my music and I aways appreciated his philosophical take on my work. Of course when you decide to print 1000 copies of anything, you end up paying particular attention to all the details and that process of finalizing the masters and cover art took me about 9 months.

LP labels of Got Kinda Lost Records' reissue of Islands In Space (screenshot from Islands In SpaceVR).

Your follow-up album 10,001 Dreams (Paul Marcano and LightDreams) is even more obscure. Might I suggest that this is a continuation of your previous work?

It may actually be less obscure on a conceptual level, but it is definitely not as well known. 10,001 Dreams is a double album follow-up release coming out this fall, I believe. Having never been released on vinyl, but only on cassette in 1982, a lot of work had to go into preparing this material for vinyl. Lots of nuanced problems cropped up due to the vinyl format and the 4 sides of music reflecting essentially two 45 minute sides of an original C-90 cassette. With cassettes came the freedom to actually produce a 45 minute running piece of music, which LightDreams fell into rather naturally rebounding off of Islands In Space (which already featured lengthy explorations in soundscaping).

Would you share your insights on the 10,001 Dreams’ tracks and further explain the concept?

I imagine myself as one of those classic 'famous unknowns' from a prolific era of creativity coming out of the ‘70s. I am a little reticent to do more than promote a little of what this album is all about, since it is not actually out yet. It is a double album where sides one and two are essentially my solo material where I play all the instruments, which is to say variations of guitars mainly with what I like to think was a unique layering approach with a decidedly progressive rock feel. These are not three minute songs for the most part, but rather a series of definitive pieces which I think capture the essence of anything important I might have wanted to say, even to this day. It is seminal work and even features a song "Follow The Stream" from my first self-produced album in 1973, A Time and A Space for Everyone. There are a couple of verses in the song "Who Is the One" that I wrote as a teenager in 1970, "you're the free thinking kind and you open your mind to see what you find..." so you can see I am certainly not beyond plagiarizing myself a decade later, haha. The fact is, I think a good song should stand the test of time and so I have never worried about when my material might be 'discovered'. I always say, 'Now is as good a time as any'. The songs I choose for my projects are carefully selected. Psychedelic experience showed me early on that in a timeless moment one can look back on your life and decisions from a very distant age perspective, where you can make choices when you are young in a kind of retrospective way, perhaps more wisely as if reflecting on the consequences of your actions before you initiate something. Looking back on this album, I see that I chose material that speaks to life's passages in a timeless continuum.

Painting: Chemical Ecstacy double exposed with my Psychedelic Ambassador's emblem on Astre car.

The second album, sides 3 and 4 of the set, is pure LightDreams, a collaboration of the three main writers, Andre Martin, Cory Rhyon and myself, beginning with Andre Martin's illustrious "Being Here.” We then composed and recorded the rest in an unusual, for the time, process. Andre and I basically 'played' and improvised pre-recorded material using both of our TEAC 144 recording decks out to a single mastering machine. Basically 'DJing' in a real-time jam of our original music, layering our compositions on the fly between the spontaneity of selected musical pieces and soundscapes that worked together and separately. We did the whole thing in one 45 minute take one afternoon. Cory Rhyon chimed in later with some percussive and acoustic guitar material and I just added some bass guitar bits to finish the project off. We then had the snapshot you hear that is at the heart of 10,001 Dreams

Psychedelic 'body work' over Mushroom Dann's rusty Datsun car. My son pictured Aaron Stratosphere Marcano.

Where did you record the albums and what kind of gear did you use for the recording? The album itself is full of surprises.

Since my very first reel-to-reel tape deck I have always created a designated area in my home to record. Over time I built studios out of big closets, basements, or just finding space wherever I could, often outside in the forest. My wife, in choosing our first home made sure that half the house could be configured as 'my space' and typical of so-called man caves nationwide. I prefer the isolation and general peace it keeps in a long-term relationship like ours. Sure, it seems like chaos sometimes in a working studio space, but it is ready at any given moment for composition and recording without the distracting buzzkill of setting up first. My equipment in 1982 was very limited to mostly guitars, an electric Vantage guitar I still play (traded for the original Islands In Space cover painting to bassist Art Lowe), a twelve-string Epiphone and some quirky rental synthy things. At the time, I rarely if ever incorporated percussion, preferring to emphasize rhythmic acoustic guitars to keep the beat. I always layered guitars, sometimes backwards lead parts, echo-inspired counterpoint inter-playing of notes and a certain mathematical logic came into play during the creation of much of the album's content. Andre used a Korg M1 for his string sounds and Cory pretty much stuck to acoustic guitar. At the time the TEAC 144 was all I had to record the final tracks to, and I managed it all with a minimum of bouncing tracks, then mastering out to an AKAI deck using chromium or metal oxide cassette master tapes. It is what we indie artists had and could afford and is what we innovatively used, never artistically compromised or pressured by the cost of studio time or having to watch the clock.

Teac 144.

And the cover artwork?

The cover art is pretty much a little story in itself. The original cassette cover art was not something I was particularly proud of, it was basically a pre-Photoshop analog world where you actually had to use a film-based camera to layer images via a double exposure process where you had no idea if it worked until the film came back a week later from the developer… Each photo actually cost money back then, so there was none of this digital scatter shot, select and delete until you got it right. So what came back was okay, but not really. Long story short, I thought I would wait and see if the orders for the album were going to roll in and justify a more professional packaging. Alas, artists do not make the best marketers of their work. They take things too personally when it comes to stores rejecting to take copies; or if they do, almost always on consignment so that bookkeeping and travel becomes an operating loss to even bother collecting. We were already moving on to another project and the cover remained as it was until this reissue on vinyl. Record companies, like most publishers like to choose their own book and album covers, due to their more substantial investment and marketing efforts. For 10,001 Dreams they felt as I did, that the cover art needed to be re-thought and I sent them many paintings I had created at the time of this recording in 1982, none seemed to be precisely what they were looking for and I was resigned to only imagining what the cover was going to be. One day I sent off an email with this odd psychedelic painting I had done for another musician who never used it. Much to my surprise it struck a chord and now I see that indeed it has this surreal dreamlike quality that does catch the eye and suit the album's theme. My art and music have always mirrored each other and I am just thrilled that Got Kinda Lost Records decided to use an original work from the period

Self-portrait of Paul Marcano, 1978.

How many copies were pressed for the second album?

Apart from some local public radio play and a few copies that went worldwide to Spain, the UK, Sweden, Italy and California—through the efforts of my good friend Annie Goodwyne—I was already off, more enthusiastic about a new project with my LightDreams buddy Andre called Airbrushing Galaxies, which completed the LightDreams thematic trilogy regarding space and mind, (the 'final' frontiers of the eighties, at least to us). 10,001 Dreams slowly receded in memory until rather recently when a gentleman named Aaron Levin found a copy and gave it an exuberant review on [the website Weird Canada]. Then after the Islands In Space review by Patrick Lundborg appeared in The Acid Archives I started getting inquiries for Islands In Space and 10,000 Dreams, simultaneously. Oddly enough from two record companies in the same week in 2014. Got Kinda Lost Records won out based on their more developed distribution network (via their connection with Guerssen in Catalonia, Spain) and larger vinyl clientele. I have to say that 10,001 Dreams fits that “got kinda lost” label like a glove. I am very thankful to be able to finally share it with a broader audience!

Did you ever appear live?

In the ‘80s I played a few self-promoted gigs, mainly for royalties, by staging our own outdoor concerts where a friend and I would go through our entire repertoire at roughly $6 or $7 per song in royalties. I still do play live but on rarer occasions, since I prefer to share refined studio recordings. I mainly produce video performances, some in 3D for my Youtube Channel. 

Currently, I am developing a series of songs incorporating virtual reality video to perform in 360 environments and will be producing a few 'live' performances of cuts from 10,001 Dreams having recently re-learned how to play most of the material. 

Performing in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, BC.

What happened after the release further down the road in 1980s and on?

In a word, lots! Andre and I released Airbrushing Galaxies in 1983 and touched bases big time a decade later to produce our album First Time Back. Check out the link to my archived catalogue

I am addicted to composing, often lots of instrumental work, lots of thematic material but a diversity of sound. I am planning an album of what I would call neo-psych-classical music with strings, harpsichord and Floydian-like guitar bits. I have never stopped composing and recording, it is why my day job is multi-media commercial art 'work' that allows for the creation of music that need not be compromised by any need to tailor it to the commercial needs of the mainstream music industry. That said, I have no idea if my work is accessible to a broader market, something I hope sales of these earlier releases might indicate at some point. I hope people enjoy the music in what may be a much more open-minded atmosphere given the end of the fifty-year war on so-called ‘drugs' like marijuana. I don't smoke, but I have always felt that asking society's permission seems to unduly place responsibility on others to endorse my decisions—and near as I can tell, it is my body, my temple.

Time Traveller's meeting with Pauls, 1972, 2003, 2015.

What was the source of the bonus material included in the Got Kinda Lost Records package? Currently the label is taking pre-orders for reissue of the 10,001 Dreams album. (See here)

Yes, I've heard about that little bonus package of stuff and it is a cool idea that Got Kinda Lost Records came up with. Basically, I sent off a lot of period art and photos to give the company some background material to work with in the development of liner notes and cover art for 10,001 Dreams, so that is the source of that material. There is also something called The Unedited Islands In Space, available on request as a digital download if you contact me through my email

Cory Rhyon as Gnome (1982, Paul Marcano); Cory Rhyon, 1981; Cory Rhyon, 1982.

Thank you. Last word is yours.

Thank you for your time. The last word is yours.

I am grateful to anyone who has the time of day for independently produced material, it is particularly special to an artist who never had time to market or try to reach a wider audience through a record company. I hope it provokes listeners to explore some of my more recent work, which over the years has reflected a diversity of styles and themes. I am currently developing album releases and individual videos of my music for the Oculus Rift VR headset. In celebration of these vinyl reissues I have created a special application called Islands In Space VR, which features a very spacey virtual reality setting of islands in space to listen to the album. It is an exciting way to immerse yourself in the music and includes all the released material plus the unedited versions like the long version of "Solar Winds" and the complete song that the title cut was culled from. 

For those readers still with us, congratulations and thank you, I would like to give away a few complimentary KeyCodes to my VR application that will install and unlock the app directly into their Oculus Home if you happen to own a CV1 Oculus Rift. These codes are issued on a first come, first served basis as they only work until they are redeemed in the Oculus Home. There is more information about my VR music projects on my website. Feel free to email me, I answer all correspondence personally.

If you have an Oculus Rift
Copy and paste any one of these keycodes into the Oculus Rift Home Settings screen under Redeem to install a copy of Islands in Space VR: 

I'd like to thank publisher Klemen Breznikar and everyone who has shown an interest in the work of LightDreams with a deep appreciation to Got Kinda Lost Records and Guerssen for the reissues they are overseeing. I am thrilled to pieces that there is this 'overnight interest' in my music, time may be an illusion (as I have mentioned), but now really is as good a time as any to share my work and that of my fellow members of LightDreams, who sadly have passed on so young. I appreciate the intelligent questions you have asked and hope that people enjoy this reissue from a very psychedelic period of creativity in the 20th century. I also hope that most listeners will agree that the material passes the test of time.

Cheers to all, stay high and happy, the world is still an extraordinarily beautiful planet.

Paul Marcano, 1982 (re-purposed by Got Kinda Lost Records as bonus materials, 2016).

Cheers to all, stay high and happy, the world is still an extraordinarily beautiful planet.

Paul Marcano 2015 Painting 1982 Worlds within Worlds.

Paul R. Marcano

- Klemen Breznikar
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