Table of Contents and Introduction
1 - DroneOn Specifics 2 - General Net Resources 3 - Music - Current 4 - Music - Ancestors 5 - Music - Even Earlier
6 - Vendors 7 - Everything Else 8 - Zines/Books 9 - Gear/Musician Toys

Part 3: Music / Musicians / Bands - Current

In This Section:


3.1 - Spacemen 3, Spiritualized, Spectrum, Sonic Boom, Experimental Audio Research, The Darkside, Alpha Stone, etc.

Most (if not all) of the general questions about the SP* bands can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.no-fi.com/spacemen3/. This is a ridiculously complete site with detailed discographies, FAQs, and lots of trainspotting-level trivia.


3.2 - Galaxie 500, Magic Hour, Damon And Naomi, Luna

Date: Mon, 25 Apr 94 18:26:51 CDT
From: Robert Lim [lim7@midway.uchicago.edu]
To: Jussi Ristikaarto
Cc: droneon@ucsd.edu
Subject: Re: Luna

)structures, choruses that make you want to weep etc. etc. Anybody with a discography for Luna?

As far as I know, this is the deal:

Dean Wareham 7" on No. 6, with Anesthesia and I Can't Wait (diff from album versions)- apparently, some of these had a mistake at the pressing plant, leading to an unkown guy singing "I go out and get drunk all the time, drunk all the time..." on the flip instead of "I Can't Wait." Anesthesia is the same song from the album (as is "Wait"), but differs a bit- has an acoustic gtr for one. I actually like it more than the version that made it to the album.

Lunapark full-length on Elektra

Time/Egg Nog 7"- Elektra promo only Christmas single on red vinyl. Egg Nog is a good original instrumental. Pretty hard to come by cheaply.

Slide e.p.- US release has Slide, Rollercoaster, some Dream Syndicate cover, Hey Sister (demo), a cover of Beat Happening's Indian Summer and the awesome Velvets cover, "Ride Into the Sun". UK release contained just the covers, I believe, and was called the Indian Summer e.p., complete with a split pomegranate cover.

Bewitched full-length: there's a one-track only Tiger Lily (album version) radio promo, but as far as I know, no regular single...

As far as I know, this is pretty much it. Anything I'm missing?

lim7@midway.uchicago.

Date: Mon, 13 Feb 95 18:09:44 EST
From: dan@grape.lec.com (Dan Parmenter)
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: re: galaxie 500 spinoffs

Pierre Etoile was the name that Damon (Krukowski) and Naomi (Yang) (who were Galaxie's rhythm section) used for their some of their initial releases in the wake of Galaxie's breakup. A 12" (or is that an EP?) came out on Rough Trade and featured three songs, "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington", "1969" and another whose title escapes me at the moment. The first of these also showed up in a Kramerized version on Damon and Naomi's MORE SAD HITS LP (Shimmy Disc), but all three songs are quite nice and un-Kramerish (i.e. no layers of guitar, echo or multi-tracked vocals). Damon sings and plays guitar and drums. Naomi plays bass, does some backing vocals and took the fairground scene cover photo.

It's always been a favorite of mine. I've bored people on this list with my praise for D & N, but I truly believe that they are carrying the mantle of G500 in a way that Luna isn't (which doesn't mean I think Luna *should* be Galaxie 500 II, it's merely an observation). MORE SAD HITS in particular seems like a very logicial progression from the third Galaxie album (THIS IS OUR MUSIC - my favorite, featuring some of their most droney stuff like "Melt Away" and "Listen the Snow is Falling"). Dean's voice and guitar are missed.

Dipshit that I am, I failed to make the obvious connection that "Pierre Etoile" translates to "rock star" until someone here on the list pointed it out to me. Duuuhhhh...

- Dan

There is a Galaxie 500, et. al. page on the web at:
http://uptown.turnpike.net/~AndyA/galaxie.html

A Damon and Naomi WWW page on Sub-Pop's web site at: http://www.subpop.com/bands/damon+naomi/damonaomiweb/

There is also a mailing list for the discussion of Galaxie 500, Luna and anything even tenuously related. To subscribe send an email to galaxie-request@aald.demon.co.uk with a blank subject line and the following in the body of the message:

ADD [your email address]

A Galaxie 500 newsgroup has also started up, though it may be too new for most mailservers. It's alt.music.galaxie-500


3.3 - New Zealand

3.3.1 - Dadamah, Roy Montgomery / Dissolve

A Roy Montgomery WWW page can be found at: http://www.sirius.com/~dfr/roy/roy.htm

From: MOCKD@delphi.com
Date: Tue, 04 Jul 1995 18:32:48 -0400 (EDT)

Seems there has been a few folks talkin about the Dissolve cd/lp on Kranky lately and seeing as how I'm privy to what amounts to an autobiography from Roy I thought I'd spread a little light on the man/myth.

Roy is from New Zealand. Christchurch. His first group to appear on vinyl was the Pin Group. 300 copies each of two singles came out in '81 on the newly christened Flying Nun label, in fact "Ambivalence/Columbia" was catalog number FN 001 and "Coat/Jim" was FN 003. There was also a 12"ep issued the following year called "Go To Town". Though the Pin Group only ever played a handful of gigs and soon fell apart, you should probably beg borrow or steal to get copies of these things as the "sound" on the guitar was already firmly in place and at least for me now is instantly reconizable.

Roy was also involved in a theater group in Christchurch who put on a production of Patti Smith and Sam Shepard's play "Cowboy Mouth" with Roy playing the lead role of Slim.

Roy drifted out of the music scene for several years, becoming bogged down in every day life issues and generally becoming "dissillusioned" until a chance meeting at a phone booth in '90 with Peter Stapleton who along with Kim Pieters and Mick Elborado were jamming and recording things on a 4-track under the name Dadamah. The group were all heavily influenced by much the same artists (Pere Ubu, Velvets, Popol Vuh, film soudtracks etc..) and ended up gelling. Their first appearance was on the Drag City "I Hear The Devil Calling.." 7" compilation consisting of one minute songs by folks such as the Dead C, Peter Jefferies, A Handful Of Dust, Gate,etc... A tape of 4 songs soon fell into the hands of Nick Schultz of Majora and the "Scratch Sun" and "Nicotine" 7's were released. The fourth and last live show by Dadamah was in Dunedin with Gate, and the same weekend they set up in Michael Morley's living room and recorded the lp "This is not a Dream" which was again released by the excellent Majora label in '92 (Subsequently it and the singles were re-issued on cd by Kranky in '94).

The band went it's seperate way in early '93 and after awhile Roy hooked up with Chris Heaphy, fellow guitar player, and began Dissolve, which was to be purely a vehichle for the two to record film music for various students at the university film school. "That That Is, Is...(Not)" ended up being recorded in the University studio for no film in particular. After sending the tape around to several people once again Nick at Majora seemed to be the likely home of the project though by this time Kim and Buck had begun negotiations with Joel of Kranky to put out the Dadamah cd which for one reason or another offended Nick and he dropped out of the project. Off it went to Kranky.

Roy left NZ in '94 to travel the states and ended up recording several things while here. There is another cd for Kranky that is "in the can" as they say called "Temple IV" based around Roy's trip to Guatemala and his experience at a Mayan ruin sitting atop what was deemed Temple IV. This should see the light of day end of this year or early '96. Another full length cd will be released in late Aug. on Drunken Fish entitled "Scenes From The South Island" (the south island of New Zealand is where Christchuch is for those with out a map) and is comprised of solo guitar material recorded on a 4 track in NY with each song matching a certain topographical area. A slew of singles have also been recorded though only one has seen the light of day and that is mostly just in stores in San Francisco (where Roy was based the first part of his stay in the states). Hecuba records had released a Bill Direen single entitled "Alien" a few years back and has now released the Roy 7" "Submerged and Colorful" (I have some copies available for mail order for those interested). The other singles planned include a double single for Siltbreeze entitled "Long Night" (who co-incidentally released a one off 10 year anniversary reunion single by the Pin Group that was a 4 track re-recording of "Coat" backed with a ripping cover of Red Krayola's "Hurricane Fighter Plane"). Also "Zabriske Point pt.1 and 2" will be released on the fledgling Gyttja label sometime in Aug. as well as planned singles on Roof Bolt and Ajax. Most of this material as well as the above mentioned Kranky and Drunken Fish cds were recorded in an apt. in NYC with a 4 track, no amp, just effects plugged straight in to the tape machine.

While on the east coast Roy came down to Philly and played at the Bardo Pond record release show, joining them on stage for the closing number as well as a few days later in NYC when Bardo played with the Dirty Three. On an extended diet of Ren and Stimpy and various compatable substances in Philly a full length collaboration with Bardo Pond was recorded and will be issued on Drunken Fish in early '96.

Roy is in London now and has hooked up with Flying Saucer Attack, playing guitar at one of their extremely rare live outings and may get to do a bit of recording with them as well. Also he will be collaborating on Nick Lake's new recordings (spoken word cd on Che' earlier this year that included tons of musical guests). He will be returning to the states in Sept. to do a few shows on the east coast one of which will be during the CMJ convention, as well as hopefully a show or 2 here in the L.A. area on his way back to New Zealand.

Sorry to be so long winded but he is a pretty remarkable fellow and there is a very deep and long running passion to his playing that can tend to make one ramble on about his "genius". Hope this helps whoever, and I suggest you research his material on yer own, preferably at about 3:30 am on a Sat night...smoke optional of course.

-DArren

From: "kevin m" [KMM104@PSUVM.PSU.EDU]
Subject: ghost etc to goren
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU

Also been listening quite a bit to the new Roy Montgomery thing (in collaboration w/his friend Chris, though none of this is mentioned on the sorta-skimpy lp packaging) on Kranky called DISSOLVE. I believe Bill mentioned this briefly a while back (those hipsters and their advance copies, heck), and I think it's even better than he suggested. Roy's been travelling around the U.S. for the last year or so (post-Dadamah) and recording all over the friggin' place; he's got a veritable deluge of material planned for release over the next few months, and from what I've been able to hear it's all pretty damn essential (exspecially watch out for a coupla cds due on Drunken Fish, one beautiful deep all-instrumental solo thing, and another disc in collaboration with the great Bardo Pond [they did a live 20-minute drone thing together at Bardo's cd release party a coupla weeks ago that was nothing short of mindblowing, I hadta keep wiping the drool outta my beard]). This Dissolve thing was actually recorded before he left NZ, and I think if you dig the Dadamah stuff you'll find much to love here; for my money, I think it may be slightly the better of the two -- more introverted and yet more expansive, very moody and hypnotic. The instrumentation is down to a couple of guitars and occasional vocals; some of the pieces have an improvised feel, others are more like atmospheric (that word again) sketches, a few are more traditionally songic. While there's plenty here that could light the fuse of any Mazzacane fan w/in hearing distance, there's also stuff that shows his roots in late-70s punk and his growing fascination w/them Krauts. Very nice overall, and I'd suggest you jump on board now so you can ride the crest of the coming wave. It's gonna be a worthy ride, no doubt. (Oh yeah, and there's a real big interview w/Roy lined up for DW #4, if you care.)


3.3.2 - Flies Inside The Sun, Last Glass, Rain

Date: Sat, 17 Aug 1996 00:48:12 +0930
To: robinf@dev.wholesale.nbnz.co.nz (Robin Fargher)
From: Tony Dale [aadale@adam.com.au]
Subject: Re: NZ drone
Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU

At 03:46 PM 16/08/96 +1200, you wrote:
] This is probably a stupid question (especially considering I'm from New
] Zealand myself) but could anyone give me some clues as to what Dissolve,
] Dadamah, Flies inside the Sun and Rain sound like? 

God, this seems wierd writing to a New Zealander on this. Anyway:

I guess Dissolve and Dadamah have had plenty of coverage here, and there is good stuff in the FAQ (http://www.indieweb.com/nofi/droneon_faq/) on them, in the Roy Montgomery section. It hardly seems necessary to say that you should own them as a matter of cultural urgency, along with everything you can lay your hands on by Mr Montgomery. I'm suprised there aren't statues of him in public spaces over there.

On the other part of your question, as La Monte Young once instructed in a score, "draw a straight line and follow it". That is what you can do pretty much with the various bands Kim Pieters and Peter Stapleton have been involved with since Dadamah, these being Flies Inside the Sun, the Russell/Pieters/Stapleton klangfest, Dora Maar and Rain. This is a journey that has been interesting to try and keep track of and perhaps theorise about, but not necessarily engaging to listen to. Occasionally, too, it seems a construct fashioned by a group of canny NZ entrepreneurs in conjunction with US-based fanzines and mail order distribution houses, to sell 500 to 1000 copies of anything with a free noise/primitivist/improvisational slant to a receptive network of aesthetes mainly in the US.

The Flies Inside the Sun album on kranky, _An Audience of Others (Including Herself), is as good a place as any to start, displaying the best and worst, perhaps, that you can expect from this lineage. The first side (1-4 on the CD) is rambling and unfocussed, not appearing to say or do anything useful artistically. For mine, the two most obviously structured tracks "Sleepwalk" and "The Afternoon Blind" are the most successful, the first long and soulful (almost) with a good creation of 3-dimensional space through simple but effective recording (4-track I think), and the second being more of a folk thing.

I have not heard _Last Glass_, the Russell/Pieters/Stapleton effort, and I'm not sure I want to, since I have not read one good thing about it. I suspect, given Bruce Russell's involvement, it would fit into the Handful of Dust mould of bracing Sturm-und-Drang din/disintegration, which only works for me on their latest, _Now Gods, Stand up for Bastards_. Anybody heard _Last Glass_?. Dora Maar's _Copula_ is more listenable, but seems also under the spell of Russell, with most of the creativity going into the Corpus Hermeticum packaging and thinking up song-titles like "Socrates was dreaming and many years later, Hegel is dreaming too". It does travel along quite nicely on its own weird little trajectory, and does the drone thing quite a lot. The much-used term "clatter" could have been coined to describe this record, a lot of oven trays get banged. Dora Maar may also be notable for bringing together the only four women in the world that want to play this stuff.

Rain are basically Flies Inside the Sun minus guitarist Brian Crook. Their recent CD _Sedimental_ on Peter Stapleton's new label Metonymic is a resolving of sorts for this train of thought, being sparse, disciplined and of a hallucinatory clarity similar to the most 'zen' of eastern percussive music. The track "Violet Stains Red" is stunning. In comparison to the others I have described, _Sedimental_ feels ambient. Kill for one of the 500 copies out there somewhere, Forced Exposure should have it, or just bang on their door at 63 Purakaunui Rd, Port Chalmers.

Alternatively, several NZ newcomers do almost exclusively drone-based material, like the wonderful and indescribable Thela, and the Glenn Branca influence Surface of the Earth. There are also Michael Morley's installation-based projects to consider. The _Le Jazz Non_ compilation seems to be pretty representative of the drone end of the scene over there, so you could consider starting with that, too.


3.3.3 - Bailter Space

From: Robert Lim [lim7@midway.uchicago.edu]
To: dougo@pure.com (Doug Orleans)
Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: Re: Can of worms. (shorter)

)Bailter Space Robot World*
)Votura
)It's _Vortura_, I think. They also have two (non-redundant) EPs "The Aim" 
and "Tanker" (as opposed to the mostly-redundant EP "BEIP"). Correct me if 
I'm wrong here, I only have "The Aim" and _Robot World_... 

Um, well actually the whole Bailter Space is much more complicated than anyone could imagine. The current lineup formed as the Gordons in the late 70's and recorded the Future Shock e.p., s/t 1st album and a second album that they really hate and probably will never be reissued. After splitting, Alister Parker and John Halvorsen formed Bailter Space a few years later after didling off.

The 1st release to come out of this was the Nelsh Bailter Space e.p., which is pretty weak new wave stuff and general and is remarkable for a) having an early version of "The Aim" and also their cover of the Clean's "I'm In Love With These Times" (Hamish was drumming for them at first). Oh, there might've been a single in there somewhere but I've never seen and don't expect to.

Their 1st LP as Bailter Space was Tanker and is one of their best... mostly oblique and scratchy pop songs disguised as something much less pleasant (as opposed to the dressed up Robot World, which I also like a lot). Not as much industrial grinding as what followed or for that matter the 1st Gordons album (Future Shock was industrial grind filtered thru punk). However, most excellent.... The GRader Spader e.p. was released slightly before I think and is supposed to be excellent in the vein of Tanker (tho not in the same style as Grader Spader, oddly enough).

Thermos followed in 88/89 (tanker was 87) and was darker and also rather dull, save for the opening Fish Eye (later covered by Monsterland! Yow!!!) which hinted at the band's pop genius. original Gordons drummer Brent Mclachlan returned for this record, leaving Bailter Space as the orig GOrdons lineup. After this, "The Aim" was completed, half in the "older style" and half the fuzzed out blissy pop that came out in 93's much delayed Robot World. Vortura brings us up to date (BEIP is only good as a sampler or for completists) and it's not quite as good- takes the pop el't to the extreme with X and the churning dark sludge to the extreme with "Projects." Other than that, it's more of Robot World with the exception of being more prominently stupid lyric-wise and also redundant. The CD includes "Reactor" which is fucked up mutant disco shit reminscent of Wreck SMall Speakers and is rather choice.

MOre than you asked for? You bet. Robot World is the most accessible and also readily avail/cheap (and they beat shoegazers at their own game), so I'd either go with that or Tanker (not as pop but better songsmithing). The Gordons comp on FLying Nun is also incredible at parts. Everything the Aim onward is Matador, everything before is FN (tho apparently Matador is releasing Thermos and Tanker stateside).

Just remember that Bailter Space's strength is noise and sound- the songs aren't so great and the lyrics are downright insipid. Which makes it a likely candidate for Spacemen 3 fans, I guess. However, I don't know if I would call it "drone" but then again who cares.

-rob "mr. somewhat factually correct discography man"


3.4 - Flying Saucer Attack, Movietone, Crescent

There are two competing Flying Saucer Attack sites out there. I'll let you be the judge of which is the better, but the most complete one is at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~esmenken/fsaind.html

The second site is at http://dsl.org/fsa/

Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 14:25:12 GMT
From: Postmaster [Postmaster@yourhost.demon.co.uk]
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU

Other things....
Amp feature FSA live drummer Matt who is also in The Third Eye Foundation. Have a single out on Linda's.... and more coming soon.

Movietone I think most people on the list seem to be aware of but if not...feature Rachel FSA and Matt Live FSA/3rd EYE.../Amp two singles and an lp/cd all on Planet

Crescent include Sam from Live FSA excursions. One,(or maybe two I get confused), singles and lp/cd also on Planet.


3.5 - Drop City, Colorsound, Splash

Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996 22:49:15 +1030
To: Chris Barrus [chris@quartzcity.net]
From: Jonathon Dale [jwdale@student.adelaide.edu.au]

DROP CITY DISCOGRAPHY

MAY 94
"Worlds Apart"/"Getting Along"/"Facade" (Red Eye CD) (promo CD to promote the album)

All these tracks are on the first album, don't bother unless you're a collector scum.

JUN 94
"A Revolution of Purely Private Expectations" (Red Eye CD)

The album that was paid for by the band, shipped around to heaps of major labels, ignored, and then finally picked up by Red Eye (after the band knocked back Summershine for not having that much money). This album is equal parts pop, rock, dub and drone, the general consensus being that the last track IS Spacemen 3 under a different guise.

OCT 94
"Chiaroscuro EP" (Red Eye CD EP)

Stopgap release between albums. Features the much celebrated cover of Spacemen 3's "Losing Touch With Your Mind", which rocks even more live. This EP features a few tracks that stray into Colorsound territory. The accompanying video for "Paydirt" saw Drop City turn from indie geeks to full-on RAWK STARS in one fell swoop, no mean feat for a bunch of guys that look like The Pastels.

DEC 94
"Headcase (edit)" (track on Polydor CD (This was from a promo CD released in conjunction with Juice magazine (kinda like a low-rent Rolling Stone), you could get the CD with the Dec 94 issue)

94
"Going, Going, Gone (demo)" (track on Underworld CD) (Underworld is a pretty cool Australian fanzine ... this was their first edition)

95
"A Revolution of Purely Private Expectations" (Shake CD) (this is the Canadian release)

JUN 95
"Hard to Smile"/"Tell Me"/"Out There" (Summershine US 7")

Yes, "Tell Me" is a Galaxie 500 cover. This is probably the most essential Drop City release. All three songs are works of pop genius.

AUG 95
"Setting Sun"/"Ride into the Sun"/"Speedwell" (Red Eye CD EP)

Yes, "Ride into the Sun" is a Velvet Underground cover. "Speedwell" is a Simon McLean track, named after the band that Simon formed with Connor from Drop City after Simon disbanded Jupiter, more of which later ...

OCT 95
"Magic Transistor Radio" (Red Eye CD)

They went to England for this one and it shows. Produced by Andy Wilkinson (Boo Radleys, Spiritualized), this is a POP album, feels kinda similar to the Boo Radleys' "Giant Steps". Finest moment is undoubtedly "The Whole Story". A fine fine record. My housemate loves this because, and I quote direct, "it's got sitars on it". Which is a recommendation.

VERY SOON (FEB 96 maybe??)
"Apple Tree" (Red Eye CD EP)

(Apparently Shake are going to release Chiaroscuro soon, but whether they do or not ... who knows)

(For those interested, on "Magic Transistor Radio" Simon McLean plays guitar and contributes a song - he was a member of legendary Australian shoegazing band Jupiter, he now lives in London ... Jupiter released three things, all on Summershine, "3" 12" EP, "Leave the Ground"/"t" 7" and the "Arum" compilation CD, + they contributed a track "Meltdown" to the Slice Two compilation on Half-A-Cow)

COLORSOUND DISCOGRAPHY (Matt Tow of Drop City)

MAR 95
"You're Only As Good As Your Sound" (Summershine CD)

Spacemen 3 Spacemen 3 Spacemen 3 Spacemen 3. That's about all that needs to be said really. Now available on Summershine USA in America, and for a low low price too. I'm convinced that David Bowie wrote "Silver City".

Upcoming Colorsound releases include the new album (provisionally entitled "Empire") on Polydor in Australia and Summershine in the US, and a remix 10" (provisionally entitled "Reverse the Polarity of the Neutron Flow") on Australian label VARISPEED Recordings. Which I have something to do with admittedly so I'll just shut up now.

and lest we forget ...

SPLASH DISCOGRAPHY (features Matt + Lucas from the original Drop City lineup)

91
"Head to Toe" (Phantom 7")

I hate to say it, but this ain't much cop.

GOLDEN ROUGH DISCOGRAPHY

JUN 95
"It's a Heck of a Machine" (Summershine CD)

This is actually primarily a release by David Orwell (ex-Oliver), Golden Rough is his country outfit. Lucas + Matt guest on this album. It's a patchy release but some tracks really do shine through.

And some day soon there'll be a CONFUSION 33 RPM 7" on Adelaide label HIP TO HATE. CONFUSION is Matt Tow with Simon Holmes (ex-Hummingbirds) doing live droney stuff.


3.6 - Dead C

Date: Thu, 9 Nov 95 12:11:20 CST
From: Robert Lim [lim7@midway.uchicago.edu]
Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU

] ok, ok, i've been hearing about these kids on this list and on the
] ill-and-exhausted list for some time now, and last week i went and
] listened to a couple of their cd's in the store and i was not
] impressed. any suggestions to what cd of theirs to sample first before
] i give up and buy the latest metalheadz 12" instead? thanks :)

It probably depends on what sort thing you like. There are probably 3 distinct phases (as far as I can tell). This is sorta arbitrary/minimizing, but no need to hit you with all the gory details (besides actual, non-flaming list content will actually make us look good in Paul's reports to other lists whose main postings are catalog updates and capsule summaries).

Early (boy these are fucked up rock songs):
*DR503
*Eusa Kills
*All that stuff on those Drag City comps

Mid (really extended droning, heavy guitar epics)
*World Peace Hope, et al (actually contain some of the above stuff- anticipates their later stuff in a very handy manner)
*Trapdoor Fucking Exit
Clyma Est Mort (which is somewhere between here and above)
Hell Is Now Love 7"
FE 7"

Late (long, complex, organic loosely written pieces)
Operation of the Sun
Harsh 70's Reality

and the new one, Whitehouse is something pretty different, so it looks like they're off to the races again.

The * stuff is avail on CD, and there are currently plans to port all the crap to digital. The entirety of Harsh 70's won't fit on one CD (it's a dbl LP).

My recs would be DR503, Trapdoor and Harsh 70's (personally), but they're all pretty stellar (except for Whitehouse and maybe Eusa Kills)

Come to think of it, the only stuff really available on CD are TFE (repressed by Siltbreeze/Matador with a really heinous barcode placed conspicuously on the back) and Eusa Kills (the rest is supposed to be o/p)...


3.7 - Zoviet France

From: sam@aivru.shef.ac.uk
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: Zoviet France

On Saturday, after at least three years of trying, I finally got the "Zoviet France" section of my record collection started. Yay!. For those who go "eh?" I'll say a bit about them, but I don't know very much....

I suppose Zoviet France, (or Soviet France as I believe they use to be called early on), have been going since the early 80's. The term "experimental industrial" is the tag they picked up for themselves. However I recommend a listen, if you have any basic interest in music. Jolly bloody weird is more my description, but don't worry, there's very little to dislike here 'cos there's very little music at all. The LPs I've listened to have less sound on them than any other I've heard. The sounds you do get are pretty odd, hard to describe. What I really like about Zoviet France though is the beautiful sense of serenity and calm that gently descends as the record begins. The sea of tranquility is coming down off mushrooms listening to Zoviet France. If that's not enough I suppose a minimalist drone interest could be claimed.

Anyhow, I think they made quite a few LPs (are they still going?), but they seem to be damn hard to find. The stories about them are quite silly... apparently instead of sleeves the LPs came in a paper inner sleeve with an outer sleeve consisting of either sheets of sandpaper, hessian, plasterboard(!), tin foil, hardboard etc, tied up with string!!! This must explain the industrial categorisation.

I have heard an early(?) album (on tape) called Mohonomishe(?), which was excellent. I've also heard "Misfits, Loony Tunes, and Squalid Criminals". The LP I just bought is called "Shouting at the ground", it has a perfectly normal card sleeve.

Right - does anybody know:
Anything a bit more substantial about this band?
The Zoviet France discography?
Any details of where I might get any of their LPs (I think they now fetch
stupid sums of money second hand)?
CD reissues?

From: VhfRecords@aol.com
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 10:03:00 -0400
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: Re: Zoviet France

In a message dated 95-10-26 07:13:47 EDT, you write:
]Right - does anybody know:
]Anything a bit more substantial about this band?
]The Zoviet France discography?
]Any details of where I might get any of their LPs (I think
]they now fetch stupid sums of money second hand)?
]CD reissues?

They are from Newcastle UK or somewhere thereabouts and apparently had a lot of free time on their hands in the mid 80's. The original records are cool pkg-wise, but you'll probably be better off tracking down the CD's (most on either Charrm or Staalplaat) as they have much improved mastering and will fit nicely in with your other CD's.

Off the top of my head:
Zoviet France (s/t)
Monohmishe
Garista
Norsch
Flock Of Rotations
Shouting At The Ground*
Eostre
Looney Tunes, Misfits, Squalid Criminals *
Gesture Signal Threat
Assault and Mirage
Just An Illusion (in super cool wood box) *
Popular Soviet Songs *
Collusion
Vienna 1990
Look Into Me
What Is Not True *
Gris (10" in awesome roof shingle cover) *
Shadow, Thief Of The Sun
Lohland

* = favorites

There's several more, I just can't think of them right now. Robin Storey quit the group a couple of years back and is in (is) Rapoon, a heavy duty middle-eastern influenced thing (i.e. all of the music is sample/loops of arabic and indian music) w/about 5 CD's out already. The others (whoever they are) have put out some dub/techno CD's as Ingleton Falls and Horizon 222, which are pretty interesting for the genre.

From: sboyer@violet.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re:Zoviet France
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 10:18:23 -0700 (PDT)

As an avid :zoviet*france: fan, I'll kick my two cents in. I'm not sure I got the impression from listening to the Rapoon album I own that it was all looped middle eastern stuff. Actually, it sounds an awful lot like a :zoviet*france: album -- looped clanging, washes of guitar feedback loops, minimal precussion (tablas). Incredibly delicious stuff, and a natural progression from the ZF albums. The most 'ethnic' the album got (the title escapes me, sorry), was a digeridoo derived piece that'll send you running for your blanket. The buzz on the ambient list is there's a fifth album on its way shortly, and should be a double CD. The other four are fairly like the crew would reinvent themselves.

A little more on the ZF disco Bill posted: Monhomische is by far my favorite album, with grinding guitars swooping feedback, some percussion a lot of drone. _Shouting at the Ground_ is also quite good with some almost asian influenced tracks and phenomenal looping. I also own _What Is Not True_, a live album that is composed of three long tracks. Others I've heard: _Look Into Me_, I'd put closer to _shouting at the Ground_ of all the albums I've heard -- looped voices, sweeping feedback. Vienna 1990 is another live album with an emphasis on more ambient soundscapes. _Collusion_ is a collection of odds and sods from various compillation efforts -- well worth seeking out, since it spans a good chunk of their career. As a rule, the earlier the album, the more harsh and primitive it sounds. There's a definate element of 'We gotta get this sound out NOW' that comes across in their recordings. Even the more ambient efforts have a sense of urgency to them. A good addition to anyone's record collection.

As far as the side projects are concerned, Ingelton falls is a straight ahead trance album with few surprises on it. I was pretty disappointed -- I think it would fit in sith some mid 80s gothy Wax Traxy tracks quite nicely, but unexpected from ZF. Horizon 222 is a more techno project, and the first album has better moments than the second. Also, don't forget the other spinoff Dead Voices On Air, which is a collaboration between a member of Skinny Puppy and some guy who was involved with ZF only briefly.


3.8 - Skullflower

From: VhfRecords@aol.com
X-Mailer: America Online Mailer
Sender: "VhfRecords" [VhfRecords@aol.com]
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 94 00:28:10 EDT
Subject: Skullflower, Folk, etc.
Status: RO

Mr. Lim asked about the evolution of the Skullflower lineup and I guess I feel obliged to apply my "expertise." Sorry if this is out of bounds for most folks on the list...

I guess the popular misconception about the band is that Stefan Jaworzyn (Shock Records exec, now in fairly noteable improv duo Ascension, writer of many very funny and scathing record reviews) was their "mastermind" and that the group ceased to be the real thing when he left. Tho' the story is not as interesting as the S3 saga, the short version is that Stefan left the group and assumed that they were done for. The other guys decided that they wanted to keep playing and so they went on without him. Matthew Bower is the only person to appear on every single SF recording, including the earliest material. So- the line-ups for the last few records were:

3rd Gatekeeper (HeadDirt): Bower, Dennison, DiFranco Last Shot (Noiseville): Bower, Dennison, DiFranco, Best (I think) Obsidian Shaking Codex (RRR): Bower, Dennison, Di Franco, Smith Carved Into Roses (VHF): Bower, Smith, Dennison, Best, Wickham-Smith.

Date: Tue, 18 Oct 94 16:00:26 CDT
From: Brfaulk@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: re: Skullflower

)having recently gotten into skullflower (_3rd gatekeeper_ and _last shot at heaven_ i was wondering what other material they have out. I suppose to some

They have several other cds out, all of which are still available as far as I know. _Ruins_, which compiles tracks from their first 12", first lp (_Form Destroyer_) in slightly remixed form, plus a couple of unreleased tracks, is a great disc IMO. Xaman is their second full length, is also pretty great. Both of these were put out by Shock Records in England. They have another new one titled _Shaking Obsidian Codex_ out on RRR (haven't heard it but it is supposed to be their most drone-oriented yet) and a new one is supposed to be forthcoming on VHF, which maybe we can get an update from Bill K. on. Bill?

As for bands which operate in a similar vein, I would recommend Ramleh (their albums _Blowhole_ and _Grudge for Life_ are excellent, supposedly a newer one is out but I have yet to find a copy), who are a little more rock-oriented at times but get pretty droney also. Splintered is another band which gets alot of Skullflower comparisons, and what I have heard from them (a couple of singles and the _Parapraxis_ cd) is pretty good, basically they have some moments but nothing really stellar.

Brian

Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 13:51:09 -0600 (CST)
From: "K. Moist" [kmoist@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu]
Subject: Skullflower too

"Do they have anything else out?" Is this a trick question? You'd have to look to the Dead C and their offshoots to find a better example of a thoroughly uncommercial artist with more cumulative releases clogging up the market and confusing potential consumers (I would've said Spacemen 3 instead of Dead C except that this post-S3 drony thing seems to have a good chance of being the "next big thing" [though Good God, I hope not, that'll ruin it entirely] and they've long been sorta media stars anyway, at least in the UK). I wouldn't even dream of attempting any sort of complete discography, though I bet Bill and Rob probably have all sorts of (wet) dreams about their ultra-unfindable copies of the first 12" etc.

Basically, earlier material (late 80s) tended toward circular, repetitive motions constructed almost like "rock music" in a post S3 vein, but with quite a bit more acidic noise piled on. Since then they've gradually phased out the (already minimal) structured parts in favor of free-form squalls of feedback, squawking horns, and percussion. For the earliest style, try _Xaman_ on Shock records (although jury's still out on whether or not all cd copies of that title really do rot); _Last Shot at Heaven_ (on Noiseville recs), from a bit later, has some super power-splurge and is one of my favorites; and for more recent extended noise typhoons your best bet is _Carved Into Roses_, in my opinion the best thing they've yet done, out through the auspices of our friends at VHF.

Some folk really seem to like _Argon_, released this year on Freak records, but I've been having some problems w/it myself. Four long tracks, 3 of 'em middling live recordings, that throw out structure entirely and just squeal and screech. I'm sure the sheer force was impressive live, but on disc the drums sound like cardboard boxes being dropped accidentally at the other end of a warehouse, and the high-pitched wail of everything else never really coalesces into anything that you could call "engaging" or "powerful". Nice cover art though, and on the 4th (studio) track all the threads do sorta "come together" and "kick some ass", perhaps in part due to the presence of ex-Henry Cow-er Tim Hodgkinson, who really howls up a storm on the horn. I actually haven't heard _Infinityland_, which is supposed to be the "rock" counterpart, and which might make more sense of it.

There're also plenty of Skullflower offshoots and "associates," most of which have yet to impress me significantly. One major exception is head 'Flower Matthew Bower's solo thing, called Total; he/it has at least 4 or 5 records out now, all quite good in a slightly more introverted/bedroom-experimental style. There's also a new album done in conjunction with Limey Weirdo Richard Youngs that I hear is excellent, though I've not gotten one myself yet (it's on the list), again through VHF (I seem to keep mentioning them).

If you really want more, you could look toward such names as Ax, Ascension, and Ramleh, all of whom have been fairly prolific and none of whom I'm going to discuss right now because I'm getting bored and restless.


3.9 - My Bloody Valentine

There is an unofficial MBV World Wide Web page at http://www.triplo.com/mbv/


3.10 - Bevis Frond and spin-offs

Date: Wed, 7 Sep 94 19:05 EDT
From: "kevin m" [KMM104@PSUVM.PSU.EDU]
Subject: Re: Bevis, _London Stone_
To: mmaxwell@UCSD.EDU
Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Status: RO

I'll second the recommendation for _London Stone_ (I seem to be doing that quite a lot lately, don't I?). It's definitely a dark album, one for thought and reflection (tho as usual parts of it rock like a mothersomethingorother), though not as conceptually sprawling/extended as _It Just Is_. The aforementioned folk influence is indeed quite prevalent--somehow even many of the heavy moments manage to sound folk-esque through the use of certain motifs drawn out of Brit folk (a favorite genre of mine, wish I hadn't missed that thread while it was going on; anybody wanna start it back up?). The song "London Stone" is one of my all-time top Frond moments (my spine still tingles when the fiddles kick in near the end).

_Auntie Winnie_ is cool. Like _Through the Looking Glass_ it's a collection of things what just didn't end up on other frond lps for one reason or another. It's in no way cohesive as an album, but it has some great songs and bits. I'd recommend it for sure, but not necessarily over lots of his other stuff. It always makes me smile though when I consider that an album of Frond outtakes kicks the proverbial cliche out of most other comers, hands down.

Umm, I'm hungry, so before I start rambling, I'm gonna go eat. Have a not- shitty evening, all.

km

Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 13:26:34 -0800
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
From: mmaxwell@UCSD.EDU (Matthew Maxwell)
Subject: Re: Bevis Frond/FAQ (too long to read)

]Also, can anybody recommend a Bevis Frond album to me?

They're all fine purchases, really. Though i'd be lying if i didn't say that i favored _Triptych_, _Inner Marshland_ and _New River Head_ especially. The Frond's earlier albums (those mentioned above, and including _The Auntie Winnie Album_ and _Miasma_) cover a lot more psych ground, with some long and masterful freakouts being evident, take "Tangerine Infringement Beak" (called by one long DroneOn poster "stone cold classic", and i can't disagree) from _Triptych_ for an example of one of those. Some of the cds might seem a little "uneven" to first time listeners, since Reckless stuck extra tracks from various albums at the end of the discs they released.

But i'm rambling. I'll try and be a little more coherent. Bevis' later releases, _London Stone_, _It Just Is_, _Sprawl_, and his latest, _Superseeder_, show some more experimentation with elements of folk (including some outstanding violin work on _LS_ and _Sprawl_.) A lot of the material on these albums is more in the introspective vein, which, i suppose fits in with the whole folk sound. But then i'm just making this up.

In the final analysis:

_Miasma_ - Worth getting, much more raw, unrefined psych. Haven't pulled it off the shelf in awhile, though.

_Inner Marshland_ - Oustanding. Must-have. Terrific Bari Watts guitar freakouts on a couple tracks. Some Barrett-inspired lyric/sound, esp "Mr. Undecided". Also includes "Song for the Sky" and "The Shrine." If you see it, get it.

_Triptych_ - Another big winner. Highlights include a vaguely Floydian "Into the Cryptic Mist", and all twenty minutes of (the twice-mentioned) "Tangerine Infringement Beak". Oh yeah, and a totally irreverent cover of "Hey Joe."

_The Auntie Winnie Album_ - An odds n' sods collection (as memory serves). Covers some more of the raw stuff, as well as a little of everything else. Again, haven't listened to it in awhile.

_Any Gas Faster_ - Okay, but it didn't floor me when i first picked it up. Should give it a second chance, but i've got too much other stuff piled up on the "better listen to" pile.

_New River Head_ - Pretty much essential. I think that this is his strongest work overall (though i haven't heard _Superseeder_ yet.) Just get it. Highlights -- "White Sun", "Wild Jack Hammer", "Miskatonic Variations II", "Stain on the Sun." This one is a little darker in tone, a little more personal and introspective as well.

_Gathering of Fronds_ - An odds and ends collection, plus stuff from _New River Head_ that didn't make it onto the CD (due to time constraints). Not the most even of affairs, but there are some worthwhile bits, including "Snow" (for that piercing, overdriven Farfisa sound). Also collects singles from various flexis and singles. For the completist, really.

_London Stone_ - The most folk-influenced of his works, 'cept maybe for parts of _Sprawl_. "Standing Stone", "London Stone" and "On a Liquid Wheel" are just a couple of the great tracks off of this one. Oh yeah, this one is darker in tone than even _New River Head_, esp the song "London Stone." Pretty good, but maybe not the best introduction point.

_It Just Is_ - An up and down affair, though the highlights are pretty good, including "I Know We're Going" and "Hit the Lights." Not quite as even or consistent as some of his earlier albums. You might want to start with one of the albums on Reckless first.

_Sprawl_ - Another double vinyl monster. Great sludgy, warbling drone on "Awake!". Couple of good solid psych/rock tunes, though "Hippie, Dream" kinda wears on me. Your mileage may vary.

_Superseeder_ - Haven't heard this myself, though to all reports, it's pretty good.

There's other folks who can talk about the Frond more eloquently than myself, so let's see if they come out and play. Me, i can't talk my way out of a wet paper bag. Hope all this helped, or something.

Matt

Date: Sun, 28 Jan 1996 17:11:42 -0500
From: philmcm@dircon.co.uk (Phil McMullen)
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU (Drone On)
Subject: Re: Bevis Frond: 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinions...

] And fans of Bevis should check out (if they haven't already)
] Outskirts of Infinity, which is another massive English
] psych band, featuring Bari Watts (who supplied some great, over
] the top freakouts for the Bevis albums).  Give 'em a listen.

I haven't really entered into the Great Bevis Debate (for obvious reasons, I suppose) but if we're talking spin-offs, I have to recommend Rod Goodway's solo albums and Ethereal Counterbalance work. To cut a VERY long story short, when Rod's 60s band Magic Muscle reformed in the late 80s (with originals Adrian Shaw back on bass and Twink on drums) they were stuck for a guitarist after the first 5 gigs, Huw Gower being busy in New York with The Records or whatever it was he was up to, so, Rod being a neighbour & friend of mine I put 'em in touch with another friend of mine in London who could play guitar a bit: Nick Saloman. At the time Bevis Frond was notorious for refusing to play any live gigs, but guesting with the Muscle seemed to work OK and by the second gig they were billed as The Magic Bevis Muscle Frond and incorporating some Bevis songs in the set and by the third gig they were billed as Bevis Frond (featuring Magic Muscle) and by the fourth the Muscle bit was forgotten and all but one Muscle song was dropped in favour of a Frondian set. Adrian Shaw stayed with the live band for ever more, Rod Goodway left to go solo, Twink & Bevis did an album together; the circle remains unbroken. Anyway, 2 things: it was Adrian Shaw who originated the "SGURD" thing that Kevin picked up on on the Fred Bison V (anag.) album - I have film of Magic Muscle in 1967 with Adrian sporting a T-shirt with that written on ("to fool the cameras" said Adrian, convinced that the reversed image would come out on people's tv screens) - and Rod Goodway's albums are well worth picking up; oh, and watch out for pseudonyms. All male names other than 'Rod Goodway' on 'Ethereal Counterbalance' (Woronzow WOO12) are a.k.a. Nick Saloman, for example.

Confused? You will be.

Phil

Some Bevis Frond guitar tab can be found at OLGA, the On-Line Guitar Archive. The Bevis tabs are at ftp://ftp.uni-stuttgart.de/pub/misc/guitar/b/bevis_frond/

3.11 - Stereolab

A hugely informative and complete Stereolab WWW page can be found at: http://www.maths.monash.edu.au/people/rjh/stereolab/


3.12 - Noises From Japan

3.12.1 - Ghost

Date: Tue, 27 Sep 94 22:32 EDT
From: "kevin m" [KMM104@PSUVM.PSU.EDU]
Subject: ghost etc to goren
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU

Re: Ghost. Essential, all of it. Truly original music that manages to bridge the gap(s) between Can and Popul Vuh and Brit acid-folk (that again) and Japanese folk and medeival music and heck knows what else in a completely non- derivitave beautiful way that is as transcendently spiritual and trancelike as any music ever. They have three albums: the self-titled first is incredible, if just slightly imbalanced, completely blasted percussion and chant pieces sitting side-by-side with beautiful drug-folk-rock numbers like the 10-min "Ballad of Summer Rounder"; the second album, _Second Time Around_, is every bit as far-out but a bit more seamlessly integrated (which may at first give the impression of not being as "weird"), and is my favorite album of this decade and one of the best of all-time (Chris claims this album made him levitate once when he listened to it with the windows open during a snowstorm in the winter); the third is a real cool live album (I know you've got DW #1, Paul, see the review there for more). If yr gonna get one, might as well get 'em all.

I'll leave words on Marble Sheep to those who know 'em better than I (again to Paul, check my concurrent private message for a bit of stuff).

I'm very confused (like that's something new) from lack of sleep, so I'll split before I get really wasteful. Perhaps a glass of warm milk before bed.

kevin m

Date: Wed, 28 Sep 94 15:56:59 CDT
From: Robert Lim [lim7@midway.uchicago.edu]
To: GOREN@vms.cis.pitt.edu
Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: Re: Ghost and Marble Sheep

)on music. can anyone provide comments about the japanese band Ghost's 
releases? i think they have three discs out, but i have only heard their 
_Tokyo FLashback_ I & II cuts.

OK, well I'll offer my semi-educated (not really, I just memorize old FE's and pretend) opinion. Actually I've heard their 1st album is pretty great, and ditto their 3rd (which is called Temple Stone or something- it's live recordings). I have only heard their 2nd, called Second Time Around. I must admit it doth suck pretty hard. Half of it sounds like soundtrack material to an old PBS special on "Them Orientals: They Think Like Animals But Are SO Damn Mysterious." The other half sometimes get a more acoustic strum thing going on, and not all of it is so bad. Serious problem: singing in English when you can't pronounce it correctly.

In the same vein (kinda):

I will, however, second Bill's old recommendation for the L CD/7" (still avail from FE if you hurry I think) which not only has the folk/drone thing going on to beautiful effect, but also lots of Hoomi Singing (sorta what I imagine that the Tuvans do, only with lots of overtones that would probably make Lamonte Young's beard curl (even more)) and the old fave digideroo. Wonderful packaging, too. Sure it's pricey but wouldn't you rather have this than the last two CDs you bought new? You bet.

)also, has anyone seen early _Marble Sheep and the Run Down Sun's Children_ releases? i have _Live Whirl_ and want to get other early stuff by them. i

I'm pretty damn curious about this too. I have heard their Flashback cuts. The question is how early does their stuff have to be to be like TFI, and exactly when did they get the brain transplant to turn them into Deadheads? I guess New From Old Heads is the only thing avail, so if anyone has heard it and can give us the skinny, I would be much obliged...

-rob

PS- I've listened to the Fushitsusha CD on Avant and it sounds pretty great. Everyone mentioned how it was "circular" playing, which I thought didn't mean anything, but I'll be damned if it all makes sense now. Really cerebral spritual guitar workouts closer to Haino solo gtr than Fushitsusha live blowouts.

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 94 14:13 EDT
From: "kevin m" [KMM104@PSUVM.PSU.EDU]
Subject: yet more Ghost
To: WKELLUM@gmuvax.gmu.edu
Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU

Hmmm, since I may have started this Ghost debate thing, I just thought I'd add a few more comments.

While I would never try to argue that anyone in the group is a great singer, just because Masaki Batoh doesn't have Tim (or Jeff, for that matter) Buckley's pipes doesn't exactly put him in the category of Neil Diamond any more than Peter Jefferies's solo piano/vcl performances make him Barry Manilow (as some idiot was pweeping in public recently). It seems to me that some folks' difficulties with _Second Time Around_ stem as much as anything from the fact that the album is composed of (*gasp*) Songs (and as we all know out here in indie-land, songs just can't be cool), beautiful deep songs that integrate all the ethnic and blasted influences of their other recordings into their very makeup. I would agree that _2d Time_ isn't as far-out (not as much chanting, wind-chime rattling, etc) as their other records, but that is perhaps what makes it so distinctive for me, as it seems conceptually to work as a truly Japanese reinterpretation of certain ideas also touched upon by Fairport (or COB, or ISB, whatever) and the Third Ear Band and Can, all shot through a really wasted higher consciousness. I think their perc/chant stuff is great enough, but to be honest they don't do it nearly as well as any number of more obviously "traditional" (please don't call it "world music" near me) type ensembles, though they do integrate it in different ways sometimes. I guess that, in spite of its much-disliked "normalcy" (as perceived by some, anyway), _Second Time Around_ actually seems MORE original to me, more personal, and in the end even more of an accomplishment. Sometimes far out ain't as far out as it seems, and sometimes working comparatively inside can produce the deepest, richest works, artistically.

Of course, if yr not willing to consider any of this, then I'm probably just wrong.

I've wasted enough of your times, now off to coffeefy myself. Have a lovely afternoon.

km

Date: Fri, 2 Feb 1996 11:50:28 -0600 (CST) From: "K. Moist" [kmoist@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu]
To: JonnyStomp@aol.com
cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: Re: ghost

On Fri, 2 Feb 1996 JonnyStomp@aol.com wrote:
] altho i know this is not in any way drone, i thought since many people on
] this list have an interest in psyche music, i thought mebbe i could get some
] aid. the question is this. i have the 7" by Ghost, "Mongoud Air Cave" on Now
] sound, and i desperately need other stuffs. i know of one lp and one other
] 7", but i'm sure there's more. anyone who knows the names of aforementioned
] releases and where i could get them as well as any other gost spookiness,
] please help me. (i'll be your best friend....)

Actually, I'm pretty well stocked on friends (I've got three of 'em now), and I'm also thinking that maybe we could ask Chris to add all of the Ghost and White Heaven and Fushitsusha stuff from the archives to the FAQ . . .? Since it seems to keep coming up and all . . .

Anyway, quick answer (hopefully Lim will shut his yap long enough for me to finish typing):

Three Ghost cds, all on stellar Japanese label PSF. First is self-titled and uniformly brilliant, droning (-ing, not -y, notice) folk songs interspersed with chanting and cosmic swirl. The second is called _Second Time Around_, takes a bit more consistently songic route, bringing to mind various UK acid-folk groups or certain strands of kosmische musik -- think of Popol Vuh or Third Ear Band; or, even better, just think of Can's "Sing Swan Song," which sounds almost _exactly_ like a Ghost number. I love it, others who fear consonance ain't so fond. Third CD is live, called _Temple Stone_, and consists of very transporting recordings made in religious places; mostly low-key and moody, very holy. Contains a coupla new songs in addition to tunes off the first 2 CDs.

There's another US-released single from last year. I forget the a-side, but the flip is a totally gorgeous watery Buckley-ballad called "Filament."

The CDs can be ordered through Forced Exposure (I'm pretty sure they're all still in print); there's a used copy of the first in one of the shops here in town I could hook you up with if you want. Singles should be available from Parasol or any other good US indie mailorder location.

can't get no grindin',
Linc


3.12.2 - Tokyo Flashback comps and other psychedelica

Date: Sun, 24 Jul 94 23:08:10 CDT
From: Robert Lim [lim7@midway.uchicago.edu]
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: Tokyo Flashback II
Status: RO

Hey folks, as you can tell from the repeated postings, I'm back in the trenches. I find it kind of odd that no one really discusses Japanese psych records here, considering that geographically speaking, Japan is putting out the most consistently good shit acid wash psych in the world. Haino Keiji's label PSF is a center for this kind of stuff (tho Alchemy dabbles a bit, and Capt Trip is becoming the one-stop Marble Sheep and the Run Down Sun's Children shop) as far as yr average import-buyer goes (i.e. me)

At any rate, they have not only put out various records by really good bands (HIgh Rise, Fushitsusha are some of the strongest, tho High Rise's third is kinda disappointing acid folk bullshit) and some uneven bands (White Heaven, Ghost), but also 3 samplers, called Tokyo Flashback, featuring label entries as well as non-label entries The first one had some really good stuff (Marble Sheep, High Rise and Fushitsusha had stand out cuts), and I was too thick to get a clue from the really bad stuff, so i bought the 2nd one.

Man, do I regret it. There was a pretty good lineup, with all of the good bands from TF I sticking around. However, they were mostly disappointing. THe High Rise cut (w/ Haino on gtr) was pretyt std psych rock, the Fushitsusha song was typical brain scrambling overdrive, but kinda failed to deliver on the level of coherence, which is typical of a great Fushi song. there's way too much of the acid folk crap and a whole lot of filler... face it, the Yura Yura Kingdom is not happening at all.... Even the Marble Sheep was like Moby Grape outtake material (I think they were the culprits).

At any rate, sorry about the vaguely pedantic nature of this, but I really don't recall seeing too much of this discussion, so I figured it was either because nobody was really into it or we were all too poor to afford the high priced imports. Then I thought of the Spacemen 3 discog and discarded the latter.

-rob

Date: Mon, 25 Jul 94 19:01 EDT
From: "kevin m" [KMM104@PSUVM.PSU.EDU]
Subject: Re: Tokyo Flashback II
To: mmaxwell@UCSD.EDU
Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU, bomp-l@netcom.com
Status: RO

Hello all.

Just thought I'd toss in another opinion, since I'm a fan of the stuff too. I actually pretty much enjoyed TF vols 2 & 3 (with reservations, of course), tho how much that had to do with my already being a fan of many of the artists involved I couldn't say. PSF could do a bit more with quality control/listenability considerations on these things, tho.

"Acid-folk shit" is a rather silly pejorative blanket to toss over some of the most interesting music of the post-60s era, especially if being applied to the likes of Ghost, who fairly solidly take all comers in that arena. Hey, if you don't like it, that's cool, but I'd say that any Ghost album kicks the tar outta ANY Spacemen 3 project since _Perfect Prescription_ in terms of otherworld-swirl potential.

White Heaven is way cool. Their second album was a bit of a (mild) disappointment, only because it wasn't absolutely the best psych lp ever. New 7" single "Threshold of the Pain" is probably the finest short-form release of the year so far. Wild.

High Rise's third album is also a small letdown, but it still wipes the floor with most others working in that stylistic area, longwindedness notwithstanding.

There's other cool stuff on the PSF label too, some archival releases and some pretty essential zone-stone folk-esque stuff from Kazuki Tomokawa and Kan Mikami.

Have a nice Tuesday,

km

Date: Mon, 25 Jul 94 19:05:42 CDT
From: Robert Lim [lim7@midway.uchicago.edu]
To: "kevin m" [KMM104@psuvm.psu.edu]
Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: Re: Tokyo Flashback II
Status: RO

)"Acid-folk shit" is a rather silly pejorative blanket to toss over some of the most interesting music of the post-60s era, especially if being applied 
to the likes of Ghost, who fairly solidly take all comers in that arena. 
Hey, if you don't like it, that's cool, but I'd say that any Ghost album 
kicks the tar outta ANY Spacemen 3 project since _Perfect Prescription_ in 
terms of otherworld-swirl potential.

Yeah, maybe I should have run a disclaimer saying that none of the psych music I've heard from Japan that uses the acoustic guitar as its central instrument has not turned me on in the least. And hey, I thought _Easter Everywhere_ was one of my all-time fave records, so it's not for a lack of appreciation for psych's mellower moments. Still, I've listened to an entire White Heaven LP (a friend's copy- the one with a blue cover) and was not particularly impressed. So just take my Jap psych ramblings with a grain of salt that bespeaks my appreciation for the more blown moments of guitar abuse.

-rob

From: PXGST@vms.cis.pitt.edu
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 09:20:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Japanese Psychedelia
Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU

A couple of thoughts . . .

With respect to Marble Sheep, make sure you listen to their earlier, Amon Duul inspired releases (i.e. _Old From New Heads_, _Whirl Live_, and _Shinjuku Loft_) rather than the newer "robes-of-Garcia" inspired crap they've put out over the past couple of years.

More generally, a good place to start might be with the _Tokyo Flashback_ psychedelic samplers on the P.S.F. label. Each contains a sampling of some of Japan's leading underground bands (if such a thing can be said) and has cuts that cannot be heard elsewhere. TF I is probably the best of the 3 samplers, and contains some thrilling cuts by Marble Sheep, High Rise, and Ghost. While the samplers aren't really good at exposing you to the diversity of individual bands, you do manage to get a sense of what is out there. Absent from the list of bands you posted on were High Rise, Ghost, and Fushitsusha, all of whom are worth checking out.

A couple of personal recommendations would be anything that Michio Kurihara plays on beyond the White Heaven releases (i.e. Marble Sheep's _Old From New Heads_ and a disc by a band called ha-za-ma), either of the two Shizuka releases (this band blends a delicate, crystalline sound, pained female vocals, and healthy doses of fuzz/distortion), and some of Keiji Haino's quieter releases (i.e. _Affection_ or either of the Nijiumu releases).

Paul Goren

Date: Fri, 23 Feb 96 9:38:56 CST
From: Robert Lim [lim7@midway.uchicago.edu]
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: Re: Japanese Psychedelia

] Any thoughts on Japanese psychedelia?  I'm not really that
] interested in the noise aspect of the scene, but I know some folks
] who are.  Any favorite recommendations?  I'm listening to the Magical
] Power Mako, Marble Sheep and the Rundown Sun's Children, White Heaven,
] Far East Family Band, Flower Travelin' Band and some others I can't
] think of just know.  Anyone else on this list listening to this kind
] of thing these days?

re: Marble Sheep- Paul and I have been slugging it out on this one, but I think we pretty much agree that _Old From New Heads_ is pretty much tit-splitting in its overall energy vibe. From then I guess Shinjuku Loft, then Whirl Live (for me). Only other cuts I've heard is the phenomenal cut on Tokyo Flashback and (I think) their first studio recording- a 5 minute version of one of the cuts off of _Old_ that appeared on the Dead Tech II comp (along with flange-era Gerogerigegege). That said, if anyone has either a copy of _Tokyo Anal Dynamite_ or the Marble Sheep Alchemy CD I will trade a NM copy of that Genbakukaiden LP!

Magical Power Mako- Hapmoniym 1 has a perfect aura of bedroom genius (unlike, say, Smog) which I haven't really heard on any of his other stuff.... the first album _Magical Power_ is also excellent, I guess more Faust inspired (though it pains me to admit that) but certainly not Faust derivative.. basically a whilrwind that jumps from suitably over-the-top psych-rockers to acid-whisper mumbles and basically any ridiculous moment in between (there's also a healthy dose of the Japanese, uh, primitive guitar/bongo/clanking that would later infuse his work). Hapmoniym 2 and the 2nd Polydor album (Super Record) are ok, but probably not unless you were crazy about the earlier stuff. Much more sedate versions of the styles that Hap 1 focused on, plus the usual koto banging.

Paul Goren replies:

] A couple of personal recommendations would be anything that Michio
] Kurihara plays on beyond the White Heaven releases (i.e. Marble
] Sheep's _Old From New Heads_ and a disc by a band called ha-za-ma),
] either of the two Shizuka releases (this band blends a delicate,
] crystalline sound, pained female vocals, and healthy doses of
] fuzz/distortion), and some of Keiji Haino's quieter

You mean like the Loud Machine 5000 7" on HG Fact? Agreed, it is a most butt searing piece of rockin, sorta like an amphetamine-driven car of commercial alternative-styled tunes jet-propelled by a couple of blazing Kurihara solos. I guess that would also include that Ghost 7" where he appears on Guru In the Echo (I think, one of their hits)... Speaking of Ghost, no comment on their records, just that the Masaki Batoh EP sucks blind daylight out of Rehobeth Beach (a stunning proposal). The Sweet and Honey LP has a pretty nice west coast power jam style (but I guess that's sorta predictable these days).

-rob (ready to rumble with Kevin after he's done grading homework)

3.12.3 - High Rise

Date: Thu, 3 Feb 94 17:04 EST
From: "kevin m." [KMM104@PSUVM.PSU.EDU]
Subject: Re: High-Rise and Japanese psych
To: mmaxwell@UCSD.EDU
Cc: droneon@ucsd.edu

There is indeed a whole lotta wonderful Japanese psych stuff going on right now, much of it centered around the most excellent PSF label, home of High Rise and White Heaven, among others. I've got to agree with the above posts about the absolutely glorious carnage that High Rise can generate; some of the purest sensory overload going, makes pathetic wannabes like Monster Magnet sound like the suburban momma's boys they are.

High Rise, however, is barely the tip of the iceberg on this stuff. White Heaven has out two wonderful lp's of Blue Cheer-meets-early-Quicksilver- with-Balin-in-tow psych barrage, as well as appearances on the both volumes of the Tokyo Flashback comp series on PSF (Jimmy Johnson tells me there's a third coming soon, as well as some other choice goodies from the label).

By far my favorite brain-wringing sounds in the scene come from Ghost, a "mystic acid-folk" combo who generate a mostly acoustic, occasionally tribal swirl that manages to mix traditional Japanese sounds and instrumentation with the sonic experimentation of early-70s Krautrock (esp. Can and Faust) and the glorious music-of-the-spheres approach of the best older acid-folk stuff (particularly early Pearls Before Swine and C.O.B.). I can highly recommend both of their cds to anyone interested in higher consciousness as a way of life; a friend claims that their second album ("Second Time Around") actually levitated his prostrate body off the floor once (but then, he was pretty confused to begin with). Mr. Johnson sez there's a live album coming soon, which should be interesting as they tend to perform in locales such as temples and abandoned castles.

The overall variety of great music coming from this scene is way too huge to cover in one message, so I'll just mention a few more in passing. Fushitsusha (avant guitarist Keiji Haino's power trio) have out some great stuff (as does Haino solo) that manages to mix up the overkill of a High Rise-type thing with the skewered avantings of the best No Wave stuff; Marble Sheep, an offshoot of earlier White Heaven members, began with some more explosive jamming and have since metamorphosed in a kinda confusing Quicksilver/Santana direction; "L" are a fine band made up of ex-members of Fushitsusha and A-Musik, but moving in a psych-folk-blues angle closer to Ghost--last year they put out a v. limited cd/7" package that is highly recommended if you can find a copy.

PSF sorta exists in the same sphere as the classic ESP-Disk label, putting out a variety of mind-expanding sounds of different types. There's some real good avant-jazz, some genre experiments, and some singer-songwriter- ish stuff that's actually among the best releases on the label (esp. Kan Mikami's cracked, zoned folk cd "I'm the Only One Around", though Kazuki Tomokawa's more Tim Buckley-ish stuff is mighty fine too).

The psychedelic musical experience need not be limited to any one particular sound, but can encompass any music that has outward-bound consciousness expansion as a major point of departure. PSF perfectly understands this, and continues to be the best currently-operating label in the world.

Feel free to hop on the bus.

Kevin M.


3.13 - Yo La Tengo

Date: Tue, 11 Apr 95 18:59 EDT
From: "kevin m" [KMM104@PSUVM.PSU.EDU]

Subject: Re: Yo la Tengo

To: v-jondu@microsoft.com

Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU

Status: RO

Hey Jonathan, welcome back (weren't you gone for a while?). How's it going?

I've been a Yo La fan for nigh onto a decade now, and I'd hafta say that their newest stuff is probably my favorite overall (in addition to their first, still a sentimental fave). The upcoming album promises to be a must, but if you wanna grab some of their records before mid-May I'd recommend starting out with 1993's _Painful_. It's probably the (groan) "droniest" (ye gods, I'm starting to hate that word), probably their most relaxed and stretched-out record. Coupla nods to that Valentine sound here'n'there, mostly in the subdued/misty vocals, but really not in the same vein at all -- YLT have always built on a sorta 3-chord 6Ts popsong base that encompasses the likes of the Velvets, Byrds, and (especially) Love, but then does all sorts of various twisted things to that foundation, adding fuzz, noise freakouts, quiet melancholia, the odd straightahead "rock" song, etc. Actually, I really wouldn't compare them to the Valentine at all, they're much more classicist in nature (from where I stand that's a good thing, it's nice to see someone build creatively on their acknowledged roots), and really I can't see comparing Ira to Shields in gtr style either, Ira's sorta more in a wrecked Neil/Bevis/Sterling mode, though he really at this point has a style all his own. _Painful_ is probably their most fully-realized album since 1986's _Ride the Tiger_ (their first), which featured the excellent Dave Schramm on lead gtr (before he left to form the most wonderful Schramms, a super band) and had a more wiry folkrock vibe that has gradually been replaced over the years by a more noisy/drony thang. Personally I'd go there next (after _Painful_) and then experience the fun of filling in all the spaces in between gradually, watching the development.

A coupla caveats: there're a lotta Yo La singles/eps floating around, and I'd have to recommend proceeding with caution there. Some are fine, some are pretty beside-the-point. "Shaker" and that one from _May I Sing With Me_ (1992) with the 25-minute song are great, as is the new "Tom Courtenay", while "From a Motel 6" and many of the others will leave you wanting. Also, you probably don't wanna start out with 1990's _Fakebook_, a pleasant but unassuming collection of acoustic covers.

Oh yeah, the full album discog goes like this: _Ride the Tiger_ (1986); _New Wave Hot Dogs_ (1987); _President Yo La Tengo_ (a Get Smart reference) (1988 [or so]); _Fakebook_ (1990); _That Is Yo La Tengo_ (1991, German-only mini-lp, may well be out of print); _May I Sing With Me_ (1992); _Painful_ (1993).

I may be forgetting something else as well. I do that sometimes.

km

There are a couple of YLT web sites on the net.

http://www.matador.recs.com/bands/ylt/index.html is the Yo La Tengo Gazette, which is part of the Matador Records pages.

http://www.mordor.com/neslon/music/faves/ has collections from the YLT Digest mailing list, but you'll need to scroll down the page to find them.

A Yo La Tengo USENET newsgroup also just started up, but may be too new for most newsservers. It's at alt.music.yolatengo.

3.14 - Charalambides

Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 19:51:11 -0500
From: philmcm@dircon.co.uk (Phil McMullen)
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU (Drone On)
Subject: Charalambidiscog

No way do I pretend this is in any way definitive, but:

'Our Bed Is Green' C-100 cassette (self-released)
'Historic 6th Ward' C-100 cassette (-"-)
'Union' LP on Siltbreeze
'Devils'/'Bid You Goodnight' 45 on Playtime
'Our Bed Is Green' CD on Wholly Other
'Market Square' dbl LP on Siltbreeze
'Ash Castle' track on forthcoming Terrascope benefit double CD

Charalambides/Wholly Other: 1205 Crocker, Houston TX 77019
Siltbreeze: POBox 15757, Philadelphia PA 19103
Playtime: PO Box 1294, Cooper Station, New York NY 10276

Phil

Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 20:22:46 -0500
From: philmcm@dircon.co.uk (Phil McMullen)
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU (Drone On)
Subject: Re: Charlambides

Shit, Rob's right -

] two cuts on Houston comp _Drilling the Curve_ (attn Ullsperger-
] Jandek cover)

I forgot those. 'Variant' (C&P Jandek) and 'Mayflower' are the Charalamides contribs (Fleece Records, 1718 Westheimer, Houston TX 77098)

] Plus Tom Carter was in the Mike Gunn for (I
] think) their first 3 LPs (Hemp For Victory, Durban Poison,
] Almaron) plus that split single...

...And the 'Coduh' CD (the one with the glow-in-the-dark cover) on Worship Guitars, which is a collection of live/studio outtakes.

] I guess Phil would know better.

Your mother knows best.

E.G.

Date: Wed, 13 Apr 94 15:27:35 CDT
From: Brfaulk@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu
To: droneon@ucsd.edu
Subject: Yet more drone bands

Charalambides-Union LP

This is first album by this duo from Houston, which features Tom Carter from the Mike Gunn, a fantastic hard rock/psych band who have two excellent lps out (Hemp for Victory and Durban Poison, now both available on one CD). This album is one of the finest things I have heard in a long while. It was released by Siltbreeze in an addition of 400 copies with hand done sleeves. The music is ranges from long trance inducing guitar pieces to drone/folk type stuff, with female (I believe by Tom Carter's wife) vocals. If this sounds like something you think you would enjoy, you really need to get it. I'll bet Forced Exposure Mailorder still has some. [eds note: it's likely that they don't.]


3.15 - Nurse With Wound

Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 15:52:03 GMT
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Subject: nurse with wound - even my CAT digs them
From: mwi@usa.pipeline.com (Morgan Wheelock Incorporated)

After hearing a more albums by this band than I can count (or remember) and owning a couple myself I have to say this:

Nurse with Wound is kinda tricky to approach since there are about umpteen million albums out by them, they're all really expensive and many are hard to find. Some of it is screechy industro machine stuff that can last anywhere from 2-60 minutes, some of it is beautiful trancedrone thingies, some of it is goofy and conceptual, some of it is a stereo mindfuck sound collage, some of it is undescribable. Steven Stapleton, (who I believe is) the "brains" behind NWW is a man of many moods and the fun of their discs is seeing which one he's in on that particular day.

A good place to start with NWW is "A sucked Orange". It's probably the most accesible disc I've heard by them - comprised of many tracks of varying length that each explore a different musical idea or genre. NWW releases can have just one or two long tracks so if you drop the 18-22 bucks to hear them and you don't like that particular "song" then you might be out of luck. "A sucked orange" gets far more musical than their usual releases and has many tracks that would float a droners boat. One track, "Rocket Morton" is of particular interest - it being a repeating sample of Captain Beefheart saying "Rocket Morton" over and over and over and over as they sloooooowly warp it into something unrecognizable and then back again. Brilliant minimalist trance. I think it's amazing, others have thought it was the most maddening thing they'd ever heard. There are plennnnnnnty of other fascinating and cool tracks on it ranging from outright mindfuck drones to things that you may find "interesting"/"annoying". Something for everybody, trust me - even my CAT once started following the panning stereo effects from speaker to speaker trying to figure out what might be flying round the room. It's the only album I've ever seen her take an interest in (though she does like to lie near the speakers when I play Vermonster).

I haven't heard the "Succour" track but judging from peoples reactions to it it must be on their ambient/spacey/mellow side. NWW can do this well but if you go out shopping for them listen before you buy cause you might wind up with something that sounds like a Van der Graaf generator being assaulted by kitchen appliances - or not.


3.16 - Loop, Main

Date: Thu, 26 May 94 15:57 EDT
From: "kevin m" [KMM104@psuvm.psu.edu]
Subject: Re: Stollen gear
To: brendon@phantom.com
Cc: droneon@ucsd.edu

I'd second any recommendation for Loop's _A Gilded Eternity_, but I'd probably actually recommend _Fade Out_ even more highly. It's a total swirling morass of gtrs (forward, backward, sideways) grafted onto one-chord propulsive-drone "songs" that still totally blows my mind 6 years on. (Needless to say, I'm a big fan.) It sort of marks a bridge between their early stomp-sludge-drone more S3-ish material and the space-Kraut inflections that became more prominent on _Gilded_ and really reached fruition with Main's new _Motion Pool_ (which I also very highly recommend). Hair & Skin Trading Co sorta took the most obvious, simple elements of _Fade Out_ era Loop and proceeded to go absolutely nowhere with them, unlike Main. The album may be a bit hard to find now, as it was on Rough Trade in the US, but the cd is especially worthwhile if you can dig one up, as it appends some amazing bonus tracks (including covers of Can and the Pop Group), bringing the whole thing to about 70 minutes.

Space awaits

kevin m

Date: Fri, 23 Sep 1994 15:30:33 -0400 (EDT) From: "Cynthia L. Bent" [clbent@mailbox.syr.edu]
Subject: Re: loop, main etc
To: JONDUNNE@ollamh.ucd.ie
Cc: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Mime-Version: 1.0

On Fri, 23 Sep 1994 JONDUNNE@ollamh.ucd.ie wrote: 
)Does anybody remember loop?? Some people that they were a Spacemen 3 rip-off but their music went further than that. )Anyway the reason that I'm writing is to find out has anybody heard Main(ex- Loop members) new album ?? It can only be described as Ambient Garage. Very soothing but also very voilent. A bit like Dreamweapon. )P.S. I think the album is called motion pool????

Yep, not only do we remember Loop, many of us continue to love them, as well as their greater offshoot, Main. The only folks who really think of Loop as Sp3 ripoffs are those who actually buy Sonic's incessant carping about them (personally, I think he was just pissed off that they took certain ideas similar to Sp3 stuff and evolved them well beyond what he was capable of, but that's just me). All of Main's releases are completely excellent (the _Hydra- Calm_ cd, compiled from two earlier eps; and two other eps that came out last year, _Firmament_ and _Dry Stone Feed_), all showing a very definite progression up to the amazing _Motion Pool_, released earlier this year in the UK and more recently here. Loop was always much more expansive than their knee-jerk critics would admit, bringing all sorts of different influences into their fuzz-drone (from Krautrock mazescapes to Pop Group/This Heat avant-punk to classic US heavy psych [tho they denied any real Stooges influence, they did claim lesser-known Detroit heroes SRC as crucial forebears]), and Main goes even further, really just lifting off the map of known sound. There's a cold, orbiting, but ultimately quite personal beauty to their stuff that for me is matched only by the incredible Labradford album (whose recorded-but-not- yet-released new lp is, believe it or not, even better than their classic debut) for grandeur/sweep filtered through (altered) personal consciousness. I've probably listened to _Motion Pool_ 60 or 70 times now, and it still seems like a new album every time, there are just so many layers (I think I probably listened to the Spectrum album about 10 times, and was pretty bored after about the first three, though I kept trying, but to no avail).

A pretty complete WWW site on Main can be found at http://www.esophagus.com/main/


3.17 - Mercury Rev

There's a Mercury Rev WWW site at http://www.cstone.net/~bpaton/revhome.html


3.18 - Sundial

Date: Thu, 10 Feb 94 18:54 EST
From: "kevin m." [KMM104@PSUVM.PSU.EDU]
Subject: sundial
To: droneon@ucsd.edu

I've got almost all of the Sundial stuff, and also find it to be a mixed bag, though on the whole a very pleasant one. Overall, my advice would be to avoid their singles and stick to the albums, as the sort of beat- oriented experimentation they get into on the singles often just doesn't work for me.

One reason for the variance across their material has been the number of personnel changes the group has gone through. The first Sundial album, "Other Way Out" was originally released on a petite edition on Tangerine Records and then given a wider rerelease on UFO Records. This is probably their best work, not entirely dissimilar from early Bevis Frond, but with more of a stretched-out, loping late-60s progish feel and gobs of goo layered over the top (gongs, flutes, random sounds, etc.). It'll float yr cloud along real fine.

After that, the band went through a major membership change, leaving only the lead guitarist and songwriter, Gary Ramon, from the original line-up. The new-look Sundial took a more modern turn in the direction not far from Loop's "Fade Out" or the absolute spaciest Ride stuff. On the whole, it feels like a transitional lp, some wild gtr (especially on Mind Train) and a growing fascination with the possibilities of samplers and dancable (but not "disco"-ish)beats, but remains a somewhat uneven listen. This was released on UFO in the UK and later put out by Dutch East in the US.

Their latest lp, "Libertine", is a fascinating contradiction for me, a completely tripped-out mix that manages to find common ground between the electrospace areas explored by the likes of the Orb and Porcupine Tree, and good old-fashoined power-guitar riff-psych. Parts of it are quite dance-y, but never sink to cliche, usually using electric drums in addition to various sorts of live percussion. The heavy guitars and droning harmonies are a nice constant throughout, and while the songwriting originality may flag occasionally in the service of "rock", the sonic inventiveness certainly does not. Sundial are now signed to Beggar's Banquet in the UK (I've got an import vinyl copy of their latest from early last fall), and "libertine" will be issued in the US soon on some or other major/indie setup; should be pretty available.

My recommendation? Proceed with some caution, but definitely proceed.

Uncertainly,

Heisenberg

Date: Thu, 10 Feb 94 19:01 EST
From: "kevin m." [KMM104@PSUVM.PSU.EDU]
Subject: sundile
To: droneon@ucsd.edu

That second Sundial lp I made reference to in the previous post is called "Reflector". I just realized I forgot to mention that; I dunno, sometimes I feel like I might be confused, and other times I just forget where I am. If I only had a brain...

Date: Wed, 20 Jul 1994 06:51:12 -0700
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
From: kallista@netcom.com (Chris Barrus)
Subject: Sundial (was: s.l.o.w)

)recently picked up sun dial's first release and was quite stunned by it's 
overall excellence. does anyone know about this band and their other 
releases? 

You're right, Sundial's _Other Way Out_ is most excellent. If possible, you want the limited edition from Acme Records which also throws in their first two EPs that were released on UFO. It's only a limited edition of 500, but get it if possible because the extra tracks are quite good (and next to impossible to find elsewhere). Acme also recently released _Return Journey_ which is a compilation of tracks recorded in 1991 before guitarist, singer, and chief ego Gary Ramon fired the rest of the band. I like _Return Journey_ even more than _OWO_. Don't know if this is also a limited edition/kollektorskum release but I would certainly demand your record store to get it.

_Reflecter_ is Sundial's second album and kinda picks up from _OWO_, but dumps the early-Floyd/Telescopes style for a heavier, dare I say "industrial," sound. Mixed in with the hammering is a goodly amount of brain-jell drone-psych which makes this worth tracking down.

_Libertine_ was released back in 1993 in the UK, but only just recently in the US. It's more of a mixed bag for me. There are a couple of great songs, but they're sandwiched in between some sludge which wears thin after awhile. If you don't want to play two chord rock, then you shouldn't. All of this is strictly IMHO. Others here on droneon swear by it - you mileage may vary. Beggars Banquet/Atlantic has been hyping the hell out of _Libertine_, so I've seen quite a few copies in the used bins. Be forwarned: a few songs on _Libertine_ feature drum machines, which have become a sore point for some people, including myself. I'm confused on the matter since Sundial actually have a human drummer.

Anyway, there's a EP called _Fazer_ which fits in between _Reflecter_ and _Libertine_. There is also another EP called _Overspill_ which sounds intriguing -- it's supposedly an extended-droneout remix EP of the spacier _Libertine_ songs. Anyone heard this yet?


3.19 - Olivia Tremor Control and other Three Word Bands

From: "Chelsea J. Lahmers" [cjl5f@faraday.clas.virginia.edu]
Subject: Re:Olivia Tremor Control
To: droneon@UCSD.EDU
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 1996 16:08:02 -0400 (EDT) MIME-Version: 1.0

The Olivia Tremor Control oiginally sprung up in the mid-eighties in the sleepy southern college town of Ruston, Louisiana and consisted of Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) on drums, Bill Doss (several tapes under the moniker Sunshine Fix, ex-Chocolate USA) on bass, Shani Atwood (gtr/vocals, i believe she's an orginial member either her or Robert S. from the Apples) and OTC songrwiter Will Cullen Hart (several beautiful tapes under his name self released). I'm a little fuzzy if that's exctly correct or not it's been years since I lived in Ruston and everyone moves around so much(including myself) it's kind of hard to keep in contact with each other. the OTC played regularly at a dive called the Dry Dock in Ruston from about 1988-91 or 92 across from Monroe Street House, where every member of every good Ruston band (these being OTC, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sunshine Fix, The Gerbils, Sock the Monkey, Apples in Stereo,etc) lived at one time or another until the genreal dissolution of the ruston creative nucleus during 1994, a time in which I and most every other notable person left). Anyone who's read any of the magazine articles on NMHotel over the last few months is probably familiar with the rest but here goes any way. sometime in late 91 or 92 the nucleus of OTC moved to Athens, GA (Jeff, Will and Bill) and Robert had already moved to Denver and they had jointly started the Elephant 6 Recording Co. to help release each others works and several cassettes from those involved and some vinyl finally appeared after playing/recording in Ruston for years.* In the next few blurry years Jeff M(NMH) moved from Athens-to-Ruston-to-Denver and back to Ruston a few times putting out a very vaunted 7" on the Cher Doll label, "Everything Is" and recording as much as ever having several other single projects on hip indie labels fall through due to various reasons I wont go into, and garnering quite a bit of acclaim and actually finally signing to Merge for one album released finally this year "On Avery Island" consists of mostly older songs I've had the pleasure of seeing him do for years. The "buzz" is on him now is very frightening, he's given up having a telephone so major label A & R scum don't call him every hour of the day, which saddens me since he's a good friend of mine and has always done is best to shy away from any spotlight. The OTc on the other hand have released several seven inch singles and have spent the better part of the last couple of years working on their film, and it's "soundtrack", the just released, "Dusk at the Cubist Castle" a fine and dandy pop record in a Kinks-"Village Green" sort of lo-fi way. I have a feeling I've rambled way, way to long If anyone has any specific questions post them and I'll answer'em, and iF i can track all the guys down eventually I'd like to release this Ruston archival CD I've been telling people about for years.

Cheers,
Wm Mills


3.20 - Bardo Pond

Hummingbird Mountain is the name of a pretty thorough Bardo Pond web site and contains all the usual features (news, discography, etc.). A mailing list is also available.


DroneOn Frequently Asked Questions - chris@quartzcity.net and mmaxwell@san.rr.com