Bryter Layter, recorded in 1970, was the second of three albums by British folk musician Nick Drake. Like Five Leaves Left, the album contains no unaccompanied songs: Drake was accompanied by part of the British folk rock group Fairport Convention and John Cale from The Velvet Underground, as well as Beach Boys musicians Mike Kowalski and Ed Carter.
John Cale – celeste, piano and organ
Dave Pegg – bass
Mike Kowalski – drums
The Desertshore project is a ‘re-imagined’ cover version of Nico’s seminal 1970 album first conceived by the late Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson in Berlin 2006. In 2010 at his home in Bangkok, he refocussed his approach readying to record guest vocalists while Chris and Cosey prepared material in their UK studio for his return there in December. Sadly, Sleazy unexpectedly died in his sleep on the 25th November in Bangkok. Chris and Cosey made a commitment to Sleazy to complete the ‘Desertshore’ project picking up from where they left off just prior to his untimely passing. With enthusiastic support and contributions from so many who were close to Sleazy, especially the guest artistes whose work he admired; Antony, Marc Almond, Blixa Bargeld, Sasha Grey and Gaspar Noé, the project is now complete. [Source]
In the end, they employed the services of renowned musical curator and producer Hal Willner, who had the good sense to let Stanley sing the songs in his own way. The result, particularly on White Light, White Heat, is pure gold. “Hal got in touch with Lou Reed [who wrote the song], who was working in a studio down the road in LA. We played it to him and he was just blown away. It was an amazing moment.” [Source]
The Kills cover ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ by The Velvet Underground. The track is one of the b-sides to the band’s single ‘The Last Goodbye’, out 13th February 2012. Watch the video for lead track ‘The Last Goodbye’, directed by Oscar nominated actress Samantha Morton, here: http://www.thekills.tv. ‘The Last Goodbye’ is taken from the bands fourth studio album ‘Blood Pressures’, out now on Domino. The single is out as an exclusive limited edition 7” picture disk via Domino Mart & The Kills webstore and then is also available on 10” / Digital Download through general release.
Sally Can’t Dance is the fourth solo album by Lou Reed. It is Reed’s highest-charting album, reaching the Top 10. It is also the first solo Lou Reed album not to feature any songs originally recorded by Reed’s earlier band, The Velvet Underground, as well as the first of Reed’s solo studio albums to be recorded in the United States (Reed’s previous three albums were all recorded in England). Aside from the title song, Sally Can’t Dance includes “NY Stars” (in which Reed pokes fun at “fourth-rate imitators” who tried to impress him by copying his style), “Kill Your Sons” (a reflection of his stay in a psychiatric hospital at his parents’ insistence, during his teen years), and “Billy,” about the fate of a schoolmate with more “normal” ambitions than he’d had. The latter track reunited Reed with erstwhile Velvet Underground bandmate Doug Yule, playing bass. More tracks featuring Yule from the album’s sessions have emerged on a recent CD re-issue of the album. The album’s tour featured Danny Weis, guitar; Micheal Fonfara, keyboards; Prakash John, bass and Pentti “Whitey” Glan, drums on the European leg. Mouse Johnson played drums on the Australian and US sections. The sound engineer for all the live shows was Robin Mayhew who had previously worked with David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust period. While the record was a hit and elevated Reed’s status as a star, he reportedly was disappointed in its production (in which he took a largely passive role) and the treatment of the songs. Reed remarked, “It seems like the less I’m involved with a record, the bigger a hit it becomes. If I weren’t on the record at all next time around, it might go to Number One.” His record company, RCA Records, insisted on a rapid follow-up album, while his career appeared to be peaking. Tiring of the pressure put on him, and with his contract requiring RCA to release whatever record he gave them, Reed handed over the master tape of Metal Machine Music – an hour of feedback and noise, with no hope of becoming a hit.
On its release, it was reviewed in Rolling Stone magazine as sounding like “the tubular groaning of a galactic refrigerator” and as displeasing to experience as “a night in a bus terminal”. In the 1979 Rolling Stone Record Guide, critic Billy Altman said it was “a two-disc set consisting of nothing more than ear-wrecking electronic sludge, guaranteed to clear any room of humans in record time.” However, the first issue of the seminal New York zine Punk, placed Reed and the album on its inaugural 1976 issue, presaging the advent of both punk and the discordance of the New York No Wave scene. To quote critic Victor Bockris, Reed’s recording can be understood as “the ultimate conceptual punk album and the progenitor of New York punk rock.” The album was ranked number two in the 1991 book The Worst Rock ‘n’ Roll Records of All Time by Jimmy Guterman and Owen O’Donnell. The book gives sympathy to legendary record cutting engineer Bob Ludwig for having to listen to the album in its entirety. (In fact, according to the liner notes of the 2000 reissue of the album, Ludwig was “totally into what Lou was doing” and compared the work to that of avant-garde classical composers Iannis Xenakis and Karlheinz Stockhausen.) In 2005, Q magazine included the album in a list of “Ten Terrible Records by Great Artists”, and it ranked number four in Q’s fifty worst albums of all time list. It was again featured in Q magazine in December 2010 for the “Top Ten Career Suicides” list, where it came eighth overall. The Trouser Press Record Guide referred to it as “four sides of unlistenable oscillator noise,” parenthetically calling that assessment “a description, not a value judgment.” Probably the most sympathetic appraisal of Metal Machine Music was given by rock critic Lester Bangs, who wrote that “as classical music it adds nothing to a genre that may well be depleted. As rock ‘n’ roll it’s interesting garage electronic rock ‘n’ roll. As a statement it’s great, as a giant FUCK YOU it shows integrity—a sick, twisted, dunced-out, malevolent, perverted, psychopathic integrity, but integrity nevertheless.” Bangs later wrote a tongue-in-cheek article on Metal Machine Music titled “The Greatest Album Ever Made”, in which he judged it “the greatest record ever made in the history of the human eardrum.”
The perfect filmic totem for the world’s most obscure and dangerous cult band: French director Ethan Mousike’s “ambient documentary” about Japan’s self-proclaimed “Radical Music Black Gypsy Band”. Released on VHS in 1992, the film combines Mousike’s assemblage of archival backstage and performance footage with a series of concerts an obsessed Mousike crossed the world to shoot, at his own expense, during the savage, black-leather-clad final days of Les Rallizes Denudes‘ 37-year existence (sic!). Mousike eschews a narrative arc – the film lacks language of any sort, save for the fabricated French-Beatnik-Japanese creole leader Takeshi Mizutani “sang” in to avoid association with any of the societies he so seditiously despised – in favor of an approach both concrete and formally impressionistic: his film is disconnected, opaque, displaced, harsh and jarring, much like the mysterious, dark entity on which he is so singularly focused. Never has a performance-film worked so hard at summoning the abstract qualities of an artist’s essence and mystique! Les Rallizes Denudes’ story, of course, has all the makings of twisted legend. Started in the mid-1960′s, inspired equally by radical leftist ideology, confrontational theater methods and the bruising maelstroms of The Velvet Underground and Blue Cheer, the band set Psychedelic Japan aflame with its relentless, uncompromising approach to a rock and roll vision dually primitive and expansive. After bass player Moriyasu Wakabayashi and his Japanese Red Army comrades successfully hijacked a commercial aircraft – with Samurai swords, no less! – and were welcomed in North Korea as revolutionary heroes, harassment and the threat of imprisonment by Japanese Special Agents and the FBI forced an already-paranoid Mizutani into hiding amid the holy mountains of Northern Japan. Further radicalized and marginalized, Mizutani and his perpetually-changing lineup of Rallizes emerged from the bleak mists every five-or-so years to ply his brutal canon onstage for a new generation of slackjawed devotees. Existentially anti-commercial to the point of disappearance, the band never released an official album in its lifespan, and survive sonically to this day via the cavalcade of bootlegs lovingly produced by their hordes of freakishly zealous fans. A cogent film by a skilled director – however appropriately unknown both may be – about this band is a true treasure for musical, cultural and political radicals the world over. [Source]
Les Rallizes Dénudés were a really heavy Japanese psychedelic band that emerged in the ’60s and played in various incarnations for decades thereafter. They tore up the Japanese underground in the ’70s with powerful music and captivating theatrics. The live experience is reputed to be a sensory overload similar to that of the Velvet Underground’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Their live show included friends from an avant-garde theater troupe, extremely loud canvasing guitar, as many strobe lights as they could plug in, disco balls, and communist propaganda. Rallizes existed chiefly as a live experience and have released very little studio work. The group itself is shrouded in mystery. They are rumored to spread communist and revolutionary literature at their shows (including junior high schools). The original bassist, Moriaki Wakabayashi, was a part of the Red Army Faction-led Yodo-go Hijacking of Japan Airlines Flight 351 in 1970. Guitarist and group leader Mizutani Takashi has performed as Rallizes and as a solo artist into the ’90s; coming and going from the public arena for years at a time. Their music never received widespread acceptance, but they have developed a large fan-base among psych/noise devotees. New albums, that is to say reissues and bootlegs, have been released at random for decades and their music will likely continue to pop up on psych compilations like Ongaku 70 that contains an edited version of ‘Far Out Deeper Than the Night’ from a live 1977 performance. [Source]
Acéphale is proud to announce the debut album by Korallreven, ‘An Album By Korallreven.’ To celebrate, we asked Marcus and Daniel to complete their Dream Trilogy of mixtapes and what they delivered is a perfect joy. More ambitious than their previous mixes, the pair revisit and remix some of their favourite songs from the past year. The result is not a farewell to summer, more of a wistful glance over the shoulder. However, we’re never quite satisfied, and so we asked them to present the tracks in their individual forms as well. Look forward to the first single from the album, ‘As Young As Yesterday,’ coming soon. Enjoy the long weekend. [Source]
The song was recorded in 1972 at Whitney Studios in Los Angeles, and produced by John Cale, but was not released until 1976, on the Modern Lovers’ self-titled debut album. The recording featured Richman (lead guitar, vocals), Ernie Brooks (second guitar), Jerry Harrison (bass) and David Robinson (drums), with Cale playing the repetitive hammered piano part.