Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Lothar & The Hand People|
Presenting...Lothar and the Hand People
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Another of My Top Ten
Fred Rayworth | Las Vegas, NV United States | 03/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is another example of buying an album because of the cover. Five freaky looking guys, what mystery music would it contain? I love this album, quite surprised when I first listened to it. This is the album that started my obsession with electronic music and led to the building of my first Theremin. From there it went to analog synthesizers, mainly thanks to PAIA and Electronotes.
The album is a potpourri of weird songs and sounds. I especially like "Milkweed Love" with the multiple synthesizer (bumblebee) riff. And "Machines" is quite catchy even if those dweebs on American Bandstand hated it during their rate-a-record segment. The trippy "It Comes on Anyhow" is the perfect song to lay back with some incense going and stare at a black light poster. Ah, the good ole' days! "Paul In Love" is a great use of the Theremin.
At first I thought some of the songs seemed out of place, but that is just part of the freaky fun with this record. It is a psychedelic/electronic hodgepodge and as a collective effort, is a real gem. The extra tracks they threw on this CD version don't seen to fit the original album but are a nice touch (now that I've listened to the CD at least 50 times, I'm sort of used to them). If you want to hear a real slice of sixties psychedelia from what should have been a much bigger band, seek this out. It is an electronic musicians dream.
This next half is a review for Space Hymn, dated July 2008. When I tried to submit it to the album with Space Hymn on it, the system would not allow it because this album is tacked on to the other one and they do not allow two reviews on the same product! This isn't the same product, but I don't know another way around it right now, so here is the review of their second album.
Since their first album is on my top ten all time best list, when I finally picked this one up in the mid 80's in Turkey, I was drooling at the potential. However, when I listened to it, it was not what I expected and after only a few listens, it went on the shelf to be forgotten for a couple of decades. In July 2008, I burned it to CD and have had a chance to listen to it repeatedly during my long commute to work.
In a lot of ways, this is a logical continuation and expansion on the first album. Lothar (the theremin) is present on most of the tracks as well as plenty of Moog modular effects. What took me a while to appreciate are the songs. Of course, this is Lothar And The Hand People, so even a cover song isn't going to sound like a cover song. Heat Wave is a perfect example of how these guys can make a hit song their own, and make it sound like they wrote it. Then there is the live track, Midnight Rider (or Ranger). I believe this is the only live track they've ever done.
Overall, the music is a blend of electronic weirdness, pop, and a mild dose of country. However, this is NOT a country rock album, far from it.
These guys predated Kraftwerk and their ilk by a decade. The only other band that might compare to them is United States Of America, or so I've heard, but I haven't listened to any of their stuff yet, so I can't really say if it's a valid comparison.
This is another good example of what the birth of electronic rock music sounded like. Highly recommended.
N. Wilson | Dallas TX | 08/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The other reviewers don't lie. This is truly an amazing album.
Lothar and the Hand People first came to my knowledge through an archived WFMU show in which the DJ played "It Comes On Anyhow", one of the best pieces of musique concrete I have ever heard, especially from a rock band - it is way better than the Beatles' "Revolution No. 9." Apparently it was later sampled by Crystal Method.
So I went to the CD store and found this CD, put it in and was blown away by its sheer awesomeness. With the exception of one or two songs, the album invokes everything great about the 1960s, but also foresees the future. "Machines" is definitely my favorite, with its clanging percussion and Moog lines nearly formulating into easily one of the coolest songs from the 60s. Songs about machines taking over the earth are cool in general, I guess, but my bet would be this is one of the first. Not to mention that Lothar were one of the first rock bands to use both a Moog and a theremin.
"This May Be Goodbye", "Every Single Word" and "Ha (Ho)" remind me of mid-period Beatles, both in songwriting and innovativeness. "L-O-V-E (Ask for It By Name)" sounds dated, but in that catchily classic way - how this escapes the oldies stations I have no clue. "Rose Colored Glasses" is a gorgeous, lush ballad that calls to mind Love. "Sex and Violence" sounds like Beefheart's Magic Band with Lou Reed and the Beatles guesting on vocals. "Woody Woodpecker" is humorous. "Kids are Little People" is catchily Zappaesque. The gorgeous theremin piece "Paul, In Love" predates Eno's ambient music by nearly a decade.
One could make a convincing argument that Lothar sounds like Frank Zappa fronting the Olivia Tremor Control, a modern Beatlesque pop band utilizing electronics and tape experiments. One could also make the argument they sound like a Silver Apples-Velvet Underground side project. Or maybe a long lost Beatles-Faust collaborative session. Whatever the case may be, Lothar are truly one of the greatest bands of all time, and it's a travesty they are confined to the footnotes of music history."