Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Magical Power Mako|
Music From Heaven
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Deep trip excellence, for adventurous travellers only
gigidunnit | Tokyo, Japan | 07/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Part of the reason for this review is to redress the balance. Unlike the reviewer below, I don't think this is badly recorded at all. In fact, in many places it's extremely clear, in focus, and crisp. It's certainly better than a great number of recordings of its vintage, though if you had to guess its age you would put it a good few years before the 1981 recording date -- probably about 1971, which fits it in nicely with the kind of music it reminds me most of (Faust say, or Popol Vuh, or Sweden's Algarnas Tradgard). At the same time, it is definitely a "home recording" ("Recorded at his private studio" says the note on the back), which leads to a very strange effect throughout the album -- in the pauses between tracks, you can just about hear what appears to be an imperfectly-wiped track in the background. But there's more sonic quality here than, say, some of those endlessly-recycled bits of grunge recording tape used by Acid Mothers Temple (the current holders of the "Japan's Greatest Psychedelic Band" crown). Especially toward the end, it does drift off into serious fog territory, which may be intentional. (I think the warning in the Sonore book "Japanese Independent Music" -- "The Belle Antique CD reissue is a technical disaster" -- refers to the fact that it's all one track rather than it was mastered badly.) Finally, since when was recording quality an indicator of performance quality? Some of my most treasured recordings are extremely woolly bootlegs -- and I wouldn't swap them for the pristine studio recordings for all the world.It may also be that the reviewer below is confused both by the extreme psychedelic mayhem going on here -- everything pans and swirls and phases deliriously throughout -- and the album's patchwork quality whereby the one 50-minute track is not so much a collection of tracks (you can just about follow the "track listing" on the back, but only if you ignore some of the snippets) than a crazy journey through a chaotic other world -- a psychedelic voyage into the unknown, unpredictable, inscrutable. Hence the single track. You just have to put it on and be taken for the trip. You can't jump into this at any point and expect to hear something resembling a normal pop song. Ergo: this is extremely psychedelic, if by psychedelic you admit to the ingestion of recreational chemicals and don't sit there getting into a fuming fug at the lack of whistleable tunes, or the recording quality.As a journey into the LSD unknown, in my opinion this is a superb psychedelic album. It reminds me of the first Acid Mothers Temple album -- also an unpredictable one-track affair -- or Gong's "Angel's Egg" or one of the collage albums by Can or Faust ("The Faust Tapes" is probably the best analogy for the novice: lots of little bits and pieces strung together at random) or the first side of International Harvester's "Sovv Gott Rose Marie". There are of course lots of other examples, but if you don't know any of these imagine an album made up entirely out of those little instrumental breaks in the first Family album. Here, if anything, the fragmentary nature is even more extreme than any of those: songs lurch into existence as if from tape splices, fade out and then in again, cut off suddenly, literally phase themselves out of existence, daft little folk songs alternate with bizarre sped-up pieces or Indian instrumentals, if you're bored with one snippet another quite contrary one is just around the corner. To me, the annoying thing is that there are gaps between the songs, not their rough-and-ready patchwork quality. I would have preferred Faust- or Zappa-style segues to the spaces.Anyway, this is a certain kind of extreme psychedelia, don't expect garage punk or Toytown, so Erikson or Barrett analogies have more to do with the fact that both those people went off the deep end than their pre-breakdown music. It's an "Oar" (with which the folky pieces share a sonic atmosphere), or a "Madcap Laughs", maybe. Or just one hell of a trip which, like all the greatest trips (the first Hapshash album, say, or Amon Duul) should never be played in a sober state of mind. That's like looking at a disco with the house lights on."