Sunday, June 17, 2007

Basement Crates: 20, 21 & 22

Cluster & Eno: Die Bunge (Sky, 1977)
This Picture Music LP was another one I salvaged - I guess I mean stole, really - from the huge pile of vinyl good old Ivo out of 4AD brought into sell at the shop I used to work at. A compilation of - and I quote - "German Rock Impressionismus" (Sky Records' translation budget was clearly a little lacking), you'd do well to not be put off by that awful thought and just let Brian rub electronic ice-cubes on your fevered temples while his Cluster pals open the window a bit and let some fresh air in to cool your toes. And stuff.

Nick Nantos & The Fireballs: Jazz Banana (Summit, 1963)
I found this on an LP called Guitars On Fire in a car boot sale for 50p or the like. Turns out it's worth more like £10 and not because it has the good sense to be either uniformly brilliant or because it names a track, Jazz Banana, but because Nick Nantos was actually Nick Nastos, a member of Bill Haley & The Comets. Big fer-laming wow, but it clearly means something to someone. I've never cared much for pre-Beatles rock and roll, but this rattling, guitar-twangling instrumental has that sunset-surfing-safari sound that means it would sound right at home heading up a Tarantino soundtrack. Hopefully for a film that wouldn't tank so badly we never get to see it. Anyway, Jazz Banana! How can you not love that?

Tortoise: Ry Cooder (Thrill Jockey, 1994)
Look at the packaging on that. I wonder where Divot and Whorable Orphans are now. Actually, I know because I just Googled them. It's a really redundant question "Where are they now?", isn't it. Anyway, I went to the first ever Tortoise gig (I can feel the excitement levels really peaking now) and in that week in 1994 they were the coolest band in the world. They were, really! As cool as Portishead or Tricky. Yes, that cool. I mean, the coolest band in the world as long as you worked in an independent record shop in a leafy London suburb.The tabloids didn't write about "indie" music then, so the 'Toise could comfortably fit all the people who wanted to see them into the upstairs room at The Garage rather than, say, three nights at The Astoria. Anyway, when they played this, and the xylophone bit started (I so rarely get the chance to write about great xylophone moments), every single head in the room began to nod together in gloriously-aligned rhythym. I still clearly remember how good that looked.

My favourite phrase from the picture below: "In one word: klangfarben..."



The Mammary Gland said...

what a great selection today. The Cluster & Eno track reminds of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, only with synths. I love Tortoise, particularly the album TNT. Cheers!

Rob said...

Hey - thanks Steve... Always nice to have you around. I maight post another from that Picture Music LP as there's a couple of complete belters on it...