Mental Experience (Spain) is one of the coolest deep shit music labels on planet earth and one of my fave labels! Birdman Sound has been onto their game since earliest dayz and we sell and constantly stock many of their releases! Here's some cherry albums you may well not be aware of which are almost always instock in the shop. 👽are one of the unsung heroes of the original minimal/synth-pop/wave era. Formed in 1980 in the North of England, members Adrian Todd, Ged McPhail, and Martyn Eames used an array of home-made electronic instruments plus customized second-hand synths to provide unique sounds. On stage they always played "live" without the use of backing tracks. Their stage act included a slide show, films, and computer visuals synced into the stage performance. Their music merged electronic pop with European influences and experimentation. During their existence, they toured extensively throughout the UK, did a session with John Peel and produced a single, an EP, and an LP plus numerous videos and live recordings. Here's their first ever vinyl retrospective, including a selection of tracks from their sought-after album, Shark Island originally released in 1983, the complete Diamond Age (1983) and Thrill Of The Game (1983) singles plus fantastic previously unreleased recordings. Master tape sound and insert with detailed liner notes and rare photos.
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Label Focus : Mental Experience @ Birdman Sound
Steve Piccolo's debut album from 1982, Domestic Exile. A hidden gem of minimalist beauty, mixing a post-punk/DIY/lo-fi aesthetic with art-rock and spoken poetry. Steve Piccolo has been in active since the mid-1970s in music, theater, performance art, sound installations, video and film soundtracks. In 1979, he started with the Lurie brothers the "fake jazz"/no wave band, Lounge Lizards. Domestic Exile was recorded one year after the seminal Lounge Lizards debut, at a time when Steve was living a kinda schizophrenic existence: working at Wall Street by day and going to clubs and art spaces almost every evening (he was one of the artists filmed for the no wave documentary 135 Grand Street New York 1979). Early on, he was influenced by Mose Allison, Tom Lehrer, Randy Newman, and "people who put thoughtful witty lyrics onto rather standard pop music". In just two weeks, Steve wrote the collection of songs which would form Domestic Exile. Somebody described them as "Neurotic City Folklore" as the lyrics dealt with living in NYC, urban angst, isolation, yuppies, nuclear paranoia. The recording took place at the ZBS Foundation in New York, engineered by Bob Bielecki (a collaborator of Laurie Anderson and La Monte Young). Steve sang, played electric guitar, bass/double bass and percussion. He was joined by Lounge Lizards bandmate Evan Lurie on Farfisa keyboard and G. Lindahl on synth. Although one of the tracks, the catchy "I Don't Want To Join A Cult", was an underground hit in Manhattan -- even Debbie Harry (Blondie) wanted to do a cover version -- no one expressed interest in releasing Domestic Exile. Soon after, Steve went to Italy and Domestic Exile was finally released on a local label. The result was a minimalist art-rock masterpiece which could be described as a lo-fi version of John Cale's Music For A New Society.
Lady June's Linguistic Leprosy, originally released in 1974. The legendary debut album by Canterbury scene pivotal figure, performance poet, painter, and experimental musician June Campbell Cramer, better known as Lady June. Produced by Kevin Ayers, who also plays on the album along with Brian Eno, Pip Pyle (Gong, Hatfield And The North), and David Vorhaus (White Noise). Originally released by Virgin's budget imprint Caroline (home also of artist like Faust With Tony Conrad, Gong, Lol Coxhill, etc.), Lady June's Linguistic Leprosy is a surreal, eccentric, psychedelic oddity of interest to fans of the Soft Machine-Gong-Canterbury family as well experimental/sound poetry/art-rock explorers. This cult album was included on the legendary Nurse With Wound list.
Requiem's For A World After, originally released in 1981. Dark, progressive, synth ambient meets Berlin-School sounds on this obscure kraut album, which "tells the story of a world annihilation through nuclear war." For A World After is full of delayed psychedelic electric guitar, effects, cold drum machines, waves of analog keyboards (Korg MS20, Casiotone 201, Crumar DS-2, Jupiter-4), and cosmic atmosphere. George Speckert is a conceptual electronic composer based in Hannover, but of North American origin. Working as a music teacher in Germany in the '70s, he started to write and produce music in his spare time, inspired by the European rock and electronic scenes of the time (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Jean Michel Jarre, Emerson Lake & Palmer, etc.) He met another American expat, David Cassidy, who ran a small record label/studio - that's when Requiem started to take form. A chance meeting with a terrific guitar player named Massimo Grandi, led to Massimo adding some amazing electric guitar to the album. After six months, For A World After was released in a privately-pressed edition of 1000 on the small, Daviton label.
Cozmic Corridors is an underground kraut-kosmische monster, recorded and produced circa 1972-73 in Cologne by Toby "The Mad Twiddler" Robinson for his Pyramid label. The album was apparently released as an ultra-limited handmade edition back in the early '70s, but no original copies have surfaced. Featuring Mythos drummer Hans-Jürgen Pütz on percussion and effects, alongside synth/keyboard freak Alex Meyer, poet/vocalist Pauline Fund, and the mysterious guitarist Peter Förster. Cozmic Corridors is an album if tripped-out electronic ambient soundscapes, dark atmospheres, drones, plenty of MiniMoog, gothic Hammond organ, Rhodes, electric and 12-string acoustic guitars, ritual chants, effects, and horror cinematic vibes. It is not advisable to listen to this alone in the dark.
Golem's Orion Awakes. Orion Awakes was recorded and produced circa 1976 by Toby Robinson, aka Genius P. Orridge, while he worked as second engineer at the famous Dierks Studio in Cologne. Memories from those hazy times are sketchy, but all evidence leads you to believe that the musicians featured here were well-known names from the kraut scene working under pseudonyms, recording 100% underground, non-commercial music under Toby's guidance, just for fun. Apparently, Orion Awakes was released as a very limited hand-made pressing housed in a silver foil sleeve on the Pyramid label, which was run by Toby and his friend Robin Page, the Fluxus artist. No original copies have ever been found. The fascinating liner notes by kraut expert Alan Freeman talk about seeing an original copy of Golem at a record shop in Germany many years ago and he also sheds some light on who could be the real musicians involved, as well as discussing the controversial story of the Pyramid label and the accusations of Golem being a manufactured '90s "fake" instead of a real vintage '70s recording. A glorious blend of space-rock, kraut, and psychedelia, courtesy of the mysterious Golem -- Plenty of Hammond organ, analog synths, ripping guitar, effects, trippy jams.
Galactic Explorers' Epitaph For Venus. Another album from the Pyramid label shrouded in mystery and produced by Toby Robinson in Cologne, circa 1974. Kosmische and head sounds with plenty of Minimoog, analog synths/keyboards, effects, loops, tape manipulation, treated percussions, etc., courtesy of Galactic Explorers, an electronic, minimal, ambient krautrock trio featuring Reinhard Karwatky (Dzyan). Take a trip to the inner regions of your mind, see ancient solar systems forming, and listen to cosmic winds and vibrations while sine waves of pure bliss will give you total peace of mind.
Pure, unadulterated, psychedelic krautrock courtesy of Pyramid, an obscure studio project produced by Toby Robinson, aka The Mad Twiddler. These sessions were recorded circa 1975-76 in Cologne for the underground Pyramid label, which was operated by Toby and his friend Robin Page (the Fluxus artist). During that time, Toby worked as engineer and assistant at various studios in Cologne, including the famous Dieter Dierks studios, where most of the albums from the Ohr/Pilz/Cosmic Courier catalog were registered. Having access to the studios during dead hours, Toby recorded lot of sessions just for fun without any commercial interest, featuring friends and musicians who frequented the studios and the underground art/music scene of Cologne. Some of these sessions were later released as handmade vinyl micro-pressings on his Pyramid label.
Probably the most "rock" sounding of all the Pyramid titles, Temple were an ad-hoc outfit born out of several late-night sessions at Dierks Studios (where Toby was working at that time), involving local friends of Toby and other musicians from adjoining studios, among them Zeus B. Held (Birth Control). Temple played a kind of heavy, dark psychedelic krautrock with ahead of its time proto-Goth vibe. Loud guitars, Hammond, Mini-Moog, Mellotron, distorted and echoing vocals, effects!