Saturday, March 31, 2007

Wooden Baby-Forbidden Pastures(tape)+Stuck in the Mind Cage(tape),1988,UK


Merv Pepler - Guitar, Bass, Synthesizer, Programming, Vocals
Charlie - Synthesizer, Clarinet, Violin, Guitar, Vocals
Wooden Baby were an obscure Ozrics related outfit based aroundMerv Pepler, in partnership with a mysterious figure calledCharlie, who released three lengthy cassettes of extremelystrange music. For some reason, a drum machine is usedthroughout all three tapes which impairs the quality of themusic and is inexplicable considering that Merv is as good apercussionist as there is.
Despite the relentless percussive patterns, Forbidden Pasturesis a pretty good release, opening with the exceedingly spacey"Gestation Of A Koala Bear". "The Sound Of One Hand" is theclosest that the music comes to the sound of The Ozrics with itsslow, pulsing bass, oriental flourishes and assortment ofbizarre sound effects. "The Eyes Of Tammuz" has a feel ofWebcore with its laid back clarinet and spacey keys while"Wading Gannets" is more laid back still and reminiscent of PinkFloyd and a drum machine; Merv does a fair impression of DaevidAllen on the guitar as well. Although Forbidden Pastures ispredominantly an instrumental tape, there are a number of vocalpieces as well - "Table Of Existence", "Wasp Feet", "Exorcism OfAnu" - and one of these, "A Warm Sponge" is very like seventiesHawkwind, but with an Ozrics-like interlude in the middle.
Stuck In The Mind Cage was no improvement upon its predecessor.The tape is given over more to vocal tracks and Merv is not muchof a vocalist (in actual fact, he sounds a bit like BorisOrooni). There are nevertheless a few good, spacey pieces hereand there - "The Birth Of Venus" which has some lovely slideguitar and "The Light From The Nebula". The stand out vocaltrack is the lengthy "The Cellar" which sounds like a trippierHawkwind with screamed vocals. "Pawns Of Nulla" is a slow, dubbypiece but unexceptional.
Both Ed Wynne and Joie Hinton contributed to the third tape,Embalment and it is by far the best Wooden Baby release. Thereis a feel of Hawkwind on "Impossible Maze" and of The Ozrics on"Immortal Souls" and "Astral Highways". "Ominous Omness" has afeel of eighties synth pop in its backing, although not in thegothic vocals or the deft violin playing. "Bath Scum"anticipates Eat Static with its ravey sound. A number of thepieces really are quite outstanding: "False World" is very weirdand trippy with a riff lifted from Pink Floyd's "Set TheControls For The Heart Of The Sun", and "Friday The 13th" is aslightly dark song with insistent synths and nice meanderingclarinet. The best track is the very lengthy closing piece,"Cocoon", a hard rocking instrumental with superb synth andguitar work.
Stuck In The Mind Cage and Forbidden Pastures were releasedtogether as part of Crohinga Well's Myths Of The Ghandarvaseries in a hand assembled case with booklets and inserts andlimited to 300 copies. -- Christopher Williams (from Adrift In The Ether)
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Wooden Baby are a combo who have released a couple of tapes in1988. Ozrics drummer Merv Pepler and friend Charlie have createdForbidden Pastures and Stuck In The Mind Cage, two sound websthat follow a similar route to that followed by Nodens Ictus,but at a much more frantic pace. The tapes collect together avaried batch of synth dominated mindscapes that at times workand at others merely function. Heavy bass rhythms, drum machinesand washes of sound mix with undecipherable lyrical passages tobewilder, and enlighten. A new line-up of Wooden Baby has justbeen born consisting of Steve Everitt (synth), Joie (keyboards),Nick (bass) and Merv Pepler (percussion), and more willcertainly be heard from this band soon. -- Richard Allen (from Freakbeat Magazine, 1990)

Get Forbidden Pastures here and here.
Get Stuck in the Mind Cage here and here .

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for these rare tapes. I love Ozric Tentacles and every band related to them. So this post and the Nukli one are true gems for me. If you could post Wooden Baby's third tape, Embalment, it will be awesome. Greetings in advance.

CCE said...

what can I say? I'm speechless. I guess some gratitude would be in order. Thank you!

Gilbert Chunks said...

I'm very happy to find these gems and even happier that the links are still alive !!!

Wish i could download them now but Rapidshare won't let me have 'em for another hour ARRRGHHH!!!

Thankyou very much indeed for uploading :)

Yiannis said...

Very Indiana Jones of you... Where did you dig these out from?

Some Ullulators would be nice too :-)

Anonymous said...

Another vote for The Ullulators - any kind soul out there got any of their tapes yo upload? Please?
Steve in Thailand

Anonymous said...

Hi there Mr. Mutant Sounds...
I must express extreme gratitude for posting these acidtastic triptacular recordings. I saw Wooden Baby at the Crypt in Deptford High Street in 88, yet have never been able to find any recordings until now. Sincere thanks. If you want anything in particular, I have a large collection of cassette albums from this era and may have what you are looking for. Reply to my post and I will help if I can. Thankyou, Garry Lee - Starship Overflow. :)

vdoandsound said...

Hi Garry....thanks for the kind words and thanks for the offer...I'll be in touch privately about this stuff...

Eric