Thursday, July 26, 2007

Syrinx -Long Lost Relatives,LP,1971,Canada


The birth pangs of electronic music within pop were often tentative affairs, as bands such as the Fifty Foot Hose and the Silver Apples had to absorb such obtuse (from a rock perspective) luminaries as Karlheinz Stockhausen or Morton Subotnick and then attempt to incorporate their complex ideas into the rather simple guitar/bass/drum rock idiom. By the seventies the moog synthesizer, still somewhat a novelty sound but more portable and affordable, would become a vehicle for the then-predominant progist post-Hendrix obsession with virtuosity, replacing the guitar in extended, self-indulgent (read: wankfest) solos – think ELP, Edgar Winter or Head East. Still others, such as Walter Carlos, reworked classical themes, thus establishing a veneer of respectability for the instrument.
Often ignored are those Germans - Popol Vuh or Cluster come to mind - who, perhaps because they were unencumbered by the burgeoning rockist protocol of rhythm/chords/solo (rock being a still fairly foreign presence at the time in Europe), coaxed spacy meandering “head music” from their synths. The overlooked Syrinx falls somewhat into this camp.
Syrinx is essentially the brainchild of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist John Mills-Cockell, who had previously helped found the Mind Expansion Centre in Montreal, a sort of free-form art space existent at the end of the 1960s. A resultant LP soundtrack to an installation there, the privately pressed Free Psychedelic Poster Inside, was released under the name Intersystems (a precursor it would appear to Stereolab’s Music for the Amorphous Body Centre, the accompanying music for a Charles Long exhibit at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York in 1995.).
Michael Panontin
If you enjoy Popol Vuh, Yatha Sidhra, The Third Ear Band,Intersystems or Tuxedomoon,you will surely love this!

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9 comments:

Falcon Hawksome said...

thank you.
this is an excellent post.
i'll got the first Syrinx record, if you're looking for it...

Anonymous said...

The other syrinx album (1970)here :

http://prognotfrog.blogspot.com/2007/06/syrinx-syrinx-long-lost-relatives.html

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

This has long been one of my favorites. It's really an unusual album, seemingly without direct precedent.

The earlier Intersystems stuff is absolutely wild, and ridiculously ahead of its time. Mills-Cockell is an overlooked genius.

Nic Dafis said...

Fantastic, many thanks.

mezon said...

This IS fantastic, as always!
much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

John Mills-Cockell's latest album (2004) is "Concerto of Deliverance" http://www.concertoofdeliverance.com

His website is http://www.musicplanet.com/jmc/

P. Somniferum said...

You sold me w/ the Intersystems ref. Fanks!

Andy said...

Back in the early '70s, "Tillicum" was a hit single in Canada, the piece was used as the theme to the televsion show "Here Come the Seventies". What was cool is that Syrinx used to appear every week in the end credit sequence looking like freaks, playing on a beach as the sun set!

the drop out said...

god damn tiches

i bow low....

may one day i load up for u i wish