Saturday, June 19, 2010


Side A


In The Heat Of The Night

Vapor Trailer

Hot Body Rub

Side B




Ariel Pink-Vocals, Casio Digital Guitar, Farfisa
Jim Lehnert-Soprano, Alto and Baritone Sax, Trombone, Farfisa
Dennis Gonzaléz-Trumpet
Aaron Gonzaléz-Upright & Electric Bass, Bowed cymbals
Stefan Gonzaléz-Drums, Vibes, Percussion
Guest Musician: Tamara Cauble-Violin, Backing vocal
Eric Lumbleau-Backing Vocal

Production, Engineering and Sound Design By Vas Deferens Organization
Recorded at Klearlight Studios, Dallas, Texas, February 2010
Mastered by Udi Koomran, Tel Aviv

Featuring the first new recordings by Ariel Pink since Haunted Graffiti's Before Today sessions, this self titled five track 12" EP launches the debut of his newest unit, Ariel Pink With Added Pizzazz. Issued by Free Dope And Fucking In The Streets and with a release date of July 9th, this limited edition EP will only be available in it's current form on Haunted Graffiti's upcoming American tour.

As I mentioned in my last announcement about Vas Deferens Organization's work together with Ariel, "Hot Body Rub" the VDO-produced and Added Pizzazz-enabled sleaze funk opening gambit from Before Today (available for the first time in its unedited form here) was merely a tease of things to come, and Ariel Pink With Added Pizzazz represents its lurid fruition.

Recorded during February of this year at Dallas' Klearlight Studios, Ariel is accompanied on this EP by Jim Lehnert on sax and trombone, Aaron Gonzalez on electric and upright bass, Stefan Gonzalez on drums and vibes and legendary free jazzer Dennis Gonzalez on trumpet and midwifed by the production team in Vas Deferens Organization of which I'm a member and which those that have been around Mutant Sounds for a while will know about from the many VDO albums and productions that I've shared over time, including collaborations with Brad Laner and Mercury Rev members and our productions for Denton/Dallas scene legends like Ohm and J. Bone Cro.

Opening doors onto multiple facets of Ariel's muse you were never privy to before, the first track from the EP "In The Heat Of The Night", can be listened to Here
and can be downloaded Here


Freak folk before the term existed, this squirrelly and slightly unhinged character was a confrere and accomplice of my bandmate Matt Castille during the early era of Vas Deferens Organization, as well as being one of several freaky residents at the Belmont St. Dallas address where all the early VDO material was recorded. A libertine celebrant of both the acid fried and the trailer trash squalid, J. back in the day could be found throwing acid trip parties built around showing a double feature of Convoy and Urban Cowboy or coming up with strategies for "vagrant porn" magazines involving toothless winos. What the before mentioned won't clue you into however is J.'s capacity for soul nourishing and deep-in-the-pudding psych pop "knowing", a skill set exacerbated by Matt's down-the-rabbithole psychedelic production and one that glances off of both the side of Kevin Ayers heard on "Clarence In Wonderland" and elements of Skip Spence's "Oar". During this early stage of my work with VDO, my (Eric's) work together with J. was limited to the VDO side-project Jaloppy (previously posted), with Matt being the fellow twisting the knobs on this platter; one co-released by the legendary (and normally much more genre formal) psych label Rockadelic Records. Some of the shimmering sunshine-y pop psych bits that periodically bob to the surface through these wafting kosmiche heat mirages manage to glance off of the hymen of relative song structured normalcy in such a way that they wouldn't have sounded out of place amongst the Elephant 6 Collective, only to unravel into a puddle of talk-boxed Doo Rag-like acid blues and half machine lip moves with J. waxing rhapsodic about jailhouse sex.

***************NEW LINK POSTED SEPTEMBER 2012***************

Get it here  


Following up on my January post of this monster Japanese fusion drummer's second album The Wheel Of Fortune (under the name Joji Hirota), here's his obscure first outing from five years earlier, and it's a total stunner. Wholly unlike its follow-up, Sahasurara starts off with absurdly over the top psych/prog histrionics akin to the Kali Bahlu-related Lite Storm album that Jim upped long ago and follows it with a round of becalmed but luscious vibraphone jazz in the mode of Bobby Hutcherson's Montara, which is surely one way of getting my undivided attention. This sorta inspired trade off between the ripping and rippling is key to this album's particular wiles. When this does finally launch into shredding fusion territory on the flip side, it does so in a sublime Terje Rypdal-like atmospheric ethno mystery mode, and it's a vibe that just keeps escalating, as the distinctly odd "The Law Of Causality' slowly wheels into view like some dungeon dwelling inversion of Popol Vuh, with hand percussion and flute trills tracing an occultic route into incipient hysteria. I'll leave the final delicious rug-pull from this headfuck of an album for you to discover for yourselves...

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This quite fantastic German outfit's dark-tinged, fractured and horn-centric spin on synth pop falls between lots of curious poles; their punchy rhythm programming undergirding obstreperous horn fanfares and juddering synth lines that mingle the structurally open-ended and trumpet-laden post punk explorations of The Anti Group with the post punk martial brass attack of Don King and the horn honking finesse of fellow German art rockers The Blech.

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Continuing my program of shares of goodies from the Swedish 70's underground, here's one off the fusionoid tip of the spectrum. The two tracks the occupy side A move from airy Brazilian sounding jazz rock whirlwinds ala Airto Moreira and Flora Purim to elegantly brash early Nucleus/early Passport-like sax groovers, though the flip side's a bit more all over the place, with the sweet slithering flute moves of "Lisa Sleeps" butting up against extended African percussion workouts and a few cuts that trigger my sentimental melody kill-switch.

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Sure this UK synthpop unit would quickly move into territory outside our remit here on MS and indeed, the first two cuts suggest the commercial new wave-y path they'd shortly trod, but stick with it and you'll soon be duly rewarded with two top notch electro-pop gems in an early Human League-meets-Siouxsie And The Banshees mode that you'll have difficulty prying from your memory banks.

Note: links pulled as this is due for reissue very shortly.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Beginning on a tide of oscillating harmonium drone and plangent vocalizing, Essenza opens deep chasms into the roiling psyche of it's creator, evident even to those like me with zero grasp of the Italian language. This particular third eye-opening Italian cosmic-folk-prog outing (Rocchi's fouth) comes courtesy of a one-time member of Stormy Six and operates in the grand tradition of folk-inflected higher key Italian head music of the era, glancing particularly off of tendencies established or later elaborated on by Alan Sorrenti, Franco Battiato, Lucio Battisti and Mauro Pelosi, with flute-y folkloric passages melting into string drones that in turn morph into bongo driven acid folk with the phaser set to 10. Ravishing and not to be missed.

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A huge thanks to MS fan Vinylust for providing this exceedingly hard to find Nurse With Wound list item, one of the precious few I'd managed to miss hearing so far and surely a blank waiting to be filled for many who've had this name bouncing around in their brain for years for the same reason. This short lived woodwinds and strings improv ensemble was led by Phil Wachsmann, a free playing violinist with a vast discography and a one time member of both Derek Bailey's Iskra 1903 and Keith Tippett's Ark. This stuff roams around in the more scritchy-scratchy end of improv exploration than the spontaneous music I usually tend to promote here (the sorta squeek-squeek-squeek-POP direction that Amy Denio once tagged chiropractic improv), but there's no denying that this is still quite nicely accomplished work.

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Legendary fire tongued free sax blasting madman Arthur Doyle has led this wild and wooly ensemble that mates him with Majora label artist Leslie Q. and folks from Temple Of Bon Matin and Coffee for some ten years now, dropping releases along the way on imprints like Ecstatic Yod and Qbico. Issued in an edition of only 60 copies, National Conspiracy finds Doyle and this crew making tape mangled and spaghetti tangled mischief out of recordings of their already wonkily unstable sounding gigs; the manhandled end results landing not far afield from something like Smegma.

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ENSEMBLE HAVADIA-81-82, CD, 2006 (RECORDED: 1981-1982), ITALY

Combining the first LP and follow up EP from this peculiar and rather late in the game Italian folkloric art prog unit, the material from their eponymous debut co-mingles the magisterial prog neoclassicism of St. Just and Opus Avantra, the whimsical bippity-boop of early 70's French psych/proggers Komintern and the delicately askew acoustic configurations of Quebec's Conventum with sound effects and narrative interventions to mostly winning ends, while the work on "Specchi", their aborted second album (finally released as an EP) would take these preoccupations to an even more enjoyable set of conclusions, reformatting the suite like structures into song form bursts that tap a vein of perky eccentricity reminiscent of their fellow travellers on the early 80's Italian scene in La Pattona.

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Flute-y fusion gorgeousness from the lips of maestro Steig, one of the early pioneers of the jazz rock idiom via his work in Jeremy & The Satyrs in the late 60's alongside Eddie Gomez. Steig's approach during this period was perhaps most comparable to early 70's outings by The Chris Hinze Combination like Who Can See The Shadow Of The Sun. The best cuts here are also the longest, with Monium featuring what is perhaps my favorite Steig track ever: a ten minute slice of ethno-psychedelic delirium called Djinn Djinn that'll slowly tighten the psychotropic band around your temples with it's snake-y weave, though Dream Passage's fluidly aerated flow will leave you feeling like you're floating several inches off of the ground as well.

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