Jon And Vangelis – Private Collection (1983)

frontcover1Private Collection is the third album released by Jon and Vangelis, released in 1983 on Polydor Records. “He is Sailing” was released as a single shortly before the album. The song “Polonaise” was written under the influence of events that took place in Poland a little earlier (martial law). The song is dedicated to Poles.(by wikipedia)

Jon & Vangelis’ first two albums really seemed to be building up to this point. With Private Collection, the two artists (Jon Anderson of Yes fame and Vangelis) have created what feels just a bit like a classical work. Truly the nearly 23-minute “Horizon” really feels a lot like a modern symphony. It is definitely the culmination of their work together, their most ambitious effort. The shorter cuts on the album all have their moments and surely hold up to anything from the previous releases, but “Horizon” stands far above them all. It combines the best elements of Anderson’s work in Yes with the electronically classically tinged stylings of Vangelis to produce a work that is near masterpiece in its quality. It is a life-affirming, positive piece. Among the other highlights of the disc are “Deborah” and “He Is Sailing.” If you only buy one Jon & Vangelis album, choose the best-of collection. However, if you opt for a second disc, this is the one. (by Gary Hill)


Jon Anderson (vocals)
Vangelis (keyboards, ynthesiser)
Dick Morrissey (saxophone on 02.)


01. Italian Song 2.53
02. And When The Night Comes 4.35
03. Deborah 4.54
04. Polonaise 5.24
05. He Is Sailing 6.49
06. Horizon 22.53

Music composed by Vangelis
Lyrics written by Jon Anderson


Dick Hyman – Moog – The Electric Eclectics Of Dick Hyman (1969)

frontcover1In the late ’60s, pianist Dick Hyman, famous for “Moritat, Theme from Threepenny Opera,” aexperimented with various keyboard instruments, including Baldwin and Lowrey organs. This release was his first with what was then a completely newfangled machine, the Moog synthesizer. Hyman took the Moog by the horns and milked it for all it was worth on nine originals, including the monster hit single “The Minotaur” (which inspired Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “Lucky Man”).

The first few tracks are in a pop-song mold, but they are pop songs composed as only a jazz musician with two decades of experience under his belt could. Hyman then hits the listener with a few spacier, improvised numbers that come off as very accessible avant-garde music. Following the “The Minotaur” are two improvised pieces. Moog: The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman ends with “Evening Thoughts,” an impressionistic track reminiscent of “Ebb Tide” by Earl Grant, on which the sounds of the seashore are conjured up on various keyboard instruments. Hyman writes about his intentions for each track in the liner notes.

Aside from some other Moog tracks sprinkled throughout DCC Compact Classics’ Music for a Bachelor’s Den series, it’s surprising that it’s taken this long in the lounge reissue bonanza for the Moog to finally appear (not counting The Moog Cookbook, a fab spinning of modern rock nuggets into string cheese.) Moog features three bonus tracks from Hyman’s next album Age of Electronicus; his recasting of James Brown’s “Give It Up or Turn It Loose” is well worth the price of admission.

Though this album could easily be tossed into the novelty or “period piece” category, it was not originally intended as that. Hyman recorded a showcase what this new instrument could do, and in the process made an enjoyable album. (by Jim Powers)


Dick Hyman (synthesizer)


01. The Topless Dancers Of Corfu 3.01
02. The Legend Of Johnny Pot 2.04
03. The Moog And Me 3.00
04. Tap Dance In The Memory Banks 2.30
05. Four Duets In Odd Meter 4.28
08. The Minotaur 8.26
09. Total Bells And Tony 2.01
10. Improvisation In Fourths 2.24
11. Evening Thoughts 3.20

Composed by Dick Hyman




Review in “Variety”, 1969


White Rainbow (Adam Forkner) – New Clouds (2009)

frontcover1White Rainbow (née Adam Forkner) recently tore through the autumn skies to drop this bomb, blowing away expectations, surpassing anything I could have anticipated after the already-excellent 2007 LP Prism of Eternal Now.  Expanding on the warm, nebulous nature of his live jam constructions, New Clouds is an impossibly appropriate title for one of this year’s best records.

Transcendent, overwhelming, hypnotic bliss.  Building layer upon layer of drones, stretched and echoed vocals, muted tribal percussion, and gorgeous synth swells, each track is a towering confection allowed room to naturally develop and breathe.  The four tracks comprise an hourlong running time, every moment feeling palpably open and inviting.  This album inspires and propels further listening, rather than demanding it.  Songs begin focused on a singular element, be it delayed acoustic guitar strums or rubbery hand drumming, and evolve with such grace and intuitive logic that final assembly is nearly imperceptible.  This music simply happens, while the conscious mind is busy absorbing the amorphous beauty like a pillow swallowing a blissful dreamer.  Informed by a wide range of greats, from Terry Riley to Can at their most euphoric, Forkner has finally broken through to a plane where his art exists on its own terms, immaterial of time or place.  This album raises hypnagogic exploration to new heights. (by David James)

Kranky pysch-rocker Adam Forkner indulges his spontaneous side on a heady record that’s laid out like a modern classical or classic jazz work.

Adam Forkner, the Portland-based jack-of-all-trades who’s played in more bands than I could reasonably list here, has seen an increased profile recently through his adam-forkner01collaborations with labelmates and fellow psych-rockers Valet and Atlas Sound but, as a solo artist, has remained staunchly committed to free-form improvisation. If you’ve seen him perform live as White Rainbow, then you know this to be true: A typical set features Forkner alone, kneeling on stage amidst of a mess of instrumentation– guitars, pedals, synths– that he uses to build ambient washes and vocal-looped drones on the spot. Listening to previous records like 2007’s Prism of Eternal Now and taking into consideration his background in jazz, one assumes he works much the same way in the studio– letting the music develop organically.

Rather than turning toward more pop-oriented structures with his latest release, New Clouds, Forkner has indulged this spontaneous approach even further, resulting in a heady record that, while at times uneven, features some of his most compelling music yet. The album is presented like a long-form jazz or modern-classical piece, with four extended tracks (roughly 16 minutes each) that comprise one continuous movement. (Sounds arduous, I know, but it’s ultimately more blissout than high-concept challenging.) It’s the sort of thing that’s best absorbed as a whole– there’s a general sense of moving forward through shifts in mood and momentum– and, despite its very unplanned, impressionistic feel, mostly manages not to veer too far off course or, worse, into New Age-y background-music territory.

The record’s best songs (heck, “jams” might even be more accurate) are its first and last, which bookend the album with an energy that’s less present during its middle section. Opener “Tuesday Rollers and Strollers” takes form over whirring electrical noises and looped, tribal-like chants before introducing skittering synths and a heavy drumbeat as it progresses. It’s a fuller and more dynamic sound than Forkner was able to achieve on Prism of Eternal Now’s shorter cuts (the longer track lengths here seem justified in that sense) and conjures ELO prog as much as it does the Field’s vocal-spliced propulsion. “Monday Boogies Forward Forever”, the finale, is sort of a blossoming drone that worms reverberant guitar notes through clattering background percussion and opens into a seductive coda.

The tracks sandwiched between these two, “Major Spillage” and “All the Boogies in the World”, are considerably slower-paced. They shift the momentum downward, drawing more on ambient textures and delicate features like hand-drum pitter-patter and acoustic guitar strumming. It’s this stretch that might test the patience of those without an appetite for loose free-jamming, and you could reasonably call it a lull, but on some level it works as a calming period after the disorientating opener and sets the stage to close the record with a bang. If you’re able to view it through that lens, then New Clouds has much to offer as an unscripted, decidedly un-pop kind of album: mood music and drug music, yes, but more than that, the uncompromising work of a dude making sounds strictly on his own terms. (by Joe Colly)


Adam Forkner (all instruments, vocals)


01. Tuesday Rollers And Strollers 18.06
02. Major Spillage 12.49
03. All The Boogies In The World  20.10
04. Monday Boogies Forward Forever 16.01

Music composed by Adam Forkner




Dusted – When We Were Young (2000)

FrontCover1Dusted is the collaborative idea of ambient mix master and producer Rollo (Dido’s brother) and producer Mark Bates; it is a collaboration that marks the first fully conceptual downtempo/chillout album. When We Were Young is a collection of tracks that map themselves around the territory that is childhood, obviously, but more importantly, around its various emotional states. Like a thinking person’s Delerium — with a whole lot more imagination and ambition in the production area — Dusted uses a caustic groove of nostalgia and memory, and evoke — through slipped beats, an elegiac bass, a silvery guitar, and a swamp-ring of keyboards — the creation of a manifest destiny to use as a backdrop for singers Luke Garwood and Rachael Brown, who take the listener deeper into a world where the light almost never shines (one casual listen to “Hurt U” is enough to send you back to where you came from). The world revealed on When We Were Young is one of hurt, disappointment, betrayal, and a longing that seems to get larger with every drum loop. From the first single, “Always Remember to Respect Your Mother, Part 1,” co-written by Dido, as was “Winter,” through to “The Oscar Song, and “If I Had a Child,” the atmosphere is one of innocence lost, and innocence longed for, even with its tragic memories. Musically, we’re talking everything: from a digital-era-Pink Floyd to Björk to Ultramarine and Peter Gabriel.


And while the very thought of an ambient chillout concept-album about the downside of childhood reeks of pretension, the careful and subtle manner in which these tunes are presented makes it instead not only thought-provoking, but seductive to listen to. For all of its ethereal excess, there is enough solid construction and careful consideration given to nuances to make it more than viable. When We Were Young is certainly worth the time and effort it takes to procure a copy. The reason? Simple: while it may echo many different things already out there; it sounds like nothing but itself — and that’s an accomplishment. ( by Thom Jurek)

Rollo Armstrong

Rollo Armstrong

Rollo Armstrong (programming)
Mark Bates (keyboards, programming)
Rachael Brown (vocals)
Luke Garwood (vocals)
Martin McCory (guitar)
Matt Benbrook (programming on 09.)
Dave Dulake (piano on 13.)
Michael Harbour (vocals on 09.)
Mal Hyde-Smith (percussion 03. + 12.)
Ibi (programming on 06.)
Tim Vogt (bass on 03., 07. + 12.)
Alan Young (vocals on 06.)


01. Childhood (Bates/Armstrong) 5.31
02. Time Takes Time (Bates/Armstrong) 5.41
03. Want U (Bates/Armstrong) 6.50
04. Hurt U (Bates/Armstrong) 1.45
05. If You Go Down To The Woods (Bates/Armstrong) 3.17
06. Always Remember To Respect Your Mother Pt. 1 (Dido) 3.49
07. The Biggest Fool In The World (Dido/Gallagher/Stannard) 6.47
08. Oh, How Sweet (Bates/Armstrong) 5.02
09. Always Remember To Respect Your Mother Pt. 2 (Benbrook) 4.01
10. Winter (Dido) 4.33
11. The Oscar Song (Bentovim/Garwood) 2.11
12. Under The Sun (Brown) 5.36
13. If I Had A Child (Garwood) 3.31





Beaver & Krause – Gandharva (1971)

FrontCover1In electronic music circles — and among “heads” in general — the names of Beaver & Krause have attained an almost mystical status that their small back catalog frankly struggles to live up to. Sure, they were matchmakers when commercial rock and electronic music were circling each other warily — it was Bernie Krause, in particular, who introduced the Moog synthesizer to the likes of George Harrison and Micky Dolenz (though he neglected to show them how to put it to good use). Yet much of their recorded work sounds remarkably timid when compared to that of other electronic pioneers of the period. Ironically, the most powerful music they committed to record involved hardly any electronic input whatsoever. The suite that filled the second side of Gandharva was recorded in San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral — chosen for its extended decay time and as a space that would make the most of new quadrophonic recording techniques — and involved jazz legend Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax and Bud Shank on alto sax and flute. Also present were Gail Laughton, playing two harps simultaneously, Howard Roberts on guitar, and Krause on Moog — though he can only be heard adding the very occasional rumble. But what made the music unlike any previously recorded was Paul Beaver’s serene performance on the cathedral’s pipe organ.


The combination of sax and church organ has been attempted many times since (by Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek to name but two), but never have the results come close to matching these. “Short Film for David,” “Good Places,” and Mulligan’s own “By Your Grace” are works of extraordinary stillness and beauty, with both Shank and Mulligan soaring effortlessly. Speaking recently, Krause described Gandharva as “an attempt to express our collective spirituality musically” that would “bring music from a point of noise to a place very much quieter and more contemplative.” Unfortunately, it’s the “point of noise” — to wit, much of what was side one of the vinyl edition — that lets down the album badly. “Saga of the Blue Beaver” is a standard-issue blues-rock jam, while “Walkin’ by the River” is an equally humdrum gospel workout.


What these tracks are doing on an album like Gandharva is anyone’s guess. The only traces of B&K’s pioneering spirit to be found on side one are the electronic manipulation of Patrice Holloway’s powerful a cappella performance on “Walkin'” and the brief synth-generated breathing effect of “Soft/White,” originally written for the film Performance. Small fry indeed. Nevertheless, all is forgiven in the light of what follows. (by Christopher Evans)

In other words: A timeless masterpiece !


The original labels from 1971

Paul Beaver (keyboards, synthesizer)
Bernard L. Krause (synthesizer, vocals)
Mike Blomfield (guitar)
Ray Brown (bass)
Evangeline Carmichael (vocals)
Lee Charlton (drums)
Rod Ellicott (bass)
Rik Elswit (guitar)
Vanetta Fields (vocals)
Ron Lee Hicklin (vocals)
Patrice Holloway (vocals)
LaMont Johnson (piano)
Bill King (vocals)
Clydie King (vocals)
Mike Lang (piano)
Gail Laughton (harp)
George Marsh (drums)
Ronnie Montrose (guitar)
Lewis Morford (vocals)
Gerry Mulligan (saxophone)
Howard Roberts (guitar)
Bud Shank (saxophone, flute)
Edna Wright (vocals)


01. Soft / White (Beaver/Krause) 0.52
02. Saga Of The Blue Beaver  (Beaver/Krause) 4.19
03. Nine Moons In Alaska (Beaver/Krause) 3.04
04. Walkin’ (Beaver/Krause) 2.42
05. Walkin’ By The River (Beaver/Krause) 2.39
06. Gandharva (Beaver/Krause) 1.12
07. By Your Grace (Mulligan) 5.13
08. Good Places (Beaver/Krause) 3.37
09. Short Film For David (Beaver/Krause) 5.23
10. Bright Shadows (Beaver/Krause) 4.53



Turntablerocker – Classic (2001)

FrontCover1Classic marks the first venture into collaborative territory for two German DJ/producers who are undoubtedly veterans of the club scene in Stuttgart. Michi Beck’s ( aka Hausemarke) individual projects largely owe their sound and influence to the East Coast hip-hop sound, R&B and soul. It’s no surprise then he was involved in inception of the first German-language hip-hop outfit, Die Fantastischen Vier, back in the late ’80s. DJ Thomilla’s history is not that much different, with his ventures into the club circuit of Stuttgart, filling the dance floors with funky as well as hip-hop beats. With Classic, Hausemarke and Thomilla put on record what they discovered originally in the live context, which is perhaps why the tracks pack a powerful punch without ever being audaciously aggressive just for the sake of it. Discovering their affinity at Stuttgart’s club Red Dog, the duo have taken their love for danceable hip-hop, soul and R&B-inflected songs into the studio.

Turntablerocker01Several separate projects and releases later, it is as if the overall effect of Classic is a culmination of tried and tested mixing. So you have utterly danceable and two-step worthy tracks like “No Melody” and sample-laden, tongue-in-cheek moments strewn in for good measure. It is also a chance for Turntablerocker to pay tribute to old school funk through tracks like “A Little Funk” while throwing in some really back to basics synth riffs in “Boom” and honouring the ’80s with the infectious “Yo Baby.” Overall, a seductive party album that is not cannon fodder for the charts. (by Vinita Ramani)

This is really not my kind of music … but this blog shoul present all kinds of music … so I hope someone will like this music from the DJ scene in Germany.

Michael DJ Beck (mastermind)
Thomas Burchia (mastermind)
Peter Hoff (keyboards)
Rolf Kersting (bass)
Uwe Metzler (guitar)
Roland Peil (percussion)
Lillo Scrimali (keyboards)
Andreas Kaefer – Dan Abitbol-Tov-El – Olga Lozovaia – Veronique Abitbol-Tov-El
Vocals [Sampled]:
Afrob – Sekou Neblett – Anastasia Toufa  – Hanson JJ Barcley – Komi Togbonou – Scorpio
Oezlem Cetin (vocals on 08.)
Greg Nice (vocals on 17.)
Daddy Rings (vocals on 03.)

01. Play It (Mc Guire/Miller/DJ Beck/Burchia) 1.45
02. Stars (DJ Beck/Burchia) 5.21
03. Poppin Up (Jobim/DJ Beck/Burchia/De Moraes/Dwyer) 4.13
04. No Melody (Preston/Fisher/DJ Beck/Burchia) 4.10
05. Sair Highs (DJ Beck/Burchia) 0.38
06. A Little Funk (Johnson/DJ Beck/Burchia/Dofat) 3.50
07. Loveaffairs (DJ Beck/Burchia) 4.25
08. Shut My Mouth (DJ Beck/Burchia/Cetin) 4.47
09. My Love (v.Peebles/DJ Beck/Burchia) 4.46
10. Boom (DJ Beck/Burchia) 2.31
11. Cause U Like 2 Party (DJ Beck/B.Muldrow/R.Muldrow/Burchia) 5.10
12. Bazooka (DJ Beck/Burchia) 3.56
13. Yo Baby (DJ Beck/M.Perison/R.Persion/Burchia) 3.53
14. No Competition (DJ Beck/Burchia) 4.56
15. Where U At?! (DJ Beck/Burchia) 1.56
16. Gimme Some Sound (DJ Beck/Burchia) 3.30
17. Two G’s (DJ Beck/Burchia/Nice) 3:08



Tomita – Snowflakes Are Dancing (1974)

FrontCover1Snowflakes Are Dancing is the second studio album by Japanese musician Isao Tomita, recorded in 1974 and first released as a Quadradisc in April of that year. The album consists entirely of Tomita’s arrangements of Claude Debussy’s “tone paintings”, performed by Tomita on a Moog synthesizer. It entered the top 50 charts in the United States, where it was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 1975, including best classical album of the year, and it was NARM’s best-selling classical album of the year.

The use of the term tone paintings here describes the nature of a large portion of Debussy’s work which was concerned with mood and colour, eschewing traditional tonality in favour of constructions such as the full-tonal scale, parallel chords, bitonality, and to a certain extent atonality, in order to achieve a greater degree of musical expression not allowed by strict adherence to a single key. Thus, the term tone painting is quite appropriate, in that Debussy’s compositions often experimented with a much broader palette of tones, allowing each to behave similar to a colour within an illustration.

TomitaThe album is considered an early example of proto-synthesizer-pop. It sparked a “revolution in synthesizer programming” which it was responsible for taking to new heights. The album’s contributions to electronic music included an ambience resembling a symphony orchestra, the use of reverberation, the use of phasing and flanging to create a spatial audio effect with stereo speakers, electronic surround sound using four speakers, realistic string simulations, portamento whistles, and abstract bell-like sounds created using ring modulation. A particularly significant achievement was its polyphonic sound, which was created without the use of any polyphonic synthesizers (which were not yet commercially released). Tomita created the album’s polyphonic sounds by recording selections one part at a time, taking 14 months to produce the album. The modular human whistle sounds used would also be copied in the presets of later electronic instruments.

The track “Arabesque No. 1” was used from 1976 to 2011 as the theme music for the PBS astronomy-based program Jack Horkheimer: Star Hustler, its use as the theme was discontinued when the show was revamped as Star Gazers. In Japan during the late 70s, parts of the track “Reverie” were used for the opening and closing of Fuji TV’s transmissions.


Extraordinary, superb, inexpugnable kind of masterpiece. Open your mind doors to the Future. This is specially recommended for those truly open minded, willing to achieve new experiences in Music. It gives the intense listener the certitude that the limit goes above the Sky. (by Alain Patrick)

AlternateFrontCoversAlternate frontcovers

Isao Tomita (synthesizer)


01, Snowflakes Are Dancing 2.10
02. Reverie 4.44
03. Gardens In The Rain 3.41
04. Clair de lune 5.48
05. Arabesque No. 1 3.57
06. The Engulfed Cathedral 6.18
07. Passepied 3.17
08. The Girl With The Flaxen Hair 3.25
09. Golliwog’s Cakewalk 2.50
10. Footprints In The Snow 4.30

Music composed by Claude Debussy