Sonic reductions of Bat for Lashes, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Soft Moon
Music writer M. Brianna Stallings and I listened to new albums by Bat for Lashes, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Soft Moon and present them for your consideration. Watch music videos from acts featured in this week’s Sonic Reducer installment below.
Psychedelic Jazz-Rock Fusion Video of the Day IX
Can’t … resist … another … krautrock … video. Thanks to the enduring kitsch value of “Autobahn” and the hip-hop appropriation of Trans-Europe Express by the likes of Afrika Bambaata and Grandmaster Flash, just about everyone with ears has heard (or heard of) Kraftwerk. What’s still totally obscured by clouds, however, is Organisation, the pre-K project featuring Kraftwerk founders Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider. The track performed here (at Essener Pop und Blues Festival, 1970, per Wikipedia) is a version of “Ruckzuck,” also on the hard-to-find seminal Kraftwerk LP. Dig those bongos, baby. (Alert mid-80s PBS viewers may recognize this tune as the original theme to the kidvid science show Newton’s Apple.)
Psychedelic Jazz-Rock Fusion Video of the Day VII
Lucky number 7 out of 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 is another one of those nicely-videographed performances from Der Beat-Club, this one featuring shaggy thunder gods, Amon Düül II, showing all these so-called “stoner rock” bands how the fuck it is done. ADII’s krautrock discography includes such monumental slabs as Phallus Dei (yes, that’d be translated “Penis of God”) and (take note, Nick Brown) Yeti, a double LP that Julian Cope calls one of “the top 50 albums of all time, ever” because it so utterly “destroys the credibility of so many of the so-called 'great' progressive bands of this era.” ADII were the “real” musicians who split off from the LSD-taking hippies of Amon Düül I and selflessly devoted themselves to a take-no-prisoners form of heavy, improvised acid rock with eye-shaking results. (Here’s another, higher-quality clip from the same performance, which mean old YouTube won’t let me embed.)
Psychedelic Jazz-Rock Fusion Video of the Day IV
Can is one of the few bands that can accurately be (and frequently are) described as “ahead of their time.” This partially shirtless 1971 performance from Der Beat-Club (a German TV show that was also apparently the source of PJ-RFVotD III) aptly demonstrates this incontrovertible fact.
“Paperhouse” is the first track off the monolithic, influential and tremendously groovy double-slab Tago Mago. Is it fusion? Fuck no. It’s way beyond all that. Who woulda thought a couple of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s students and a skinny Japanese singer would totally reinvent rock? But they did. Check out Michael Karoli’s guitar solo around 4:00. Nobody was playing guitar like that in 1971. Prove me wrong.