Monday, November 5, 2007

Gene Vincent - Pretty Girls Everywhere

This is my favorite obscure track performed by the late great legend of rock & roll, Gene Vincent. This was recorded in 1965 for a BBC radio program, his backing band is The Puppets, who are probably the least famous backing band Gene ever worked with. Sad, because their playing is in top form here, and the drum beat is one of my favorites of all time, the variety of difficult drum rolls really keeps the song moving. Gene is singing particularly skillfully on this cut, hopping from rich baritone to high falsetto seamlessly. Almost all of gene's music is in print, I would love to share his best works with the world, but alas it's all in print. This song however doesn't appear on any major label box sets so I think it should be kosher to share this. The song can be found on Rebel Heart and Blue 'Gene' Bop CDs offered by indie labels, and hopefully in higher fidelity than my version, but I can't promise that. I've heard 3 different sources for this song, and they all sound as if lifted from an acetate demo copy. I heartily recommend Shakin' Up A Storm though because it gives a full album of Gene with the unfairly forgotten backing band The Shouts. Also Blue 'Gene' Bop has many rare live BBC recordings with many fine British backing bands. Please look around for a collection of this legend's greatest hits, you won't be disappointed.
Dowload Song VBR LAME MP3

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Comsat Angels - Chasing Shadows

Sheffield's Comsat Angels were masters of dark, atmospheric alternative music. The drums are almost always very muscular and simple. The guitar work is rich and colorful and very expressive. The keyboard work is modern and mature, on this album there is a lot of beautiful acoustic piano. Finally their vocals/lyrics are sensitive, intelligent and personal. This is their 6th studio album, and the first to show a good compromise between their artful side and the alternative pop market. The album was produced by Comsat Angels and Robert Palmer who sings backing vocals on You'll Never Know. It has been out of print for too long. Mine comes from a British pressing and is mastered to 20bit Sony Pro CD from a Stanton Pro turntable/cartrifdge, then transferred to VBR LAME mp3. There already is a nice version on the blogspot page, The Subversive Sounds, but I found almost all of the songs to have minor vinyl skipping (at least on my download of it). So I decided to offer mine, with a pinch more crackle at times, but no skipping that I could detect. I really hope this album comes out on CD someday, until then... enjoy!
UPDATE I have a CD of this great album, so I am now sharing it from CD at 320 kbps with a bonus track of Cutting Edge Stretched

Download Link

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hairspray (1988) OST Revisited

I am fan of the old original John Water's 1988 film, Hairspray but haven't cared for any of the remakes/spinoffs. They do however, reinforce my liking for the original. What I particularly liked about the film was the eclectic soundtrack. The album that was released featured only 12 of the 29 Songs featured in the film. So I have searched exhaustively for the other songs and give you a collection of 26 songs from the original film. Chubby Checker was featured repeatedly on the soundtrack, which is nice because many of us only knew The Twist and Limbo Rock. The other tracks by Chubby Checker were also minor hits in their time and deserve to be remembered. I strongly recommend you purchase a best of Chubby Checker from the Cameo Parkway years. Some of the other artists appearing here are Gene Chandler, Gene Pitney, Barbara Lynn and Leslie Gore. These songs came from a variety of sources, about 15% came straight from CD, the rest from P2P sources. If anyone knows how to get the missing 3 songs please let me know. They are:
The Bracelettes - Waddle Waddle
The Two Du-Tones - The Bird
The Dovells - Do The New Continental

Download Album

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This Is 20kbps!

I mentioned the swiss label 20kbps rec. in my post regarding the Colorsmoke EP. Now I felt it was time to show some of my favorite tracks from that dynamic, underground label. I have made a mega mix consisting of some of my very favorite works that are available for free on this label. Some of the tracks here are at a lower bitrate than the original, so some songs will sound better downloaded directly from the label. There is just something very other worldly about these delicious lo-bit pieces. The label has a wide variety of artists from all over the world. It is the most independent and diverse label I have ever stumbled on to, and constantly surprises me. The cover art shown here is available at Plan 59 for viewing or purchase, it just seemed to go well with the strange mega mix I created.

01 - Olga & Fritz - Track 1 (Mio Star EP)
02 - Agent Orange - Micrology
03 - Copyright Killer - In Misery We End
04 - Deemage - Coriander
05 - Is....Dead - Chemical Scent Imprint
06 - Agent FF6600 - Heizung An
07 - Old Oldman - Noss
08 - Pimuri - Kitchenbeat
09 - JKP - Vivaldi's La Primavera Excerpt
10 - Vivcaro - Erna
11 - Maiden China - How To Be Reflected In A Puddle Full Of Dirt
12 - eVADE - Summer
13 - No Artist - I Retrieve Cereal From High Voltage Systems
14 - Idle Flight - Alaska Beckoned
15 - Death On Glamour - Refresh Yo Mind
16 - Deemage - It Will Never happen
17 - Agent FF6600 - Ninja
18 - Synthetic - Brown Smoke
19 - Mr Dee - Shot #10
20 - Overthruster - Lamers
21 - Vivcaro - Majong's Garden
22 - Pharmacon - Bach's Fugue 02
23 - Agent FF6600 - Cotton Walk On Sparks
24 - Maiden China - That's The End, Thank You

Link to 20kbps MegaMix
Link to Separate Tracks

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Magnetophone-Lost In Edit

4AD is an extremely diverse and rich label that doesn't have many electronica artists affiliated with them. But the ones they do have are sensational: Gus Gus vs. T-world, Minotaur Shock and Magnetophone to name a few of the few. Magnetophone's 2006 release, "The Man Who Ate The Man" is a vibrant, eclectic album full of surprises and rewards. JM Lapham (of The Earlies) came across the music and was so impressed that he offered to make a remix collage of the entire album. 4AD is kind enough to offer a link to downoad this collage called "Lost In Edit" for free. The link is getting increasingly hard to find on their website, so I am offering a link to their link. More information can be found on Magnetophone at the 4AD site, they are a diverse and extremely worthwhile group. I strongly recommend buying Their albums.

LINK to Lost In Edit

Magnetophone's MySpace Page

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Great Lost Kinks Album (and Bonus Track)

Those doggone Kinks, before discovering them, I didn't use to care about having every song by an artist. The Kinks are one of those rare bands that make such consistently great music. I find myself needing to own their entire recorded output. The Great Lost Kinks Album is an album I have owned since childhood, and have found it very hard to acquire all of these songs on CD. I own about 50 separate Kinks CDs, yet some of these songs are still proving to be quite elusive to find. There is another blog called Blues Town, that offers a link to the pure vinyl version exactly as it sounded in 1973. I recommend this link to the vinyl purists out there. For those like myself who want to hear how it might sound if Warner or Castle would ever issue it on CD, I am offering a link to a remastered edition. Only 3 songs on this version are taken from vinyl copies, the rest come from various Castle & Rhino CDs of expanded Kinks albums. A few songs are now in true stereo for the first time with this album. A portion of these tracks were intended to be released on an album to be named "Four More Respected Gentlemen" which was never released. Many of the other tracks were probably intended to be on "The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society", which Ray Davies Supposedly originally intended to make into a double LP. Many of these songs only appeared officially as b-sides to import singles. As an album it is not exceptionally strong, and differs greatly from the harder rock that The Kinks were usually known for. It does serve as a nice companion piece to The Kink Kronikles collection. Ray Davies was outraged at Warner/Reprise issuing this LP without his consent, and that is probably why it is such a rare album to this day. But for those of us that appreciate even The Kinks weaker songs, this is a must have LP. "Animals In The Zoo" has been offered as a bonus track, to hopefully make the LP stronger as a whole. It is from the same soundtrack as "The Way Love Used To Be", so it fits in conceptually as well. the album art shown here has been retouched by me so that the album title will be visible at jewel case size. To Ray or Dave and license holder, if you disapprove of this link, I will remove it immediately.

1 Till Death Do Us Part
2. There Is No Life Without Love
3. Lavender Hill
4. Groovy Movies
5. Rosemary Rose
6. Misty Water
7. Mister Songbird
8. When I Turn off the Living Room Light
9. The Way Love Used to Be
10. I'm Not Like Everybody Else
11. Plastic Man
12. This Man He Weeps Tonight
13. Pictures in the Sand
14. Where Did My Spring Go?
15. Animals In The Zoo (Bonus Track)

The Great Lost Kinks Album (LAME VBR mp3s)

Captain Groovy & His Bubblegum Army (1969)

There are a few folks around here offering either the a-side of this 45 or the b-side. As far as I can tell, no one is offering the complete 45, so here's a link for it. This was put together by some of the same folks who created Crazy Elephant. It is a Kasenetz-Katz production with the help of Ritchie Cordell and the same session players who graced much of the Crazy Elephant LP. Side a is Captain Groovy And His Bubblegum Army, which was intended to be the theme song for an animated TV series which never happened. Side b is Dark Part Of My Mind (Part 1), part 2 of which was released on a Crazy Elephant single. Dark Part is in my opinion the most psychedelic music produced by The Super K folks, and it really is groovy.

Captain Groovy 45

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Kontakte (Electronics Only)

A Closet Of Curiosities has posted a link to an exceptional collection of actual Stockhausen recordings. The sound is superb and the selections are exquisite. The only problem is that Kontakte is broken down into several seamless tracks, which lost their seamlessness in the mp3 transfer. So I'm offering a link to a re-patched, seamless version in one track. The tracks were painstakingly re-joined on Acid Pro 5. This is the version of Kontakte that features Stockhausen's Electronic sound with no orchestral accompaniment. I recommend highly that you check out their link to the complete album, and of course, buy it if you can, it was issued on Verlag. The front cover art here is by me - Steve Engler.

Download Link

Monday, July 30, 2007

Simpsonized self portrait

This is what I look like in The Simpson's universe. Done at the Simpson's Movie website.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Inserts - Out Of The Box (1983)

When I was a young teen, I went into Denver's Wax Trax record shop (Owned by the same people who founded the Wax Trax label, I believe). They had started a new section simply called Electronic. I looked through this section and saw this very cool looking record cover (Done by Cal Shenkel), so I just had to get it for myself. I'm sure glad I did because this extreme rarity is a real gem. This quartet put out 4 live improvisations that resemble the 80's King Crimson, Frank Zappa and Robert Fripp's albums with Andy Summers.
The quartet consists of: Richard Isgrigg (Guitar, Guitar-Synthesizer & Rhodes Piano), Tom Cranor (Guitar & Guitar-Synthesizer), Mark Murrell (Bass) and Sam Simon (Drums). This was released by a small label called Nozzle Records in 1983 on Vinyl, Cassette and PCM Digital Cassette formats. I have not found out any information on this group except what is printed on the back sleeve. The artwork was exceptional both front and back, and the art was available for a limited time as a poster from Cal Shenkel. The sound quality is less than perfect as the vinyl album has been played frequently over the last 24 years. It was transferred to a Sony pro CD recorder, then encoded to VBR LAME mp3s.

1. Out Of The Box
2. Fog Bank
3. Space Mambo
4. The Bending World

UPDATE-I was recently contacted by Richard Isgrigg, lead guitarist of Inserts, and they are still a functioning band, and this album will be made available again in the near future. In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out their web pages at and MySpace. I borrowed a copy of the album art from their bandmix page.

Link to Inserts-Out Of The Box

Synthetic-Colorsmoke EP (2007)

This is my first release for the Swiss net label 20kbps rec. It is an attempt to fuse electronica and psychedelic music. The label is one of the most famous lo-bit labels in the world, meaning that the music is encoded at 8-40 kbps. I decided to treat lo-bit almost as an effects pedal, utilizing the low fidelity to my advantage. Songs 1, 3 & 5 are dance numbers that admittedly would probably sound better at higher bit-rates, but songs 2 & 4 are actually better at the low bit-rate of 20kbps. The song titles were somewhat influenced by Davis Redford Triad's Blue Cloud, as well as Miles Davis's Aura album. Purple Smoke is influenced by Neu and Weasels era Zappa, Yellow and Brown Smoke are inspired by Eraserhead, Psychedelic music and Skinny Puppy. Red and Green Smoke features an old Casio VL-1 synth/calculator playing a random melody in the background. To give listeners a choice, I gave 2 versions of Song 5 to choose from, one is in stereo, the other is made to simulate being played on an old suitcase style turntable. I also gave a choice of 3 different CD covers to choose from, one of which was designed by Dutch graphic artist Norbert Croonenberg (lower picture shown).

The album is available free at 20 kbps rec. and I highly recommend some of my labelmate's albums like: Old Oldman's The Tender Ass and Deemage's Nothing Happens Everything Changes.

Link to 20kbps rec.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Crazy Elephant LP (1969)

This LP came out at the end of the 60's, and was rare enough that many record collectors used to tell me it didn't exist, I suspect it went out of print very early on. Crazy Elephant had one big hit called "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin", and a very minor hit called, "Sunshine, Red Wine" they released some more singles that didn't do very well. The band is almost always unfairly compared to the Bubblegum music that their producers Kasenetz-Katz were widely known for. Unfair because to this day I still haven't heard a pure Bubblegum style song out of this diverse and talented group. They sounded similar to Vanilla Fudge and The Rascals but to the best of my knowledge they didn't sound Bubblegum. The LP is sometimes referred to as a collection of singles, but it stands up nicely as an album in it's own right. The strongest element running throughout the album is strong keyboard work. Much of this album was put together by Ritchie Cordell, who worked on many Super K projects. Three performers of note on this album are Robert Spencer (vocals) who had previously performed with The Cadillacs (post "Speedo"), Kenny Cohen (Flute, Sax, Vocals) who went on to perform with The Eagles, Santana, Rod Stewart and BB King, and Bob Avery (Drums) who also played with The Music Explosion ("A Little Bit Of Soul"). Larry Laufer (Keyboards, Vocals) is designated as the leader of the group on this LP. Hal King (vocals) and Ronnie Bretone (Bass) are the other performers credited on this LP. Larry Laufer was asked to put together a touring version of the group, The Music Explosion and eventually that group evolved into the Crazy Elephant band credited on this LP. Production is by Jeff Katz and Jerry Kasenetz which apparently is the main reason this group is considered by many to be Bubblegum. Very ironic considering that at least one song would sound totally in place on the original "Nuggets" box set. For some reason Buddha records declined to represent Crazy Elephant, and they instead ended up on Bell Records. Crazy Elephant was once cited as an influence on Talking Heads, I'm assuming because of the jangly rhythm guitar work and youthful lyrics. There are also a few singles here which I believe were released around the same time as the LP. The single, "There Ain't No Umbopo" was written, performed and produced by the guys who would eventually become Hotlegs and then 10cc, the song reminds me of Side 2 of Small Faces "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake" album. During this era they put out several singles for Kasenetz-Katz as well as some British bubblegum producers. I believe that Laufer, King and Bretone went on to perform on more of Kasenetz-Katz bubblegum classics. I would bet that at least one of them ended up on Captain Groovy & His Bubblegum Army, since they also issued a single called "Dark Part Of My Mind".

1. Respect
2. Pam
3. Come To The Farm
4. Somewhere
5. My Baby (Honey Pie)
6. Sunshine, Red Wine
7. Heartless (Hertie Gertie)
8. Love Strike
9. Try This When You're Ready
10. Higher & Higher
11. Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' (Stereo LP Version)
12. Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' (Mono Single Version)
13. Dark Part Of My Mind (B-Side)
14. Gimme Some More (A-Side)
15. There's A better Day A Comin' (A-Side)
16. Space Buggy (B-Side)
17. There Ain't No Umbopo (A-Side)
18. Landrover (B-Side)
19. Splif Dna Spih (B-Side)

Download Link for CRAZY ELEPHANT LP