MIND DE-CODER 3

Written by on January 25, 2009

MIND DE-CODER 3

(BROADCAST 26-01-09)

 

SMOKE      MY FRIEND JACK

An alternate mix of their 1967 cult hit that can be found on the 2006 CD re-issue of their only album, It’s Smoke Time. This song spelled commercial suicide for the band, getting them banned by the BBC for it’s suggestive lyrics, but it remains a definitive slice of acid inspired psych-pop that sets the tone for the rest of tonight’s show.

 

SYD BARRETT      IT"S NO GOOD TRYING

What can you say about Syd Barrett that hasn’t been said? I like this particular track because it owes more to the playful Syd revealed on The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, than the fragile acid casualty he’d become by the time he recorded The Madcap Laughs in 1970. That being said, this is still an acid soaked trip through the man’s brittle psyche, the giddy, woozy production can be quite disorientating – exactly the way I like my tunes, in fact.

 

THE DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR     WHAT IN THE WORLD??…

 This is XTC satisfying their Beatles/Pink Floyd trip, taken from the brilliantly psychedelic album 25 O’clock, a six track mini-album released in 1987. This is one of my favourite albums of all time, containing every psychedelic reference point available, but put together with such heartfelt joy and enthusiasm, that the listener is simply swept along by their love of mellotrons, phasing, backwards guitars, echoey piano, primitive feedback, keening harmonies and stereo panning, but most of all – good tunes! I never tire of listening to this album. It’s a rip-off, but a brilliant one, produced by the great John Leckie, who was obviously enjoying himself as much as the band. This album, along with the follow-up, Psonic Psunspot, can be found on the Duke’s anthology Chips From The Chocolate Fireball.

 

 

FAUST     J’AI MAL AUX DENTS

The first of four tracks taken from the legendary The Faust Tapes, released in 1973 for just 49 pence by the nascent Virgin records. The next three tracks are Untitled, Untitled and Dr. Scwitters, but that is largely beside the point, as the album is mostly made up of sound collages and cut and paste edits that weren’t meant to be named. In fact, the original album had no track listing, and it wasn’t until the Faust box-set was released a few years ago, that I discovered Faust weren’t singing "Chet-va Buddah" but J’ai Mal Aux Dents, which I think is French for My Teeth Hurt. This is one of my favourite trip albums of all time, an album that opened me up to a world of possibilities – the first time I heard it, it scared the life out of me and blew me away at the same time. Hidden amongst the experimental tracks are a handful of truly wonderful pop and rock songs that will take you to other far away places – the perfect Mind De-coder album.

 

THE BYRDS     CHANGE IS NOW

Hidden away as an extra track on the Columbia CD re-issue of The Byrd’s groundbreaking 1968 album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, sits the lavishly titled Universal Mind Decoder, a three and half minute Roger McGuinn guitar wig-out that eventually became Change Is Now. The first time I heard Change Is Now, under heightened circumstances, it must be said, I realised that I’d just found my favourite pop song ever, and that the album itself is the perfect pop-art record, recorded by a band that were barely talking to each other. I love the song, Change Is Now , so much, what with that initial guitar wig-out now pared down to 45 seconds, the optimism of the lyrics, and that crazy slide guitar that comes out of nowhere, that when I was searching around for a title for this show that demo version sprung to mind, and thus Mind De-Coder was born. The Byrds were never the same after this album, and nor was I.

 

CORNELIUS     CHAPTER 8 – SEASHORE AND HORIZON

Blissful psychedelic pop from Japan’s Keigo Oyamada, a seemless blend of Pet Sound vibes and magical mystery-pop burnout. And that’s just this particular track – the rest of the album, Fantasma, released back in 1998, is insane.

 

ESPERS     DEAD QUEEN

This is one of the most exquistly beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Words fail me whenever I hear this particular song so I’ll just say that it sounds like a medieveal castle revealing itself through the early morning mist, and can found on the album Espers 2, released in 2006. This was, in fact, the band’s third album, a continues their love of spooky, acoustic folk peppered with flute, cello and even weirder sounds held together with vocalist Meg Baird’s voice, which is baroque and amazing

 

. I love this song – it always leaves me feeling spellbound for absolute moments whenever I hear it.

 

FLYING WHITE DOTS     2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM THE SKY

In which the mash-up artist otherwise known as Bryan from Brighton, England, takes The Rolling Stones’ 2000 Light Years From Home and sends it even further off into space. This can be found on the free-to-download album Staring At The Sky which you can get your hands on from www.flyingwhitedots.com

 

SPACE MACHINE     GARDEN OF SOMNOLENCE

Space Machine is the analogue electronic cosmic sound project put together by producer Kawabata Motoko. This track can be found on the Acid Mothers Temple Family triple-disc CD Do Whatever You Want, Don’t Do Whatever You Don’t Want, released in 2002, a sprawling epic that takes the listener on trip of cosmic proportions, and also segues very nicely into..

 

POPOL VUH     IN DEN GARTEN PHAROAS

As Julian Cope says in Krautrock sampler, In Den Garten Pharoas is the natural harmony of ancient everyday life. Fast drumming in an underground cave, the sculling of oars and a waterfall where woman are crouched at their daily washing. The artificial Star Trek voice of a woman , a priestess calling the faithful to prayer. The sound of water rushing by a community of endless ancient souls – In Den Garten Pharoas, released in 1972, is an album of divine healing music – a wondrous elegiac Adam and Eve trip.

 

PRIMAL SCREAM     LITTLE DEATH

Primal Scream’s Riot City Blues wasn’t to everyone’s taste. In their bid to be tiresomely authentic they lost their psychedelic otherness that had always attracted me to them. this is the one track from that album that suggested the way home.

 

LAVENDER DIAMOND     RISE IN THE SPRINGTIME

From their self-released EP Cavalry Of Love (2006) this is a song of hymn-like hope in the turning to face the dawn of yourself and the gathering up of your pieces found lying scattered around following a beautiful trip of self-exploration and discovery in the sure knowledge that no heart needs remain broken and that all are one beneath the morning sun. Or something. Vocalist Becky Stark’s voice is simple and devout, and reassures that all is well and that we are safe, and that in accepting this we give thanks for our place in the universe. It’s also nice to hum on the way to work.

 

Ravi Shankar sees on our way with a few well-chosen observations that, no doubt, everyone was too stoned to listen to. Ah, well…


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