MIND DE-CODER 20 (22-07-10)

MIND DE-CODER 20 (22-07-10)


MIND DE-CODER 20

(22-07-10)

“Give us a wink and make me think of you”.

FLYING WHITE DOTS     COLOSSAL INTRO

Isn’t it, though? Taken from his second album album STARING AT THE SKY, released in 2007, an all-star psychedelic mash-up album, available for free download from www.flyingwhitedots.com

PAUL GIOVANNI AND MAGNET     CORN RIGS

I was probably being a bit too clever here, but if you’re not trying to be clever, then why bother? What I did was play two versions of Corn Riggs at the same time; the first from the original version of THE WICKER MAN soundtrack which, because the original master tapes had gone missing, was lifted direct from the film itself, complete with the film’s soundtrack, and a second version of the song taken from the recently re-issued CD of the films sountrack taken from the recently discovered master tapes, found, bizarrely enough, within cult-film maker Roger Corman’s private collection of film prints. I think, actually, the experiment works, although strictly speaking it was more of an interesting accident brought about by my trying to figure out which version I ultimately prefer. Turns out I like them both equally, which is why I jiggered about with them and used them both.

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES     I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM (LAST NIGHT)

A stone-cold psychedelic classic from a band who never claimed to be a psychedelic act; and it’s true that their sound was not so much psychedelic than a sonic outburst of pure psych. The Electric Prunes, a joke name that stuck, grew from an early garage band called The Sanctions – I had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in 1966,  with all its distorted guitars and oscillating reverb, has all the primitive buzz of a garage band, a harder sound that would soon be out of place in the fluffier summer of love that was to follow shortly, which is why this song was pretty much their only hit. It also featured on their debut album, THE ELECTRIC PRUNES: I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM (LAST NIGHT), released in 1967.

RUPERT’S PEOPLE     PROLOGUE TO A MAGIC WORLD

Rupert’s People have a lineage that’s so complicated that at one point it existed as a virtual band, in name only, after the manager fired the whole group but kept the name. Prologue To A Magic World, released in  1967, was one of only three singles the many line-up’s of the band were able to produce, and a shameless cash-in on the then English psychedelic vogue for referencing whimsical Victorian literature – in the case, Alice In Wonderland.  They never released an album in their lifetime, but a collection of their singles, and those of related bands that seem to have consisted of Rupert’s People under different names (don’t ask), is now available as THE MAGIC WORLD OF RUPERT’S PEOPLE, released in 2001.

BROADCAST AND THE FOCUS GROUP     THE BE COLONY

Taken from the album BROADCAST AND THE FOCUS GROUP INVESTIGATE WITCH CULTS OF THE RADIO AGE, released in 2009, an album so trippy, so dislocated, so laced in wonder and intrigue, that it almost makes Mind De-Coder redundant (almost).  Broadcast and The Focus Group have produced an album of gurgling synthesisers, ringing chimes, Radiophonic echoes, deranged melodies, sudden bursts of funky drumming, wandering woodwind, and reel-to-reel experimentation, all wrapped up with Broadcast’s Trish Keenan dead-pan nursery rhyme vocals. Haunting, bewildering and yet strangely familiar, as if half-remembered from a dream. I love it.

ISOBEL CAMBELL     MILK WHITE SHEETS

See, I’m a sucker for a cello; make it sound faintly medieval and I’m sold. Isobel Cambell’s 2006 album MILK WHITE SHEETS is almost weightless in its simplicity, drawing on a English folk tradition that at times, like in this track, borders on the etherial. Quite lovely.

SHELAGH McDONALD    LIZ’S SONG

Shelagh McDonald’s story has a touch of the mythic about it. Following the release of her second album, STARGAZER, released in 1971, from which the evocative Liz’s Song is taken, Shelagh McDonald, all set to be the next Sandy Denny, mysteriously disappears for 34 years, only to resurface in 2005 after reading a Scottish Daily Mail story about her musical legacy and unsolved disappearance. It seems her very first acid trip was a life-changing nightmare that lasted for over a month leaving her a scared, paranoid, fragile and mostly broken, emotional wreck –  she retreated to Scotland where she slowly mended herself, only to discover she could no longer sing. She married a local bookseller and began a nomadic existence, often living in tents in the Scottish Highlands, never to record again. If that’s not the stuff of legend then I don’t know what is.

OASIS     FALLING DOWN (A MONSTROUS PSYCHEDELIC BUBBLE EXPLODING IN YOUR MIND REMIX)

Despite not being what you’d call a huge fan of Oasis, I have been looking forward to playing this, all 22 minutes of it. This is Amorphous Androgynous creating a loved-up psychedelic wig-out of the 2008 single by Oasis, featuring singing children, sitars and kitchen sinks. Pretty much does was it says on the label.

SOFT HEARTED SCIENTISTS     GARDEN SONG

The third album from the Soft Hearted Scientists is actually a collection of 16 demos that the band thought too good not to release. One might wonder why, if they liked them so much, they didn’t record them properly (the band had moved on from the songs, apparently, but the songs just wouldn’t go away), but in actual fact, the songs on SCARECROW SMILE: HOME DEMOS, VOL. 1, released in 2008, work very well without any adornishments. Garden Song works as a sanctuary in a restless world, and is also just a little bit spooky.

JULIAN COPE     THE SHRINES ARE ABLAZE

Julian Cope in a mighty mellotronic mood with The Shrines Are Ablaze, taken from FLOORED GENIUS 4, released in 2009, a collection of tracks culled from rare TV appearances, foreign radio sessions, festival songs and lost studio rarities. Originally recorded in 2007, and therefore from his You Gotta Problem With Me phase, this one gets filed under the lost studio rarities, I think. Pleasingly pagan.

CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL    RUDE AWAKENING #2

Rude Awakening #2 is taken from Creedence Clearwater Revival’s difficult 6th album, 1970’s PENDULUM. It is essentially the psychedelic-progressive rock track on an album that sees the group reaching out in challenging new directions, just before inevitably splitting up, and I only u

se an excerpt of the track (the good bit).

INSANITY SECT     CHOCKTAW RIDGE

Insanity Sect are one of those bands  who’s work appears on those ambient dub type compilation albums that appeared about 15 years ago with names like Dub Dope, and AMBIENT DUB VOLUME THREE: AQUA from which this track is actually taken. Chocktaw Ridge was released in 1993 and gets included here because I distinctly remember hearing it once under splendidly enhanced circumstances when I simply assumed that I was listening to two tracks playing at the same time in different rooms on a broken tape recorder. I can laugh about it now…

THE KLEPTONES     STAY

The only mash-up on tonight’s show, Stay, comes from the brilliant Kleptones and features The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Maps with what I suspect is some dialogue from the film Cruising and a bit of music The Kleptones knocked up themselves. It’s taken from their most recent double album UPTIME/DOWNTIME, released earlier this year as a free download from their site www.kleptones.com Both side sof the album have unique personalities – UPTIME, is an upbeat night on the town, whilst DOWNTIME has a calmer, more reflective vibe for people who find the armchair a source of comfort – needless to say, Stay, finds itself at home on this side. As much as my opinion counts for anything, this is the best mash-up album of 2010.

THE WITCH AND THE ROBOT     YOU ALREADY KNOW EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TIME TRAVEL (JUST LOOK AT THE STARS)

The Witch and the Robot are from England’s Lake District and their music reflects the kind of surreal thinking and sense of space one develops when you inhabit a mystical landscape that glimmers for miles in every direction. Their debut album, ON SAFARI, released last year, is a sublime mix of dark psychedelia, folk, sea shanties (sea shanties!)and spoken word pieces taking in tales of time travel, dead puppeteers, the sea and seeking out the graves of giants.  You Already Know Everything There Is To Know About Time Travel is by no means the most dramatic track on the album but it does conclude the show quite nicely. One of last year’s hidden delights.

And that would be a bit of Bill Hicks.

That was Mind De-Coder 20. I thank you.

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