Galvanising our ongoing commitment to the lost music of the Czech New Wave cinema movement from the late 1960s and 1970s, Finders Keepers Records follow up our series of previously unreleased music to Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, Daisies, Saxana and The Little Mermaid with a short series of soundtracks for films by the country’s master of the macabre and the nation’s first point of call for freakish fairytales and hallucinogenic horror, Mr. Juraj Herz.
Regarded as the final ever film of the Czech New Wave, Juraj Herz’s Morgiana (alongside Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders) was made after the Prague Spring during Czech cinema’s most scrutinised censorship era, deep in the throws of communism. Spearheading a micro-cosmic sub-genre of horror fantasy or scary/fairytales alongside Karel Kachyňa’s Malá Mořská Víla (The Little Mermaid), these directors built a handful of subversive, flamboyant and experimental new films based around classical communist approved surrealist literature; sidestepping creative compromise and uniting some of the leading lights of the FAMU founded film movement for the last time. Both musical scores courtesy of Luboš Fišer unite Valerie and Morgiana; sharing doppelgänger production and compositional ideas presented by Finders Keepers Records for the first time ever outside of the original context of the film.
It is easy to hear why the music for both films could easily be confused as part of the same score, or as very close twin sisters, having been recorded just 18 months apart in 1970 and 1972. Revealing tiny shards of identical melodic phrasing, the Morgiana score visits darker hallucinogenic corners for this tale of two sisters seen through the perspective of giallo-esque “cat’s eye” camera work (filmed by Jaroslav Kučera) revealing poison induced hysteria fuelled by sibling rivalry and desperately twisted jealousy. Adopting his mysteriously macabre musical persona, the versatile Fišer interweaves chimes, harps and harpsichord with echoing flutes, lutes and piano, applying his signature orchestral tension and experimental percussion traits in the form of treated pianos, vibra-slaps, tape samples of striking matches and spring reverbs to this oblique heady selection.
Revered in similar esteem to that of Czech film legend Zdeněk Liška, Fišer’s unreleased filmography of forward-thinking Czech scores is slowly reaching a wider global audience through his first ever dedicated commercial soundtrack releases which should, in time, win him the same votes of confidence that we now award the likes of Komeda, Korzyński, Roubaix and Nicolai, amongst other European soundtrack luminaries.
As the pearls of Finders Keepers exclusive adventures in the deep vaults of Belgium’s Alpha Records we are proud to present this collection of outstanding experimental magnetic music by Lucien Goethals. Simply one of the best examples of organic and electronic music interfacing taken from rescued mastertapes spanning 1964 and 1975, here we find Goethals recomposing transposing and reducing taped recordings of organic instruments such as Cello and Clarinet to make early magnetaphone compositions that defy convention from the heart of the revolutionary IPEM (Institute for psycho-acoustics and electronic music). These melodic explorations into advanced mechanical music provide further likeminded context for the likes of Dariush Dolat Shahi, Delia Derbyshire and Gruppo di Improvvisazione di Nuova Consonanza and beg comparison to Zdenek Liska’s score for Ikarie Xb1.
Lucien Goethals was born in 1931 in Ghent, Belgium. He completed his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in 1956 where he was awarded the highest accolades for advanced organ, history of music and theoretic notions, after which he eventually pursued his studies of seriated music technique and electronic composition with G.M. Koenig. He was awarded further awards for composition in both his own country as well as abroad, and was a member of the renowned Spectra work group. In 1963 he was appointed to the post of producer of the BRT (Flemish division of the Belgian Broadcasting and Television System) and later a key producer in the division known as IPEM (Institute for psycho-acoustics and electronic music).
From 1971 he taught musical analysis at the Music Academy of Ghent. Goethals was an exponent of the stricter direction in the aesthetics of contemporary music. His work is still recognised as a valuable contribution, on a global scale, to the fields of seriated and trans-aleatoric music of the past half century. His recorded achievements within experimental music include a dozen rare compositions for solo “magnetophonic” music and a set of works for combined orthodox instruments with magnétaphone. Outside of the electronic field Goethals was also recognised for his chamber music, symphonic orchestration, cantata and lied compositions. This compendium focuses on Lucien’s magnetophonic work recorded during, and prior.
Conceived as the follow-up to Kirchin’s Worlds Within Worlds parts 1 & 2, which were discernibly scored for a jazz sextet (including Evan Parker) and various bird, animal, and amplified insect sounds, and released on LP by Columbia in 1971, Kirchin’s 1974 follow-up of the same name contains parts 3 & 4 and finds him combining similar instrumentation with the sounds of a Gorilla, Hornbills, and Flamingoes in a heavily abstract, tape-processed style that’s just completely messing us up right now.
If any LP deserves the mantle “lost classic”, it’s this one. From the first seconds of distended, hellish moans and flanging analog artefacts in Emergence (Part 3) you know this is going to be a serious trip and it never once sells the listener short. For the next 20 minutes he unspools a fantasy tableaux of warped, grainy harmonics and warbling sonic oddity, smudging samples of autistic children in a Swiss community with the sounds of the docks in Hull, where he lived, to forge a practically unprecedented alternate dimension of atonal, arrhythmic immersion that genuinely feel like a transmission from the other side, much in the best way of music from Aphex Twin thru to Broadcast or NWW.
On the B-side Evolution (Part 4) follows suit into the void without the handrails of convention, effectively landing somewhere between the combustible, metallurgic experiments of Gottfried Michael König, Annea Lockwood’s Tiger Balm, and the vast, cosmic spectral music of Iancu Dumitrescu in terms of space and texture, with 18 minutes of dense, layered concrète chicanery that pulls the ear’s eye almost out of its socket in a seamless, keening traversal of metastable, decelerated sonics from Gorilla growls to submerged clangour and astral flange that uncannily parallels COUM Transmissions from the same era and city, although we’re pretty sure there was no crossover between the two.
The long-awaited vinyl reissues of legendary janglists Felt finally arrive via Cherry Red. For ten years, Felt gave the world ten near-perfect albums and ten near-perfect singles that have gone to make up some of the most alluringly distinct and unmistakably unique ambient reaching post-punk music to ever be recorded.
The shortest and most experimental title in Felt’s catalogue, The Seventeenth Century (originally titled Let the Snakes Crinkle Their Heads to Death) features an expansive 19 minutes of music, mostly instrumental. Yet all in keeping with the traditional Felt sound, post-punk jangle that is as compelling as it is otherworldly. Retitled for this reissue, Lawrence is quoted as saying “You can’t change the title of an album” – they told him – so he said; “if Kraftwerk can and Bowie can then I can too!!”
If you have been grabbed by Coil, Kate Bush & Cocteau Twins or recently the Solid Space reissue on Dark Entries, Offen and Stroom than look no further than this for your next hit of undiscovered, 80’s eclectism. Existing entirely out of time with the groups and music that made up their surroundings back in the 80s, and praised in mixes by everyone from The Black Dog, Regis, Sleeparchive & Blackest Ever Black. Felt are one of the most incredible, yet criminally unknown groups of the post-punk generation.
It’s only appropriate that Solaris, Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s psychological sci-fi classic from 1972, contains an equally original and mind-bending score. Solaris explores the inadequacies of time and memory on an enigmatic planet below a derelict space station. To reinforce the film’s chilling setting, Tarkovsky commissioned composer Eduard Artemiev to construct an electronic soundscape reflecting planet Solaris’ amorphous and mysterious surface; Artemiev rose to the challenge with a prophetic work that defies the era’s technological limitations while evoking unparalleled emotional responses even today.
Artemiev’s score – centered around variations on Bach’s “Chorale Prelude in F-Minor,” a somber piece for solo organ – sounds majestic alongside dissonant crescendos and formless, ambient tracks. Armed with the massive ANS synthesizer (aptly named after Russian occultist Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin, who pioneered thought behind the synesthesiatic effects of music), Artemiev drafted sine waves on glass plates for the machine to interpret. The only prototype of the ANS was destroyed shortly after the Solaris soundtrack was recorded. Luckily this artifact of transcendent composition married with technological innovation endures as a masterpiece of early electronic music.
Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time official release of Artemiev’s original soundtrack for the film (not to be confused with the previously available re-recording of the music). Recommended for fans of Cluster, Iannis Xenakis and Louis and Bebe Barron’s Forbidden Planet.
LP version. Features four selections from the double-CD version, Indonesian Electronic Music 1979-92. Fascinating and unreleased before music by Otto Sidharta, pioneer of Indonesian electronic music. Electronic compositions that integrated natural sounds and urban sounds to this extent were extremely rare at the time they were recorded, which in turn gives them a unique form of intensity. This collection is released as an entry in Sub Rosa’s Early Electronic series.
Otto Sidharta was born in Bandung, Indonesia November 6, 1955. In 1978 he studied music composition in Jakarta Institute of Arts under guidance of Slamet Abdul Sjukur. In 1984 he continued his post graduate study in composition and electronic music with Professor Ton de Leeuw in Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam. In 2015 he started his doctoral study at Institute Seni Indonesia Surakarta, finishing in 2016. Sidharta’s interest in using environmental sounds and synthetics sounds to express his musical ideas developed when he was a student at the Jakarta Institute of Arts. He performed his first electronic music piece, “Kemelut”, based on water sounds in the First Indonesian Young Composer Festival (Pekan Komponis Muda) in 1979. In 1979 he begin to collect some nature and animal sounds on Nias Island, Borneo (Kalimantan) jungle, Riau islands, and other remote places. These sounds were used as material for some of his works such as “Ngendau”, “Hutan Plastik”, and “East Wind”. Otto Sidharta is still alive and performing around the world.
François Bayle on Tremblement de terre très doux (1978); first performance on March 19, 1979 at the Grand Auditorium of Radio-France, Ina-GRM’s Cycle Acousmatique: “The familiar generates the strange. These rolls, these hums, these sudden rushes; this song, these peaceful circlings; these sudden outbursts, these returns to quiescence — what do they remind us of? This piece’s trajectory could also be a representation of the dramatic unfolding of a day — of a life — from sunrise (‘Climate 1’) to night-time (‘Landscape 4’) via restless encounters, transitions (‘Transit 1’, ‘2’, and ‘3’) that announce the drama climaxing in ‘Landscape 3’, before reaching its denouement in “Climate 4″… A whole concrete ‘story’. The subterranean properties inherent to listening gently shift our ideas…”
François Bayle on Toupie dans le ciel (1979); first performance on January 21, 1980 at the Grand Auditorium of Radio-France, Ina-GRM’s Cycle Acousmatique: “A wave is swaying on two minors thirds. This constantly uniform yet constantly varied swaying revolves in a swarm of sharp designs that blink on and off in a layer of growing density and mobility. Distance, speed, pressure, density, temperature, color, intensity, are the ‘themes’ of the 27 short interconnected cells flowing together though this seemingly unified movement. Occasionally, a breach in the texture reveals skies dotted with little comets. In the center, a slow gliding picks up the distant harmonics of a basic chord. Toward the end, this gliding returns with a fiery burst. Fine lines and whirs are generated from the song of a spinning antique top. To end on a lighter note the title Toupie dans le ciel — ‘Spinning Top in the Sky’ reminds us of ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ by The Beatles as well as Lucy, the oldest Australopithecine (three million years), our African grandmother in the Erosphere… The overall title Erosphere alludes to the desire inherent to the listening experience, and to the very primitive cues that sustain the auditory attention and are the basis of all musical pleasure.”
Cut by CGB at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, June 2017; Digital transfer by Jonathan Fitoussi; Translations by Valérie Vivancos; Layout by Stephen O’Malley; Coordination GRM – Daniel Teruggi and François Bonnet; Executive Production – Peter Rehberg.
Fantome Phonographique present a reissue of Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan’s self-titled release, originally released on Columbia in 1966. Even though the original recordings are crackly and in low fidelity (but also deeply charming) it seemed necessary to repress this record for its immense historiographic value. These recordings are made available here with new mastering, in as clear fidelity as possible. Fans of Indian classical music will no doubt know the name Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan. He founded the Kirana gharana musical family with his cousin Abdul Karim Khan in late 19th century, which was one of the most prolific and revered gharanas in Hindustani classical music. In addition, serious American minimalist scholars and fans have also been heard echoing his name, linked to that of Pandit Prân Nath, his student for over twenty years. It was Abdul Wahid Khan who pushed his pupil Prân Nath into exporting the techniques of their music school, which brought Prân Nath to the US where he drastically influenced most of the then-emerging avant-garde New York scene. Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Rhys Chatham, Jon Hassell, Yoshi Wada, Marian Zazeela, Henry Flynt, Charlemagne Palestine, and more were Prân Nath’s students and in some cases close collaborators. It is therefore clear how important it is to gain deeper understanding of the music of Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan. A celebrated singer and sarangi player, Khan forbade recording of any of his performances to avoid imitation by other singers. Only these three pieces survived, recorded in secret for a radio broadcast in 1947, just two years before the singer’s death. A truly stunning document that is essential to understanding the modern era of Hindustani classical music, whose influential reach is immeasurable. Edition of 500.
Super-Sonic Jazz present a reissue of Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s self-titled debut album, originally released on the Canadian GRT imprint in 1970. The debut release by Afro-Canadian singer, songwriter, and cult figure within new age experimental sounds, has been long been sought after. The soulful jazz release, was original recorded in 1970 alongside musicians Dough Bush, Don Thompson, Terry Clark, Lenny Breau, Jeremy Steig, and Ray Charles collaborator Doug Riley, aka Dr. Music. Written when she was 26, the album is a testament to Copeland’s stand-out songwriting and earnest, beautiful vocal talents, fitting into the realms of spiritual folk. Born into a musical family in Ottawa, Canada, Beverly Glenn-Copeland studied the classical piano repertoire, after being brought up listening to his father’s playing at home. Following his studies, Copeland moved on to songwriting, in order to weave all the different musical cultures he had come to love. He is best known for the 1986 release Keyboard Fantasies, reissued in 2017 by Invisible City, a record described as a mixture of “digital new age and early experimental Detroit techno”. Now going by his name Glenn Copeland after gender transitioning, the singer songwriter also made a name for himself writing children’s music for TV shows Sesame Street and Mr. Dressup. Referring back to his debut record, Copeland states: “I was a fresh-faced kid of twenty-six when I wrote these songs, only a few years out of the classical music world in which I had been immersed since childhood, performing the European classical song repertoire in concerts both live and for radio broadcast. So I sold my oboe, bought a guitar, and began tuning it in wild and wonderful ways to more easily find the chords I had no idea how to find in the regular tuning. I didn’t want to study anymore. I just wanted to write.” Comes in a heavyweight tip-on sleeve.
Lucy Railton is a prolific performer who has appeared on countless recordings and collaborations with many important figures in contemporary music over the last few years. Paradise 94 is, remarkably, her solo debut — featuring archival, location, and studio recordings which serve as a time capsule of all the myriad disciplines and influences that have brought her to this point in time. It both plays up to and shatters expectations of her music, which harnesses a duality of energies — acoustic/electronic, real/imagined, iconic/iconoclastic, pissed-off/romantic; out of place and androgynous — resulting in a visceral emotional insight and rare narrative grasp. Variegated, asymmetric, and located somewhere between her usual fields of exploration, Paradise 94 gives free reign to aspects of her creativity that have previously been subsumed into collaborative processes and interpretations of other composers’ work. Here, she’s free to probe, sculpt, and layer her sounds through a much broader range of techniques and strategies, placing particular focus on non-linear structural arrangements and exploring the way her cello becomes perceptibly synthetic through collaging, rather than FX. At every turn Paradise 94 is bewilderingly unique. The A-side unfolds an oneiric, inception-like sequence traversing temporalities, timbres, and tones from what sounds like a spectral ensemble playing on a traffic island in “Pinnevik”, to bursts of rabbit-in-headlights trance arps emerging from meticulously dissected musique concrète in “The Critical Rush”, and a collision of masked vocals, string eruptions, and a deeply moving, light-headed Bach rendition in “For J.R.” On the other hand, “Fortified Up” on side B tests out a far rawer approach, sampling herself playing the same glissandi over and again, which she layers into a sort of perpetual, sickly motion, the Shepard tone riffing on the listener’s psychoacoustic perceptions before calving off into a cathartic dissonant folk coda in its final throes. In the most classic sense, you can only properly begin to fuck with something from the inside once you truly know it. Railton’s dedicated years of service have more than equipped her with the nous and skill to do just that, gifting us with what will no doubt be looked back on as a raw, exposed and important solo debut in years to come. RIYL: Mark Leckey, Alvin Lucier, Beatrice Dillon, Nate Young, Valerio Tricoli, Popol Vuh.
After La Légende d’Eer in 2016 (KR 024LP), the Perihel series presents one of the milestones of electroacoustic music: Iannis Xenakis’s mind-blowing, 54-minutes oeuvre Persepolis. Persepolis is the longest electroacoustic composition by Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) who ranks among the most influential 20th century avant-garde composers. Commissioned by the Persian Shah, the piece was part of a multimedia performance — Xenakis’s so-called “polytopes” — which premiered in 1971 in Shiraz-Persepolis (Iran) as a performance including light-tracks, laser beams, groups of children walking around with torches, and 59 loudspeakers to project the music in an open-air situation. Xenakis had realized Persepolis on 8-track analog tape in the Studio Acusti in Paris and released a stereo reduction on vinyl in the famous Philips series “Prospective 21e Siècle” in 1972, adding the new subtitle “We bear the light of the earth”, his most hymnal title ever. Out of print for decades now, the LP became — especially the Japanese edition from 1974 — one of the most expensive collector’s item of electroacoustic music. There were some later CD versions with different durations — too long due to a wrong sample rate, others shortened by three minutes due to other reasons. The Perihel series now presents a new version: mixed from the original master 8-track tapes by longtime zeitkratzer sound engineer Martin Wurmnest and mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin — the same experts who had already taken care of the 2016 Karlrecords release of La Légende d’Eer, another milestone composition among the works of the Greek-French avant-garde composer. Previous releases in the Perihel series, curated by Reinhold Friedl: Guy Reibel’s Douze Inventions en Six Modes de Jeu (KR 028LP, 2015); Iannis Xenakis’s La Légende d’Eer (KR 024LP, 2016), John Cage’s Complete Song Books (KR 029LP, 2016). 180 gram vinyl; Includes insert and download code.
Solaris. Sound And Vision is a collector’s edition box set, limited to 500 numbered copies worldwide, that includes the soundtrack realised by the great Russian composer Edward Artemiev for the Andrey Tarkovsky’s masterpiece film Solaris (1972).
The box includes the soundtrack in two formats: LP 180gr high-quality virgin vinyl and, for the first time, CDThe release is also accompanied by an exclusive photo book with unreleased images of the movie set and essays about music and cinema of the duo Artemiev/Tarkovsky, and the BluRay version of the film, in original language with English subtitles.The collaboration between Tarkovsky and Artemiev started in conjunction with the completion of Solaris when the director was seeking for a film score capable to give back and complete, through the sound, the meaningful images of the film. Back in the day, Artemiev was a member of the legendary Experimental Studio of Electronic Music in Moscow, a place of high experimentation in the field of the electronic music, in the context of which the ANS synthesizer was conceived and employed for the first time for music composition. Invented almost ten years before by Murzin, the ANS was used by Artemiev to create the special sound atmosphere that Tarkovsky was looking for. Artemiev and Tarkovsky’s association will also extend to two other undisputed masterpieces of Tarkovsky, Mirror and Stalker that will come out some time later.A unique artistic joint-venture is that among the duo, in which the musician is seen as a sound organiser, more than a composer, within the process of giving form to a soundscape intertwined completely with the film in its unfolding: always essential and never to be experienced as an accessory element. What emerges here is how and at what degree for Tarkovsky the sound is part of his own existence.
Made in collaboration with the Andrey Tarkovsky Institute, Solaris. Sound And Vision is a compelling publication for everyone who wants to dive deep into the Tarkovsky’s realm.
Recorded in concert at University Art Museum, Berkeley, California, February 26, 1976.
Originally released on LP in 1976 on Wizard Records
2016 Arc Light Editions Reissue
Realized at the composer’s studio in Paris. Premiered in 1970 at Galerie Lara Vincy in Paris, on the occasion of a group exibition. A reel-to-reel tape was published as a multiple in an edition of 10 numbered and signed copies which sold at the gallery.
The stereo synthesis presented here were made in Lyon at Studio Fluorescent between 2010 and 2011 by Emmanuel Holterbach.
Vice – Versa, Etc. was a work originally conceived as a sound installation, using several reel-to-reel tape players controlled through a mixing desk.
The tapes could be played at different speed, either forward or backward, right channel only, left channel only or simultaneously.
The audience could create their own mix.
Material is from the double LP Feedback Works released separately.
A Vice – Versa, Etc. (Mix 1) 12:14
B Vice – Versa, Etc. (Mix 2) 16:16
Maya Deren (1917-1961) was a Russian-American filmmaker and one of the most important voices in avant-garde cinema of the mid-20th century. When she decided, between the end of the 40s and the beginning of the 50s, to make an ethnographic film in Haiti, she was criticized for abandoning the avant-garde film world where she had made her place, but she was ready to expand to a new level as an artist. Deren not only filmed, recorded and photographed many hours of voodoo ritual, but also participated in the ceremonies. It was in working on this film that Deren recorded the Haitian musicians found on these sides originally released in the very early days of Elektra records. ‘Voices Of Haiti’ (here repressed as a 12″ with new mastering) -a beautiful artifact of percussion and chant heavy ritual music- is one of the earliest and best Western ethnographic documents of voodoo culture in Haiti. It is unmissable both for its historical value and for the beauty and spiritual power of the music it contains.