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    Jill Gocher – Secret Bali: Behind the Tourist Facade

    September 17th, 2022

    Jill Gocher - Secret Bali: Behind the Tourist Facade.

    The book Secret Bali: Behind the Tourist Facade is a trinket for tourists on the Indonesian island, just like a set of postcards or a keychain. This is ironic, as the subject matter covered consists mainly of stuff the typical tourist would never encounter, like the animist cult of trees, Balians (traditional healers), and cock fights, as well as ceremonies for cremations, house building, and weddings. Text-wise, the whole thing seems like an amateur production. There are typos galore: missing words, commas where they shouldn’t be and commas missing where they should be, extra character spaces between words, and awkward grammar. The Ubud Palace chapter is not consistent with the others, as there is far less text and the worst widows (one word dangling by itself on one line at the end of a paragraph) ever. The whole thing reads like a blog that someone published as a print-on-demand book on Blurb. At least the graphic design and photos are decent (although I’ve seen much better photos of Bali on Flickr and Instagram). For a much more substantial primer on the traditional culture of Bali, just read the classics Bali: Sacred and Secret (a big coffee table book full of awesome photos) by Gill Marais and Island of Bali by Miguel Covarubias, which will fill you in on everything you need to know.

    Publisher: NOW! Bali Publications Catalog Number: ISBN-13: 9786029797121 Format: Book Binding: Paperback Pages: 120 Country: Indonesia Published: 2012 More: Google Books

    Text ©2022 Arcane Candy

    Balint Andras Vargas – Conversations With Iannis Xenakis

    August 15th, 2022

    Balint Andras Vargas - Conversations With Iannis Xenakis.

    Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) was a Greek composer, architect and mathematician who pioneered the use of mathematics in musical composition, participated in the development of early electro-acoustic and electronic music, and was among the first to write music for specific architectural sites and vice versa. Published in 1996, the book Conversations With Iannis Xenakis is comprised of two interviews conducted with the composer by Balint Andras Vargas in 1980 and 1989.

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    Spoils of War – The Spoils of War

    July 14th, 2022

    Spoils of War - The Spoils of War.

    Formed in 1967 in Champaigne / Urbana, Illinois, Spoils of War (named after one of Harry Partch’s self-built instruments) were an experimental psychedelic rock band that augmented their sound with a sawtooth wave generator, as well as employing the techniques of musique concrete tape manipulation and computer punch card madness to throw the whole mess on a slow boat to Weirdsville. After self-releasing an ultra rare seven-inch in 1969, the band went on hiatus for a mere 30 years until German label Shadoks released some of their material on LP and CD.

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    White Noise – An Electric Storm

    June 6th, 2022

    White Noise - An Electric Storm.

    Founded in London, England in 1968, White Noise was initially an experimental electronic music trio comprised of Delia Derbyshire (a sound technician at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop who was best known for arranging the theme of the Doctor Who TV show), fellow BBC sound tech Brian Hodgson and American classical musician David Vorhaus. Their debut album, An Electric Storm, definitely lives up to its title, as seven short pop ditties—delivered with the help of three vocalists and a percussionist—are layered with early synth explorations and tape splicing / manipulation madness that contracts and expands all of these elements into a massive cloud of late night atmospherics.

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    The Music of Tony Conrad

    May 5th, 2022

    Tony Conrad + Alex Gelencser, 1998
    Tony Conrad and Alex Gelencser, 1998.

    The early bird, I mean minimalist catches, I mean gets the worm, I mean word in edgewise–or actually a lot of words in every direction–all over the lengthy liner notes of the numerous LPs and CDs we will look at below. Tony Conrad with Faust - Outside the Dream Syndicate Tony Conrad is one such large, flightless bird. From 1962 to 1965, he played violin in minimalist music founder La Monte Young’s Theatre of Eternal Music group, also known as the Dream Syndicate, which included La Monte and Marian Zazeela on drone vocals, John Cale on viola and Angus MacLise on percussion. Since La Monte’s been keeping the tapes “safe” in storage since the mid ’60s–for the most part denying access and copies to the other group members and the public at large–very few people outside of the original small audiences have ever heard what must have surely been the most searing, transporting drone music of all time. Practicing regularly, the group developed into the most awesome unit of 4:00 a.m. hover power. Perfect pitch, just intonation, long durations and massive amplification of the vocals, viola and percussion to tympanic membrane-cutting levels were some of the ingredients of this galaxy hub-bound stew.

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    The Crazy People – Bedlam

    April 3rd, 2022

    The Crazy People - Bedlam.

    Rumor has it that the album Bedlam by the Crazy People was actually the brainchild of one person: American jazz trumpeter, producer, and musical entrepreneur Johnny Kitchen (real name Jack Millman), who assembled it in 1968. Kitchen’s modus operandi was to cook up a well-seasoned sonic stew by combining discarded recordings from unreleased and / or obscure bands, combining them with other random bits and bobs that he found on tossed tape reels. What it all amounts to is a wacky, zany combo of 1960s pop, naïve song poem music and sound collage. The whole shebang includes but is not limited to: light, organ-led ‘60s pop with awkward starting and stopping shot through with accapella singing, really strange echoes, wailing voices in the background, a horn fanfare, a rooster crowing, a motorcycle’s racket, fuzz guitar, sudden explosions, chirping birds, snippets of classical music, a tinkling music box, bubblegum pop, sirens over

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    Michael Yonkers Band – Microminiature Love

    March 2nd, 2022

    Michael Yonkers Band - Microminiature Love.

    Minnesota son Michael Yonkers started rocking in the early 1960s and, despite a seriously debilitating back injury incurred in 1971, continued on for decades. After a mid-’60s stint with his first, more traditional rock ‘n’ roll outfit, Michael and the Mumbles, the much more exploratory Michael Yonkers Band was born. Their first album, Microminiature Love was recorded in 1968 and due for release on Sire, but the deal went South and the tapes joined the ever-growing collection of psych obscurities that languished for decades in dusty boxes inside attics and basements around the globe.

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    Sandy Bull – Inventions

    February 28th, 2022

    Sandy Bull - Inventions.

    Recorded in 1964, Inventions by the American folk musician Sandy Bull (1941-2001) is simply one of my all-time favorite albums of instrumental string music. On this first CD edition released in 1995, the first section consists of three songs on which Sandy plays solo along with overdubs of himself. “Gavotte” based on “Cello Suite No. 5” by J.S. Bach, progresses from a short intro into a fine example of a slow, stately classical acoustic guitar style. “Manha de Carnival” by Luiz Bonfa benefits from being recorded during the early days of overdubbing as Sandy plucks some mellow melodies on the oud over a sprightly strummed guitar tethered with electric bass. “Triple Ballade” was written in the 14th century by Guillaume de Machout, who had no idea that someone would reinterpret it 600 years later as a “haunting sound of the Gothic age” on oud, banjo and guitar.

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    Einsturzende Neubauten

    January 29th, 2022

    Einsturzende Neubauten - Kollaps.

    Exploding out of West Berlin, Germany in 1980, Einsturzende Neubauten’s unique approach to apocalyptic noise made them one of the most important and impressive industrial bands of the 1980s. In contrast to their forebears, like ’70s British group Throbbing Gristle, who worked with a lot of electronics, Einsturzende Neubauten’s sound realm employed more real-world objects. Starting out very crude and cacophonous, their music gradually became somewhat more melodic and palatable as the decade wore on.

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    Theoretical Girls

    December 28th, 2021

    Theoretical Girls CD.

    Heaved up from a filthy gutter inside the incredibly fertile New York City art and music scene of the 1970s, the Theoretical Girls–one of the best-named outfits ever–hurt the feelings of at least a few hundred eardrums from 1977-’79. Ostensibly of no wave origins, their efforts also spilled over into punk rock proper. Oddly enough, the band, formed by Jeffrey Lohn and Glenn Branca, only released one single in their lifetime, leaving the entirety of their rehearsal and live material unreleased until 1996 and 2003, when it appeared on two different CDs–the first divided up into songs by Branca and the second by Lohn.

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