Akasha (Vinyl)

SKU: BWR154
Label:
Black Widow Records
Category:
Progressive Rock
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This was always a weird but charming album.  Recorded on a low rent budget in 1977, Akasha made this one and done album.  The album kicks off with a lengthy track loaded with 'tron.  The rest of the album is full on prog rock with lots of wacked out twists and turns.  It literally was recorded in the bomb shelter in the basement of a hotel so it has a real primitive sound but the music does shine through.

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  • "As a historical document, this release takes some beating. Recorded during the short – and only – tour that Fripp & Eno undertook as a duo, it captures a pivotal moment, not only in the development of both players, but in the live music experience itself. Here was a "rock concert" (or "superstar show" as the poster for the less glamourous Tunbridge Wells gig had it) where two of the leading lights of the art prog scene sat in near darkness improvising a series of dronic, ectoplasmic mood pieces for an hour and a half. No hits, no big riffs, no exotic costumes. In 2014, that description could be analogous to any number of live electronica events, but in 1975, it led to booing, walkouts and open hostility.Yes, there had been precedents for this type of proto-ambient music before, specifically the kosmische of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, and most pertinently, the systems music of Terry Riley, which had inspired Eno to start experimenting with tape loops in the first place. And it wasn't as if the duo hadn't already signalled their musical intentions with the release of (No Pussyfooting) in 1973. But in a pre-online world, music travelled more slowly, and a lot of people went to these shows expecting Roxy Music and King Crimson numbers. What they got instead, was an intriguing, and for some discomfiting, glimpse into the future.1975 was a liminal year for rock music in the UK. It saw the end of glam, the fading of prog and the first stirrings of punk. It also saw the biggest band of the day release one of the bleakest, most alienated albums in the rock canon, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. While operating much further along the spectrum than Floyd, there's a similarly immersive, almost enervating feel to the sounds that Fripp & Eno produce during this performance, suggesting that we're at the start of a new way of listening to and experiencing music, an opening up of new possibilities in aural pleasure. With its use of repetition and egoless explorations of sonic space, there's also a strong argument for Fripp & Eno creating the UK's only indigenous strain of krautrock.The performance begins before Fripp & Eno have even arrived on stage, with the cold, aqueous drone of 'Water On Water'. Quizzical voices can be heard in the audience, then cheers, but these soon subside as a tide of alien soundwaves continues to wash over them. As a listening experience, it goes beyond the point of nothing happening into a new realm of uncertainty, and the audience sound as much relieved as delighted when Fripp & Eno finally take their places and begin playing 'A Radical Representative Of Pinsnip' (a version of 'The Heavenly Music Corporation'). Fripp's guitar seems to intuitively tune into the wavelength that Eno is broadcasting on, a huge, ever-growing pulsating brain weaving tessellations of holy noise around the fabric of the drone. Over a pattern of discordant notes, like an evil fairground pipe organ, Fripp solos at his most atonal and nightmarish, before calmly sliding into 'Swastika Girls'. Eno's backing loop seems to mutate from the ringing of wind chimes to the squealing of pigs, while Fripp's unmistakeable shredding alternates from placid to fiercely angular. 'Wind On Wind' signals an intermission – there's no crowd noise (other than the sound of someone choking on a magic cigarette), so it's difficult to say whether the audience remains rapt with attention or have already departed en masse to the bar.The performance re-starts with 'Wind On Water', its gentle beginning leading gradually to an ecstatic ascension, Fripp's guitar like dazzlingly bright reflections of the sun on a rippled pool. We then get a series of anagrammatically-punning tracks unfeatured on any of the duo's studio albums. 'A Near Find In Rip Pop' is based on a simple loop of strummed guitar, which Fripp drops note clusters over, before peeling away to reveal (un)natural sounds of wind and distant animal cries. It's a point of mellowness midway through proceedings, soon disrupted by 'A Fearful Proper Din', its grinding chug like Sunn O))) heard at the end of a long tunnel. Fripp's soloing taps into the heaviness of Red-era King Crimson, faster, harder and more threatening than before as the track morphs into 'A Darn Psi Inferno'. Children's voices appear against the metallic breathing of Fripp's guitar at its scariest, the tension finally broken by the relative balm of 'Evening Star'.Fripp & Eno exit for a second time to 'An Iron Frappe' – another unaccompanied drone piece resembling the infinite echo of a struck bell – before returning to encore with 'Softy Gun Poison'. Here, the duo finally drift off into deep space in a trail of sinister voices and unhinged laughter, the whine and growl of their engines stretched and refracted, the ghost of a slow-motion explosion. The track culminates in perhaps the single most transcendent part of the show/recording, a warm plateau of dense drone that segues into the walk-off tape of 'An Index Of Metals', their ship caught on the lip of a black hole for all eternity, faintly transmitting back to earth.Over the entire length of this immaculately restored 3-CD set (which includes a disc of the unadorned tape loops that Eno prepared for these shows), I began to wonder if anybody needed this much Fripp & Eno in their lives – that such thoughts now feel positively iconoclastic compared with the righteous indignation that many people greeted this material with in 1975 shows just how far we've come, and how much Fripp & Eno (both as a duo and individually) helped to redefine our appreciation of what music could be." - The Quietus
    $23.00
  • "A new interpretation of a classic RPI title! This is quite an undertaking, but it comes off in an outstanding way, giving new life to old friends. In contrast to so many reworkings of old pieces that I've heard in recent years, this one does not leave me only wishing to listen to the original. Rather, the new work stands well on its own, not only helping me listen to the original with new ears, but also bringing new insights and experience.In 1972, Latte e Miele released their debut, an incredibly ambitious work based on the Passion of St. Matthew, "Passio Secundum Mattheum." This is one of the seminal titles of 1970s RPI and has rightfully stood the test of time. The band would never equal this album, although the subsequent title, "Papillon", came close. After that the band broke up for a time, until drummer Alfio Vitanza reformed the band, with new members including bassist Massimo Gori. Their only album, "Aquile e Scoiattoli", has its moments but is inferior to the first two, and the band disbanded a few years later after moving toward more commercial music.In 2008 the band reformed, including all three original members (Vitanza and songwriter/keyboardist Oliviero Lacagnina, as well as guitarist Marcello Giancarlo Dellacasa) and Massimo Gori, bassist from the second generation of the band. The quartet released "Live Tasting", an excellent live album that portended of the good to come. Their time together also produced a wonderful new album, "Marco Polo: Sogni e Viaggi" in 2009.Over the years, Lacagnina never stopped composing his masterpiece, his "Passio". Now the quartet has recorded anew their masterpiece, adding those "new" compositions into the narrative. For example, "Il Pane e il Sangue dell'Alleanza" has been inserted right after "Ultima Cena", and "Il Rinnegamento di Pietro" and "Il Prezzo del Sangue" between "Il Pianto" and "Giuda". Also, the ending has been fleshed out significantly, with four new songs, and the final song, "Come un Ruscello che..." includes the final themes previously entitled "Il Dono della Vita". Also of note, a solo organ piece entitled "Toccata per organo" is placed just before "Calvario"--this is special, as it is an original take from 1972!The instrumentation is true to the spirit of the 1972 piece, although with an updated sound. Ditto the choir, which sometimes on the 1972 version is muted and thin--here the choir parts are strong, lush, and vibrant. The majority of the pieces that were rerecorded for this edition also maintain their compositional structure, although there are a few changes inserted (notably in "I Falsi Testimoni", the new version of "I Testimoni" parts 1 and 2). There is nothing that violates that spirit of the original work, though it is impossible to duplicate its wonderful innocence.Another unique feature of this album is the presence of several prominent figures from RPI providing the spoken Evangelist parts. These include Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), Lino Vairetti (Osanna), Silvana Aliotta (Circus 2000), Paolo Carelli (Pholas Dactylus), Aldo de Scalzi (Picchio dal Pozzo), Sophya Baccini, Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Clessidre), Giorgio D'Adamo (New Trolls), Max Manfredi, Simonluca, and Paolo Griguolo (Picchio dal Pazzo). It's a nice touch that really rounds out the album.The CD comes in a jewel case with a lyric booklet. I'm told that the pending Japanese version will contain a newly recorded composition as a bonus track. But don't wait for that one--go out and grab this one. You won't be disappointed. Four plus stars (Gnosis 13/15).Edit: I can't stop listening to this! Though it's not quite as good as the original, it's very close. I'm bumping it up to Gnosis 14/15, which is five stars on PA." - ProgArchives
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