Monthly Archives: June 2012

Planetary Winds

German space-synth band! Pond formed in 1979 in DDR and released their first LP in 1984 on the Amiga label. At the time, pop music was highly regulated and there were many obstacles for musicians- including licensing requirements for live performances and the challenge of acquiring synthesizers and drum machines.  Bands were not able to put out albums unless they were sanctioned by the state to do so and there was only one state owned record company.

I came across this lil’ electronic gem after some digging at my local record shop. I first became aware of Pond with the 2010 album ‘Mandarinen Träme: Electronic Escapes from the Deutsche Demokratische Republik 1981-1989.’ It wasn’t until recently that I heard Pond’s Planetenwind in full.

Wolfgang “Paule” Fuchs founded the band and worked with partner Harald Wittkowski.  They were both greatly influenced by Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze.  ‘Planetenwind,’ the title track of their first album was a huge success in East Germany and sold over 100,000 copies.

June Twenty-Fourth

Harmonia- Dino
Gary Wilson- Soul Traveling
Gary Wilson- Another Time
Michael Rother- Flammen Herzen
Pond (German synth space music from DDR)- Cassiopeia
Drexciya- Unknown Journey 1
Drexciya- Lardossen Funk
Martin Lloyd- Science Fiction Man
Kraftwerk- Hall of Mirrors
Martin Lloyd- Half Life
Circuit 7- Beat Tonight
Heaven 17- (We Dont Need This) Fascist Groove Thang
Thomas Leer- West End
Harold Budd- Afar
N.H. Brown (off ‘Synthesizer Sound’ Comp.)- You Are My Lucky Star
Michael Rother- Doppelstern

An Electric Storm


“White Noise’s first album has long been one of the holy grails for kosmische / space rock collectors. Kinda strange, actually, because it’s actually more on the “exotica” Moog side of things, as opposed to a Klaus Schulze or Conrad Schnitzler production… Released in 1968 on Island in a total vacuum, An Electric Storm could be a Perrey & Kingsley soundtrack to a Radley Metzger soft-core porn film with twee psych-pop vocal melodies (a la Beach Boys, Free Design, Monkees) topped off with lots of bizarre electronic squiggles that originated in the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop. White Noise’s mastermind David Vorhaus keeps things pretty surreal with a track based around the recordings made at an orgy and with a precursor to the John Balance vocal mumbles about how “darkness was enshrouded by darkness and the darkness was deadeningly dark.” -Aquarius Records 

White Noise (An Electric Storm)- Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hogdson, who had worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and David Vorhaus.  












Last Sunday I played a White Noise track called “Firebird.” Here is another great track to check out from this album called “Your Hidden Dreams.” If you like this kindof stuff the album as a whole is SO good! Definitely worth a listen all the way through if you haven’t already!

Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat

Charanjit Singh
The last Alien Jams radio show started with a track from Charanjit Singh’s album “Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat.” This album has received lots of attention and acclaim and I thought it deserved a closer look. 
Charanjit Singh was a Bollywood session musician and interested in electronic music. He had gone to great lengths to import some of the latest synthesizer equipment to India.   In 1982 he released “Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat” a unique album that combined electronic disco with Indian classical Ragas. Most significant though was the fact that it is considered by many to be the first example of acid house, even pre-dating Phuture’s seminal “Acid Trax” by five years.

Interestingly, pioneering acid house producers in Chicago and Detroit would have no way of knowing about Charanjit Singh.  There are even some conspiracy theories about the 1982 album!  I have posted a video I stumbled upon from 2010. The interviewers track down Charanjit Singh in Bombay to ask him about his pioneering album.

Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat was re-released by Bombay Connection

June Tenth

Playlist

Charanjit Singh- Raga Bhairav
Francis Bebey- Wuma Te
Queen Samantha- Take a Chance
Felix Kubin- Hissi Hissi
Hard Corps- Dirty
The Juan MacLean- A New Bot
Peter Baumann- Bicentennial Present
Afrikan Sciences- Spirals
Francis Bebey- Savannah Georgia
Geneva Jacuzzi- Sand Trap
Bruce Haack- Party Machine
Pye Corner Audio- Cloud Control

Alien Soundtracks

The Day the Earth Stood Still- Amazing soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann

In 1951, Herman used the theremin in “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” The film score included both bass and treble theremins, along with other instruments. He treated the theremins as an orchestral section.