Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Zip A Dee Dada

Ever wondered where experimental and alternative recorded music originated?
Well, if you were like me and believed it began with 'Revolution No.9', you may be surprised to know that it began about sixty years before that; beginning in fact around one hundred years ago.

And don't these guys look like they're having a ball? What with their psychedelic sound system, levers and whatnot.

It must be said that this isn't an easy listen.
This is a challenging, but very rewarding album, as it assembles the best of the early futurist recordings - but dated, it ain't.
Some of these tunes and soundscapes could easily have turned up or turn up on an album by the Beatles, the Mothers, the Butthole Surfers, The Fall, Coil or Nurse With Wound.

Way back in 1909, 'Futurist godhead Filipo Tomasso Marinetti recognised that the Futurist ideology would include sound and noise in the armoury of the war against traditionalism.
The Roar of a motor car, he claimed, was more beautiful than any Michaelangelo'.

I recommend listening to this album while watching TV with its sound muted.

The piano pieces work especially well, as they do sound a little like silent movie accompaniments - and it really doesn't matter what you're watching, it always works - that's the thing with sound and vision, I guess: it always works.

The vocal tracks on this album are truly bizarre.
And we all thought Mark E Smith was unusual.
But he sounds mainstream compared with Marinetti, who sounds a little like the Crazy Frog after its been held down and shot-up with methedrine.

Drone, sludge, no-wave, I thought these were modern genres until I heard Luigi Russolo's material - he seems to be the Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound) of the Futurist generation - capturing perfectly in sound a really scary bad trip, two decades or so before Hoffman had even put his bicycle clips on.

But for sheer totally freakiness, the climax of the album, Marinetti's 'Five Radio Sintesi', cannot be topped.
It's a kind of 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' meets Peter Blegvad.
A composition full of ambient sounds, cut-ups, pauses (the most difficult of all 'sounds' to listen to) and some masterful editing; conjuring an hallucinogenic soundscape mainly created by twiddling knobs on a radio (and I thought John Cage was original...).

This is Musique Concrète of the highest order.

CD artwork included.
I have also included a copy of the excellent, highly informative booklet that accompanies this wonderful collection.

Give it a try - you'll be amazed.
Board the hobby-horse here.

6 comments:

rickdog said...

You have a great music blog here! I've added you to my mp3blog list and custom search, check it out.

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The newest mp3blogs
http://chewbone.blogspot.com/2008/01/alphanew.html

You can search your blog and all the others in my custom google search:

Chewbone MP3blog search
http://chewbone.blogspot.com/2008/03/mp3-blog-search-results.html

I add new blogs to the alpha lists once a week, but your site is immediately added to the custom google search engine.

roy rocket said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

hallo, thank you for this! look here -- dr.faustroll.blog:
http://drfaustroll.blogspot.com/2008/11/dada-et-la-musique.html
http://drfaustroll.blogspot.com/2008/11/surrealism-reviewed.html
pierre bastien, pascal comelade and other crazy music... enjoy!

Willard said...

Many thanks for this one.
Cheers,
Willard

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bill.bo said...

just 1 word: GREAT!!! your blog as well as the music you present.

i was looking for Pratella since I´ve heard that impressive composition for "orchestra & industry plant while working".

has anybody out there an idea where one find this?? it was broadcasted in the 80s from a german station . . .

may your days always be sunny : Bill.Bo