sexta-feira, 30 de outubro de 2009

THE HAPPY HOUR BAND - Happy Now with Sky Saxon & Djin Aquarian (70's Rock Acid Psych)

THE RARITY OF RARITIES!! A RARIDADE DAS RARIDADES!! BANDA DE SKY SAXON (THE SEEDS) E DE DJIN AQUARIAN (YAHOWA 13), CUJO ALBUM TEVE UMA PRODUÇÃO SUPER LIMITADA COM APENAS 500 CÓPIAS!! O SOM DA BANDA NÃO É MUITO DIFERENTE DO QUE FAZIA A BANDA YAHOWA 13!! A HISTÓRIA DO DISCO É BEM LEGAL E PODE SER CONFERIDA NO TEXTO EM INGLÊS LOGO ABAIXO!! AS PEQUENAS DISTORÇÕES SE ENCAIXAM PERFEITAMENTE COM OS EFEITOS PSYCH BLUESY DAS MUSICAS!! PSICODELIA DA BOA E ALTAMENTE RARA!! VENENO DE EFEITO ALUCINÓGENO!! POISON OF HALLUCINOGENIC EFFECT!!

Some might still know / remember or might have heard of Yahowa 13, a cult figure band that released a couple of weird psychedelic jam records with "spiritual" & tribal content. I made a separate Webpage about Yahowha 13. The leader died because of an accident, but the group members still remained active and recorded also various tracks over the years. John Wilby got into contact with Djin at around the publication appearance of the interview with Yahowha 13 members at the Perfect Sound Forever Website. He mentioned that he was looking for some way to make available the recordings he had made with Saxon over the years. Round about the same time another artist had mentioned that they had some unreleased recordings and wished they could somehow find someone to release them. Seeing this as too much of a coincidence to ignore he decided to form a label to release both artists' work. The label is called Splash 2 Records in tribute to the 13th Floor Elevators who wrote a song called Splash 1. 'Happy Now' is the first release. This consists of rehearsal recordings that were made with Djin and Sky plus local musicians from the Mount Shasta area of Northern California where they both now live. The title comes from the question 'Can We Be Happy Now?' that Djin can be heard to ask at the start of the long track 'In The Cradle Of Love/Freeway.' The Happy Hour Band is just a name that Djin made up when he asked him what the name of the band was.

The style is really not so very different from what Djin and Sky Saxon did with Yahowa 13. The recording is not perfect, but the tiny distortion fits perfectly with the bluesy psych effect of the music. In general the musicians improvised on repetitive patterns, where with Yahowa they tried to do it with a Kundalini or yogi-energy that was over a sort of orgastic top. This happens two times on the album. On the first track and really completely over the edge at the last track. In between are a couple of somewhat song based improvisations that are moody, but didn't get into that overdrive which in earlier recordings was caused by a spiritual drive mostly.

The first track in, is a bluesy folk psych improvisation. Further on in this track the improvisation goes over the top, and rhythms & guitar become very psychedelic. With Sky Saxon on vocals. "Venus we come" is a fine psych song too. "City Pity" is a somewhat tempered and stoned improvisation. The first part is fine to listen too, but not essential ; the track gets hardly beyond the limitations of the improvisations itself. "Let's be lovers / YHVH all" with its appealing repetitive chords and rhythms, but also this track is just nice, and nothing more. The senile commune version of "Silent Night" is a strange oddity. With bells, drums, piano and backing vocals and all. In some way I really don't understand how they got into singing this. But I still have the Father Christmas image of Father Yod in mind. Here the abandoned children wane as a remaining memory. Last track luckily has again the tendency to become completely psychedelic and over the top , with guitars and organ, drums, and later on some harpsichord and some distorted guitar improvisations too as well as crazy second (female) vocals. A great track that makes up for the more repetitive and more common tracks in the middle. At the end it sounds a bit like The End from The Doors. A great end indeed.

Still a must for Yahowa 13 fans. Only 500 pressed.

PS. About thee date of the recordings : "Silent Night was recorded round about Christmas 1999.Happy Now In The Cradle Of Love/Freeway was recorded early in the New Year 2000. Djin's question 'Can We Be Happy Now' refers to the fact it is now the new millennium and so now we can be happy. The other songs except Dogs Cruising/Wild Child were probably recorded around the same time, possibly a few months later. 'Dogs' is a song that Sky has had in some form or another for some time. This comes from a different tape from the other songs and I think was recorded a few years earlier, but with the same personnel." John Wilby

David Phillips - Bass
Djin Aquarian - Guitar
David Wallace - Druns
Gretchen Gerlitz - Backvocal
Sky Saxon _ Vocal and Guitar

01. Dog's Cruisin' & Wild Child 12:07
02. Venus Here We Come 3:48
03. City Pity 8:06
04. Let's Be Lover's -YHVH All 10:36
05. Silent Night The Happy 4:27
06. In The Cradle Of Love-Freeway 16:22

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