quinta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2013

STRANGE - Souvenir Album (1974-1976 US Psych Folk Soft Rock)


ONLY 100 ORIGINAL COPIES PRESSED!! 
REISSUED BY SHADOKS IN 2009!! 
IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND...
ONLY A FEW KNOWN ORIGINALS EXIST!!

A GRAVADORA SHADOCKS MAIS UMA VEZ NOS BRINDA COM UM RELANÇAMENTO OBSCURÍSSIMO DA BANDA STRANGE, CUJO DESTAQUE ERA O GUITARRISTA E MULTI-INSTRUMENTISTA DAVID CHAMBERLAIN!! A BANDA ERA DE WASHINGTON E MESMO NAS CERCANIAS NÃO ERA MUITO FAMOSA E DEIXOU APENAS ALGUMAS CANÇÕES GRAVADAS!! MAIS TARDE, DEPOIS DA BANDA JÁ TER SIDO DISSOLVIDA, AS MASTER TAPES FORAM RECUPERADAS POR CHAMBERLAIN QUE QUERIA AGRUPAR ELAS NUM ALBUM!! PARA ISSO ENTREGOU A UM CONHECIDO QUE TINHA UMA PEQUENA GRAVADORA CASEIRA ONDE O MESMO SELECIONOU AS MELHORES PARTES DA BOBINA PRINCIPAL E DESCARTOU ALGUMAS QUE JÁ ESTAVAM DANIFICADAS!! 

MAIS TARDE ENTÃO A SHADOCKS USOU ESTA MASTER TAPE PRA PRODUZIR UM LP COM TIRAGEM BEM LIMITADA A APENAS 100 CÓPIAS!! VEJAM ENTÃO QUE É UMA CÓPIA DA CÓPIA, POR ISSO EM ALGUMAS CANÇÕES A QUALIDADE DO SOM NÃO É MUITO BOA, MAS DÁ UM CERTO "CHARME COLLECTORS" A ELAS!! A QUALIDADE DO SOM VARIA ENTRE AS MÚSICAS E AS VEZES A GENTE ESCUTA ATÉ O DESGASTE DOS SULCOS (UM CHARME PRA QUEM APRECIA O VINIL)!! O ALBUM FOI ORGANIZADO DE FORMA ALEATÓRIA E A TRAJETÓRIA MUSICAL É DESARTICULADA, ESTRANHO, COM FADE-IN E OUT E ALGUMAS COLAGENS OCASIONAIS OU FORA DE ORDEM!! SÃO TRUQUES DE PRODUÇÃO QUE FAZEM A GENTE SE PERGUNTAR O QUE AFINAL A BANDA ESTAVA PENSANDO COM ISSO!! MAS...AFINAL A BANDA SE CHAMA STRANGE NÉ!!

A SONORIDADE NUMA PRIMEIRA AUDIÇÃO PARECE UM POUCO COM PINK FLOYD DA FASE INICIAL COM UM POUCO DE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE E TOQUES DE NEIL YOUNG!! COMPLEXO NÉ?? MAS É MAIS OU MENOS ISSO!! É BASICAMENTE UM FOLK ROCK PSYCH OU UM SOFTO ROCK PSYCH!! TEMOS DE ESCUTAR SEMPRE TENDO EM MENTE QUE OS CARAS GRAVARAM COM EQUIPAMENTOS NÃO APROPRIADOS E NUM ESTÚDIO CASEIRO, O QUE SE MOSTRA O VALOR DOS CARAS E A CAPACIDADE DELES, APESAR DE SOAR MEIO JUVENIL É AÍ MESMO QUE SOA ORIGINAL!! EU SEMPRE IMAGINO O QUE ELES FARIAM COM ESSE MESMO ALBUM GRAVADO COM EQUIPAMENTOS APROPRIADOS E NUM VERDADEIRO ESTÚDIO!! SÓ CURIOSIDADE!!  

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Shadoks Music has rescued yet another obscure recording for our enjoyment – Souvenir Album by Strange. The disc features eight songs proper and four segments of other tunes recorded from 1974 to 1978, and more than anything highlights the songwriting abilities of David Chamberlain, the band’s multi-instrumentalist and singer.

Even in their hometown of Olympia, Washington, Strange was far from a household name, and never really broke beyond playing local venues. By 1978, as Chamberlain was putting the material together for an actual album, Strange had disbanded. Still, Chamberlain waded through tapes of old material, committing the best bits to a master reel, and then handed them over to a gentleman named George Yantiss, “who had a small ‘record label’ in his home,” according to the liners. Yantiss “mastered” the tape and Chamberlain distributed copies for free to friends. Yantiss’ work will never be confused with the studio mastery of, say, Bob Ludwig or Alan Parsons, but the roughness around the edges gives Souvenir an odd grace, like the photos your parents took with an Instamatic camera.

The music ranges from early Pink Floyd to Jefferson Airplane to Neil Young and beyond. “Somebody” is a sorrowful ballad, that brings to mind Bill Fay and Nick Drake. Chamberlain’s guitar solo is masterful, an emotion-drenched line that tugs at the heart. Pianist Robert Rensel and bassist Carl Dexter add some lovely harmony vocals, as well. “The Ballad Of Hollis Spaceman” is a trippy number that brings together Syd Barrett and San Francisco rock, with a fantastic guitar workout from Chamberlain and Tom Hackett – these guys are players! “Four-Eyes” is Strange’s “Planet Caravan” replete with bongos and drippy electric piano notes. Rensel’s vocal on “A Faced Dream” is a treat, imbuing the tune with his clear and musical delivery. Drummer Rick Rackleff steps to the mic, as well, on his own ballad “Rick’s Song,” and proves more than able to take the lead. Although the sound quality isn’t great (it’s a copy of a copy) “Lies By Poetic License” is a stellar track, given a magical boost  by Rensel’s French horn. “Twelve Boats,” the sole Hackett composition here, is another minor-key laden tune that’s got more going on than is easily heard (it’s an audience recording), but it’s well worth some deep listening to hear it all. Chamberlain’s “The Last Song,” appropriately closes the record. This gorgeous lament sounds like a lost Procol Harum track and could have been a huge hit given some radio play. It would make a great addition to a soundtrack, too.


Carl Dexter - Vocals 
David Chamberlain - Guitar 
Tom Hackett - Guitar 
Robert Rensel - French Horn, Keyboards, Vocals 
Rick Rackleff - Bongos, Drums, Organ 
Don Morris - Bass, Saxophone, Vocals 
Ron Redifer - Drums 
Jim Eager - Drums

1. Segment from Barapp 1:14 
2. Somebody 6:10 
3. The Ballad of Hollis Spaceman 7:06 
4. Four Eyes 5:39 
5. Segment from Barapp 0:41 
6. A Faced Dream 4:18 
7. Rick's Song 2:30 
8. Segment from Mushroom Wednesday 5:37 
9. Twelve Boats 5:05 
10. The Last Song 4:31

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