The Sentinel

micro-blog from music lovers sharing their passion

Tag Archives: Avant-Rock

Danielle Dax – Hammerheads

This is from Danielle’s second album, 1984’s ‘Jesus Egg That Wept’, and see’s her indulging in the kind of Gospel for the Hellbound that appealed to the likes of Jim Thirlwell, Nick Cave, Swans et al. 


Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band – Veteran’s Day Poppy

Today would have been Don Van Vliet’s 77th birthday if he was still in this dimension. So to celebrate this we give you the closing track from Don’s main masterpiece (as opposed to all of his other one’s), 1969’s “Trout Mask Replica’. This track has three sections to it, all three are wonderful, but somehow that coda is where the real magic is.

Wha Ha Ha – Keiro No Hibi

More from the Japanese band; this has a real familiar-sounding riff (one that will surely bring on a smile) interspersed with the odd section of sporadic nonsense. From their 1981 album ‘Getahaitekonakucha’.

Kraftwerk – Köln II (1971)

The birth of NEU!, live on German TV back in 1971.

The Hair & Skin Trading Company – Deep

After Loop the band split into 2 entities; which were Main, and this band, The Hair & Skin Trading Company. Both took Loop’s post-Kraut aesthetic further, with Main focusing on the dissolving drone, and these guys playing with groove, rhythm, and industrial punch. This track is from the band’s 1993 EP ‘Go Round’, and has a vicious riff to accompany the droning psychedelics.

Art Bears – (Armed) Peace

Eerie RIO from the bands 3rd and final album, 1981’s ‘The World As It Is Today’.

Faust – Excerpt from Side A of “The Faust Tapes”

This 1973 album did not have a track list when it came out, and one seems to have been made retrospectively. Now here at The Sentinel, we would hardly describe ourselves as “purists”; however, these tracks titles that were added many years later (or were they?) don’t really add to the experience, so we could just say this is the section on Side A that starts with rummaging, walking around, and the sound of an automated telephone message, before launching into (Kraut) funky bass and drums and electric drill accompaniment; which fizzes into insanity before a fog of organs descends upon the listener. Next is some spooky ghost howling before a buzzing raw motorik number (recorded in a dustbin) fucks your ears. Then we have lush, prog frills that can bring a smile to the most jaded music fan, before the track falls apart into erratic noodling, then…..drifting on a ferry on a pitch black misty lake.


Glenn Branca – Lesson No. 1 For Electric Guitar

No Wave meets Minimal composition on this epic piece from 1980.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – When Big Joan Sets Up (Live in Detroit 15/01/1971)

This was pretty soon after the Captain and his band emerged form the house on Ensenada drive in the woodland hills, after spending 8 months cooped up (and in the case of the band members, imprisoned) rehearsing and recording the seminal ‘Trout Mask Replica’ album. As one can see in this performance, Don Van Vliet looks pretty well fed, whilst the rest of them look scrawny, wild eyed and manic. One can only imagine what it was like in that house, where the atmosphere must have been akin to living within an intense cult; but the stunning results are undeniable when one listens to the ‘Trout Mask Replica’ album, or to this gig where the band blast out tangles, intricate, hyped-up Avant-Rock of the highest order.

The Mothers of Invention – Brown Shoes Don’t Make It

What starts off as pretty straight boogie quickly descends into Zappa’s snide, musical terrorism that encompass everything from parody to genuine freak musique. The changes are rapid and you’re never in one place for very long. This is off of the band’s 2nd album, 1967’s ‘Absolutely Free’.

Laurence Johns

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