The Sentinel

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Tag Archives: Avant-Rock

Faust – Kisses for Pythagoras

The B Side to a 1996 Faust single; side A was a BBC session from 1973, and this was live material from their recent performances as a fully reformed unit. Scraping metal, buzzing guitars, and clattering percussion from the original Industrialists.


Art Bears – Three Wheels

The final track from the bands 1979 album ‘Winter Songs’ ; an album composed by Fred Frith around the texts written by Chris Cutler. Cutler based these texts on carvings on Amiens Cathedral, found in the north of France. The album is austere, heavy in mood (some could say gloomy, but don’t let that put you off), and militantly outré. the final track is lush when contrasted with some of the albums earlier tracks, and spins out into the void with exquisite use of backwards tape loops and Dagmar Krause’s chilling vocals.

Butthole Surfers – VPRO Radio Broadcast 1986/ Peel Show 1988/ Plus “Comb”

1. Mark Says Alright

2. Johnny Smoke

3. Graveyard

4. Sweatloaf

5. 100 Million People Are Dead

6. Cherub

7. Psychedelic Jam

8. Blindman

9. Edgar

10. Nee Nee

11. Comb

Space Explosion – Im Hall

On paper, Space Explosion sound like a formidable proposition; a Krautrock supergroup of Dieter Moebius (Cluster), Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru), Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps), Chris Karrer (Amon Düül II), and, last but definitely not least, Zappi Diermaier and Jean-Hervé Peron (both Faust). However, in reality, their sole album, 1997’s ‘Space Explosion’, is just “ok”. Don’t get me wrong, some of it (like this track) is pleasing enough, but nothing comes close to the powerhouse one would have in their own minds when they hear about that line up. Perhaps if these guys had gotten together back in Krautrock’s heyday things may have been different…..who knows? Anyway, just drift off to this loose, spacey excursion, and then decide if you’d like to hear more.

Anthony Moore – A.B.C.D. Gol’fish

Hints of Terry Riley in this piece from Slapp Happy’s Anthony Moore. You can also hear shades of Faust; which is unsurprising seeing as this was recorded at Wümme (Faust’s purpose built studio), was produced by Uwe Nettlebeck, and features hi-hats from Werner ‘Zappi’ Diermaier.
Apparently, Gunther Wüstoff also helped out with the album, which, by the way, was called ‘Pieces from The Cloudland Ballroom’ (1971).

Slapp Happy – Mono Plane

The band’s 1972 debut album ‘Sort Of’  saw Slapp happy augmented by members of Faust; and one can hear it. In fact, this track is reminiscent of that other Krautrock monolith, Can.

Black To Comm – Asphodel Mansions

The opening track from Black To Comm’s brilliant new album ‘Seven Horses For Seven Kings’ is a disquieting affair; with swarming horns and shimmering percussion.

Black Dice – Night Flight

The closing track on the Brooklyn bands 2004 album ‘Creature Comforts’ sounds like a ramshackle UFO that is attempting, yet failing, to take off. Gloopy, goofy, day-glo Psychedelia.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Moonlight On Vermont

To celebrate what would have been Don’s 78th birthday, we give you a track from his seminal album ‘Trout Mask Replica’.

Brian Eno & David Byrne – Moonlight in Glory

Another great slice of Avant-Funk/Electronica from Eno & Byrne’s seminal 1981 album ‘My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts’. This one has a very haunting feel to it, with sampled voices that give us snapshots of a narrative which leaves one with a sense of ambiguity. Is the old lady letting in friend or foe? Finding out where these voice samples come from has appeared to be fruitless so far, as the only nod to a sample in the track is from the ‘Moving Hall Star Singers’; from their track ‘Moonlight in Glory’*, where Byrne & Eno nicked the title from. So the narrative will always remain a mystery, and will always have a touch of menace to it, and maybe that’s for the best.

  • track this down if you can, it’s incredible.
Laurence Johns

Curator of Counter-Culture, Personal Development Consultant & Writer

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