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15.4.09

Slapp Happy & Faust




Slapp Happy & Faust - Acnalbasac Noom - 1980 - Recommended

"Acnalbasac Noom" was Slapp Happy's second LP, recorded in 1973, and engineered by Kurt Grauner, in Faust's legendary Wumme. Studio. Like the first it was produced by Faust's svengali Uwe Nettelbeck, using Faust as the Slapphappy house band. Unaccountably it was rejected by Virgin Records, who made the group re-record all the material with different musicians and another producer in their own studio. That version is still available through Virgin as 'Casablanca Moon' - they straightened up the name too. As time has told, it is now universally accepted that ACNALBASAC is the definitive version of this material. © Jazzloft, © 1999-2009. All Rights Reserved.

This album has quite a complex history. It has had numerous releases on many different labels, with different track listings/mixes, etc. To try and simplify the tangled history, here is a brief synopsis, - The album was originally recorded in Germany in 1973 with members of Faust. Slapp Happy's label , Polydor, refused to commercially release the album, so the band moved to England and re-recorded it in 1974 for Richard Branson's blossoming Virgin label, where it had some success . (N.B: The Virgin 1974 LP version omits the track "Charlie 'N Charlie", and a track entitled "Haiku" is included. ) The original mix was finally released in 1980 as Acnalbasac Noom, on Recommended Records. This is the edition posted here along with four CD version bonus tracks, including the 1982 single "Everybody's Slimmin'", "Blue Eyed William", "Karen", and "Messages". "Acnalbasac Noom" is not an easy album to categorize, but its an amazing work of original compositions by Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore, and Dagmar Krause. The arrangements, production, playing, and vocals by Dagmar Krause are superb. You will really enjoy this album, and appreciate it as as one of the great progressive art rock albums of the seventies. Again, as stated before on this blog, please don't discount albums which are classified by some music critics as avant garde. Some people have compared Dagmar Krause's vocals to Yoko Ono's voice, i.e harsh, and "wailing" or discordant. A.O.O.F.C is not "slagging off" Yoko Ono, as much of her experimental music is full of merit, and many music critics do not analyse Yoko's music fairly, (especially John Lennon/Beatles' devotees). Dagmar Krause's vocals have a unique beauty, and sometimes are reminiscent of a blend of Kate Bush and Bjork. Her alto voice is well suited to the songs on "Acnalbasac Noom", and her vocals contribute immensely to the quality of this album. You should listen to this music carefully before you dismiss it. Dagmar is certainly no Cathy Berberian, a lady who really pushed avant-pop to it's limits, and whose voice, at times may have been a little "over the top". This album has been mainly credited to Slap Happy, but the musicians on the album include members of the incredibly talented Faust. Again, listen to this album with an open mind. It is certainly not typical of Slapp Happy or Faust's normal output.. The songs are whimsical, catchy, and very clever, and will surprise you in a delightful way. Try and listen to the Dagmar Krause, Anthony Moore, & Peter Blegvad "Camera" album. Listen to Faust's 1973 "The Faust Tapes" album, and the brilliant Hatfield And The North album, "The Rotters Club". You can find info on Slapp Happy / Henry Cow's "Desperate Straights" album @ SLPHPY/HENC/DESPSTS "Acnalbasac Noom" is VHR by A.O.O.F.C

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

Casablanca Moon - Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore
Me and Paravati - Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore
Mr. Rainbow - Peter Blegvad
Michaelangelo - Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore
The Drum - Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore
A Little Something - Peter Blegvad
The Secret - Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore
Dawn - Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore
Half-Way There - Peter Blegvad
Charlie 'N Charlie - Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore
Slow Moon's Rose - Anthony Moore
Everybody's Slimmin' - [*] Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore [Bonus Track on 1990 CD reissue]
Blue Eyed William [*] - Peter Blegvad [Bonus Track on 1990 CD reissue]
Karen [*] - Peter Blegvad [Bonus Track on 1990 CD reissue]
Messages [*] - Dagmar Krause [Bonus Track on 1990 CD reissue]

MAIN MUSICIANS

Anthony Moore – Keyboards
Peter Blegvad – Second vocals, guitar
Dagmar Krause (credited as "Dagmar") – Lead vocals

GUEST MUSICIANS -

Marc Singer – Drums
Dave Wintour – Bass guitar
Graham Preskett – Violin, mandolin
Roger Wootton – Backing vocals
Eddie Sparrow – Drums, congas, whistles, etc
Jean Herré Peron – Bass guitar
Clare Deniz – Cello
Nick Worters – Double bass
Jeremy Baines – Sausage bassoon
Andy Leggett – Jugs
Clem Cattini – Drums
Henry Lowther – Trumpet
Geoff Leigh – Saxophones
Keshave Sathe – Tablas, tamboura

REVIEW

The history of this album is a bit complicated. Originally titled Casablanca Moon, it was recorded for Polydor in 1973, but scrapped when the group signed with Virgin; their first Virgin release was an entirely re-recorded version of the same material, although it was entitled Slapp Happy when released. To compound the confusion, the Virgin version was retitled Casablanca Moon when it was reissued on CD in 1993 (on a single-disc release that also included their 1974 Virgin album Desperate Straights). Acnalbasac Noom is the original, 1973 recording of the Casablanca Moon material, and not a mere archival curiosity; it's quite worthy on its own merits. The group's songwriting had improved since their debut, and Krause's German chanteuse-influenced vocals found catchier, more rock-oriented settings. The lyrics are witty and oddball without being pretentious. Tracks like "Mr. Rainbow" recall Yoko Ono's early-'70s song-oriented material, with an important difference: Krause's vocals are much better than Ono's, while just as distinctive. "The Secret," with its almost girl-group-worthy catchiness, and "Charlie 'n Charlie," with its nifty surfish guitar riff, even sound like potential commercial singles. The four bonus tracks include the delightful 1982 single "Everybody's Slimmin'," with its immortal opening line, "Listen my children and you will hear/You can shed weight and still drink beer." © Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide



ABOUT SLAPP HAPPY

Avant-pop cult favorites Slapp Happy formed in Hamburg, Germany in 1972; there vocalist Dagmar Krause, a veteran of the folk group the City Preachers, first met British experimental composer Anthony Moore, who had previously issued a pair of solo LPs, Pieces of the Cloudland Ballroom and Secrets of the Blue Bag, on Polydor. When the label rejected a third Moore record, he instead proposed a pop project, recruiting Krause and New York-born guitarist Peter Blegvad to form Slapp Happy; recorded with input from members of the famed Krautrock band Faust, the trio issued their debut album Sort of... in 1972, its commercial prospects severely limited as a result of the band's refusal to perform live. Still, Polydor assented to a follow-up, with Slapp Happy soon convening to record Casablanca Moon; the label rejected the album, however, and upon landing at Virgin the trio re-recorded the disc in its entirety, releasing it as a self-titled effort in 1974. Slapp Happy next banded together with the like-minded art-rock outfit Henry Cow to record a pair of collaborative LPs, Desperate Straights and In Praise of Learning; creative tensions then forced Moore and Blegvad to exit the project, although Krause continued singing with Henry Cow though their 1980 dissolution. In the meantime both Moore and Blegvad pursued solo careers, although in 1982 they reunited with Krause to record a new Slapp Happy single, "Everybody's Slimmin'," followed by their first-ever live appearance at London's ICA. All three again collaborated in 1991 on Camera, a television opera commissioned by the BBC and broadcast two years later; a new Slapp Happy studio album, Ça Va, followed in 1998. Camera was issued two years later. © Jason Ankeny, allmusic.com

ABOUT FAUST (Wikipedia)

Faust is a German krautrock band, originally comprising Werner "Zappi" Diermaier, Hans Joachim Irmler, Arnulf Meifert, Jean-Hervé Péron, Rudolf Sosna and Gunter Wüsthoff, working with producer Uwe Nettelbeck and engineer Kurt Graupner. The group formed in 1971 in the rural setting of Wümme. They secured a lucrative record deal with Polydor and soon began recording their debut, Faust, which sold poorly but received critical acclaim for its innovative approach and established a devoted fanbase. Faust became one of the premier bands in the international appreciation of the genre that would eventually be known as krautrock. Faust became one of the first acts to sign to Richard Branson's Virgin Records, who embarked on a marketing campaign somewhat daring for its time, aimed at introducing Faust to UK record-buyers in as big a way as possible. The Faust Tapes was a cut-and-paste album which spliced together a large number of bits and pieces from their extensive collection of private recordings, not originally intended for release, but widely regarded today as their finest work. Virgin issued it at the then price of a single, 48 UK pence (they did the same the following year with Gong's Camembert Electrique album except that by then the price of a single had gone up to 59 pence). The Faust Tapes reportedly sold over 100,000 copies but its low price tag rendered it ineligible for a chart placing. Faust broke up in 1975 after Virgin had rejected their fifth album (some of the recordings later appeared on the "Munich and Elsewhere" album), but reissues of their recordings and various additional material through Chris Cutler's Recommended Records maintained a level of interest. In 1996, Diermaier and Péron meet Olivier Manchion and Amaury Cambuzat (Ulan Bator). They performed for the first time together as "Collectif Met(z)" in November 1996 (this quartet is the basis of an actual Faust line-up and this concert is part of a 2005 release). A few days after, Faust performed at the Garage in London and at the Transmusicales de Rennes, featuring Chris Cutler. Péron left the group in June 1997. From mid-1997 to 2004, Faust tours as Zappi W. Diermaier, Hans Joachim Irmler, Steven Wray Lobdell, Lars Paukstat, Michael Stoll. Diermaier and "art-errorist" Péron rejoined in 2004 by immediately recording Trial and Error, a DVD released in 2007 by Fuenfundvierzig Label. Zappi proposed to Péron to start a "new" Faust together with Olivier Manchion and Amaury Cambuzat from Ulan Bator. Diermaier/Péron's new Faust made their debut at the Art-Errorist Avant Garde festival in Schiphorst, Germany, where they also presented a new release entitled Collectif Met(z), a collection of live, new and unreleased songs. This incarnation of the group has been extremely active, releasing several CD-Rs and DVD-Rs and touring extensively, including a very successful autumn 2005 UK tour, released in 2007 as ... In Autumn by Dirter. This release also features ex Henry Cow saxophonist/flautist Geoff Leigh, vocalist Lucianne Lassalle, poet Zoë Skoulding and the members of the Welsh group Ectogram. In April 2007 the trio of Diermaier, Péron and Cambuzat performed at a Rock in Opposition festival in France in April 2007. The trio also recorded a new album entitled disconnected which was mixed by Steven Stapleton and Colin Potter of Nurse With Wound. It was released to tie in with the 2007 Schiphorst Avant Garde festival in July 2007. Faust now exists in two completely different incarnations, both active and each reflecting different aspects of the original group. Uwe Nettelbeck, Faust's creator and producer, died 17 January 2007. During the Wümme years, Diermaier and Péron played on Slapp Happy's first two albums, Sort Of (1972) and Acnalbasac Noom (1973) which were also produced by Uwe Nettelbeck. Slapp Happy's Peter Blegvad had played with Faust in Wümme and subsequently toured with them in the UK. That tour also featured Uli Trepte, who had performed with Guru Guru and Neu!. In extreme contrast with Slapp Happy's song-based music, in 1972 Péron, Sosna and Diermaier also collaborated with the violinist Tony Conrad on an album entitled Outside the Dream Syndicate; the record was released at a low price in the UK and was at the time one of the few available examples of drone-based minimalism. A live recording from 1995 of a later concert, entitled "Outside The Dream Syndicate Alive" featuring Tony Conrad, Zappi & Jean-Hervé of Faust and Jim O'Rourke was released in Autumn 2005. This recording is considered by many to be more successful than the 1972 studio version with Jean-Hervé playing so hard he snaps a bass string and shreds his fingers. Faust also collaborated with New Jersey avant-garde hip-hop crew Dälek for the album "Derbe Respect, Alder" with surprising success in 2004. As previously mentioned, Faust also collaborated with Nurse with Wound on the disconnected album.

5 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK Pt 1LINK Pt 2p/w aoofc

Rev. Dr. Moller. MDMA, THC and BAR. said...

Great, thanks. Not listened to it yet bur it got to be an upgrade to the tape I've had for ages.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, again, "Your Reverence"! It's a great, underrated album. TTU soon!

Elliot Knapp said...

Yes, a complex history for this album! Thanks for all the info; I reviewed this one on my own blog.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Elliot. Very complex but a great album. I enjoyed glancing through your blog. I've put a link to you on A.O.O.F.C. Thanks, & keep in touch