Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Hip Priest Sermons Of Brother John Rydgren

In the beginning was the word brothers and sisters ...... and this word was spoken in such a deep, rich, resonant, baritone voice and backed by what only can be described as the holiest of musical trinities; the Vox guitar fuzz pedal, the electric sitar and the rock drum that the kids had no choice but to open their ears and listen to the words being spoken. The devotional psychsploitation sermons of Brother John Rydgren are weird gear indeed, a strange interzone of righteous scripture and head shop nonconformity. This anthology collects three of his rarest lps “Worlds Of Youth” [1966] “Cantata For New Life” [1967] and “Silhouette Segments” [1968] and each one is a masterpiece of spoken word ecclesiastical weirdness. Brother Rydgren’s recording career started in 1962, working as a radio announcer and narrator for the American Lutheran Church who distributed and broadcast his sermons in syndicated shows across America. These pre recorded monologues were a collision of beatnik hip talk and lysergic spiritualism and often featured flipped out musical collages of sampled psychedelics which appealed to both hipster and Jesus freak alike. This anthology finely documents a turbulent period of history, where the Christian faith collided head on with an emerging sixties counterculture to create surprisingly wild and playful cultural hybrids. Like the Beats, Rydgren wrote for the ear as well as the printed page and his delivery is always spot on. His monologues, which are delivered in a voice not too dissimilar to the seductive vocal tones and shades of Chicago versifier Ken Nordine combine a warm reverence, droll observation and humorous word play which all but masks the ever present religious or moral subtext. Making leaps of association between musical, literary and theological ideas, Rydgren harnessed many of the cultural signifiers of the period, playfully subverting them through the miracle of ecclesiastical détournement, literally putting the message back into the medium. Dig.

“Silhouette Segments” is released this month by the Omni Recording Company

For more information about Brother John Rydgren have a peek here.

Friday, January 18, 2013


...... not sure if this is in the public domain yet but here's a short piece of flickering light and private press electronic tape hiss by Neotantrik [Andy Votel, Andy Rushton and Sean Canty]. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Notes From The Cosmic Typewriter

I was delighted to find this book on my hallway rug this morning. It seemed somehow fitting that a book containing visual poems, meticulously constructed using the typebars of a manual typewriter should fall through something called a letterbox. 'Notes From The Cosmic Typewriter' documents the curious life and work of theologian, concrete poet, visual philosopher and Benedictine monk Dom Sylvester Houédard. Despite being a prominent and pivotal figure in the postwar British cultural landscape, Houédard is little known outside the rarefied world of the private art collection and the hallowed doors of institutional academia. Hopefully the publication of this book will rectify this. It's an odd story: a tale of a monk and his extraordinary lifelong pursuit to create a hymnal to the typewritten word using a portable Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter and his poetic imagination. It's a story which needs to be told. Although marginalised by history, Houédard was one of the key figures in introducing concrete poetry to Britain both as a theorist and as a practitioner. His poetry, visual art and scholarly rigour touched bases with an international network of like minded visual artists, poets, performers and musicians as well as many of the key art movements of the period such as Auto Destructive art, mail art and Fluxus. Many of the images and texts reproduced in the book have seldom been seen, either being self published in small editions or appearing in arcane periodicals or private press pamphlets. This book clearly illustrates Houédard's ever playful inventiveness in pushing the boundaries of what poetry can be - 'collaged found objects, cosmic dust, newspapers, jam and glue, origami paper folding, wooden boxes, shadow, reflections, audible and inaudible sounds, dance movements, gestures, spit and silence' are all up for grabs as the raw materials for creating poetry. Many of the works are both playful and profound. The typestracts (a term coined by the poet Edwin Morgan which combined the words 'typewriter' and 'abstract') are particularly breathtaking in both their visual appeal and their extraordinary method of production. Painstakingly produced by the precise manipulation and dexterous turning of paper and the coloured ink ribbons of a portable Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter, Houédard alchemically transforms the typed word into a series of beautifully restrained typographical and poetic compositions.

A most curious and rewarding publication.

"Notes From The Cosmic Typewriter : The Life And Work Of Dom Sylvester Houédard" is published by Occasional Papers.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Dream's Servants Mix

A Sound Awareness is delighted to present this enchanting little audio collage by Jeremy Novak [ one half of 'strange pop' duo Dymaxion ]. Hopefully this wonderful collection of 'spectral pop' and 'haunted folk musique' will help soothe a few aching heads this morning. Again, many thanks to Jeremy for taking the time to assemble such a beautifully woven mix! Hope you all have happy new ears in 2013! 

Dream's Servants Mix

1. Walter Franco - Muito Todo
2. Simon Park Orchestra - Dawn to Dusk
3. Les Masques - Dis Nous Quel est Le Chemin
4. Brigitte Fontaine & Jacques Higelin - Maman J'ai Peur
5. Ronald Stein - Moon Rock Ad Talk
6. Barbara - Regardez Les Regard Des Hommes
7. Scotty McKay - Black Cat
8. Lill Lindfors - Grimasch Om Morgonen
9. Collage - Dream's Servants
10. Skaldowie - Cala Jestes w Skowronkach
11. Lincoln Mayorga - Love Rach
12. The Open Window - 4 a.m., June, The Sky Was Green
13. The West Coast Workshop - Ode to Jackie, Dorothy and Alyce 
14. Zanagoria - Cancrizzante in Ritmo
15. Eric Framond - Klaxon No. 1
16. Alexander Gradsky - Tanya, Tanyusha
17. Alwin Nikolais - Eruptions & Evolvements
18. Luis Bacalov - Voci Nella Citta Delle Donne
19. Peter Garland - Apple Blossom