When office schleps like Bill Holt get sick of the daily drudgery of their 9-to-5 jobs, they might dream of an island retreat or a Las Vegas gambling getaway, but our boy Bill had other plans. Inspired by the Beatles' sonic experiments on Revolution 9, he quit his straight job in 1972 and sank his savings into an Ovation acoustic guitar, a TEAC four-track recorder, a Moog synth and various electronic gadgets and locked himself away in the basement, determined to top the Fab Four at their own tape-manipulation game.
The trippy pop curiosity Holt dubbed Dreamies has since become a sought-after outsider psych classic, largely because amongst all the hand-spliced found sound foolery, there are actually tuneful, well-crafted songs. Wilmington Studios ' 2006 Special Edition CD version of Dreamies was remastered from Holt's own LP copy, and it's amazing. A fascinating period piece well worth checking.
Our Manu in France
Just because you haven't seen Manu Boubli 's name on any Afro-funk comps lately doesn't mean France's one-man reissue operation has given up on archival work - he's just changed direction with the Vibe! series for BMG France. The first of 10 volumes boldly subtitled "the ultimate rare grooves series" concentrates on hard bop and modal jazz, and from the blazing 10-minute opener Estate 61 by Italy's Quartetto Di Lucca , followed by Guy Lafitte 's Afro-Caribbean heater Jambo, it's apparent that Boubli has the green light to dig much deeper than most major-label projects dare venture.
There's also some modal magic in Five, Four And Three, courtesy of Lee Konitz , and Got No Money, by Bosnian trumpet boss Dusko Gojkovic , off his tough-to-find Slavic Mood album. Each volume of the Vibe! series has a different stylistic or thematic focus, from ghetto funk to bossa grooves through fusion and soundtrack joints, yet the high quality of the timeless tunes remains constant. The illicit Brazilian badness on Volume 3 and vocal jazz, poetry and ballads on Volume 5 are also sweet.
When a U.S. psych dealer made me an offer I couldn't refuse for my copy of Warpig 's crazed Sabbath-worshipping 1970 debut LP on FontHill, I figured another copy would turn up soon enough. That was 18 years ago. Duh! Fortunately, the mysterious Mason Records has just reissued that Deep Purple-inspired whump of pre-metal madness on disc.
I'd forgotten what a window-rattling racket singer/guitarist Rick Donmoyer and his fellow Woodstock fuds whipped up on pounding jams like Tough Nuts and U.X.I.B., and you can't sweat Dana Snitch 's medieval-bent keyboard technique. For the last few years, Donmoyer has been threatening to put out some of Warpig's studio outtakes and raw early demos. Hopefully, this CD will be just the sort of jumpstart he needs to get rolling.