Sunday, March 25, 2007

Music I Liked And Didn't - 3/25/07


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CHICO MAGNETIC BAND: S/T CD (Lizard) - The Chico Magnetic Band was a group of heavy French freaks who formed in the late 1960’s. This CD is a reissue of their only album, originally released on the tiny Disques Vogue subsidiary label Box Office in 1969. Chico is the vocalist/leader and he mumbles, speaks, sings, screams, laughs, moans, and generally freaks out vocally in every way imaginable. Guitarist Bernard Monneri provides the perfect accompaniment for Chico’s vocal histrionics with both funky and heavy chunks of riffage and shredding fuzz/wah leads. Chico and his crew synthesize almost every classic influence of late-60’s psychedelia and heavy rock (Hendrix, Zeppelin, Beefheart, and so on) and were aided and abetted by producer Jean-Pierre Rawson and electronics whiz Jean-Pierre Massiera (who employs every trick in the book - backwards tape loops, electronic exotica, and so on - to devastating effect!) to create these eight incredible tracks of loose, funky, heavy, over-the-top, psychedelic rock. Personal favorites include "Explosion", "Lot Of Things", and "To Where I Belong".

In this era when it seems as if every obscurity from the past is being reissued and inaccurately hyped as being the ultimate document, this is actually one album that delivers on its promise. Truly one of THE all time classics of underground freak out psych rock and I can’t believe that I hadn’t even known of its existence before now. Amazing!!!!!

CHICO MAGNETIC BAND: Disques 45 CDR (None) - This bootleg CDR (which uses source material of, unfortunately, poor quality) contains 10 tracks from four 7” releases by the Chico Magnetic Band. The first four tracks are relatively uninteresting, at least to me, covers of material by Chico's muse, Jimi Hendrix: “Spanish Castle Magic”, “Ain’t No Telling”, “Little Miss Lover”, and “If 6 Was 9“. The next two tracks (“Pop Or Not” and “Inverse Pop”) deliver some exploito-psych sounds, featuring sensual fem vox and miscellaneous electronic exotica common in that era. The seventh and eighth tracks (“My Sorrow” and “We All Come And Go”) are both from the album discussed above. The final two tracks, “Girls Of Ocean” and “Phantasm”, are also quite consistent with the heavy freak rock of their lone album and, therefore, are quite excellent. Overall, this is a pretty marginal release, but I was so intoxicated by their awesome self-titled full-length and material by the Chico Magnetic Band is so rare that I yielded to the forces of completism.

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Running Count For The Year

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Spills said...

How does this compare to, say, Freakout Total (the comp that was released a few years ago) or Les Maledictus Sound?

There seemed to be a fertile French scene in the late 60's/early 70's that synthesized a variety of disparate sounds.

By the way, I just discovered your blog. Great stuff.

daryl licht said...

Hey Man, thanks for checking out the blog and for your comments. I'm hoping to augment the blog with sound samples soon, so please keep checking in.

As for your question, I must admit that I only have a passing familiarity with the material you reference, but, based on my recollection, the CMB material is more direct, heavy, and rocking; certainly more so than the Les Maledictus Sound at any rate.

Spills said...

Solid. I'm going to check out Chico. I can't believe I've overlooked something like that.

You should check out Freakout Total. It is one of the better compilations of its kind. While the individual bands are of the same era, they sound remarkably different. Interestingly, many of the bands featured on this comp received significant air play (in Canada, at least). Like Chico, some of these groups drew heavily from Hendrix. Apropos of nothing, if Hendrix materialized for the first time in 2007, would he get airplay, or would be be consigned to some "alternative/college rock" ghetto?

Harry said...

Hello Chico fanatic, please put this cdr or (at least I am trying to locate pop or not and inverse pop as the 45 tours ) these 2 songs. I cannot seem to find the download link. Regards from the netherlands, Harry