Thursday, 19 December 2013

Secret Oyster - Straight To The Krankenhaus

Hooked and High

I’ve spent some days now feeding my music compilation addiction, a habit that has dominated my musical life from classic mixed cassette tapes to themed cd anthologies, the process now aided by digital access rather than the physically demanding effort of, in those earlier days, working through lps – on and off the turntable/stopping and starting the cassette recording – then the easier but still physical trawl through numerous cds.

Digital surf-compilations also mean you can search for named tracks on an external hard drive if your nerd-inclination mainlines this way, as mine does now and again, and my next fix for this will be Light My Fire having noticed a range of interpretations whilst looking for other targets.

But this post is just a pause from my latest compulsion where I have been compiling tracks for a series called jazzrockjazz [yes, I name them, and number too, now on 7 for this one: but in compiling this I have had to create sub-genres of JazzRock, now on 2, and one which is FemaleVocalRock, and this doesn’t include the other main category I have actually been fuelling which is called FarOutOld, now on 11, which itself prompted another file called OldHarmony – and I think I have already revealed too much about my problem....].

Secret Oyster was a Danish supergroup playing jazz rock/fusion in the 70s, this album released in 1976. Their work is impressive when taken as a whole rather than this album itself being outstanding, but what Straight To The Krankenhaus does contain is the outstanding track Traffic & Elephants, unusual on the album in being mainly a saxophone solo rather than the more usual mix of organ and moog, and whilst the playing is astonishingly good, it is the crescendo of the driving bass and drums beneath this that makes this instrumental so melodramatic in its musical narrative. You really have to stop and listen when this is playing. 

When I've sated this current obsession perhaps I'll review a few of the late 60s fuzzed-up bands I have been focusing on and rediscovering. Their rawness and energy puts the pretty prog I come across whilst searching into a placid background [an intriguing aural battle and shifting allegiance] and predict the punk that would be its necessary and replacing echo.

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