Monday, April 13, 2009

Mr Phreek - Summer 99 Rhodes Electro Punk

(Mr Phreek circa '98/'99 - Photo by Ackronomicon)

It was the summer of 1999 and Ack and I were living in my mom's house in Van Nuys, CA while she was in NY. We had turned the living room into our permanent recording studio so we could walk in and hit record whenever the mood struck us. Most of the recordings centered on Pope Goat VII, but I got home from work a few hours earlier than Ack so I squeezed in some recordings here and there.

By this time, I was fully steeped in Iggy Pop's The Idiot, Throbbing Gristle, The Birthday Party and free jazz, especially Sun Ra. All those influences can be heard here, though I was really trying to do my version of The Idiot using Indian beats described by Don Cherry on Actions. I used my drum machine, Fender Rhodes electric piano and bass.

I ended up sending a copy of these songs to Michael Dean from Bomb. He said it reminded him of Suicide, certainly a high compliment.

About the songs:
(note: songs that are linked can be downloaded as samples)

01. Hibernation - I guess this was my attempt at doing something like "Mass Production" from The Idiot. You can hear that I'm trying to do my best Iggy Pop impression in the vocals. Haha.

02. Friday - I programmed one of those Don Cherry beats into my drum machine and jammed this one out. It ended up sounding kind of industrial. I like the way it turned out, especially when it changed 2/3 of the way through.

03. Drunken Battle - Another Don Cherry beat. This one has Iggy all over it, even stuff from his first two Arista albums.

04. Desert Song - Probably the darkest song from these sessions. I really like the way this turned out.

05. Crossing the Line - This song ended up being pretty prophetic, as I was sinking deeper and deeper into drug use. There's much more of a Birthday Party/Jesus Lizard/Stooges thing here than on the previous tracks. You can clearly hear me smoking pot at the end.

06. Factory Man - The Stooges/Birthday Party/Jesus Lizard sound comepletely took over here. Maybe it was a good thing that I stopped when I did.

Mr Phreek
Summer 99 Rhodes Electro Punk CS

1 comment:

  1. Funny how this reminds of things that I know, rather than things that you mention. I don't know Don Cherry's music at all, but I do know about the first Big Black E.p., and this tape reminds me of that. That last song even has a similar title to 'Steelworker'.
    After I wrote that last sentence I put on the first Big Black e.p....hell, I hear A LOT of similarity, even if it wasn't intentional- there's the Frender Rhodes instead of a tinny electric guitar... and of course there are plent of unique Mr. Phreekisms, so it is more than just an imitation of The Iggy, Etc.