Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Musik Werks - Anthology '77-'81 (River Musik Werks RMW-3) 1981

An obscure treat for all the DIY - electronics fans....

I don't know too much about Musik Werks. What little I could find on Google indicates they were from the US.

The spine states '77-'81 and the tape lists '77-'80. The music was recorded between '77-'80. It contains unreleased music recorded before and between their two albums (presumably cassettes): Songs You've Never Heard Before and Intersketches.

The music is primarily DIY-synth/electronics w/ a little bit of live percussion. For comparison's sake I place this closer to Conrad Schnitzler than Klaus Schulze, not to say there isn't a closer comparison that can be made. The fluttering, cascading synths of Cascades reminds me of Steve Hillage's ambient masterpiece Rainbow Dome Musick.

There is one track I always have to skip when listening to this, Winter Interlude, as it sounds too much like a Billy Joel ballad, or worse.

The one track with live percussion, Avanti, starts off with synth burbles and then, out of nowhere, Musik Werks pull a Steven Halpern move and drop some mad percussion that makes one wonder why there is only one track like this (does anyone know if they ever explored this direction on their other releases???).

For those unfamiliar, Steven Halpern released several new age/ambient synth albums. A long time ago for reasons now forgotten, I had noted in my wantlist to track down Halpern's Subtle Body Suite for what had good drum breaks. I didn't know for the longest time it was a track title, not an LP title. In the early/mid-90's Amoeba & Rasputin's records in the bay area would always have several of his LPs in their used bins, and they always turned out sounding like hippie new age music. Finally, a few years ago at a record fair, I randomly chanced upon a strange looking Halpern record - Christening for Listening. Once I turned it around to look at the tracks (and instrumentation), I see the much-coveted track, and the LP includes percussion. To finally find this was great, and to find it for $5 only made it better.

Enjoy Side A (w/ art)
Enjoy Side B

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They are just selling a vinyl on
ebay usa "songs you've never heard.""

Lewis Corelis/Jack Schrage
It has the # Musik Werks 1

thanks for the great postings