Welcome to Volume 7 of our ongoing 'Multiple Exposure' series where we ask musicians to tell us about their favourite pieces of repetitive music.
This volume we are happy to receive a list from Stephen Bradbury (Black Tempest) who’s shared his favourite repetitive pieces of music:
Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery, Dharamasala - Ritual Music of Tibetan Buddhism
Among the ancient roots of repetitive music, somewhere you will find mantra. According to the sleeve notes of this collection it explains that, “the monks have mastered the ancient art of multiphonic chanting...each vocalist produces a chord encompassing two or three tones through the manipulation of overtones”. The low-pitched singing is known as “Gyu Me”.
Monks of the Dip Tse Chok
The Drummers of Burundi - Live At Real World Part 1
Back before Adam Ant and assorted stompers, the Burundi Drummers knew how to rip up a trancing beat. The sound is made of many rhythms, each representing an important concept. Some rhythms relate specifically to the life of the drums and the drummers. The percussion and the dance are inseparable.
The Drummers of Burundi
Robert Fripp - Let The Power Fall
The Frippertronics album 1984 has been a bit ignored compared to the starlight twinkling of Evening Star and No Pussyfooting. This is where Robert really got into the repetition, and apparently it “starts where God Save The Queen ended”, God Save the Queen being the album featuring Under Heavy Manners with David Byrne. The sleeve notes of Let The Power Fall make fascinating reading, detailing the steps and strategies in Fripp’s infamous plan for the Drive to 1981.
La Düsseldorf - Düsseldorf
It took me some time to chose just one track from either of La Düsseldorf’s two albums, but I kept coming back to this rather than the cool morning sunshine of Cha Cha 2000 or the punkier throb of the (almost identically named) La Düsseldorf, the second track on the same album. This one really is a classic.
Julian Cope - Odin
Julian at the peak of his powers, directed by Thighpaulsandra. 73 minutes and 45 seconds of “a simultaneously-synthesized parallel-harmonic Breathing Meditation”. If I remember rightly he is quoted as saying something like “it really kicks in after about 40 minutes”...class.
Joy Division - Sister Ray
I would have gone for the Velvets, but that would have been too obvious. Besides, this is great. Decades back I played a half hour version of Sister Ray in a pub in Islington with a Scottish band I used to play in called Brouhaha. It was one of the most ecstatic live experiences I’ve had - proper mad trance thing, so this track has fond and very out-there associations.
Miles Davis - TatuI couldn’t find a full version of this online. Miles gets the funk and gets it good. This is a track from the fabulous Dark Magus album. There is stacks of superb stuff from around this period - check out the Fillmore albums, and both Agharta and Pangea.
Porter Ricks - Port Gentil
From the seminal Biokinetics album. Dub techno at its finest. Minimal and submerged in waves of delay, this one worms its way into your sub(dub)conscious. I also recommend Thomas Koner’s Nunatak-Teimo-Permafrost trilogy - marvellous icy sounds of underwater gongs and frozen soundscapes.
High Wolf - Shangri L.A.
Fantastic hypnotic album from the master of loopinesses. Like being submerged in a psychedelic tropical jungle.
Earth - The Rakehell
From Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II. I particularly like Lori Goldston’s cello on this album, it levens the usually dominant guitars and bass of Earth’s monumental and epic pieces. “Be not afraid of the universe”…
Ash Ra Tempel - Traummaschine
From their classic self-titled debut album. As Archdrude Cope says in Krautrocksampler, “ a percussionless dreamscape of sounds cascades around the room...Ash Ra Tempel is at its greatest when it’s impossible to work out what instrument makes which sound”.
Ash Ra Tempel
Hapshash and the Coloured Coat - Empires of the Sun
First generation psychedelic freakout. Listened to at suitable volume, this has a proper acid intensity and chaotic frenzy to it. This could well be seen as influential on the early Amon Düül, and krautrock as a whole.
Acid Mothers Temple - IAO Chant From The Cosmic Inferno
Taking Gong’s Master Builder to its illogical conclusion - one hour of intense riffage. Out there all the way.
A Certain Ratio - Back To The Start
When I first saw this lot hitting the funk wearing Boy Scout shorts in North London back in the 70s, they were a complete revelation, and a gaping open door to the dance music that followed in the next couple of decades. To Each… is a vastly under-rated classic. Listening to it now, can I help but wonder if a tiny snippet of the DNA from early ACR has crawled under the skin of Teeth of the Sea? The funk, the soundscapes, the trumpet...
A Certain Ratio
Klaus Schulze - But Beautiful
One of the great synth masters at his finest. Fifty minutes of glorious textures and timbres. This is from the Cyborg album, named after the Frank Herbert book according to the sleeve notes of the 2006 re-issue on CD, although I can’t find a book by that name. Perhaps it refers to the Cyborgs in the book The Eyes of Heisenberg - “mechanically enhanced humans long opposed to the immortals” according to Wikipedia. But Beautiful is the bonus track on the CD, recorded during a concert in Brussels in 1977.
This was tough to do - I keep thinking of things I’d love to include. No Parson Sound, Boredoms, Jon Porras, Hawkwind? No Tangerine Dream - how could I leave out Tangerine Dream? And of course Gnod... Maybe I’ll have to do a second batch sometime.
Stephen Bradbury (Black Tempest) August 2014