A Generous Gift: Exquisite Rarities of Harold Budd and Brian Eno

It’s a very special month at Innerspace Labs thanks to a gift from a very generous reader! My followers will recall my sharing my “Brian Eno Collection Milestone” from August of 2020 wherein I showcased photos and details of my Eno collection to date, as well as my “Rest In Beauty: Compiling an Archive in Memory of Harold Budd” post from December of that year where I featured my vinyl discography of the late Harold Budd. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you are well aware that the catalogs of these two iconic veterans of ambient music are among my most-cherished musical treasures. 

In September I was contacted by a reader who, himself, is quite the avid collector. He had amassed an impressively substantial library of Eno and Budd artifacts, both physically and digitally, and maintains documentation cataloging and itemizing all facets of his collection. This fellow kindly offered to share his work with me, gifting me a wealth of releases missing from my humble collection. I was honored!

In all, he gifted me 341 folders of rare album releases I was missing from Eno and Budd’s catalogs, bringing my digital totals for these artists to 409 folders for Brian Eno and 82 folders for Harold Budd, respectively.

I was fascinated to learn of incalculably rare works among his library, such as Budd’s “Untitled Piece (Text-Sound composition)” from the 1969 Source Magazine #6. This release is noteworthy as, prior to its discovery, the earliest documented work by Budd was the markedly rare The Oak Of The Golden Dreams issued by Advanced Recordings in 1971 which last surfaced in 2020 and sold on Discogs for $420. The 38-minute “Untitled Piece” predates this recording by two years, and included with the recording were high-resolution PDF scans of the accompanying periodical summarizing Budd’s early composition. 

Other new-to-me Budd rarities were included such as a Various Artist release, the Chicago ‘82: A Dip in the Lake cassette from Belgium which contains two tracks by Budd. Similarly, The Greetings – Piano Live 1991 is another various artist release, issued in Italy by Materiali Sonori in 1993, and an EP of Glyph Remixes by Hector Zazou & Harold Budd issued by SSR in Belgium in 1996.

A library of lone tracks and rarities were also among the collection, featuring Budd retrospectives on several experimental music podcasts. Also included were a set of unofficial live concert recordings – something I never thought I’d see for an artist of Budd’s quiet and reserved nature!

The Eno library was even more exhaustive, as one might expect from such a prolific and active artist. I took incredible care when developing a folder structure to merge our respective collections, electing to create three primary folders for Official Releases, Unofficial Releases, and Non-Album Content (Apps and Themes). These folders dive deep and reward careful exploration, as nested networks of subfolders reveal a tremendous wealth of carefully-curated content. 

The additions did pose quite a challenge, however, as nearly none of the media had accurately or consistently-applied metadata, which is critical to the navigation of my archive. As such, I devoted many nights’ work to the task of reformatting all the metadata uniformly from scratch for values which were erroneous or missing. I utilized batch processing techniques wherever possible for efficiency, but the inconsistency of the tagged information required a nearly track-by-track analysis and correction. 

I brought it all to as close to an archival standard as I was able by performing digital forensics for the missing or conflicting data and employed semicolon delimiters for multi-value tags like those of artist collaborations, etc. I utilized the aforementioned nested folder structure for the primary categories and for multi-disc content with a date of issue prefix to create a chronological hierarchy to facilitate navigation both by folder and by ID3-based browsing. Thereafter, I had to synchronize all the newly-introduced content with all of my various music library databases, spreadsheets, documents, and other content management systems to incorporate critical data from over 4,000 files relating to these two artists.

As I’ve said previously, I understand that there are collectors with far more vast libraries of these gentlemen’s work. I’m grateful to have been able to compile 64-discs worth of Eno’s primary discography on vinyl, all eight of Harold Budd’s original LPs, and his collaborations with John Foxx on wax as well. I am not a wealthy man but I consider myself quite rich with the beautiful library of soundworks I’ve been able to enjoy in both the digital and physical form.

I want to extend another word of heartfelt gratitude to the reader who so generously reached out and shared the fruits of his research with me. It is a gift which I will enjoy repeatedly for years to come.

Published in: on September 24, 2021 at 7:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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(06.30.2019) The KLF – Welcome To The Past (Unedited) [WAV]

The privilege of hearing exclusive private releases can sometimes be the most rewarding and fulfilling musical experiences in an archivist’s life. And so it is with this brand new edit. The history and context of its composition is cryptic and shrouded in mystery, with very few search results on the internet, (I count three in total at the time of this drafting), which make the honor of receiving a copy all the more exciting.

From the very little information available publicly, it seems that this was originally released in an unknown number of exclusive edit singles, (at least 39 as evidenced by what members have compiled and contributed to theritesofmu wixsite at https://theritesofmu.wixsite.com/klf-kommunications/welcome-to-the-past-puzzle). It appears that the new complete(?) cut titled, “Welcome To The Past (Unedited)” was issued June 30th and distributed directly by the artist via private email in WAV format.

One of the previously-issued segments have been filed on Discogs here:
https://www.discogs.com/The-KLF-Welcome-To-The-Past/release/12381982

But the new complete (?) WAV now has an entry of its own:
https://www.discogs.com/The-KLF-Welcome-To-The-Past/release/13822393

The WAV’s Discogs entry sheds little additional light on this mysteriously wonderful release. It has what appears to be placeholder artwork as I’ve found no record of official art for the track, but the Discogs entry does provide a few other pieces of information.

klf

First, it confirms the total run time of the track to be 41:47 (corroborated by the WAV file I received), and bears the style tags of “ambient,” “synth pop,” and “trance.” It also offers a catalog number as part of the unofficial (but intensely professional) series, with this entry marked as “KLF 000RE.”

Distribution is denoted as UK and Europe, but with my understanding that this was a non-physical digital release issued via email I would say that the UK and Europe designation serves more a point of origin rather than an official region for the release. (I am in the US.)

But on to the track itself. The KLF Recovered & Remastered series is infamous and highly-prized for good reason, with several titles outshining even the original incarnations by Bill and Jimmy, themselves. Live From The Lost Continent is the greatest concert that never was. This Is Not What Space Is About and This Is Not What Chill Out Is About are each a pure triumph of the art of remixing and are powerfully epic listening which transport the listener to new worlds of experience.

Welcome To The Past (Unedited) is no exception to the incredibly high standard of production and musical cut-up artistry maintained consistently throughout the continuing Recovered & Remastered saga. It is frankly astonishing how much dynamic and fresh content its creator has been able to construct from the finite bank of the KLF’s catalog. He effectively breathes new life into their music and meticulously and masterfully assembles an array of seemingly innocuous samples of sirens, trance beats, and train station field recordings into a seamless and transportive opus of provocative proportions.

The final minutes of the mix are evocative and stirring, tugging wistfully at the heartstrings of every KLF devotee who has followed their zenarchistic madness from 1987 to the present day. Perhaps it is silly to romanticize trance music built upon discordian mythos and mayhem, but Welcome To The Past is an exquisite specimen of remix culture and a pure and proper celebration of the legacy of The KLF.

Five stars. Pure joy. “This is what the KLF are about. Over and out.”

Christmas in February – Loads of New Content from Fred Deakin!

Fred Deakin is best-known as half of the playfully eclectic downtempo duo Lemon Jelly, as well as one of the founders of the enormously successful and innovative design studio, Airside.

01 Fred Deakin.jpg

Airside’s client base included Coca-Cola, D&AD, EMI, Greenpeace, Live Earth, Mastercard, MTV, Nike, Panasonic, Sony, Visa, Vodafone, the Pet Shop Boys and The Beatles and their iconic style is instantly recognizable.

02 Airside.jpg

Deakin also founded Impotent Fury, Lemon Jelly’s own label, (which was also the name of an infamous club night run by Fred where the music genre was chosen by the spin of a wheel.) The label issued 46 official releases plus a few non-label deluxe custom-packaged boots due to uncleared samples issued with Fred’s telltale typeface. These boots have since become highly-sought-after collectibles among Jellyheads.

The first was 2001’s Soft/Rock, a 7″ blue vinyl single in a screenprinted modified denim sleeve constructed from pairs of jeans with a flavored condom in the pocket. The single was limited to 1,000 copies, 15 of which featured hand embroidery by Laura Lees. The singles contained uncleared samples by Chicago and Black Crowes, hence the private release.

03 Soft Rock.png

Then in August of 2003, another self-release surfaced titled Rolled/Oats. The single was spray painted gold and screenprinted once again with the classic Jelly font and housed in a hessian (burlap) sleeve. “Rolled” samples “Feel Like Making Love” by Bad Company and is based on “The Curse Of Ka’zar” from their Lost Horizons double LP. “Oats” uses elements of “Closer” with a sample of George Michael’s “Heal The Pain”.

04 Rolled Oats

Lemon Jelly initially issued three EPs, later collected on the beautifully-packaged lemonjelly.ky double LP in 2000.

05 lemonjelly.ky

This was followed by their debut full-length LP, Lost Horizons in 2002. Each album featured striking packaging design named among countless “greatest album art” lists as well as being featured in Grant Scott’s book, The Greatest Album Covers of All Time. Both of these releases showcased the duo’s spirited, whimsical, and ultra-chilled downtempo style.

06 Lost Horizons - Poster Print.jpg

In 2005 a box set of four 10″ LPs was issued titled ’64-’95, with each track prefixed with the year of the sample incorporated into the single. The album is rather different from their previous two releases in that it has a darker sound and is influenced by more modern sounding music. To avoid confusion over the matter, the band included a sticker on the sleeve stating, “This is our new album, it’s not like our old album.” The album closer, “Go” featured vocals by William Shatner.

07 64-95.png

Fred also produced over one hundred mixes and DJ sessions during and after his time with Lemon Jelly, many of which were featured by BBC 6 Music and the Breezeblock. Each set seamlessly wove together deep cuts and musical oddities of Balearica, funk, hip hop, soul, dub, reggae, swing, and an array of leftfield oddities which always kept the listener engaged and guessing as to what was around the next sonic corner.

An official release of this nature was eventually issued in 2007 by Impotent Fury – Fred Deakin Presents: The Triptych, a three-CD set of everything from folk rock to break/broken beat, jazzdance, country, deep and Euro house, neo-soul, gospel, and more.

08 The Triptych.jpg

And the following year, a two-CD set premiered titled Nu Balearica packed with Balearic Beat and Nu-Disco choons.

09 Nu Balearica.jpg

I spent the early 2000s compiling about one hundred and ten of the various mixes and sessions Fred had touched, right down to the demo cassette he’d recorded in the late nineties when running the club Impotent Fury. And in 2011 and 12 Fred resurfaced under the pseudonym Frank Eddie (once again due to uncleared samples) and issued five limited 7″ singles in geometrically designed screenprinted sleeves.

10 Frank Eddie singles.png

The complete set was issued as a CD album called, Let’s Be Frank in 2012.

11 Frank Eddie - Let_s Be Frank.jpg

Fred also applied the Frank Eddie moniker to a special remix of English boy band, East 17’s “Stay Another Day” for a heartwarming farewell music video to mark the retirement of their Airside design company. A gorgeous 296pp coffee table book, Airside by Airside was published by Gestalten telling the story of their evolution and is certainly on my wish list for this year.

12 Airside by Airside book

This project tapered off after the Jellyhead forum went dormant and things quieted down for a few years, until a few days ago when, on a whim, I revisited Fred’s page on Rateyourmusic.com. There I noticed a curious title I’d not previously encountered – Come Dance With Me Sweetheart dated 2016. I did a little searching around and by the day’s end, (thanks to a fellow Jellyhead who has been archiving all Lemon Jelly material from the source tapes for nearly two decades), had 19 additional DJ sessions which had surfaced since I’d last stopped collecting. It was like Christmas! I quickly assembled a 25-hour playlist of all the new-to-me Jelly content and am having a blast exploring it all!

And revisiting The Triptych, I began to research the deeper cuts from the mix and found one funky track, Billy Hawk’s “O’ Baby (I Believe I’m Losing You)” appears on a sublabel comp of BGP (Beat Goes Public) Records. The label has issued three series that look worth a listen.

13 BGP.jpg

Super Breaks is a set of six double LPs and albums showcasing essential funk, soul, jazz samples, and breakbeats. There is also the SuperFunk series of twelve releases and a third set of four albums branded as Funk Soul Sisters. These might be just what I’m after for more deep cuts.

14 SuperFunk.jpg

Another of my favorite classic Jelly mixes, Breezeblock – 20th September 1999, includes the Public Enemy / Herb Alpert mashup, “Rebel Without A Pause (Whipped Cream Mix)” which a quick search revealed was by The Evolution Control Committee, Mark Gunderson’s plunderphonics project. Mark collaborated with The Bran Flakes on the Raymond Scott Rewired project issued by Basta Records which I absolutely must check out, along with a deeper exploration of other related artists like Emergency Broadcast Network, Escape Mechanism, The Tape-beatles, as well as my complete archives of the works of Negativland, John Oswald, and selected works from People Like Us (who collaborated with Matmos and Wobbly).

15 Raymond Scott Rewired.jpg

It’s truly remarkable to live in a time when a few simple Google searches yield days of rewarding listening. Here’s my Lemon Jelly and related album collection to date, in addition to the 129 digital albums and DJ sessions I’ve collected that are so generously shared among fellow Jellyheads.

16 Lemon Jelly and Sundae Club Collection (1 of 2).jpg

17 Lemon Jelly and Sundae Club Collecton (2 of 2).jpg

Non-Commercial Highlights of the Week

This month I’ve picked up some absolutely outstanding non-commercial releases (which I prefer over “bootlegs,”) and I wanted to take the opportunity to differentiate between the two terms.

When I hear the word, “bootleg,” I picture a DVD-R in a paper sleeve with the word, “TITANIC” written in black sharpie across the disc.  Bootlegs are what people try to sell you for a fiver in a gas station parking lot.

China

“Bootleg”

When instead I use the term “non-commercial” or “unauthorized”  release, I have in mind something much different.  A wonderful example is the KLF Recovered & Remastered Ltd Ed EP series I highlighted in my last entry.  These are painstakingly and skillfully remastered works engineered by dedicated fans who fill the void left when the official label has left recordings ignored and unreleased for decades.

Two such LPs just arrived in the mail yesterday.

Crown Records issued unauthorized versions of Kraftwerk’s first two (sadly, forgotten) albums, I and II in 1994, albums which had not been available on vinyl since 1970 (other than a short run by Philips Records’ Japanese division in 1979.)  What made the Crown releases even more fun was that for the first time these LPs were issued on red and green wax matching their Warhol-esque cover art.

Crown - Kraftwerk I

Crown - Kraftwerk II
These two albums sound nothing like the electronic wizardry of their better-known recordings.  Here is a sample of side 1, track 1 – “Ruckzuk.”

But then, this week, I got my hands on an absolute gem – a remarkable example of a proper fan-produced album.

The Syd Barrett – Have You Got It Yet? box set produced by The Laughing Madcaps is a work of art.

This 22-disc box set includes over 200 rare and unreleased audio tracks with a total running time of over 13 hours.  But it doesn’t stop there.   The set is complete with deluxe fan-designed packaging and 8 bonus VCD discs including Syd’s First Trip from 1966, TV promotional footage from Sydney and Belgium, a complete collection of video interviews, the VH1 Legends special, a disc of rare photo galleries, PDF scans of books like The Pink Floyd Songbook, and so much more.

Box for A3 printing
Each disc comes with matching artwork and detailed production liner notes.  Many of the tracks are presented as OOPS (Out Of Phase Stereo) mixes.

From the liner notes:

These are fan-created remixes and NOT session outtakes. OOPS is a process by which a home user can remix a stereo track, thus revealing musical details that were less evident in the commercial mix.

Furthermore, every OOPS and mono track on discs 8-10 was rendered as a dual-signal expansion: one channel is a mirror image of the other. For the listener, this means a richer sound field and a more natural ambiance than could be expected from pure mono, yet without any obvious attempt at a stereo result from a mono source.

spines

The spines of Volumes 1 – 10

For the Pink Floyd fans out there unfamiliar with the phrase, “Have You Got It Yet?” the story goes like this:

Initially, the song, “Have You Got It Yet?” seemed like an ordinary Barrett tune. However, as soon as the other members attempted to join in and learn the piece, Barrett changed the melodies and structure, making it impossible for the others to follow.  For the chorus, Barrett sang, “Have You Got It Yet?” while the rest of the band answered “No, no!”.

Roger Waters was later interviewed about the incident and said that upon realizing that Barrett was deliberately making the song impossible to learn, he reportedly put down his bass, left the room, and never attempted to play with Barrett again.

Waters called it “a real act of mad genius”.

I will not endorse buying bootlegs.  But fan-remastered and remixed recordings of rare and unreleased 40-year old archival material?  Fine by me.

Pink Floyd Yard Sale Mystery: Solved

The following info was compiled from the Pink Floyd RolO Database, backtrax-records.co.uk, and various other Pink Floyd archive sites.  I’d like to post this as a “thank you” to Mr. Pinky, Historian of the Pink Floyd Vinyls throughout the world.  His site, the Ultimate Pink Floyd Vinyl Discography includes over 2600 recordings!  You can visit it at http://digilander.libero.it/mrpinky/

Mr. Pinky confirmed my research and provided additional information about a mysterious live LP of The Wall I found at a yard sale for a mere fifty cents.  The blank white sleeve contained the unlabeled album in mint condition along with a 12″ print and a handwritten track list.

Pink Floyd - Earls Court Aug 6 Insert
Earls Court Aug 6 Setlist
Here is what I came to learn about the album.

Title:        Pink Floyd: The Wall Performed Live
Format:     LP
Catalog:    E.M.K.A. PROD  (EMKA = MCA = Universal)
Matrix:      (P-DA/PDF-B) ß Portable Digital Audio Tape
Source:     1980 London Earl’s Court, London 1980 August 6th

Sound Quality: Excellent Stereo

Comments: Italian bootleg with plain cover and paper insert with orange print. Pressed from the same plates as the e.m.k.a release on black and lilac vinyl with plain white labels. Later re-issued again with black & white xeroxed insert on black, green and lilac vinyl. A further pressing from these plates had yet another different insert and Avion record labels.

Rarity rating: **** (all issues)

Band: Roger Waters, Rick Wright, Nick Mason, David Gilmour

Pink Floyd never toured for The Wall, but only played between five and eight dates each at Los Angeles, New York, London, Dortmund, and again London during 1980 and 1981.

NOTE: Several live performances of The Wall are mis-labeled as this performance.

The following cd package is actually a recording from the Nassau Coliseum in New York on the 26th of February 1980.

Mis-labeled Pink Floyd - The Wall Live @ Nassau Coliseum in New York 02-26-80
Mis-labeled Pink Floyd - The Wall Live @ Nassau Coliseum in New York 02-26-80 (back)
Another show mis-labeled as Earls Court 1980 is noted at this site:
http://www.spacecoast-cdr.com/Pink_Floyd/Pink_Floyd.html.  It is actually Earls Court London, UK June 17, 1981.

Mis-labeled Pink Floyd - The Wall Live @ Earls Court London, UK 06-17-81
Mis-labeled Pink Floyd - The Wall Live @ Earls Court London, UK 06-17-81 (back)
And finally, the widely available live DVD performance of the Wall is clearly marked as Earls Court, August 9th, 1980.  To the best of my knowledge, the August 6th concert has yet had no official release.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: The master tape of this recording later appeared on the Siréne label on a released titled, The Warm Thrill Of Confusion (Siréne-063).  Collectors Music Reviews added the following note about the tape:

It first surfaced on vinyl as The Wall Live, Wall, and The Wall Performed Live (E.M.K.A. PROD) and on CD as Live Wall (Satisfaction Guaranteed SG 054/55 ), Live Wall (Part 1+2) on Silver Rarities (SIRA 47/48), The Show Must Go On and the fan based Digital Floyd Project roio The Wall Earl’s Court 6/8/80 Performed Live.

So that solves the case of the unmarked album.  Not a bad find for fifty cents.