Thursday, July 24, 2008
Greetings and Hail Voyagers!
As I sit here conjuring words to introduce today's Guest I'm also listening to the last album released by the band and realize it has been three years since it came out. Tempus fugit!
A mainstay on and in the Philly scene, (as tight as ANY here in the States, with LA close in that regard), he's played with a who's who of the music being issued from said city. As a drummer for Azusa Plane he decided to concentrate on his own project. Of it he's said: "I just wanted to make one pop record and release it. My initial idea was to make a very digestible pop record that would be hugely successful, and then I was going to make the weirdest second record that I could think of. It kind of happened like that, except for the hugely successful part of the first record."
That record yielded a big surprise when, in December of 1999, the single "Wheats" was picked by NME as Single of the Week. "From there, it was just like a rocket. It just took off. I really wasn't prepared for it. I went from making four-track recordings in my bedroom to having dinner with labels in London and discussing signing me. Tons of labels. And you know, being in NME and seeing my picture next to Prince and Biggie Smalls and things like that. It was just bizarre, a really crazy experience."
Now our Guest finds himself having to create a new name for his musical outlet as some "Rock and Roll Legends from Long Island" hired an attorney(s) to keep rights to the name Mazarin, a name our Guest chose via the reading of Umberto Eco's The Island Of The Day Before. (Editor's note: Great Book!)
Music fans, Quentin Stoltzfus, of (for now) Black Stoltzfus!
He has wide-ranging taste, as you're about to see:
1. In ten words-or less, define "psychedelic music."
the simultaneous perception of harmonic opposites.
2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?
either the harmonium, or the human voice. tuvan throat singing has to be one of the most mesmerizing sounds possible by one sound source.
3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?
that's a hard one. i'll say the faust tapes.
4. Roky or Syd, why?
i love them both. i feel a particular connection to roky because i grew up in texas and my babysitter worked at the rusk state hospital where he was kept throughout the 70's and 80's. she'd take me there to pick up her paychecks, so i have very strong visual memories of the place.
5. If you could be a member of any band in history, what band would it be and what would you play?
the sun ra arkestra. i'd play bells and percussion.
6. What psychedelic album do you wish more people knew about?
i have no gauge as to what people know or don't know, but it seems to me that not very many people know about Traffic Sound - "68-69"
7. What band, active today, most defines "psychedelic" to you?
acid mothers temple. they've always destroyed me with their live shows.
8. What album would you most like to cover in its entirety, why?
the village green preservation society. doesn't necessarily fall into the psychedelic category i know, but i've been obsessed with it for easily ten years, and probably listen to it at least once a week. the collection of songs on that record are so strange but accessible at the same time. i've learned all of them at one time or another.
9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?
i find it impossible to rank favorites, so in no particular order, here are some of mine:
Kraftwerk - Concert Classics Live 1976 - "Kometenmelodie"
Can - "Chain Reaction"
Autechre - Chiastic Slide - "Cipater"
The Beach Boys - Smiley Smile "windchimes"
The Beatles - "Long, long, long"
Pharoah Sanders - "Colors"
Grandmaster Flash - "Scorpio"
Stereolab/ Nurse with Wound - "Simple Headphone Mind"
Moondog - New Sound of an Old Instrument - "Sand Lily"
The Shaggs - "I'm So Happy When You're Near"
i could list a hundred more.
10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question.
Quentin: what is your favorite psych record of all time?
valis: Well, mine changes seemingly twice daily. Seems to depend on either who I've listened to last or what mood I want to achieve. (I've gone on record here before answering this same question and answered The Soundtrack of Our Lives' Extend Revelations album.) Today Quentin, it seems to be Primal Scream's Screamadelica. A full-on roller coaster of emotion. I like the places it puts me in, too.
Thank you Quentin! Best wishes on a name you can be comfortable with. We're quite sure the music created will be voyage-worthy...