Friday, July 03, 2009
Hoping the Summer Solstice Compilation, 2009, sated your needs these past two weeks and extends to the rest of the year! Great groups, eh?! (Hoping you've found time to offer thanks to them, too. It means a lot.)
Returning to our regular schedule, we've a fantastic & fascinating guest for today's post. A veteran of more than 30 LPs released at this writing, from the mid-80s to now, he's a creative force and a pleasure to have spoke with via intermessage systems. It's Yukio Yung (a/k/a Terry Burrows)!
Here's a brief bit of the Stewart Mason-penned Bio' from AMG:
"Yukio Yung is the pseudonym of Terry Burrows, a London-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist with an apparently limitless appetite for both pseudonyms and side projects. Aside from his best-known alias, which he first used in the mid-'80s as one-third of the psych pop group the Chrysanthemums, Burrows released instrumental prog rock as Push-Button Pleasure, acid house dance mixes as YooKo, and free jazz-influenced pop art experiments as the Jung Analysts. To top it all off, Burrows released albums of avant-garde minimalism under his own name. All of this is in addition to his day job as a prolific author of computer manuals and music instruction books.
Born in Ipswich, England, on January 14, 1963, Burrows taught himself guitar, bass, drums, and saxophone as a teenager, in addition to pursuing a classical education on piano that had begun at the age of five. Although influenced by punk, it was more the anti-record industry D.I.Y. ethos that attracted him than the music. Burrows' influences included Syd Barrett, the Kinks, the Who, and the entire Canterbury Scene with its prog rock sound that centered around the Soft Machine and its various offshoots, along with other '60s-influenced post-punks like XTC and the Television Personalities. By the mid-'80s, Burrows had started his own indie label, Hamster Records, releasing albums by his first band, the Jung Analysts, and similar non-commercial artists. A chance meeting with singer/guitarist Alan Jenkins, whose psych pop cult band Deep Freeze Mice had just broken up, led to the formation of the Chrysanthemums, for whom Burrows was lead singer and keyboardist between 1986 and 1991; the band name, like Burrows' newly adopted stage name of Yukio Yung, came about as part of his fascination with Japanese culture."
My interest came via his work in the Chrysanthemums, and-most notably, their covering the entire Odessey And Oracle by the Zombies.
Anyone who has the good taste to do that is clearly thinking with the right brain cells. (Imho.)
OK, what's he think about our favorite genre?
1. In ten words-or less, define "psychedelic music."
Any aural stimulus that evokes a state of sensory immersion.
2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?
The recording studio in its in many forms... Even the MacBook on which I’m writing these notes whilst sitting in a café. That's bloody psychedelic!
3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?
Either ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ (Pink Floyd) or ‘Electric Music for the Mind and Body’ (Country Joe and the Fish) for very different reasons.
4. What was the thought process behind doing a cover of "Odessey and Oracle" in its entirety..? Were there other albums under consideration as well?
Alan Jenkins of the Deep Freeze Mice, with whom I founded The Chrysanthemums, introduced me to The Zombies in the late 80s. I immediately fell in love with ‘Oddessey and Oracle’. My plan had been to do a compilation album version for my label with all the bands involved covering one of the tracks, but I mentioned the idea to Alan and he liked it, so we decided to do it as a band. I don’t recall any other cover plans, except the Yes album Tales of Topographic Oceans – I liked the idea of covering an album I’d never heard... Indeed, I still haven’t heard it...
(Stewart Mason's review, from AMG:
" Song-by-song covers of entire albums are fairly rare, and rarer still are those that don't either try to rework the album into one specific style (think of George Benson's jazz-pop The Other Side of Abbey Road) or exist only to mercilessly trash the original. Despite guitarist Alan Jenkins' sarcastic amendments to the liner notes of the Zombies' original Odessey & Oracle, the back cover of which is presented here in modified form, it's clear that he and bandmates Terry Burrows and Martin Jenkins are fans of this '60s Baroque pop classic. Although the Chrysanthemums transform Rod Argent and Chris White's songs into a variety of pop styles, most of them rooted in the skewed psychedelia that's the Chrysanthemums' stock in trade, the results are respectful if not reverent. What's most interesting is the way the reworked songs reveal new facets. The original "Care of Cell 44" is so pretty that it's easy to miss how deeply strange the lyrics are. The Chrysanthemums' version, which substitutes sound effects and tape loops for the original's orchestral interludes, brings out that oddity. Elsewhere, the acid house groove of "A Rose for Emily" works much better than it has any right to, and the sneering hardcore punk setting of "The Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)" fits the horrific wartime imagery perfectly. While the ultra-chirpy "Friends of Mine" sends up the terribly twee original a bit, speeding up the tape until Burrows sounds almost like Alvin of the Chipmunks, it's still all in good fun. The closing track, a hazy, extended psychedelic jam on "Time of the Season," featuring some lengthy Hendrixian solos by Jenkins, bears little resemblance to the original other than the familiar slinky bassline, but it's otherwise a perfect recreation of the ethos of its time. ")
I have a long-standing plan to cover an entire Top 30 singles chart from May 1973...
5. What song or album that wouldn't fall into the classic "psych" definition is, nevertheless, psychedelic to you?
This is an interesting question. I remember about 10 years ago Todd Dillingham lending me a Kate Bush album claiming it was an incredibly psychedelic album... Can’t remember which it was but I’m sure it had the word “dogs” in the title... But I obviously didn’t get what he saw in it... Then again, I remember him coming over and telling me how psychedelic Dollar were... His is a strange world! I guess for me a lot of ambient music or Krautrock would fall into the psychedelic category. I think I’d even describe my noise band Tonesucker as psychedelic.
6. Is there an advantage in being the pioneers (60s psychedelic bands), or being the continuing explorers armed with the knowledge of those pioneers work (the modern psychedelic bands)? Why?
Can’t really say since I wasn’t in a pioneering psychedelic band. I know a guitarist called Brian Godding who had a band in the 60s called Blossom Toes, whose debut album is an absolute psychedelic classic, but he doesn’t get what all the fuss is about – I think he just views it as something he was doing in 1968 before he did something different. He’s basically a jazz musician these days.
7. Assemble a psychedelic "Supergroup" of musicians for us from among your favorites:
Barry Melton (CJ and the Fish) (guitar)
Brian Godding (Blossom Toes) (guitar and vocals)
Keith Moon (drums)
Simeon (Silver Apples) - keyboards
Ramases (vocals and songwriting)
Paul McCartney – bassoon
John Lennon – oboe
George Harrison – french horn
Ringo Starr - theremin
8. You're in a discussion with your great-great-great grandfather, through time travel; what song of yours are you going to play for him from your catalog as an example of what you do?
Tonesucker – Beware The Ides Of March (Parts I – IV)
9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?
Mostly fairly obvious ones...
1. Look at me I’m You – Blossom Toes
2. Matilda Mother – Pink Floyd
3. Zen Rebel – The Flowerpornoes
4. Tomorrow - Strawberry Alarm Clock
5. Porpoise Mouth/Section 43 (run them together) - Country Joe and the Fish
6. Flight Reaction – The Calico Wall
7. Tintern Abbey – Vaccuum Cleaner
8. Imposters in Life’s Magazine – The Idle Race
9. Defecting Grey – Pretty Things
10. Strawberry Fields - Beatles
10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question.
Yukio: Give me the recipe for your favourite meal, and your favourite cocktail!
Meal: Five dried grams of psilocybes, placed in mouth, and chewed slowly.
Cocktail: Light rum over ice with diet soda and a splash of lime......repeat the cocktail process throughout the evening after said meal.
(We've received a comment from Terry:
Hello -Valis... Thank you kindly for all of that...
A few points/queries...
1. Whilst my old MacBook is pretty damned psychedelic, the silver MacBook Pro that I've used for the past few years is truly mind-blowing...
2. My supergroup deliberately omits a bass guitarist. Sometimes the bass part will come from Simeon's bleeps, but mostly it'll be McCartney's bassoon...
3. I now realise the Kate Bush album that Todd lent me years ago was 'The Dreaming'...
4. Is the version of Flight Reaction the same as the one from The Pebbles series? That's how I first came across it in the 80s...
5. I'll try your tasty meal/cocktail combo over the weekend...
Terry Burrows/Yukio Yung)