Nov 10, 2012


Mad Music, Inc.
Mad Music, Inc. LP Reissue (originally released in 1977)
Drag City/Yoga Records

Was a time when I'd sooner peel the phrase "healing music" off the back of a sleeve than take it home, but I ain't fixin' to let age gimme bad knees and nothing else. These days, I give in; direct as many needs to the "check out" stack as possible. And when I'm fortunate, I get a few sorted simultaneous. Such is the case with Mad Music Inc.
Back in the foggy decade, when errybody it seemed was trying to cram 12 steps into one weekend, or forfeiting all their earthlies to be-whiskered rug-squatters somewhere upstate, an unidentified junta of Boston players (barneys, perhaps?) assembled Mad Music sans credits, track titles, or any other signifiers save a designation of "music for meditation" and released it like a coddled sparrow into the wild--to, as ya mighta grok'd, a lotta silence. Of course, the packaging, what included clippings, illustrations of a man with a beta-max player in his right temple and the like, probly didn't help close the ensuing mystery.
What actually lyeth within ain't quite so puzzlin'. Basically, a cache of 4:30-or-less bites of spiritual jazz (especially reminiscent to these ears of Alice Coltrane's Eternity), "love theme" strings straight outta after school specials, and eerie winds. Not a whole lot else to get yer hands around. I fo' sho' found myself sneakin' a Z here and there, but that's all right by me. The whole notion of sittin' still, brain-pan ajar, for something other than Calhoun County 49th Level Vampire Ex-Lesbian Task Force on VH1 seems like a lost art in this country.
But as much as I like a little polemic in my puddin', I'll spare ya any further diatribes. On the whole, the desired effect of the actual music has perhaps diminished in the ensuing decades, but the mysterious coterie at the heart of the project has some serious endurance. And bein' that we live in the vinyl-as-conversation-piece epoch, this'll surely moves some serious units for Drag City. Me? I think I'll be fine, if I can just figure out how to synthesize tryptophan in my bathtub...

Pony up hurr, if ya wanna.

NEXT UP: A boatload of transmissions from Easter Bilby's Aussie stash!

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