Only a few days ago I rediscovered a very special vinyl long player in the basement. A former student of mine who had recorded his self-composed music on it had given it to me as a goodbye present about 15 (!) years ago. It’s title is “Psychedelic Underground”. Sounds pretty appropriate for this blog, doesn’t it? I didn’t really appreciate his gift then, not understanding its content and the effort it took to accomplish such a work.
As I don’t feature his music here in order to let my own ideas come through, I focus on the exceptional look of this record: did you know vinyl doesn’t have to come in black? This one has all the right colors on it, and I went some further by moving the camera around, thus creating a hypnotic and shaky effect…
guitar & gear: Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Vox ToneLab, Gerd Schulte Phaser, tube reverb
Would it be possible to improvise on just one and the same note? That’s a challenge I imposed on myself one day. Like in meditation, sometimes it’s good to restrict your field of action. When actually trying it, I found out it would be better to add the octave. Is an octave a different note?
I don’t know. But to be one with yourself like this tree, amidst all weathers and despite the loss of some branches – that’s a virtue.
guitar & gear: ’67 Stratocaster, Vox ToneLab SE, Tube Trem
Here’s the reason why I felt Mediterranean on a rainy day in June – a different meaning of the word “Mediterranean” than suggested by the clichéd photos on a tourist brochure. From where we live the Italian “mare” is the nearest.
This is the stunning interior of an Italian restaurant where my nephew celebrated his confirmation. The food was delicious, too.
guitar & gear: Epiphone Mandobird, Vox ToneLab, Tube Reverb
Still wondering where all the colors in your dream came from, all of a sudden you got the moon on the phone.
guitar & gear: ’67 Stratocaster, Vox AC 50, BSM treble booster, Gerd Schulte Phaser
Another guitar painted by Ismael Kamara.
And at its side (to the right above) you see the “Shadow of John” watching over us.
The music is a longer piece, showing the qualities of the Vox AC 50 and a special mood I was in on April 29th…
guitar & gear: Gibson Les Paul Special, Vox AC 50, BSM treble booster, Tube Reverb
fathoming out [audio:fathoming.mp3]
These two forming a twin entity, you are being invited to enter a door or an entrance to see what’s behind. Thereafter feel the deepness, or measure the unmeasurable like I did by bending my guitar strings more than I ever did before…
guitar & gear: Epiphone Les Paul with Haeussel pickups, Vox AC 50, BSM treble booster, Tube Reverb
Welcome to my new home!
Here’s a new/old tune most of you will already know. A real hippie head-banger. Who can tell the name, the band, etc? I re-recorded it just for our mutual fun in four layers of first takes (you know, musicians are always proud of getting things done in first takes – in order to be first to the champagne or the buffet).
To further enhance the sixties’ feeling that is a constitutional matter of this blog, I’d like to share some exciting links I only found today. I was astonished to see that all the stuff I had discovered in my intense sixties-research is there in video! For most people watching facilitates the appreciation of the music.
So, please listen to some inhabitants of my Psychedelic Pantheon:
The Blues Magoos
The Blues Magoos again
The Electric Prunes
If you want to know my favorite out of these, it’s The Electric Prunes. There is an amazing (but kitschy) new artwork video attached to the music, which back then has been recorded without any visuals. Hope you enjoy it!
Ismael Kamara is an artist from Kongo living in Germany and a friend of mine. Whenever he comes to see me, he brings little pictures showing guitars which he just painted before. And every time he does so, I feel kind of overwhelmed by it. (It’s hard to accept he has done that just for me – maybe a stupid reaction). But then I proudly expose these works in my studio.
In order to thank and honor him, I’d like to show some of these pictures (in several installments) along with further improvisation. Another Link to Ismael’s pictures.
guitar & gear: ’67 Stratocaster, Vox ToneLab SE, Tube Reverb
I simply love this effects pedal by GP-Lightstone (Germany) that is also a visual attraction. The alternating illumination of yellow and red makes me want to dim the lights when playing or recording, giving me feeling of dwelling in front of a fireplace on a winter evening. It can reinforce your imagination and thus inspire you.
Well, but it bears a superb sound quality, too. I found it gave a more tube-like bias to any sound I had prepared before, and so keep it activated whenever I play. Not only serves it as a tremolo effect (like the one you find in old Fender amplifiers), but also as a tube booster that enhances the guitar signal.
Back in the psychedelic days (1967) guitar players eagerly tried to contort their sounds – but there was hardly anything besides tremolo and reverb… So they turned them up to maximum, and off you go!
guitar & gear: ’67 stratocaster, Vox ToneLab, Tube Trem