Having already established that I don't really know what qualifies as psychedelic, I look to origins, like a comic book franchise in search of a new author. It's too easy to talk about 'musique concrète' and the 'avant-garde' as if they're entities we're unable to quantify; philosophy allows us all to explore art in abstract ways, spirituality allows us to feel beyond the usual receptors, and science provides tools and information to aid us on our quest.
I feel the journey is the important part when you lack "complete control" ... the destination is only worth thinking about if you get there.
A Brief Global Electronic Journey through Acousmatic Sound reaching for the Seeds of Psychedelic Wonder
'Ecuatorial' (1934) - Edgard Varese
'Music Of The Spheres' (1938) - Johanna M Beyer
'Expression Of Zaar' (1944) - Halim El-Dabh
'Etude Violette' (1948) - Pierre Schaeffer
'Song Of The Second Moon' (1957) - Kid Baltan
'Syncopation' (1958) - Tom Dissevelt
'Psyche Rock' ()1967() - Pierre Henry
Frank Zappa pays tribute to the music of Edgard Varese (live at the Palladium, New York City, April 17, 1981) | ' - Frank Zappa
American Revolution : The Evolution of Love Spurred the Birth of Punk
"7 and 7 Is" is a song written by Arthur Lee and recorded by his band Love on June 17 & 20, 1966, at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood. It was produced by Jac Holzman and engineered by Bruce Botnick. The song was released as the A-side of Elektra single 45605 in July, 1966. The B-side was "No. Fourteen", an outtake from the band's earlier recordings. "7 and 7 Is" made the Billboard Pop Singles chart on July 30, 1966, peaking at number 33 during a ten-week chart run and becoming the band's highest-charting hit single. The recording also featured on the band's second album, Da Capo.
The song drew inspiration from a high school sweetheart of Lee's, Anita "Pretty" Billings, who shared his birthday, March 7. It also describes Lee's frustration at teenage life - the reference to "in my lonely room I'd sit, my mind in an ice cream cone" being to wearing (in reality or metaphorically) a dunce's cap. Describing how the song came to him, Lee stated: "I was living on Sunset and woke up early one morning. The whole band was asleep. I went in the bathroom, and I wrote those words. My songs used to come to me just before dawn, I would hear them in dreams, but if I didn't get up and write them down, or if I didn't have a tape recorder to hum into, I was through. If I took for granted that I could remember it the next day—boink, it was gone." It took a great deal of work to record, with Love's drummer, Alban "Snoopy" Pfisterer, being challenged with its frantic demands after 30 takes or so, and being replaced on drums, intermittently, by Lee himself. In an interview for John Einarson's book Forever Changes (pg 117), lead guitarist Johnny Echols credits the drumming on the released record to Pfisterer. In a 1989 interview, Arthur Lee stated that he himself taught Pfisterer how to play the part, and that the final record featured Pfisterer. In what has been described as a "flirtation" with musique concrète, the song climaxes in an apocalyptic explosion - the supposed sound of an atom bomb - before a peaceful conclusion, in a blues form, which then fades out. Although many listeners thought that the explosion at the end of the song was a reverb unit being kicked or dropped, it was (according to the engineer Bruce Botnick in "Forever Changes" book, page 118), in actuality, taken from a sound effects record. He speculated that it was a recording of a gunshot slowed down. For live performances, the explosion was reproduced by kicking a reverb unit. Music critic Robert Christgau called the song "a perfect rocker".'
American Revolution : The Evolution of Iron Butterfly Spurred the Birth of Heavy Metal
"Black Sabbath borrowed a rhythmic tick from 'Possession' to create the mighty 'Supernaut', Blue Cheer checked out their loud sonic assaults in clubs and they inspired the Doors to add more "heavy"; Iron Butterfly could spin a soulful groove but were never far from exerting raw power."
"Possession" b/w "Evil Temptation" is a rare single recorded by Iron Butterfly between 1967 and 1968, but not released until 1970 for unknown reasons. The first side is "Possession", which is the same version from their earlier single, "Don't Look Down on Me". On the flip side is "Evil Temptation", an instrumental. Like many of Iron Butterfly's songs from the Heavy era, "Evil Temptation" is simple and based entirely on a single riff. The lineup is mostly unknown, though Erik Brann has been confirmed as the guitarist. Doug Ingle denies having played on the recording, and has pointed out that the drumming sounds distinctly unlike Ron Bushy. It is possible that, Brann's guitar work aside, the recording is actually the work of studio musicians. However, the song itself is an Iron Butterfly composition, and a version with lyrics by Darryl DeLoach was performed during the band's early tours. A recording of this non-instrumental version can be heard on the album Live at the Galaxy 1967.'
The year 1966 welcomed the release of 'Psychedelic Moods' (1966) by The Deep, 'The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators' (1966) by the 13th Floor Elevators and 'Psychedelic Lollipop' (1966) by the Blues Magoos, ushering in a magical wave of candy-coloured albums in 1967 that captured the melodic highs of the seasons. Psychedelicists and avant-garde experimentalists flourished while dipping in the pastel sherbert.
The Deep'a album did exactly what it said on the tin by getting heavy and deep. The Blues Magoos tussled with British rivals the Yardbirds to lay down some pitch-bending electric blues of invention, but had one eye still in the garage. The 13th Floor Elevators married country stylings and wayward folk rhythms with an open-tuned electric jugaloo, inspiring a generation of southern-fried country psychedelicists to step forward and coalesce.
George Clinton felt Norman Whitfield stole ideas from his live shows to fuel the psychedelic Motown boom. This notable bubble featured far-out tunes from the Supremes, the Miracles, the Temptations and Stevie Wonder. Clinton was a staff songwriter at Motown before inducing the Motherload, so he may have had a case.
I think the great thing is that a group of bands started toying with funk rhythms around the same time. This group included another musical genius, crazed experimentalist Sly Stone, who was pure-psychedelic like Clinton. And speaking of geniuses, Jimi Hendrix also got in on the act, when recording 'Little Miss Lover'. These innovators pushed it to the extremities of time and space and funky soulsters never looked back.
American Revolution : Jazztones ~ Adventures in Space & Time
Giants of jazz like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Sun Ra recorded albums that are often described as psychedelic jazz. A lot of rock bands active in the 1960s had members with jazz backgrounds, so jazz became as much a staple beat of rock 'n' roll as the blues. Jazz excursions within psychedelic pop and rocks songs were omnipresent and I wouldn't personally choose to credit any given band with having come to this point before another. It was a scene that relied upon co-operation and cross-pollination to expand in countless directions.
One of the more interesting examples, for me, came at the height of the psychedelic movement. Psych pioneers the Electric Prunes hooked up with drummer and composer David Axelrod to record some unusual records (Axelrod also brought in the Wrecking Crew at times, particularly for their second collaboration). These albums don't just incorporate jazz though; they draw from a history of poetry, classical music and religious verse.
'With his early solo projects, David Axelrod was one of the first recording artists to fuse elements of jazz, rock, and R&B. One of his most important records, Song of Innocence (1968), featured instrumental interpretations of 18th-century poet William Blake's poetry collection of the same name done in a contemporary musical vein, leading one critic at the time to coin the term "jazz fusion" and numerous hip hop producers to sample the album's music decades later.'
'Kol Nidre' - Electric Prunes / 'Song Of Innocence' - David Axelrod
Spirit were a band like no other, playing Spirit jazz while exploring nature, space tripping and serious ecological issues. Like Arthur Lee of Love, Spirit guitarist Randy California had played with Jimi Hendrix; sadly, Hendrix was booked to play a session with Sly Stone at the time of his death. The band's drummer, Ed Cassidy, was an experienced jazzman with enormous hands who'd play clubbing solos with them (including intricate cymbal work). Textural keyboardist John Locke went on to join Nazareth, while bassist Mark Andes and singer & multi-instrumentalist Jay Ferguson formed Jo Jo Gunne (Ferguson also composed music for films). If somebody asked me to point them the way of an all-out rock 'n' roll band steeped in atmospheric jazztones, Spirit would be my first suggestion.