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The Artless Cuckoo Vinyl, CD & Tape 4 Items

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Experience - Share It With You / Happiness
Experience
Share It With You / Happiness
7" | 2019 | EU | Original (The Artless Cuckoo)
11,99 €*
Release:2019 / EU – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Two dope Island Boogie tracks by Experience, an Afro Reggae group hailing from Germany. - Very nice steeldrumming in these tunes..
Experience’s “Share It With You” and “Happiness” can both be found on the private LP release “Oh! What A Feeling” from 1982. The group consisted of Anthony Flaverney from Trinidad, Curvin Murchant from Jamaica, Daniel Kofi Jefferson from Ghana and John Innies from Trinidad and was founded in Hamburg.
Anythony Flaverney, the lead singer on both songs, was active as songwriter and musician in Germany since the mid-1970s, most notably appearing on the Peter Herbolzheimer arranged “Caribbean Rock“ album by Malcolm's Locks (be sure to check their funk version of Bob Marley’s “Get Up Stand Up”!). Curvin Merchant, a highly respected drummer from Jamaica, settled in Germany around the same time. Before forming Experience, he was a member in several groups, including highly successful pop acts like Boney M. Later he became known as "Germany’s Grandfather of Roots Rock Reggae", among other things buildung up the "Reggae Center" in Hamburg. Flaverney and Merchant are joined by Daniel Jefferson on bass and John Innies on steel pan. The band existed for about 2 years, touring in Germany and Europe, unfortunately recording only one album which features a unique mix of Reggae and Funk.
The first track “Share It With You”, should give any serious music lover goose bumps. It was written by Flaverney and features a deep groove, steel drum solos and fantastic soulful vocals. It’s that type of tune you will play in a DJ set and people will come up to you and ask what it is. The single version is slightly edited.
Side B continues with Happiness, an equally great track with positive vibe and attitude, written by Flaverney and Jefferson. Again, the steel pan sounds give it that special compelling “Island” vibe from Trinidad.
The single is limited to 400 copies and comes in a beautiful picture sleeve showing part of the original artwork from the “Oh! What A Feeling” album.
Ara Pacis - To The Westcoast / My Fate
Ara Pacis
To The Westcoast / My Fate
7" | 2019 | EU | Original (The Artless Cuckoo)
10,99 €*
Release:2019 / EU – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
Loud pressed vinyl single featuring the best track from the group's 1979 album plus an unreleased take of the track ''My Fate'' on the flip.. Very smooth German AOR..
Limited to 350 copies and released in a beautiful picture sleeve which shows the original LP artwork.
Ara Pacis, a group from the island Föhr in the North Sea, was originally founded in 1971. Initially influenced by blues and classic rock by The Rolling Stones, The Who, and the like, they were also inspired by bands such as Steely Dan as well as the German/British group Lake. However, Ara Pacis created a style of their own
when their privately pressed an self-distributed “To the Westcoast” LP was released in 1979. The songs were mainly characterized by two-part guitar riffs by Töns Brautlecht-Deppe and Wolfgang Schiffner, who also were the core songwriters of the band.
The freshly remastered single starts with the title track “To the Westcoast”. Due to its sunny and yacht-y vibe it is easily amongst the best and most authentic tunes out of the “Westcoast rock” genre recorded in Germany. With family connections in California, lead singer Töns Brautlecht-Deppe was able to create and capture the feeling of the Pacific sea shore just perfectly.
The single is backed with a revised studio version of “My Fate”. The track is also featured on the album but the version presented here on the 7" vinyl is an unreleased, even quite funky and more powerful take. It was recorded in 1981 at the Rüssl studio in Hamburg where Brautlecht had just started to work as an engineer.
As the "To the Westcoast" LP was released during a time when styles like New Wave, Synth Pop and Punk became popular in Germany and the interest in organic and soulful rock declined, Ara Pacis’ debut remained relatively unnoticed until today and even the Krautrock collector’s scene does not seem to be fully aware of this hard to find gem yet of which only 1000 copies were originally pressed. The band is still kept in good memory by their fans as a quite legendary live act and although they
officially split in 1982, the group still served their fan base with revival concerts in 1990 and 2002 plus a website with full band story and lots of images from the early days.
Herbert Bodzin - Revival The Electric Jazz Rock Recordings
Herbert Bodzin
Revival The Electric Jazz Rock Recordings
10" | 1977 | EU | Reissue (The Artless Cuckoo)
16,19 €* 17,99 € -10%
Release:1977 / EU – Reissue
Genre:Organic Grooves
Revival is an as-of-yet totally undiscovered electric jazz rock recording from 1977 composed by visual artist and multi instrumentalist Herbert Bodzin. It features brilliant soulful fusion with echoed Fender Rhodes, phased flute, and electric bass and guitar. Most tracks are overdubbed with synthesizers. Fellow musicians are Hans Kämper (of legendary Krautrock group Annexus Quam), Bernd Szemeitzke, Peter Johannesdotter and Bernd Schöttner. Unreleased instrumental versions taken from the rare protest album "Niedersächsische Schlachteplatte".
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"In 2016, a friend of mine randomly told me about a "…German Placebo album" - he was referring to the Marc Moulin led Belgian jazz fusion supergroup. Of course, this was an audacious comparison and he may have only used it to gain my attention. So he continues with "well, not really - but this album certainly has some breaks". He was talking about the Niedersächsiche Schlachteplatte - an album that I had neither seen nor heard about.

A few weeks later, I had a copy in my hands. Here was an LP that had been privately released in early 1977 by an artist collective as a protest action against the division and reformation of several rural districts close to Bremen. The original recording itself is an odd mixture of fusion jazz and "Platt", a northern German dialect, which is pretty hard to understand, even for most Germans. The idea for the project initially came from Mr. Gronau, a political activist and art teacher from Heiligenfeld. Assisted by Mrs. Traute Dittmann, they both provided the lyrics for the album. The musical background was written and composed entirely by Herbert Bodzin. I contacted Bodzin immediately when I heard the record. The story began.

Although Herbert Bodzin, born in 1936 close to Dortmund, may be little known within jazz circles nowadays, he was a prominent figure in the local scene in his day. He played piano, saxophone and flute and had been experimenting with synthesizers since the early 1970s. From 1957 until 1964, in the golden age of European modern jazz, he was in charge of the Jazzclub Hohenlimburg, in partnership with pianist Heinz Wendel. The scene nurtured countless fabulous jam sessions with local musicians and also led to contacts with other German and European jazzmen. Klaus Doldinger was invited a few times as well as the George Maycock Quintet from Düsseldorf, some of the best of the hard bop groups in Germany at that time. Bodzin even recalls how he used to jam with Peter Herbolzheimer in the mid 1960s, while legendary trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff and Dutch jazz pianist Jack van Poll inspired his playing as well.

While the public interest in jazz waned with the rise of the Beatles and other beat bands, Bodzin continuously sought out new developments within the genre. The days of Soul Jazz, Jazz Funk, and Jazz Rock came, bringing with them electrification and further tonal and rhythmic innovation. Meanwhile, Bodzin lived in Weye, close to Bremen - one of the districts that were about to be reformed. When it was time to perform the "Schlachteplatte”, he was ready with his Fender rhodes and his new synthesizers to provide what he called "Modern Jazz Rock", as noted on the back of the original album sleeve.

The recording session with the band took place in two days in late 1976 at Boccacio, a small studio in Bremen. On the third day, Bodzin went back into the studio to record the synth backgrounds. The band consisted of Hans Kämper, former member of the legendary Krautrock band Annexus Quam, on trombone and guitar. Bernd Szemeitzke and Peter Johannesdotter, both local artists, featured on drums and percussion, while Bernd Schöttner played electric bass. Though the quintet didn't exist for very long and was initiated originally for the recording session only, a few live performances at political events took place. One of the bigger ones was "Das große Schlachtfest" on February 27th, a major event among the many actions against the division and reformation of the local districts.

The record itself was released just six days earlier, on February 22nd, 1977. 500 copies of the album were pressed, recalls Mr. Bodzin. The price was 12 DM (German marks, roughly about 6 EUR). About 300 were sold to the local constituency, almost entirely within non-jazz circles. The name "Niedersächsische Schlachteplatte" is a play on words. Niedersachsen is the region in question, whereas "Schlachteplatte" is a German meal with sausages and meat - the name literally translates to "slaughter dish" - a reference to how the land of Hoya was to be slaughtered.

Even though the combination of jazz and spoken word was moderately popular during that time, because of it's extreme locality, and perhaps also because it was politically motivated, the album was never a huge success. The few jazz fans that were reached by this album could not relate to the artwork and prose, and many local listeners could not relate much to the progressive music. Hence, the Schlachteplatte slipped into obscurity.

Nevertheless, the compositions and themes, the instrumentation with drums and percussion, electric bass, trombone, Bodzin's delayed piano, the phased flute and his overdubbed synth "string arrangements" make this album a serious hidden treasure. It is arguably one of the most unique German jazz recordings from the 1970s. It stands apart from most contemporary fusion as it retains notable touches of Bodzin’s bebop and hard bop influences, yet builds progressive and even psychedelic elements into it. The musicians provided uptempo tunes such as Landswien Hoya (Land of Hoya), deep psychedelics on Kreisteilung (Flute of Freedom), 6/8 grooves on Ik kann di seggen (Let Me Tell You This) and more.

Due to the short run and its strictly local distribution the original record really never made it to the surface for jazz and rare groove collectors. Even in recent years and during the German rare groove trend in the late 90s it remained undiscovered. Unsurprisingly, the LP was not added to the Discogs.com database until late 2017. The aforementioned friend simply used it as a nice odd trade item with other vinyl collectors when original backstock copies of the album were being given away for a short time in 2013 at a local newspaper and later sold from a museum for a low price until they were gone.

Unfortunately, instrumental master tapes from before the vocals were overdubbed in a later session are inevitably lost. Either thrown away from the studio or, more likely, destroyed during a fire in September 1986 when an arsonist was active in Bodzin's hometown of Weye. One night, while he was away at a birthday ball, Bodzin's house - a 250 year old historical building - became engulfed in flames. Herbert Bodzin lost almost all of his personal belongings including an array of early synthesizers and his TEAC tape reels. Luckily and most importantly, his wife and four children were safe.

Because of the nonexistence of the master tapes, we carefully re-edited and re-mastered the material from a mint vinyl copy to a version whose quality surprised even us. All tracks still have a length of 4 minutes, the arrangements are intact and one surely will not miss anything. Any of the six tracks is a winner, and has something for everyone! Our approach to this album required fresh artwork and new title because of the omission of the original political speech and poetry. Even though we respect the political aspirations of the artists of the original work, and appreciate the lyrical approach of the "Platt" dialect, we hope that the new recording, "Revival", can finally reach the ears and hearts of jazz fans and fusion enthusiasts. It may not be "…a German Placebo", but Herbert Bodzin's brilliant compositions and beautiful production represents an important missing piece in German jazz history.

By the way, while in contact with Herbert Bodzin - who is now 80 years old and still active as steel artist, painter and musician - we were led to a totally unreleased recording employing experimental synths from 1982 that survived the fire. This unreleased masterpiece will be entitled "Revival II" and is slated to be our next project on "The Artless Cuckoo".
Herbert Bodzin - Revival II - The Electronic Tapes 1979-1982
Herbert Bodzin
Revival II - The Electronic Tapes 1979-1982
LP | 2018 | EU | Original (The Artless Cuckoo)
17,99 €*
Release:2018 / EU – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves, Electronic / Dance
Herbert Bodzin’s “Revival II” is the next exciting vinyl highlight on this young label. It features completely unreleased electronic music which was recorded between 1979 and 1982. Check!
On the album you can hear the sounds of legendary machines like the ARP 2600, the Korg PS-3300, the Roland System-700 Modular synthesizer, the PPG Waveterm and the PPG Wave 2.2 as well as classic synths like the Roland Jupiter-8, the Polymoog and the Prophet-5 – the same equipment used by big names of the German and international avantgarde electronics scene at that time. For example, the ambient “Red Ocean” was recorded entirely with the polyphonic Korg PS 3300, one of the most desired and biggest synths of all time. The project features Bernd Hollendiek, as well as Bodzin’s two sons, Stephan and Oliver Bodzin on additional synthesizers and partly on drums. The songs are a mixture of mostly ambient, deep, psychedelic, yet experimental and futuristic sounds as well as two more vibrant synth rock recordings with drumming.
We hope that this album will find its way to the hearts and collections of electronic music lovers – somewhere in between the classic albums of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Cluster or Eberhard Schoener. As a side note, the album may also show early musical influences of Stephan Bodzin, who became world famous in the 1990s as one of the leading techno producers. Without any doubt, “Revival II” should be an exciting lost masterpiece of German electronic music and a must have for synth music lovers – revived and finally alive!
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