Sunday, October 31, 2004

Charlie Tweddle self-recorded (in ‘71) and privately released (in ’74) “Fantastic Greatest Hits” (Companion Records) in an edition of 500. It’s a stoned mix of ramshackle country psych pop and more dusted sound collage strangeness. Take the first track: a simple bit of plaintive folk-pop, like Dylan jamming with the Fugs. It’s a brilliant little number because on the surface it’s just a quaint relic of the 60s, but buried a bit deeper in the mix are gorgeous acid coaxed electric squiggles and trills, and rambling bass, that all morph into the sounds of animal farm life in the morning. Yes, I am suggesting that this sounds like something that might be found on the Jewelled Antler label today. Other tracks are closer to run-down mescaline-soaked versions of Folkways gems with just enough tape and studio trickery to make them quite absorbing. A loan howl mutates into a jarring blast of distortion. Warped fiddle or tape noise inform almost every song, which are mostly nothing more than acoustic and/or electric guitars and a foot stomp, clap or lone cymbal crash. The last half of the album is a collage of drones, insect and night sounds meshed together, all just in time for a hippie Halloween.


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