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Old 05-08-2010, 07:17 AM   #163 (permalink)
TheCellarTapes
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Location: Mancunia
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Silver Apples - Silver Apples
(1968)





Tracks

1 Oscillations 2:50
2 Seagreen Serenades 2:55
3 Lovefingers 4:11
4 Dancing Gods 4:08
5 Program 3:30
6 Velvet Cave 2:40
7 Whirly-Bird 3:41
8 Dust 5:57
9 Misty Mountain 2:43



The late sixties really was a hotbed for creativity and marvellous endeavour. Some of the leaps made in the latter half of this decade really were beyond the pale. When people talk about albums like Pet Sounds and Sgt Pepper as albums which changed everything, they generally have a point. But the best thing about discovering music from this period is the striking records which lie far, far beneath the surface. Sure, in The Cellar we hold up bands like Os Mutantes and the Monks as bands who really deserve their work to be put on the same level as the aforementioned classic status albums, but there is not a chance we can stop there.

In the mid sixties, a standard five piece was formed in New York, nothing special in that you may think, and I would agree. Calling themselves The Overland Stage Electric Band, they were as normal as a normal band could be in 1967. A year later however, this five piece had become a duo, and were wooing crowds and critics alike with a sound genuinely never heard before. This duo called themselves the Silver Apples.



Before I get onto what this band actually created musically, I think its best we get a few things out of the way first, namely what was creating this unheard of music. The first thing to say about the Silver Apples is they were not really a conventional band, sure they had a drummer, a drummer who played on a eighteen piece drum kit granted, but a drummer all the same. As for the other instrument played in the band, this was christened The Simeon, after its player and inventor. What the cellar dweller is a Simeon? Well itís an instrument seriously like no other, donít believe me? The Simeon consisted of nine oscillators and eighty-six manual controls, the lead and rhythm oscillators were played with the hands, elbows and knees, the bass oscillators with the feet.

Now that that is out of the way, lets look at their self-titled debut album released in 1968 on Kapp records. Sure in sixties music, when we talk about bands who pushed the boundaries of the avant-garde, we can talk about The Mothers of Invention or The Soft Machine for hours, but at the end of the day these bands at their heart still have something familiar lurking beneath the surface with their music, with the Silver Apples you actually have none of that, particularly on this debut album.

Truly unique and special, the Silver Apples LP has some absolutely brilliant moments, obviously this often is of the experimental genius nature, but they maintain this feel whilst making it sound perfectly accessible, serving some beautifully trippy, eerie and haunting moments all the way through it, itís a sixties album people, but not as we know it.



When you play songs like Seagreen Serenades for the first time, you instantly know youíre listening to something rather remarkable for its time of creation, nothing sounded like this in 1968, actually nothing sounds like this in 2010 either. But after a number of further listens, all thoughts of trying to place this album somewhere on a musical landscape is fully overtaken by the sheer beauty of it as a piece of music. And that Cellar Dwellers is what is so great about this album, it never asks to be labelled or put in a list with some other 1960ís efforts, it just stands quietly on its own just knowing its above all that.
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