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Nik Raicevic - Head CD (album) cover

HEAD

Nik Raicevic

 

Progressive Electronic

2.47 | 4 ratings

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Guldbamsen
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3 stars "We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold."

Imagine sitting in a dark damp cave somewhere in the deep south of America. Strange flocks of insects buzz frenetically around in these elliptic circles - zooming back and forth back and forth - complimenting the tiny chicken chirps from way in the back of the darkness. Out of the blue and quite hegemonic, like whisking up a couple of eggs, everything suddenly forms hazy fragmented whispers of music, like had 40 age old wizards suddenly commenced with a series of electronic magic tricks. That's Head for you right there - a contourless excursion into sorcery.........and drugs. There's a reason why the tracks are called Cannabis Sativa, Methedrin and Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. Was good ol Nik delightfully delirious while or at least prior to recording this record then? Well it's hard to know for certain, but I'd bet a couple of beets on it. Hell, just take a look at the small print on the front cover:

"INSIDE YOU WILL FIND SOMETHING COLOURFUL TO DO WITH YOUR HANDS WHILE YOU LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM"

Heh...

For 1970 this record is quite ahead of it's time, beating a guy like Conrad Schnitzler to the punch of freeform, almost industrial electronic music. There are certainly shimmers of the metallic reverberations that were still to come with groups like Faust, Throbbing Gristle and Zoviet France. Hah and then to think that the tracks featured on Head actually date back to 1968, and suddenly we're looking at one of the most innovative and experimental artists inside the first wave of electronic music..........and to top it all off - this cat is American! A looooong ways from the electronic explosion waiting to happen in Germany - making this proto kosmiche record seem all the more astonishing and innovative.

First long cut Cannabis Sativa takes you straight out of the comfort of your chair and throws you in the frying pan. There you lie for a good 17 minutes - slowly dissolving like a sexy nob of butter. At first it's a sizzling sensation, but then it picks up with some R2D2 like noises bleeping away like rushed robot rhythms. Midway and suddenly we're entering the aforementioned cave, where most of the cosmic battles of this enigmatic album take place. A circular notion comes back into the music and it starts swirling in these long stretched strings of synthesised sound. Oozing like an open wound the track has finally reached the right consistency - grown thick enough to overflow from it's ridges.

To me these somewhat illogical descriptions sound an awfully lot like I'm talking about German act Kluster - especially with those solemn elliptic drones that edge their way into your eartunnel like a tjuh tjuhing caterpillar, and while there certainly is a few parallels to be made between the two, Raicevic still sounds more fidgety and "nervous" in his delivery. The synth squawks always come jumping - clumsily, out of their place and most of the time sounding particularly crude and naive. Maybe that's what you get when you put a young kid behind this brand new gizmo that can produce sounds that seem to be harvested in outer space. That's basically what the Moog did, it brought the solar system into hundreds upon hundreds of tiny rooms. On Head it is still in an embryonic state. You sense you've tapped into the early days of experimenting with this thing - before it got to be the keyboard equivalent to the guitar solo. It's rough, raw, buzzing, humming and at times quite beautiful in it's own little universe, because trust me, once this baby starts going it feels like a large portal to the stratosphere opens up, and you can almost feel the vibrations of the earth pirouetting on it's own axis.

3.5 stars. Recommended to people who are looking for space journeys while they're swooping round in caves. This is truly music for the head just like the title says. Smoke if you got em folks - this is the best part of the trip, the part I really like. I really like it yeah.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |

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