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MALACHI

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock • United States


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Malachi biography
Malachi is a free rockin' eastern trip from late 60's San Francisco underground. This musical project was founded by the folkish guitarist John Morgan Newbern. Their album Holy Music is considered to be among the first and finnest psych-folk rock efforts featuring intense buzzing raga ornamentations. Absolutely cult mantric rock album.

"Malachi's music transcends the traditions of East and West, and represents the new synthesis which is still being worked out in aesthetics, philosophy and religion by those participating in the psychedelic revolution."

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MALACHI discography


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MALACHI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.97 | 7 ratings
Holy Music
1967

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MALACHI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Holy Music by MALACHI album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.97 | 7 ratings

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Holy Music
Malachi Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars John Morgan Newbern adopted the name MALACHI for the single album he recorded way back on August 17th, 1966 in Flower Child, San Francisco. His adopted name was taken from the Jewish prophet in the Hebrew Bible, and thus his sole album HOLY MUSIC is one of the very first truly psychedelic albums that was designed to evoke the spiritual, that is to melt the boundaries between the mundane and profound. What's notable about this release is that it is an example of early world music fusion that eschewed the pop world all together and created something that would satisfy the most blissed out sunshine child of the 60s looking for something beyond Jefferson Airplane.

This album is trippy in many ways. The music is not exactly rhythmic but yet is in a very distorted way. It is essentially John Newbern on acoustic guitars, which is what he plays most but also occasionally throws in some percussion and the rare vocals on the final track all the while weaving these sounds with Red Krayo on a jew's harp. This is music that is clearly inspired by their inner makings for it has taken me a while to warm up to this. There is something going on here that reels me in but musically it sounds as pointillistic as Karlheinz Stockhausen with mere impressions burrowing their way into our devolved dimension. The music has a depth to it that i cannot pinpoint and i have no idea why it seems to work on a certain level.

HOLY MUSIC has a simplistic approach that reminds me of other spiritual minimalistic types such as Tibetan Buddhist chants and although this gets cited as one of the very first psychedelic albums it is not really so for it doesn't convey any sense of the time and instead oozes a sense of timelessness like an eternal meditation designed to proffer the sublime to the unenlightened. Certainly an anomaly in the musical world and catches the spirit of some of the Krautrock and progressive electronic that was to come, but the album lacks any true bite for all the tracks sound musically similar and since every one of them is titled "Wednesday" with a different number attached it is not too surprising. This is a good album for zoning out or meditating to but don't expect any real grit to stimulate the active listening experience. I agree with Dr. Schluss' Garage Of Psychedelic Obscurities when he gives this album 3 out of 5 for quality and 4 out of 5 on the Trip-O-Meter, so i give it 3.5 but rounded down for PA

 Holy Music by MALACHI album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.97 | 7 ratings

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Holy Music
Malachi Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The theory, knowledge concerning musical instruments, and the performance method will have to be learnt as a methodology for the player and the musician to express the culture and the music character.

Especially, the element that Europe and America had absorbed in the flow that absorbed classic music that stuck to the culture and regionalities such as Africa and India and the element might have had the part where the execution had been remarkably shown as music indeed rapidly.

These flows that had derived in the latter half of the especially 60's might also have included the flow to which the width of directionality was expanded by the part of the fashion and the expression with musical instruments depending on the musician. However, the difficult part might be likely to stand out when an avant-garde part, thought, and the philosophy are taken and it projects to the work. The forward, thought, and the philosophy might be remarkably projected to the work and the sense, knowledge, and the flexibility very sharpened be necessary for the expressed part.

Malachi that migrated to San Francisco at the time of the 1960's establishes the name as a guitar player. John Morgan Newbern that used the name of "Malachi" as an alias devoted oneself researching the classics music that existed in music that belonged to the culture of the Orient and India. It is thought that the flow formed an original music character with the research of the religion and the philosophy of various places without staying in music.

It is a possibility for playing the guitar though it is a guitar player. Or, it is partial in which it expresses it for the possibilities of musical instruments that oneself uses. Construction of sound in which impression that exists in place transcended because music character that flows to this album exceeds frame of music is given. It might be all poured into "Holy Music" that Malachi created.

The sounds of various musical instruments appear in this session besides the guitar. The constructed Music character will not end only by the part of a simple experiment and the forward in the album. The culture, the philosophy, and thought are exactly reflected by creating this music. And, complete space might exist. It is likely to exist exactly as nonfiction and a document.

The point that should make a special mention is existence of Steve Cunningham in this album as the appointment of the participating musician. "The Red Crayola" has been formed as a band including Steve Cunninghum in Texas at the same time when this album was announced. Details of this exchange are not certain. However, the element of psychedelic and avant-garde's flow might have the connection very much as an important factor at this time. This album might be able to be caught as shape to have promoted the flow further.

Steve Cunningham uses Jaw 's Harp in this album. And, the usage of the guitar that Malachi plays demonstrates the independent thought and the method without reserve. It is on Wednesday, August 17, 1966 that this session was done. It is shown to have been done on Wednesday in the title of the tune. The tune along the theme of this album might be extracted and be collected from among the session that seemed to have been done about ten times or more as a guess it. The form of one music that exceeds all frames is exactly expressed by this album. It is holy music that they did.

"Wednesday-Second" is a part of the construction of a quiet sound that appears intermittently. Flow of heavy atmosphere that is invited to sound of Jaw 's Harp and appears. Melody of guitar that gives impression of uneasiness. Flow that part and metallic sound of Jaw 's Harp are constructed. As for the construction of the sound that develops one after another, thought might be indeed reflected. The melody of the guitar that makes the melody of fine quality flows gently in the space.

"Wednesday-Sixth" will have the start that draws the flow of "Second". The sound of the guitar that gives a solemn impression is opened and flows in the space. Jaw 's Harp twines well for the flow. The flow constructing it while following a classic melody of India might have the original world. The processing of a heavy sound and the space intermittently made exceeds the frame of the session. It will be able to be said that holy music to exclude the sound of the extra and to create by a minimum method is one realizing.

The part of the sound and the decoration that emphasizes the high pitched sound part appears strongly in "Wednesday-Fourth". Sound of Jaw 's Harp that reacts to repeated single sound. It is likely to be able to listen to the flow that changes shape according to various sounds to the construction of the sound consistently. However, one space made by repeating dismantlement and restructuring makes it absorb all concepts and project. This tune is complete the processing of the space.

"Wednesday-Fifth" starts by an expression of feelings melody in close relation to the sound that Jaw 's Harp repeats. The flow expressed at following a classic sound of Indian music and a constant speed gives the gaga impression. It is likely to consist as projection of an impression that feelings are expressed with musical instruments and complete thought.

As for "Wednesday-Eighth", the religion, the philosophy, and the thought that Malachi completely learnt are reflected. The song in close relation to an enchantment melody with the guitar might be one realizing. Construction of sound in which it works with angle besides technical respect. Or, the sound in which the world where all genres were transcended as a theme of this album is constructed has the overwhelming might.

It will not be an exaggeration in exactly simple music alone to say the session done as a part where it doesn't stay. It might be a work that exists in the place where the frame that had to be called music as an expression of one in which all thought is reflected was exceeded.

 Holy Music by MALACHI album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.97 | 7 ratings

BUY
Holy Music
Malachi Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Holy Music is a visionary album recorded during the 60's. In opposite to their contemporaries who expressed psychedelic grooves throw pop-ish instrumentation (Kaleidoscope, Vanilla Fudge, Gandalf to name a few ones ) Malachi were more orientated to a sonic fusion between pure avant-garde and divine cosmic folk. This splendid, divinely inspired album is mainly focused on primal raga guitar technics and mantra-like ornamentations. Holy music is a top class acid folk-ish acoustic trip, reaching the listener on peak aesthetic-mystical experiences. In style, one piece doesn't substantially differs from the other. There is a logical continuity between ideas and the sound form. It opens with the magnificant second and its otherworldly-luminous harp / guitar duo and weird exotica experiments. Sixth carries on the same schema with the addition of nice entrancing guitar glissandos. This is stricly instrumental, only the last piece features some stoned-like vocals on real tripped out shamanic musical background. Definitely cult and magic.
Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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