Jake Garcia of The Black Angels explores the sounds and history of the golden era of 1960s psych and rock & roll in 13 FROM THE 13TH FLOOR.
Listen + read Jake’s thoughts on each of his picks for this month’s edition of the series below:
Los Macs- F.M. y CIA
Sergeant Peppers done Chilean style circa 1967. I can hear the colors flying!
Nick Drake- Hazey Jane II
From 1971, this record is a desert island disc for me. Although he didn’t get much attention at the time, today he is praised as one of the best songwriters of all. Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention) played electric guitar on this track and it’s a wonderful haze.
Mulatu Astatke- Mulatu
Ethiopian gold circa 1972.
He’s the inventor of” Ethio Jazz” using classic native song structures but with western instrumentation and latin influenced rhythms. The body gets possessed by rhythm on this one.
Igor Wakhevitch- Materia- Prima
A dark orchestral trip created with the best resources available circa 1971, France. Everything he does is amazing. Igor Wakhevitch also worked with Salvador Dali.
Billy Nicholls- Girl From New York
Another one of my desert island disks recorded at the legendary Olympic Studios. This album was London’s so-called answer to “Pet Sounds” circa 1967 although this is the heaviest song on the record.
Billy Nicholls was only 16 at the time and he was supported by The Small Faces, Pete Townsend and John Paul Jones. There were only 100 original copies of this record released and Ive seen it sold on ebay once for $12,000! I’m so glad it’s widely available now for everyone to appreciate.
Piero Umiliani- Hard Times
Italy circa 1974, from the soundtrack for the movie “Il Corpo” (The Body). A favorite from master composer Piero Umiliani.
This song makes everything feel better.
Bruce Haack- Electric Turn Me On
A Juliard student in the 60’s, Haack went on to compose childrens music before being introduced to psychedelia by his manager Chris Kachulis which led him to record “Electric Lucifer” (1967), a concept album about the earth being caught in the middle of a war between heaven and hell. He used a moog and home-made electronic devices (also the first prototype vocoder!) to record and got pretty far-out believing in what he called “power love”; a force so strong and good that it will not only save mankind but Lucifer himself. Bruce Haack’s musical inventions led him to be on the Mr. Rogers show in 1968.
Gert Wilden- Follow Me
The sound of seductive acid-rock in 1970! This music was the soundtrack for an erotic German film series called “Schoolgirl Report.” Love that fuzz!
Liz Brady- Palladium The Hip
This groovy Egyptian born singer will make any hip-hop artist gasp for air with her phrasing. It’s so wild and fun, just can’t get enough! Texas garage group “The Sparkles” also did a great version in 1966.
Los Dug Dugs- Cambia Cambia
An absolute smoker from Mexico City circa 1975. Feels like flying!
July- Dandelion Seeds
One of my favorite 60’s psychedelic records is this from from Ealing, London and it has the wildest album art.
It was the first expensive record that I ever bought and worth every penny. Dig that Indian influenced percussion and backwards guitar. This is a great example of vocals sang through a Leslie Speaker and how they used to splice /reverse tape back in the 60’s.
Faust- Läuft… Heisst Das Es Läuft Oder Es Kommt Bald…
From Germany circa 1973. I met these guys in Israel last year and with my luck we took an hour long ride the airport together from the hotel. One of the questions I asked them was about this record and how it was created. They told me that they moved to the top of a mountain in the early 70’s and cut themselves off from all media including television, newspaper, radio. This explains why they have such an original sound and I love it.
Los Brincos- Mundo, Demonio Y Carne
The first track from the Spanish psychedelic album “World, Devil, Body” circa 1970. Although they were regarded as the “Spanish Beatles” in their early days, they took it further later became more psychedelic. It’s discreet reception decided them to disband the group.
– Jake Garcia