Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mars Everywhere - 1988 - 1978-79-80: Live & Unrehearsed

Mars Everywhere
1988
1978-79-80: Live & Unrehearsed


01. The Applied Journey 7'34"
02. Zöln 10'31"
03. Enchanted Domain [Excerpt] 1'55"
04. V*Jer / Enchanted Domain 11'32"
05. Zöln 10'25"
06. Zone Of Twilight 6'22"
07. Tonal Photons 6'47"
08. Xmas Interludes 2'01"
09. Mare Chromium 9'03"
10. Mare Chromium 7'50"
11. Encore 6'38"

1-3: Recorded at DC Space (28/2/80)
4+5: Recorded at the Washington Ethical Society (21/12/78)
6-9: Recorded at Trinity Theatre (15/12/78)
10+11: Recorded at Mars Studio (14/1/79)


1) DC Space (August 28, 1980)
2) Washington Ethical Society (December 21, 1979)
Ernie Falcone: guitar, devices, electronics
Barney Jones: drums, electronics, reeds, percussion, voice
Greg Yaskovitch: bass, synthesizers, electronic trumpet
Carlos Garzza: Keyboards, synthesizers, sequencers
3) Trinity Theater (December 15, 1978)
Ernie Falcone: guitar, devices, electronics
Barney Jones: drums, electronics, reeds, percussion, voice
Greg Yaskovitch: bass, synthesizers, electronic trumpet
Tom Fenwick: synthesizers, sequencers, organ
Robin Anderson: drums, percussion
4) Mars Studio (January 14, 1979)
Ernie Falcone: guitar, devices, electronics
Barney Jones: drums, electronics, reeds, percussion, voice
Greg Yaskovitch: bass, synthesizers, electronic trumpet
Doug Hollobaugh: synthesizers, keyboards, fx
Robin Anderson: Drums, percussion


All Material Recorded Live at various concerts on a variety of tape machines.
Remixed April 18, 1988 by Doug Walker / Space Station Studio
Special thanks to Barney Jones for the masters, Robert Carlberg, and the audiences of Wahington DC!!
Dedicated to all those who worked to make Random Radar Records a reality during 1978-1980

Transferred from 1st generation TDK tape obtained directly from Doug Walker in the late 80's on March 13, 2016




In the late 70's one could hear new forms of music being worked on in almost every large urban area of the US. A strong regional scene had emerged as the younger, non-mainstream players looked for ways to present their new sounds to the public.

In NYC, one could find the likes of Material, James White & the Blacks, 8-Eyed Spy. Cleveland/Akron yielded Pere Ubu, Tin Huey (whose fine Warner Bros. LP has sadly never been reissued), Human Switchboard, Devo and the Styrenes, while in Washington DC the Muffins, Mars Everywhere and Guitarist Steve Feigenbaum were active, creating a label (Random Radar) and sponsoring concerts at venues all over the DC area.

Formed in 1976, Mars Everywhere was the mutual brainchild of High school friends and Electronic Music enthusiasts Barney Jones (Guitars, Organs, Electronic Reeds) and Ernie Falcone (Guitars, Devices, Effects), who quickly recruited Synthesist Tom Fenwick to the fold. The trio used Free Improvisation as their musical material, and tapes of the early material expose the group as a quick-witted outfit, steeped in both the SpaceRock ethos of Tangerine Dream/Klaus Schulze/Ash Ra Tempel, and the Avante'-Classical work of Karlheinz Stockhausen and Morton Subotnick. This configuration contributed a track to the long-deleted "Random Radar Sampler", which was organized and produced by Steve Feigenbaum's brand new Random Radar label (the entire concert was issued in 1989 by Audio File Tapes, contact them as it may be out of print).

As the underground (spurred by the punk movement) gained momentum, Mars Everywhere added musicians and turned toward developing a SpaceRock sound based on the works of early Hawkwind, Soft Machine, Gong and Can, utilizing a conventional rhythm section of Greg Yaskovitch (BassGuitar, Synthesizers, Electronic Trumpet), and Robin Anderson (Drums). Synthesist Fenwick stayed on, and the group began gigging as a full band towards the end of 1978, and was invited to play the Baltimore Manifest (an 8-hr concert featuring Daevid Allen, NY Gong, Material, the Muffins Yosh'ko Seffer and host of area groups; other concerts were held in NYC and LA during Fall 1978).

Drummer Anderson and Synthesist Fenwick left the group early in '79, and were replaced by Doug Hollobaugh (Synthesizers), and Barney Jones was enlisted to play drums, which he learned to play over a three-month period. The group gigged all over the DC area with the Muffins, but changed keyboards over that summer. Carlos Garrazza (Synthesizer, Keyboards) was invited to join that August. A favorable article in Washington Post helped raise the band's profile that fall, and the group (which by now included a lightshow) finished the year doing a major gig at the Washington Ethical Society, attended by nearly 1000.

1980 saw the group begin recording for this LP; many of the longer tracks were recorded in April of 1980, but the LP also contained shorter tracks recorded live from December '78 to fall of '79.

The LP opens with "The Enchanted Domain", named after Magritte's painting. Bursts of white noise begin the affair, then they are overlaid with Synthesizer and Glissando Guitar. Lush String Synthesizer and Fender Piano chords introduce the body of the piece, backed by BJ's delicate cymbal work and echo BassGuitar by Yaskovitch. They take the progression around a few times, then comes a legato section of Synthesizer, Gliss Guitar and Effects, over which the Trumpet blows with obvious allusions to Miles Davis' electronic work on the horn. BJ gives a two beat intro, and the band falls back into the tune, letting loose strong and aggressive playing from the band, and a dazzling Guitar solo by Falcone, who builds his statement verse by verse. Heavily effected Guitar ends the piece, but it does feel like there should've been one more movement to the piece; nonetheless, it is quite successful.

"Steady State Theory" is actually a jam from the group's Random Radar demo tape, recorded with Anderson and Hollobaugh. The band feeds ideas off each other, while Guitar and Electronic Reeds blow over the top. The playing is tight, and the rhythm section seems to respond well to each other. "Mare Chromium" describes the Silver Sea on Mars, and was one of the band's signature tunes. This version is from the Manifest at John Hopkins U., 12/15/78, and finds the band tumbling out of an extended Electronic improvisation, and into the tune. Fenwick plays the ostinado on Farfisa Organ, whilst Jones blows a heartfelt reed solo, and Falcone a sizzling Guitar burn using a homebuilt moving coil to excite the strings, getting a heavy E-bow like sound. The audience response at the end of the tune is warm and appreciative, a well desrved tribute. The title tune is next, and turns out to be an improvisation inspired by the Voyager Jupiter mission (the first Spacecraft flyby, which took place in the Spring of '79) and Morton Subotnick's Electronic compositions, the track was recorded 9/30/79 at the American University Auditorium (a marvelous show, this writer opened for them, backed up by 3/4 of the Muffins). "Industrial Sabotage" blends Synthesizer, Gliss Guitar, and BJ's treated cymbals and whirli-hose to create a menacing sonic chill, as Guitar starts screaming over a massive wall of sound; this works to the max, but is faded out as the band slides into its most well-know track, the TV theme from Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone".

Starting with an acoustic recreation of the theme aided by the Bassoon of Muffin Tom Scott, they get into the meat and tatters of the tune in rocking fashion, with killer Guitar and Synthesizer solos giving an aural interpretation of what one might see during one of Serling's captivating programs. "Zoln" is based on a simple riff, introduced by a brief incantation by Jones' treated voice; easily the longest track on the LP, it is meant for jamming off. Beside voice and winds, Jones' drumming is simple yet strong, and he steadies the band as well as propelling it. Note Falcone's use of Ring Modulator here, his brittle Guitar chords lend alot to the texture of the sonic events. "Attack of the Giant Squid" originally appeared on the RR Sampler LP; the version here was recorded 6/22/79 at the legendary DC Space. Once again Jones steals the show, controlling the flow of the improv with voice, transistor radio and an alarm clock, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a scene from a 50s Sci-Fi thriller.

This was stirring stuff, but ME was destined for destruction, and disbanded before the new decade's first year was out. Although the other members left music, Barney Jones continued to record and perform SpaceRock through the 1980s, releasing a clutch of Cassette LPs for Audio File Tapes and Sound of Pig Tapes; BJ passed away 7/3/96, missing the current resurgence of the music but an integral part in helping establish things for those who now play the music here. Often, one can find this LP in used record bins, or occasionally on OOP lists; the LP needs to be reissued, but as yet there has been no interest in such a project, from either the ex-band members or Random Radar's successor Cuneiform Records. A shame, as it deserves reinvestigation, and could now find a new popularity amongst today's SpaceRock audiences.

...and from Gnosis2000.net:

The window on Mars Everywhere that is Industrial Sabotage is actually a small snapshot of the approximately half decade that the group existed in its many formations. Formed in the mid 70s, the group evolved from a two-man electronic live act into a progressive space rock, rotating cast of musicians for their only true album, while leaving enough archival rarities for two 90 minute casettes, both of which were released in the mid 90s.

Industrial Sabotage was one of the gems of the American label Random Radar, a label in its own right maybe the only one in the early 80s still putting out consistent work in various progressive fields. Even for such a diverse catalog, Mars Everywhere were quite iconoclastic, creating an album of improvisational music that married the space rock style with electronics. On one hand Mars Everywhere shared a similar inspiration to groups like Gong, Far East Family Band, and Hawkwind while on the other it was electronic masters like Tangerine Dream or Conrad Schnitzler who provided the influence. Ernie Falcone's change in line up to include drums and bass on a more regular basis altered the sound of the band to bring it closer to the krautrock inspirations of yesteryear. The sound is generally improvisationally based, although the presence of song titles on here that were several years old give witness to an improvisational method with guideposts, an approach that would cause pieces like "Attack of the Giant Squid" to vary from performance to performance. For an early 80s album, Industrial Sabotage seems quite anachronistic, looking back to the early 70s and the dawn of the analog synthesizer for primary inspiration, while not losing a bit of unabashed, groundbreaking experimentation in the process. Perhaps it was the early years of Mars Everywhere that set the stage for the album, what is basically a collection of pieces from various permutations of the line-up (that all include founder Falcone, bassist Greg Yaskovich and multi-instrumentalist Barney Jones), as the move to more rock-oriented song structures did not bring with it any sense of the conventional. There are plenty of effected saxes, wailing guitar solos, scuttling electronics and cosmic space outs to appeal to any fan of psychedelic, experimental rock.

However, the larger line ups of Industrial Sabotage were really examples of later formations of the group, as the band started off a guitar/electronics duo of Falcone and synthesist Tom Fenwick, peforming music in the grand 70s Germanic tradition. The duo's first gig from the summer of 1976 was released on the cassette label Sound of Pig in the 90s entitled Visitor Parking. Joined by future member Barney Jones for a trio, the live set was an example of experimental analog electronics in the best tradition of Ohr Tangerine Dream and Conrad Schnitzler. "Calling Bats" takes up one side of the cassette and most of the other, combining analog atmospherics with loads of gliss guitar sounds. It floats along strangely through its duration, through walls of synthesizer squeals and spirals, bizarre industrial sequencing and loads of weird abstract effects, before coming to its conclusion by passing through melodic phases with both guitar and an effected organ. It's almost like the version of "Attack of the Giant Squid" and "Calling Cats" were both afterthoughts, despite this being the most interesting part of the casette with its droning Irrlicht-like organ and accompanying whirls and squeals. Overall, the show is quite a bit less impressive than the album to come, but it's still a worthy find, particularly if you're into American 80s electronic artists like the Nightcrawlers or David Prescott.

More live recordings are collected on another Sound of Pig cassette entitled Live & Unrehearsed 1978-79-80 which basically contains segments from four shows throughout this period. "DC Space 8/28/80" is from the band's final line up and portrays them in an improvisational jam mode similar to the space rock segments on Industrial Sabotage. "Washington Ethical Society 12/21/79" is from a year earlier, although the same line up, and is much moodier and abstract. It's a piece of the puzzle that links the Industrial Sabotage years to the earlier more electronics-focused music of 1976, showing an evolution towards bass and drums accompaniment that would be more prevalent later. "Trinity Theater 12/15/78" jumps back yet another year to a line up including original member Tom Fenwick. It's far more active than the music from Visitor Parking with lots of echoing guitars excessively rambling and a weird electronic version of "Auld Lang Syne." "Mars Studio 1/14/79" takes up the shorter part of the last side and is once again electronically dominated with lots of analog tweaking. Overall, there's not a lot to offer anybody other than the analog fanatic as the large majority of this tape is meandering, rambling improvisations with very little melodic content. Undoubtedly, an amateur sitting for a few hours at a modular would likely produce sounds not far from what the results are here.

In summary, the album is a must, Visitor's Parking a strong secondary option for the fan, and the multi-year archive an option only for the completist. The latter two definitely put the album in perspective as a more focused "best of" sort of release taken from a lot of superfluous experimentation. For the krautrock, space rock and electronic fan, this is certainly a chapter in American music worth exploring.


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