Sunday, February 21, 2016

Intersystems - 1967 - Number One

Number One

Tracklist on original LP
Side 69
A1    Lately    3:03
A2    Vox 3/13/67    14:56
Side F
B1    Orange Juice & Velvet Underwear    3:00
B2    Blackout Mix    16:14

Tracklist on Reissue (Same music, differently tracked)

01. Orange Juice and Velvet Revolver
02. Just Outside of Lyons
03. Mother of Inconsequential Babies
04. In a OneRoomed House in the Woods
05. Bored
06. This is a Dictum Against...
07. I've Got this Town, This Town Has Got Me
08. Lately There Has Been A New Spring
09. Tired Bells
10. Vox 3/13/67

John Mills-Cockell
Blake Parker
Michael Hayden
Dik Zander

Drug induced wild electronics by John Mills-Cockell and trippy outsider narrative by Blake Parker. Psychedelic environments that Intersystems created (for example, the Mind Excursion Center) during the 1960's, with the time-capsule effect as reported by the media including the Toronto Telegraph and Time Magazine. (The Mind Excursion Center by Michael Hayden and Intersystems, was the pre-cursor to the Electric Circus in NYC, also designed by Michael Hayden.

"until her thighs smell of the one true rose in a tin bucket on my roof."

That's how "Lately" ends.

I could hear Throbbing Gristle all through "Blackout Mix", and I could hear the deranged drone madness of Cale and Reed's early Velvet stuff on "Orange Juice and Velvet Underwear". You'd think the latter would be a pastiche, going on the title. But I'm not even sure Intersystems (or anyone but a handful of people nationally) had even heard of the Velvet Underground when this was recorded. Mind you, "The Velvet Underground and Nico" WAS recorded before this was, but it was released after.

The interesting thing about this group is that they seem to have shattered a long-standing rule in musique concrete and tape music: you're either one person, or you're an institution. That realm of classical had never been infringed on by "some guys". The only thing even nearing a traditional group structure doing collective musique concrete and tape stuff was the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and they were LITERALLY an institution.

Is this, then, the first indie electronica album? Does anybody give a shit?

I dunno. What I do know is that the insanely surreal and at-times frighteningly aggressive spoken word passages through the album act as a kind of vessel to latch onto during the haze, much in the same way that free jazz for me becomes significantly more approachable with something nearing a steady drumbeat. Something to latch onto in the chaos.



  2. Great Stuff!!! Latest posts are Phenomenal! How 'bout some later Oliveros: "Bye Bye Butterfly",ect. Anything or everything by Robert Rutman.Ragnar Grippe?Thanks!

  3. You never fail to amaze me! Though I'm a mass collector of all things electronic, I did not know about this.

  4. Thanks for posting this!

    The recent Alga Marghen 3-LP box set that compiles all three Intersystems LPs is absolutely essential for fans of the far fringes of psychedelia. There is much, much more to this group than one would suppose - one was an electronic musician, one was a poet, one was a sculptor and one was an architect. They collaborated to make these massive, absolutely insane and lavish installations. Much is detailed in the massive book that comes with the box.