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Main » 2006 » December » 17 » Buffy Sainte-Marie - Illuminations (1969)
Buffy Sainte-Marie - Illuminations (1969)

from Head Heritage
: Imagine The Fifty Foot Hose jamming with Great Society-era Grace Slick or if Grace found herself with half of 1967-era Jefferson Airplane joined by The Silver Apples with a fully operational string section that knew when to back off.

...her most experimental and artistically successful album of all. It was a brave departure from her previous five albums on Vanguard. Gone were the straight folk re-readings as it embraced elements as diverse as electric Rock, acoustic folk tracks mixed in with string and horn arrangements (orchestrated by no less a personage than Peter "PDQ Bach" Schickele) while for a surprising amount of time early Buchla synthesizer wove throughout and linked many of the pieces with mesmerising otherworldliness. Although this record will probably always be categorised as a folk album, "Illuminations" is leagues beyond that restricting category and into a zone all its own as La Buff lures you in with smiles and wiles, kisses, caresses, and tears only to slap you across the face as she points to the wrong exit you and everybody else took on the road map of reality.

A cover of the Leonard Cohen poem, "God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot" is set to the synthesizer operations of fellow Vanguard Records artist Michael Czajkowski as dripping and watery electronics open then process Buffy�s own vocals and guitar into distilled pools of reverberating echoes. Her delivery is not rhythmically dissimilar to Cohen's own "Suzanne" and here it is filtered through one of the earliest of synthesizer patch bays. The brief, pre-virgin birth pains of �Mary� pass slowly until "Better To Find Out For Yourself" switches gears into the sort of electrified-folk groove akin to The Airplane's "High Flying Bird," circa the Monterey Pop Festival. Buffy�s vocals strain against her throat as a lonesome coyote howl trailing into wordlessness again and again, soon underscored by Buchla trail-outs until they both merge into an ascending path of sound. "The Vampire" is a mass of strummed acoustic guitars that fan out against a quiet nighttime (lack of) reflections as thin streaks emanating from Czajkowski's synthesizer pass by in the distance. These striations crossfade with further electronic burblings that funnel into a storming, freak-rock read of Richie Havens' "Adam".

01.GOD IS ALIVE, MAGIC IS AFOOT (Leonard Cohen and Buffy Sainte-Marie)
02.MARY (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
04.THE VAMPIRE (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
05.ADAM (Richie Havens)
06.THE DREAM TREE (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
08.THE ANGEL (Ed Freeman)
09.WITH YOU, HONEY (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
10.GUESS WHO I SAW IN PARIS (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
11.HE'S A KEEPER OF THE FIRE (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
12.POPPIES (Buffy Sainte-Marie)


The Female American Indian folk singer (native Canadian ) recorded this album in 1969 and with the help of various tape editing effects and primitive synthesizers mixed her trembling voice with psych, string arrangments, folk/rock and electronic music. The result is a weird off the wall album that is all at once spacey, trippy and hauntingly addictive .

Category: Psyche/Garage/Folk | Views: 2720 | Added by: innocent76 | Rating: 0.0/0 |

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