1972, USA. RPC / Z69821
Many moons ago, the visionaries and trail blazers at Re/Search
publications produced a book called Incredibly Strange Music where
record collectors and underground culture notables got to futz around in
their record collection and talk about their most mind-boggling vinyl. This
was decades before the internet, where all digging was archeological and
physical. For neophytes and collecting youthmen like myself at the time,
this book opened up the possibilities dormant in the used record shop,
checking out sections previously ignored, and perusing the cheap section
with great relish. Back then, the obscure, absurd and downright weird
more often than not ended up in the cheapie section, as the dictatorship
of obscurity did not generally rule yet, even if there was fickers of that
in Northern Soul, psychedelia and punk collecting. Through legendary
and brilliant record dealer Paul Major, a lot of us became aware of the
Frunk album for the first time. This is karaoke rock at its finest or foulest
or weirdest. A bunch of smooth-singing teenage girls in New Jersey sing
on top of actual hit records of the time, expertly blended by an audiophile
engineer who subsequently pressed the recording up as a microedition
of 25 with handmade covers. The record is oddly uncanny and spooky,
notwithstanding the prettiness of the vocals: Something is just not right.
An oddly dark and weird listening experience, and a record where the
very existence of it remains absurd.
15 years later Perry Webb/Mark Flood, Dan Workman and Ralf Armin
Kaethner recorded Tacky Souvenirs of Pre-Revolutionary America under
the name Culturcide. This sublime LP is the mirror image: noise guitar
and effects sit on top of the top 40 hits of 1987 alongside Perry Webb’s
scathing and hilarious situationist lyrics drowning out the original voices.
Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Pat Benatar et al
get demolished and detourned karaoke-style on this masterful LP.