Wednesday, June 19, 2019

the aztex - i said move

Release date, May, 1967. Considering that and other fine points, how remarkable is this record? The garage sound was already widespread, with teenagers learning to play as they went, playing loud and going nuts with everything they were listening to. The fuzz-box was already all over the place. When did bands start to add snippets from spoken word sci-fi records? Was the spoken word Batman record fragment that opens this cut something new? 

That this and other records like it were the motivation behind the surf-punk revival in the 1990s can be said with confidence. Add massive reverb and you have Man or Astroman? 

I met a great friend of mine in L.A., in 1976. That was Norman. He was from Cleveland, and he had a very unique record collection. Many of us liked the German trance-rock/ free-rock bands, from Kraftwerk to Guru Guru, but Norman had copies of the Kraftwerk stuff in several languages. I already had friends who had one or two sound-effects records in their collections, I had a couple myself, but Norman had thirty or forty of the things. He also liked stereo demonstration records. He had a lot of movie soundtracks too, mostly sci-fi or horror, or anything by Ennio Morricone. He was the only guy that I knew who also had multiple spoken-word sci-fi records, actors reading stories from Amazing Science Fiction magazine or something, with sound effects. He was the first person that I ever knew who used these things in mix tapes as bumpers in between songs. Norman loved bands like the Aztex, so I'd bet that he had this record. I know that he loved the Sonics, and Davie Allen and the Arrows, in a similar vein. 

Tracing all of these innovations is not easy. I'll leave the hard work to real musicologists. 

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