Saturday, February 10, 2007


The man Tadich has spotted this extraordinary website called the 365 Days Project, part of UBUWeb ("a resource dedicated to all strains of the avant-garde, ethnopoetics, and outsider arts").

The project consists of a day-by-day collection of MP3s of the weird and wonderful rarities dug up from flea markets. Having had a flick through it, I've noticed that the tunes generally fall into three categories: eccentric but great, disturbing, and downright insane.

It's all totally Peel. Do the delving yourself, but here are a few examples which I enjoyed (and was terrified by), split into my three categories:

1. Eccentric but great

Testing 1... 2... 3... by the Bolivar Blues Band
1977 blues track created by a German speaker company for testing your hi-fi equipment.

They say: "...some funkalicious blues playing all on side A with narration by the Bolivar Speaker Works people. Grade A stuff."

Hey Jude by Assagai
Cover version of the Beatles classic, sung in "an unknown African language".

They say: "Assagai were formed in England in 1971 by South African exiles and a couple of Nigerians (one is the singer on this track)."

2. Disturbing

Distant Star by Anthony Hopkins
Yes, that's the Anthony Hopkins. A bit like William Shatner's spoken cover versions or John Betjeman's jazz stuff, but far more scary; he's clearly trying to sound wise and mysterious, but instead just sounds like Hannibal Lecter.

They say: "The thin, paper sleeve; the juice label, so low budget, it can't be true, I thought, biting my lower lip, but there was the face: unmistakable...I simply had to buy it, 50p"

3. Downright insane

Jesus Loves Me by Baby Lu-Lu
Woman with deep south accent puts on child's voice and sings religious songs. Truly hideous.

They say: "I was expecting it to be unlistenable, and when I took it home and played it, I found I was right! However, I was also entertained. Within it's mind-boggling wretchedness is a grating blend of annoying, frightening and unintentionally funny sound that captures your attention."

Introuniversal Jam/Don't Be So Holy Poly Over My Souly by Kit Ream
Tadich sent me the link to this with the warning that it was "truly the sound of a mind violently shaken from its moorings". He is so right.

They say: "According to someone who knew him, [Kit Ream] dropped tons of acid in the '60s and wound up in a mental hospital where he spent six months staring at his own reflection in a mirror. Eventually the acid wore off, he was deemed 'cured' and let loose in society, whereupon he decided to become a guru and make a record."

1 comment:

Huw said...

I could picture myself listening to the Hopkins track during my metaphysical stage.