Our picks of their best.
Don’t be fooled by the burbling electronica: ambient escapism this was not. “We were more punk or rock’n’roll than these bands with the right haircut but nothing to say,” declared Cobain. “Vibrant dynamic upstarts wanting a sonic revolution!”
As one reviewer wrote of this effects-laden stream-of-consciousness: “Here you are as likely to run into the spectral beauty of an ersatz choir as you are the sound of exploding TVs.” The first half of Dead Cities was consumed by darkness and unease, while the second part suggested a flicker of light at the end of a very long tunnel.
Released under the alias Amorphous Androgynous (except in the US, where it was still FSOL for commercial reasons), this featured a stellar cast including Herbie Flowers, Kate St John and Gary Lucas of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band.
Alice In Ultraland
Aptly enough, this AA release was issued on Harvest, and had some of that progressive pioneer label’s feel in its heady swirl of funkadelic rock, jazz and folk-infused psych.
A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding in Your Mind: Volume 1
This was a glorified DJ set, AA mixing and matching, cutting and splicing, from rock, prog, psych and movie scores, from Hawkwind to David Axelrod. Time Out magazine described it as “quite simply the best compilation ever”.
The Cartel, Vol 1
A faux soundtrack album and an homage to AA’s favourite movie composers, including Lalo Schifrin, Quincy Jones, Curtis Mayfield, John Barry and Ennio Morricone. All original material, with a little help from Noel Gallagher on bass and guitar and Raven Bush (of Syd Arthur) on violin, plus AA taking care of Hammond, drums, violin, harp, flute, guitar, bass, brass and vibraphone. PL