Friday, 21 June 2013

From the Top Drawer LIII - Third Ear Band


Happy Solstice to all.
Although this tape was recorded in a club one chilly December night, Third Ear Band's music might be at least as well experienced at an open air summer event, preferably one within a short distance from an array of standing stones, accompanied by a timeless flavour of earthy mystery.
'Third Ear Band originated from Canterbury (sic) and started out as a psychedelic band called The Giant Sun Trolley gaining residency in south-London clubs doing long and improvisations and eventually changing their names to The Hydrogen Jukebox, recording one live album. Having finished their concert recording they discovered all their equipment stolen. So by sheer coincidence and obvious necessity, they became an acoustic band taking the name Third Ear Band.
They are considered by many to be the first who invented the term "world" music. Published during the late 60s an album as "Alchemy" is seen as a landmark of ethnic fusion music, including many elements of improvisations and obvious eastern and medieval accents. They used a lot of "raga" instrumentations thanks to cyclical, dancing oboe patterns and "tabla" percussions. They often included jazzy rock parts next to India spiritual music. Stylistically this is a band who have brought to the fore a kind of "transcultural" music. Their impressive and cult first effort was followed by what we can consider to be the summit of their career. Their self titled album recorded in 1970 is an outstanding collection of ethereal, ethnic improvisations, totally floating, ecstatic, consequently directed to a high level of consciousness. A real travel through suggestive, imaginative dreamscapes. The music is executed with genius and always orientated in favour of various acoustic experimentations.
Originally released in 1972 for the Roman Polanski movie, their following "Macbeth" carries on this intense, trippy musical adventure but stresses the folk & medieval acoustic structures (including for the first time some vocals). Atmospheres are sometimes creepy & sinister admitting weird and melodic guitar lines. The music is less improvised and really turned to efficient, enchanting, moody and medieval ambiences. This one is recognised as their most popular effort. After a long break the band recorded in 1988 the album "Live Ghosts" with a new line up, continuing a similar musical experience, always making a fusion between a sensitive raga / ethnic style and powerful jazzy rock improvisations. Their following efforts "Magic Music" (1990) and "Brain Waves" (1993) include more evident electronic arrangements and a mystical jazz/ ethnic rock combinations.'http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=1745

This tape was recorded at Club Dog @the Sir George Robey pub, Finsbury Park, London on 15th December 1989 (the very gig on the flyer above). There are seven (correction: eight) tunes included here, I'm afraid I'm not familiar enough with the band to identify them.
(Recording notes - 2xPZM microphones above rear of audience>cassette deck>chrome cassette>>cassette deck>PC>sound editor>spliced@41m10secs>320kbps .mp3)

UPDATE
More info on this gig including track titles and personnel has kindly been supplied by the Ghetto Raga blogspot and can be found HERE

Download HERE


Third Ear Band Official Archive

4 comments:

  1. more info :
    http://ghettoraga.blogspot.fr/2013/06/tebs-1989-concert-at-london-club-dog.html

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    1. Thank you for your most excellent feedback - much appreciated.

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  2. Thanks a ton for the upload. The "raga" elements particularly stand out in this gig.

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    1. Absolutely...thanks for dropping by.

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