Bad Alchemy #8


01 Ennca Traditional (2:55)
02 Patchinco Untitled (3:35)
03 Rock Kabuki Take Off, Tokyo, 20.2.87 (4:30)
04 Sato Michihiro Studio ARCO, Tokyo, 7.8.87 (3:00)
05 Kiyohiko Semba Recorded at Akasaka, 30.8.86 (2:30)
06 Unita Minima Miru, Kiku, Asobu (5:30)
07 Sato Michihiro Studio ARCO, Tokyo, 7.8.87 (2:45)
08 Ziz! Gamelan Disco (6:05)
09 Dog As Master Hibernation (4:05)
10 Limpe Fuchs/Anima Zwiegespräch (6:40)
11 Cranioclast A Granam Caught In A Rat Man’s Trap (8:20)

Total time 50:00
Magazine+cassette released by Rigobert Dittmann, Würzburg, Germany, 1987

Another memorable Bad Alchemy issue, what with a magazine including such diverse topics as Japanese culture, Edgar Varèse, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Cranioclast or Anima. This kind of open-mindedness is usually hard to come by, yet there were similar examples in Europe at the time, think Audion in Great Britan, Musiche in Italy or Notes in France, all basically working to get post-RIO music out of the progressive rock ghetto. Articles in Bad Alchemy are usually in German, though two of them in BA#8 are in English, namely the Hal McGee interview (of Master Slave Relationship+Dog As Master fame) or the Radical Themes in Contemporary Music Part II article. Lovely artwork includes Renaissance pictures, children’s drawings, Manga excerpts, Bunker Archeology courtesy of Cranioclast, musicians’ photos, etc. The companion cassette is a real treasure thanks to Bad Alchemy editor Rigobert Dittmann’s exceptionnal curating skills. The A side is devoted to Japan and cleverly alternates between Japanese bands, location recordings and found sounds. The latter includes TV commercials, a Pachinco location recording (Japanese slot machines), a pop song and even a shamisen traditional by Sato Michihiro, a shamisen player with releases on Hat Art (1989) and Tzadik (1998). Kiyohiko Semba is a flutist, then a member of Wha Ha Ha on ReR. In 1989, Bad Alchemy released ‘The Edge Of The World’ LP by Unita Minima, the duo of Tatsuo Kondo and Reichi [+].  Their ‘Miru, Kiku, Asobu’ track is a refined RIO song with devilish keyboards and cute female vocals. The flip side (starting with Ziz! avant-jazz high-spirited duo) is a selection of some radical musicians of the time. Dog As Master was the solo project of Hal McGee, one half of Master Slave Relationship with Debbie Jaffe. His track here slowly builds on found percussion sounds loops and repetitive vocals, in a shamanistic and obsessional way. Anima (Limpe Fuchs) contributes a remarkable track that could have been included in her landmark ‘Via’ LP on DOM Records of the same year (1987): psychedelic synth washes with Anima speaking in tongues in her own invented language. Lovely.

Donwload [NEW LINK] (w/52pp magazine attached as universal PDF file)


14 Responses to “Bad Alchemy #8”

  1. 1 Shane February 27, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    thank you very much for this.

  2. 2 Lucky February 27, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    continuo – as one commenter pointed out in your post of #6,
    bad alchemy is still alive, although without the cassettes. many oop versions of the magazine are available for dl at their homepage

    of #8 i’m especially curious about the michihiro sato tracks (well, he’s the only one i know!!).

    thx for your dedication *u*

  3. 3 vespucci February 27, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Thanks, continuo. I once had this edition, but threw all the magazines away when I moved to a new flat (I kept the tape cassettes, though).

    Emanuelle Loubet (the one who recorded the Pachinko machines) once had an interesting program on the radio, years ago, presenting music from Japan (where she studied at that time). I still remember how buffled I was by the sound of an Ondes Martenot in one of that music pieces, and how hard I tried to reconstruct that sound on a DX7II. Needless to say – without success. ;-)

    I liked the Xerox graphics of the old BA editions too. That changed however when the magazine was layouted later on with a computer.

    I always wondered what you did with a magazine in a foreign language… It must have been pretty frusttrating for you, I guess.

    (Am offline for the weekend.)

  4. 4 continuo February 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Sehr Vespucci, ich habe in Deutschland gewohnt weil ich war ein kind (bis 6 zum 10) und ich hatte Deutsch-Unterricht in der Schule (bis 14 zum 17). Langsam gewöhnten sich an die Deutsch Sprache. Ich glaube es ist genug für Bad Alchemy gelesen. Vielen danke für ihre Kommentar.

  5. 6 Lucky February 28, 2009 at 2:30 am

    the pdf seems to be broken, i was not able to unpack it (dl it 2 times, same result). but it would not be unlikely that my old system causes this… nevermind.

  6. 7 continuo February 28, 2009 at 8:09 am

    The PDF file was optimized for Acrobat 8 only and might not open in earlier versions. Do you want a re-upload with a more universal and larger PDF format?

  7. 8 Lucky February 28, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    if it’s no drag for you, i would appreciate it. i’m interested in some themes of the magazine: steve beresford, montreal’s ambiances magnetiques label, the japan-feature and south africa’s kalahari surfers.

    right now i myself have lots of stuff on the tube, so don’t bother to make it quick, just when the time is fine with you.

    cheers + thx in advance

  8. 9 Ben Presto February 28, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Dear Continuo,
    I have Acrobat 8 and the file seems to be really broken. I can’t open it. Maybe we need a new upload. By the way… thanks a lot for the marveillous stuff!

  9. 10 vespucci March 2, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Merci beaucoup for the informations, continuo. Please don’t mind that I do not bother you with my French as that for sure would violate the Geneva convention. ;-)

    As for the PDF – same problem here. The PDF document itself is corrupted. WinRar reports a ‘CRC archive header’ error, using the internal repair function doesn’t work either.
    I also tried another decompressing software without success.

    But as Lucky said before: take your time.

  10. 11 vespucci March 6, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks for the new PDF, continuo.

    Mirror @ Megaupload for the new upload (with universal PDF file):

  11. 12 continuo March 6, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Thank you all for the comments and links.

    To Ben: I’m currently listening to some of your music to check out what kind of music my readers make! That’s interesting!

  12. 13 gidouille July 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I don’t have this issue. As to Semba, I think he’s known more as a percussionist than a flutist. That’s how he’s credited on the Wha Ha Ha recordings, and Chris Cutler refers to him as “master drummer”. He’s also the director of the Haniwa All-Stars.

  13. 14 db August 3, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Re: Semba (aka Senba)…
    Doing some research a couple years ago I discovered he was running a school for children percussionists. Knowing a lot of his music I can only imagine how fun his courses must be!

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