Just what is Kaleidophonics anyway?
There was a time when you heard about certain records but you couldn’t actually hear them. Either you read about them in some fanzine or were told about them by a friend or likeminded guy behind the counter. Sometimes what you heard or read about them was as exciting as hearing those little grails by the time you could lay your hands on them. Sometimes more.
While trying to keep this thing pretense-free, that’s the goal of this blog. Since my musical coming-of-age in junior high school, my tastes always ran to the unusual and extreme. Sure, I dug Zeppelin and the Who and the Stones along with everyone else, but I also had a good working knowledge of Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, and Kraftwerk by the time I was 14 (and if anything was going to cement your rep as a “weirdo” in early ‘80s Queens, NY, believe me that was it). The appetite for hearing more and more never went away, and years were spent digging through miles of used records. More times than I can remember, that accidental discovery of some record that just looked interesting proved hugely serendipitous.
Even today, when downloading just about anything is just a few keystrokes away, I still love the physical object and looking through records. The thrill of the hunt is endlessly exciting for me (and especially now with more and more physical stores disappearing, but that’s another story…). If you go looking for something in particular, it’s been said, your odds of finding that one thing are astronomical; if you go looking for anything, you’re liable to find something.
So here you’ll learn through the printed word about some fantastic creations that just haven’t gotten their due. Maybe they were radically ahead of their time, or had distribution issues stacked against them; some were misunderstood and cast off, some never stood a chance against the musical heyday of their times.
“Kaleidophonics”…a constantly changing reflection of many styles…the sound of all sounds. Early experiments with analog electronics and tape manipulation to corporate musicals and goofball attempts at hipness – all conveyed with some history, perhaps some personal anecdotes, and the perspective that countless friends have encouraged me to put out there for years.
This is not one of those blogs (some of whom I link to) where you’ll find downloads of the albums I’m talking about. If you’re interested enough to seek these things out, I strongly encourage you to buy it from someone. Somewhere out there is a mom & pop store that needs your support now more than ever, if not the artists and/or labels themselves.
If you’ve read this far, thanks! I hope it all sounds as fun, interesting, and exciting for you as it is for me.