March 29, 2013

Japanese reissues in CD format of original Third Ear Band's albums!

Japan EMI-Harvest has recently reprinted the first three Third Ear Band's albums in a limited press CD format at the cheap prize of 1143 yen (9.47 euros - 7.98 pounds - 12.14 dollars).
Published on February 27, 2013, the label has sent to the shops "Alchemy", "Third Ear Band" and "Music from Macbeth" with the original artworks and the famous Japanese strip, as you can see on the pictures of the "Alchemy" edition here below:

 These are the details:

"ALCHEMY" (EMI Music Japan TOCP-71515)
"THIRD EAR BAND" (EMI Music Japan TOCP-71516)

It would be interesting to check the audio quality, if some engineers have worked on the original masters, expecially for the "Macbeth" soundtrack available for years on CD just in that awful BGO edition...

Anyway, all things considered, a must just for compulsive kollectors! 

You can buy the CDs at

no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

March 23, 2013

Dave Tomlin analyzes his two compositions from "The Magus" (1972).

I've asked Dave Tomlin to analyze his old compositions for the TEB's THE MAGUS album, "New Horizon" and "The Phoenix" (actually a poem declaimed by himself), and he has been so kind to do it for Ghetto Raga Archive. 
As everyone knows, THE MAGUS was recorded in 1972 by a line-up with Sweeney (drums), Minns (oboe, recorders and hammond), Mike Marchant (electric guitar and vocals), Simon House (electric violin, VCS3 and piano), Dave Tomlin (bass and flute) and Ron Kort (percussion, doom piano). The late Mike Marchant composed the majority of tracks inspired by Tarots. Recorded just in five days, rejected by Island Records, the album was lost in the vaults, re-discovered and published for the first time in 2004 by English Angel Air thanks the late sound engineer Ron Kort.
Here's Dave's writing about his tracks.

New Horizon (music & lyrics by Dave Tomlin)
There are four significant verses in the lyrics of this song. 

1) ‘We are standing on, our own horizon’

This, the first line of the song although intriguing, is in fact nonsense.
For those whose English is a little weak, the horizon is the visible line between the earth and sky. Sometimes this can be quite near depending on the kind of landscape. At other times it can be at a great distance (while at sea for instance).
Nevertheless, to stand on one’s own horizon cannot be done and were it to be accomplished would require shifting to another dimension. However, the concept leads to another seeming impossibility which is revealed in the second verse.

2) ‘Paths that lead this way, by-pass yesterday’.
I wrote this song around 1966 when the idea of ‘now’ was inspiring the minds of the hippies of that time. 'Baba Ram Das’ (Richard Alpert) book, ‘Be here now’, was required reading and the idea of abandoning the past in this quest had much power. This was the notion that launched the ‘happenings’ and spontaneous events that were the signature phenomena of the time. On a more personal level the idea also supported the idea that the personal ‘self' belonged to the past, and freedom from that self lay only in the present moment. Therefore, to by-pass yesterday was an invitation to a new kind of freedom.

3) ‘It’s made more or less, out of nothingness but that doesn’t mean, it cannot be seen’.
Quantum physics had of late revealed the insubstantial nature of matter which, although obtuse to the point of almost non-existence is still, nevertheless, commonly perceivable by the human eye.
Some forms of Buddhism also speak of this paradoxical fact.

4) There’s no reason why, we should have to lie/die. If the Pope goes mad, we’ll be very glad/sad’.
I realised when writing these lyrics that they might be controversial amongst those of a particular religious persuasion and therefore, as above, considered some alternatives. However, I left this decision to the very last moment, in fact while I was singing it, and, the times being what they were, I was seized by a bolshie spirit and went for ‘lie’ and ‘glad’.
Catholics of course are excused from adopting this view, but for those outside that mindset such an affliction to the Holy Father would seem to be of great benefit and undermine the credibility of that teaching, particularly for children who are being programmed into such a Satanic doctrine. For instance, in the view of that perfidious teaching to miss mass on Sunday is a mortal sin, and should that sinner die without seeking forgiveness in the confessional, will be cast into Hell for all eternity.
Enough to terrify and give nightmares to any sensitive and vulnerable child. 

               A beautiful page from "Conference of the birds" by Farid Ud-Din Attar (1177).

The Phoenix (music and poem by Dave Tomlin) 
This song also written in 1966 was based on and inspired by
‘The Conference of the Birds’. A 12th century Persian poem by Farid Ud-Din Attar.
‘Come you lost atoms to your centre draw and be the eternal mirror that you saw Rays that have wandered into darkness wide return and back into your sun subside’.

The birds go on a journey to seek their King, the ‘Simoch’ otherwise the Phoenix. 

"Conference of the birds" (detail), from Attar Mantiq al-Tayr (1493)

no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

March 15, 2013

Lot of TEB tracks for free listening and download at

With the "Listen and download tons of mp3 for free" quip TEB's fans can listen and download a lot of the band's tracks at the page
on MP3 Hamster Web site.

no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

March 08, 2013

A German band called Ghetto Raga...

"The name is taken from the second track "Ghetto Raga" on the first 1969 album by british THIRD EAR BAND "Alchemy" and also is program: instruments usually played in classical music playing free improvisations fenced in by simple and monotonous hand drum rhythms - usually just one ongoing hypnotic rhythm per piece. Glen Sweeney, mastermind and drummer of TEB, later called their pieces "electric ragas"".

Thomas Zunk

Here's the description German musician & advantgarde composer Thomas Zunk uses to describe his music on his Soundcloud profile ( and, a miner of experimental music with clear references to the Third Ear Band's poetics...
His Berlin based free improvising project called Ghetto Raga started in  1993 and through various different line-ups he recorded very interesting tracks with the intention of creating a synthesis between freely improvised music and the classical gamelan styles of Indonesia. Ghetto Raga's pieces sometimes evoke spherical, metallic landscapes; some others position hypnotically pulsating, monotone grooves under a virtuoso violin. 

As usual, listen to these tracks and make a your opinion about the real connections with Glen Sweeney/Paul Minns' music... 

no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)