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Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"


Monday, March 28, 2011

Harumi - Harumi (1968 japan, acid psych folk masterpiece produced by Tom Wilson)



Recorded by Tom Wilson (who else?) for Verve in 1967 and 1968 in New York, this set originally appeared on a double LP (which has been reissued on both vinyl and CD by Fallout). This is one of the wildest and most unbelievably ambitious recordings to come from the psychedelic era. Harumi (a mystery man who recorded one more album before vanishing into the ether) could write pop songs and sing them.

He also sounds like he did a lot of acid. Harumi (who sings and speaks in English), Wilson, arrangers Harvey Vinson and Larry Fallon, and engineer Gary Kellegren assembled a tripped-out collection of pop, Eastern folk, and experimental music and production techniques, with sounds, textures, and atmospheres that incorporated everything from strings and horns to Japanese folk instruments to vibraphones and (of course) plenty of guitars and drums and organ. Of the 13 cuts here, 11 are of conventional length and are utterly seductive in their hypnotic power and pop brilliance.

The last two, "Twice Told Tales of the Pomegranate Forest" and "Samurai Memories," are 24 minutes and 18 minutes long, respectively. These two have plenty of cosmic spoken word by Wilson (Rosko) and Harumi, and on the past by his parents and his sister. The first of these, the longer one, is a bit difficult to take with its slow pace, minimal orchestration, and nearly nonsensical story (that's what the remote is for). The second one, with its discotheque go-go boots beat and orchestration, phased sounds, and Japanese language, is an exotic masterpiece.

It grooves throughout, especially when the electric guitars and strings play counterpoint to one another. Simply put, there is nothing at all like this record in the known universe. It has been compared to the adventurousness of the Mothers of Invention, but only insofar as its wide range. The music here, while a huge compendium of sources, is unlike anything you have ever heard when it is put together. Harumi's self-titled album is simply a classic from the underground brought back into the light.
by Thom Jurek



Tracks
1. Talk About It - 4:10
2. First Impressions - 3:10
3. Don't Know What I'm Gonna Do - 3:09
4. Hello - 4:02
5. Sugar In Your Tea - 3:22
6. Caravan - 3:05
7. Hunters Of Heaven - 2:52
8. Hurry Up Now - 3:51
9. What A Day For Me - 2:47
10.We Love - 2:17
11.Fire By The River - 3:35
12.Twice Told Tales Of The Pomegranate Forest - 24:00
13.Samurai Memories - 19:15
All songs written by Harumi

Free Text
the Free Text

14 comments:

Hotroder said...

Your a champ Marios,this is a classic and the last 2 tracks were only available on a German release. The u.s cover is better i think.
Thanks for the share.

juan manuel muñoz said...

great album, thanks my friend

juan manuel (amigodelblues)

spaceboy5367 said...

Looks interesting Marios, thanks!

DanP said...

What enormously hyperbolic text! How could I possibly pass it by! We'll see how it lives up!

josesimon said...

Muchas gracias Marios, otro gran post en tu magnifico blog. Saludos

adamus67 said...

Album which turned out to be pleasant
Marios have a fantastic music archive, a lot of respect! Thank You

Anon said...

Never listened, but review made to try, and thanks to uploaders.

Julio said...

Thanks for sharing this pearl. Great sounds and vibes....

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot!

Phil Gordon said...

Any poss of a re-up? Thanks M!

Marios said...

.....rises again......

Chuck said...

Got this vinyl nm in a thrift store for $1...lol...sometimes life is good.

danilo said...

Just a simply thanks.Keep up your
good job and effort.

Marios said...

.....Harumi...Repaired......