Shimmy Disc 1988. SHIMMY011
This is one of my favourite albums of the 80s. It’s an insane sprawling psychedelic masterpiece, without doubt the highlight of Bongwater’s career, and main man Kramer too for that matter.
The most obvious starting points for getting to grips with this massive work are the large number of cover versions. There’s a bonkers version of Led Zep’s Dazed And Confused sung in Chinese, a slowed down, dark performance of Gary Glitter’s Rock n Roll Pt II, a surprisingly straight cover of The Soft Machine’s We Did It Again, a couple of Beatles tunes.. the list goes on.
There’s lots of effective tape manipulation courtesy of Ann Magnuson which adds to the insanity – there’s something really effective about well chosen snippets of spoken word sandwiching the musical parts. Magnuson also contributes some very surreal stories – Iranian Country Club is a favourite, and then there’s the cheeky David Bowie Wants Ideas, although he’s morphed into David Byrne by the end of the track.
Like an earlier Kramer related post, the length of this album makes it a bit overwhelming, but it is worth the effort.