ARTHUR BEST OF 2007 LISTS No. 26: Eddie Ruscha

Eddie Ruscha’s Top 7 for 2007

2007 was a great year. A fantastic year full of hope, promise and optimism. The music that created the soundtrack to this amazing, enlightened epoch were some of the more extremely memorable finds. Most in the CDR format, others from the thrift store……

GATA GATA BOYS – Choppa Handcuff (CDR)
After returning from a trip to Africa, a friend of mine brought back this amazing home burnt CD from this seven peice group. If you can imagine a marriage of gangsta rap and Afro-beat, then you are close to the essence of this burner. Distorted guitar, feedback and siren sounds drive the title track, the sound of funky civil unrest. I think my speakers are on fire now.

Another one of my friend’s amazing African scores, this one is actually techno music but not with the typical 4 on the floor pattern. It sounds like the guy must have gotten a cracked version of Reason, used only the presets and made the funkiest music imaginable.

GILDEN ISOPATRA – Hollow Mind Hollow Grin (CDR)
Mysterious Nordic acid elf folk, only set to slow lava like drum machine beats. So much echo and phaser bathes these songs (?) that it sounds like the guy fell asleep during the mixing process. Still stunningly beautiful heartbreaking music lurks within, you just have to pull aside the veil of dragon feathers.

HADES – Journey (Stolen Records, 1969)
Sometimes you get extremely lucky when you’re thrift shopping. It can practically make your entire week. This one made my year. The cover has an atmospheric photo of a naked couple covered in mud with some cryptic magical symbols. The music within fully meets the standard set up by the cover. Arcane chanting, primal synth “squall”, tape loop “scronk” and backwards fuzz bass “solos”.

HARAFF HAZIMAS – Rainbow Child Eye (CDR)
This session pre-dates the Olenhaus Tapes in sound and style. Pure “freedom electronics”. Dangerous listening.

CHICO MAGNETIC BAND – Chico Magnetic Band (Box Office, 1973)
Another incredible find. Truly hell-bent french Hendrix alter ego that mangles all sense of reality or the English language. Warning: extremely psychedelic.

BEYOND THE WIZARD’S SLEEVE – George & West (3rd Mynd)
Illegal is the new legal. Tune in, turn on, trip out on the psych re-rub madness. Drugs are illegal too, right?

Eddie Ruscha is an artist/musician residing in Los Angeles. His group The Laughing Lights have an LP due in 2008 on Whatever We Want Records out of New York. He also has a solo show of paintings and sound at High Energy Constructs in Chinatown in March.

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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