Monday, January 16, 2006

Welcome to his Nightmare! Todd Tamanend Clark's Nova Psychedelia

Todd Clark's nightmare takes up 150 minutes on this sprawling Anopheles 2 disc set of what I believe is his entire recorded output from 1975-85. The Pittsburg area Native American parlays a love for primitive electronics, rock and roll, science fiction and comic books into a spectacular dark twisted vision of a world gone mad. Imagine Simon Bar Sinister at work in his lab making yet another electronic noise machine with which to conquer the world and you get the idea. The whole thing starts with a 12 minute synthesizer/therimin piece that is a cross between 50s SCiFi and the trippy soundtracks that Goblin did for Dario Argento. Lest you think this is all stellar electro-skronk, I will tell you Todd also kicks in a healthy dose of Stonesy rock and roll too. He even tackles 2000 Light Years From Home, though in Todds deconstruction the only thing recognizable is the bass line! The subject matter is what youd expect to compliment the shimmery psychedelic sound,lots of stuff about bright flashing lights, brain waves, death, God, the zodiac, xrays and phosporesence. The overall mess of sounds tends to lump it in the catch all category/buzzword proto-punk or as the sticker says proto-cyber punk!

Certainly when he started recording in 75 TTC had very few peers. There are a few nuts that come close like Debris, MX-80 Sound and Pere Ubu and Ubu's Allen Ravenstine and Tom Herman do guest on a couple cuts. Undoubtedbly the self produced recordings' small pressings have led to their obscurity and cult status. Todd's monotone deadpan vocals may have also hindered a wider audience though I feel they are part of the attraction here, adding to the unnatural, otherworldly sound. Its a sound thats driven home by bleeps, squeals, screeches, some dynamite guitar and plenty of twisted lyrics. "X-ray Ecstasy" indeed, as this is a magical personal odyssey reveling it its own excess and overkill while making jokes all the while. Todd pays homage to his forefathers with unique covers of "Hungry" and "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" as well as taking the listener on a bumpy trip thru the nether regions of his psyche. Come take a trip with Todd to alchemy island!
You can buy this at fine stores or straight from Anopheles and check out Todd Clark's CD Baby page too!


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