The sequel to his now-revered 1970 LP Electric Lucifer, Electric Lucifer: Song Book II first arrived in 1979 but hasn't been very available on western shores since then. Telephone Explosion, a label from Haack's native land, is rectifying that dilemma, having announced a nice new pressing of that Electric Lucifer: Song Book II. The record treads similar sonic ground to its predecessor, but Haack had clearly processed the music of the '70s when he made it, filling this sequel with some deep funk, prog, sound collage, and jazz fusion tidbits.
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I'm starting a heavy day's reviewing with this head-scratching bit of vintage synth action from Canadian maverick Bruce Haack. This one originally came out in 1979, nine years after his first 'Electric Lucifer' offering. You may already be familiar with Haack from some of the recent reissues that have been coming out, including his bizarre experimental albums for children. This is a similarly concept-driven piece with a fairly self-explanatory title 'In Which Lucifer Tempts Jesus of Nazareth'. Haack here dramatises the biblical story of Lucifer tempting Jesus in a strange robotic prog-funk style. Dinky drum machines and soft, bouncy melodies propel a nonstop barrage of vocals all treated with his legendary proto-vocoder, the Farad.
In terms of the compositions it's hard to avoid comparisons to some of the biblically-themed musical theatre of the time like Jesus Christ Superstar or Godspell (opener 'Mean Old Devil' actually sounds like it could be straight out of Matt Berry's 'AD/BC' parody of that era), but all the sounds including the vocals have a slick mechanical sheen to them and the sounds often descend into rather trippy experimentalism. 'Gastronomicplentification' is a big highlight with some wild bleepy synth flutters, heady eastern melodies and crazy Satanic vocal effects. You've never heard anything quite like it.
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- Electric Lucifer : Song Book II by Bruce Haack
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