Every time I go to hang out with Florian down his bungalow is like reading an episode in the oral history of psychedelic privateering. He’s been everywhere. He was there at the German communes sitting chameleon-like in the back, surfing on the ley waves of collective energy, Paris 1968, hurling rocks at the man in the afternoon, checking out the second hand market for custom-made moog synthesisers in the evening. He fixed the oil leak of the Merry Prankster’s Furthur bus and bailed Lee Perry from jail once, he had a transatlantic operation smuggling rare electronische 12” into the hands of Chicago heads.
He was doing that stuff. Not much about it, he says.
He takes it easy these days, just sits in the porch outside of his bungalow, smoking and reading, stroking his mongrel cat. He doesn’t listen to much music, he says all the sounds are already inside his head… but he’s happy to check only the tapes and records that I bring him (he’s not big on digital), stuff I think he might dig. We sit on the porch and stare at the sea, and he talks.
“Ha ha, this one gives the finger to any supposed separations between the engineered emotions of synthetic music and the improvisational energy of direct physical contact between human body and the analogue instrument. If you take the process back one step you shall realise that the connection that matters occurs between a neural web fired up in a lightning bolt of inspiration, and the fingers that stroke the heart of a machine trembling with anticipation- the rest is artifice. Which means that all music is digital, kid, it’s all digital. Check it out, sacred riffs full of power and mystery, an ode to the gods scribbled in a future language- like the Mahavishnu Orchestra after an advanced introduction to String Theory.”
Urban Tribe- Insolitology (removed on request)
“See, this album you are playing now sounds like it could have been made by some French crazies in the 1970s, when prog became that all-encompassing juggernaut that vomited liquid shards of over-nourished human psyche all over the place, it was kind of gross and eventually tiresome. But while the going was good, I swear, it was the most exciting of times. You took one of those records from its floridly decorated sleeve, slipped it on, leant back and breathed deep, woosh, it was like going partying in the docks of Marseilles as re-imagined by some sword and sorcery nut, you never fucken knew what was going to happen next, smoke and mirrors, twists and turns, ah, the energy! And if at parts it sounded like the future, not the future we dreamed but the future that happened, it is because some of us travelled there riding in the back of a red dragon. The metronome of this song swings with the circumference of a horizon beheld from high above, where the clouds glow with a tinture which is both the warmth of the sun, and the deep blue of the space above, it makes me wanna cry for everything we have forgotten’.
Solar Bears’ She Was Coloured In’ is one of the most astonishing albums that 20jazzfunkgreats (and Florian) have heard in a long time- like Subway soundtracking Fantastic Planet or something. But you are going to have to await until September to listen to it in its utterly transfixing glory. In Planet Mu, those guys know.