Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Hurdy Gurdy Man – Donovan [#600]


The Hurdy Gurdy Man by Donovan

So you’re a film producer and you are wanting to set the scene of your hippy fest movie set at the height of the 1960’s hippy movement. Or maybe you’re just a young person experimenting with retro drugs. Or perhaps you’re just old looking, with mad long Gandalf hair and matching beard dressing in army fatigues. Chances are you’re using the title song of this album to project some kind of ennui.

While Jim Morrison was riding on his storm and Hendrix was wanking his guitar. Manson and his family murdering people and John Paul George and Ringo were discovering drugs, Scottish folk artist Donovan was writing far-out folk tunes like some sort of Scottish Bob Dylan.

Legend has it that Donovan wrote the eponymous title track for his pal Mac Macleod and his band Hurdy Gurdy. However other sources, mostly Wikipedia and Donovan himself, say the song was written whilst visiting mystics in the Indian subcontinent with John Lennon, George Harrison, Mia Farrow and possibly every other Tom Dick and Harry from the music and art scenes at the time. Moreover, Donovan has performed the song with a verse he claims Harrison wrote for him so I guess there’s some truth in that.

When I obtained the album I was exploring music from the sixties looking for artists and albums I had possibly overlooked. I was already familiar with the title song so was interested in hearing other works by Donovan to see if there was any “connection”.  Sadly there wasn’t but I’ve kept it in my library purely for the “just in case” option.

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Dawn of the Piper – Pink Floyd [#342]

Dawn+Of+The+Piper+1967More Barrett era recording studio off cuts shoved onto yet another CD for die hard fans of the Floyd’s psychedelic phase.

One for the Floyd anoraks.

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Changes in Mind – The Golden Dawn [#259]

CHANGES+IN+MINDChanges in Mind – The Golden Dawn

The Golden Dawn were a group of enlightened spiritual adventurers devoted to the study and practice of dark arts, occultism and paranormal activities. This basically means they liked to meet in creepy places, have sex (possibly with each other) and take hallucinogenic drugs. Which is what everyone likes to do really.

However,  in the time of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, such things were frowned upon by stuffy types in society. So it’s no wonder why wealthy people dabbled in a bit of old “wakey wakey Satey” in remote places away from prying eyes, what with everyone else being so repressed and stuck up their own arses and everything. Naturally, good old Aleistair “I’m a complete nut case” Crowley, thought it would be a good idea to be a member but he was a little too weird for the other members. So when the Golden Dawn booted him out, Crowley went off to form his own “Let’s all wank in a box” cult and eventually popped his clogs in a guest house in Hastings.

So imagine my delight when scouring Jamendo, a music site where artists provide rights free music (for use in Youtube videos and the like without the worry that Mr Sony will ask you to take down the video), I found a band called Golden Dawn. “Brilliant” I thought, “Some sort of dark satanic goth music to tickle the old occult glands”.

Disappointed isn’t in it. Surprised, yes, disappointed, no. This isn’t Black Mass. It isn’t death growls and tortured souls. It isn’t even worthy of playing backwards in the hope of some vague musical artefacts that you could mistake for Satanic messages. This is nice plinky plonky electro-psychadelia from songwriter/guitarist Nick Gent and lead guitarist Ben Skultety, who, it seems, have about as much satanic wizardry in them as Sooty.  It also seems, that they have since changed their name to The Mind Orchestra. Probably because of the hounding from nutters hoping to find darkly satanic occult music to have sex and take drugs in creepy places to.

Changes in Mind, is available from Jamendo in it’s entirety for free. Golden Dawn are a nice fit for those looking for simple sounds to aid them with their moody beard stroking or beret wearing but possibly not for those hoping to raise the Goat of Mendes.



Album #93 – Ascent – Six Organs of Admittance

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 10.38.53Ascent by Six Organs of Admittance

Imagine, if you will, one of those really dodgy independent films of the 1960’s where people gather in some drug filled party hosted by some evil satanist or mind controlling megalomaniac, and dance away to unusual music which, it turns out, probably has hidden satanic mind controlling chants or codes to trick the unwary youth.

The room is white except for moulded plastic chairs, synthetic fur throws and lurid orange cushions. The people are young, mini skirted, beret wearing toss pots. The kind you would expect to extol the virtues of Jim Morrison’s poetry and how “deep and complex” the meanings. You have no sympathy for these people and you begin to carve them into bloody stumps with a manic grin on your face and, like some avant garde drama company, the people just flop on the floor without protest or struggle, arterial blood arching over the brilliant white walls.

This is the music that would be playing at such a party. Heavily Floyd influenced with flavours of Broadcast and hints of psychedelia, SOA are definitely something you want to have on your stereo when you drop that bad acid or begin on your Clockwork Orange inspired killing spree….


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