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Slapp Happy - Casablanca Moon (1974)


Slapp Happy to powstałe w 1972 roku w Hamburgu międzynarodowe trio, które założył  brytyjski kompozytor i klawiszowiec awangardowy Anthony Moore. Do współpracy zaprosił amerykańskiego gitarzystę Petera Blegvada oraz niemiecką wokalistkę Dagmar Krause, która w niedługim czasie zostaje jego zoną. Prezentowany  album nagrany został w 1973 roku, wydany  jednak ostatecznie po wielu zawieruchach w roku 1974 pod tytułem Casablanca Moon. Materiał zawarty na krążku bardzo szerokim wachlarzem rozciąga się od awangardowego popu, zahacza muzykę eksperymentalną a kończy nawet na klimatach zbliżonych do kabaretu z prawdziwego zdarzenia. Poza bardzo urozmaiconymi dźwiękami na całej płycie niewątpliwie króluje utalentowana niemiecka wokalistka Dagmar Krause, ze swym niezwykle głębokim i silnym altem, którego plastyczność sprawia, że piosenkarka niezmiernie łatwo przeskakuje dzięki temu w klimaty utworów mocno się od siebie różniące. Warte odnotowania jest również to, iż muzycy z grupy mieli w swym burzliwym dorobku udaną współpracę m.in. z takimi zespołami jak Faust, Henry Cow czy Art. Bears.


Slapp happy was a multinational (specifically British/German) Avant-garde pop group consisting of Anthony Moore (keyboards), Peter Blegvad (guitar) and Dagmar Krause (vocals). Slapp happy was formed in 1972 in Hamburg, Germany by British composer Anthony Moore. At the time he was recording for Polydor, but was continually frustrated by the more popular direction the label was trying to woe his music. His music was sited as not commercial enough. Venting this frustration he proposed the formation of a pop group with his girlfriend (Dagmar Krause) from Hamburg and an American friend Peter Blegvad. So Slapp happy was born. After much disputes and bantering Blegvad and Moore convinced Krause of their inabilities to sing and she step up as their sing. And to this day remains as one of the distinctive characteristics surrounding the band.

In 1972 Slapp Happy recorded their first album 'Sort of' for Polydor (Germany), with the Krautrock group Faust as their backing band. They took a very simplistic and innocence mind set into studio, crafting a primitive pop album complimented beautiful by Krause's pure German tainted voice. Refusing to play live the marketing behind the album provided to low sales of the LP.

Just a year later (1973) they returned to the studios to record their second album 'Casablanca Moon' (which was to be later released as 'Acnalbasac Noom'). After the disappointing commercial success of 'Sort of' Polydor continued to press the band for more pop orientated material and this is what they recorded. Moore and Blegvad composed simple well crafted pop songs, entailing lush melodies and poetic lyrics. Still not impressed with their work Polydor refused to release the album.

The band then left Polydor (for the better) and move to London when they were quickly snapped up by the Virgin Records label who was look for more than just another pop band, which fitted Slapp Happy like a glove. Friends Faust and Henry Cow had already signed deals. They went on to re-record and release 'Casablanca Moon' in 1974 at the Virgin Manor Studios with the helping hand of session musicals. The approach was more designed at Moore and Blegvad true nature of compositional techniques, producing a more complex song design. Here we also see the lyrical themes tending towards the eccentric side of the spectrum, discounting their roots in the commercial pop realms. That year, Slapp Happy went on to be one of Virgin's biggest money earners. The album was...Slapp happy was a multinational (specifically British/German) Avant-garde pop group consisting of Anthony Moore (keyboards), Peter Blegvad (guitar) and Dagmar Krause (vocals). Slapp happy was formed in 1972 in Hamburg, Germany by British composer Anthony Moore. At the time he was recording for Polydor, but was continually frustrated by the more popular direction the label was trying to woe his music. His music was sited as not commercial enough. Venting this frustration he proposed the formation of a pop group with his girlfriend (Dagmar Krause) from Hamburg and an American friend Peter Blegvad. So Slapp happy was born. After much disputes and bantering Blegvad and Moore convinced Krause of their inabilities to sing and she step up as their sing. And to this day remains as one of the distinctive characteristics surrounding the band.

In 1972 Slapp Happy recorded their first album 'Sort of' for Polydor (Germany), with the Krautrock group Faust as their backing band. They took a very simplistic and innocence mind set into studio, crafting a primitive pop album complimented beautiful by Krause's pure German tainted voice. Refusing to play live the marketing behind the album provided to low sales of the LP.



Just a year later (1973) they returned to the studios to record their second album 'Casablanca Moon' (which was to be later released as 'Acnalbasac Noom'). After the disappointing commercial success of 'Sort of' Polydor continued to press the band for more pop orientated material and this is what they recorded. Moore and Blegvad composed simple well crafted pop songs, entailing lush melodies and poetic lyrics. Still not impressed with their work Polydor refused to release the album.

The band then left Polydor (for the better) and move to London when they were quickly snapped up by the Virgin Records label who was look for more than just another pop band, which fitted Slapp Happy like a glove. Friends Faust and Henry Cow had already signed deals. They went on to re-record and release 'Casablanca Moon' in 1974 at the Virgin Manor Studios with the helping hand of session musicals. The approach was more designed at Moore and Blegvad true nature of compositional techniques, producing a more complex song design. Here we also see the lyrical themes tending towards the eccentric side of the spectrum, discounting their roots in the commercial pop realms. That year, Slapp Happy went on to be one of Virgin's biggest money earners. The album was originally release entitled simple 'Slapp Happy' but was later changed to 'Casablanca Moon'

It was to be another 6 years (1980) before Recommended Records release the original 'Casablanca Moon' (backed by Faust), talking a play on words entitling it 'Acnalbasac Noom'. These two recordings were to become "Slapp Happy's" most love releases, with constant arguments between fans of which album triumphed over the other. During the time between these two releases Slapp Happy made confidences with label mates Henry Cow and in late 1974 recorded a split album 'Desperate Straights", which despite the variances in style turned out to be a success. Once again in 1975 the two bands joined forces, with Krause as vocalist for Henry Cow acclaimed 'In the Praise of Learning' while Moore and Blegvad took on minor rolls.

While Krause reminded with Henry Cow for many more years, both Moore and Blegvad couldn't ignore the vast differences between the bands style and thus forceed the split of Slapp Happy. Both Moore and Blegvad set out on separate solo careers of varying success.

The band was to collaborate again twice during the nineties, producing both Ca Va and Camera. Now coming into a more modern age the band made extensive use of layering and other studio effects. To some fans the lose of the signature 'acoustic sound' was a disappointment, but relatively speaking both albums were solid efforts.

Slapp Happy crafts a unique style of Avant-garde pop; while remain sophisticated, they draw from pop subtleties, from playful moods to the airy voice of Dagmar Krause. Recommend to those looking for a lighter taste of RIO/avant-prog. (progarchives)

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2 komentarze:

pausts pisze...

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Anonimowy pisze...

Thanks, pausts! 'Sort Of' and the original Casablanca Moon with Faust ('Acnalbasac Noom') are in the comments section here:

http://knowyourconjurer.blogspot.com/2010/12/faust-mega-post-by-dave-sez-go-get-you.html

Cheers, Dave Sez.

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