Monday, June 17, 2013

silver apples

The Silver Apples pioneered electronica with the swirling psychedelic oscillations of this completely unique interstellar sound exploration.  The duo of Simeon Oliver Coxe III and Danny Taylor formed from the ashes of The Overland Stage Electric Band when the rest of the group decided their experimental electronic noise was too much for them.  Simeon recounts the construction of his own instrument, 'the Simeon Machine':   "That was just a pile of junk! I didn't play guitar or keyboards. I was just a stand-up singer with a tambourine. There really wasn't anything for me to do in four-piece, five-piece bands. Little by little I began to introduce oscillators, just as a gimmick, or something to be doing while the guitar players were doing their long solos.   The whole interest in oscillators just seemed to grow, especially between me and Danny. I kept adding oscillators, and then the next thing you knew we were playing oscillators against the drums and it was making sense. And it was fun to do! And at last I could play an instrument! I wasn't just standing there.  So as the other members of the band started drifting away, it became just me and Danny, and that's how Silver Apples was born. Not just some bright idea - 'oh, let's just do drums and electronics'. It just sorta happened." 

They signed a deal with Kapp Records and recorded their eponymous debut with "nine audio oscillators piled on top of each other and eighty-six manual controls to control lead, rhythm and bass pulses with hands, feet and elbows".   The sessions were produced by The Magical Theatre Partnership and Barry Bryant with engineer Don Van Gorden.  With Dan Taylor on drums, percussion, and vocals; and Simeon on oscillators and vocals, the songs featured lyrics by poet Stanley Warren.  'Silver Apples' only charted at number one hundred and ninety three on the US album chart; but their sound presaged electronic music for generations to come.

'Silver Apples'

full album:

Side A
1. "Oscillations" Simeon Coxe III, Danny Taylor, Stanley Warren 2:48
2. "Seagreen Serenades" Simeon, Taylor, Warren 2:55
3. "Lovefingers" Simeon, Taylor, Warren 4:11
4. "Program" Simeon, Taylor, Warren 4:07
5. "Velvet Cave" Simeon, Taylor, Warren 3:30
Side B
1. "Whirly-Bird" Simeon, Taylor, Warren 2:41
2. "Dust" Simeon, Taylor, Warren 3:40
3. "Dancing Gods" Navajo Indian Ceremonial 5:57
4. "Misty Mountain" Simeon, Taylor, Eileen Lewellen 2:47

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