January 31, 2012

Inter-Groupie Psychotherapeutic Elastic Band - Floating 7" (1971)

At first listen, Inter-Groupie Psychotherapeutic Elastic Band sounds a lot like their name suggests: feel-good hippie commune music with a lot of acoustic guitar— somewhere in between Ya Ho Wa 13 and The Family International. But the grandiosity of the harmonies might clue you in to the group's proggier pedigree. The songs are credited to A. Koulouris and A. Loafer (a pseudonym). The former is Argiris "Silver" Koulouris, guitarist for Greek cum French psych superstars Aphrodite's Child. A. Loafer is most likely* bandmate Vangelis, who went on to great fame as a solo artist, in particular as composer for the Bladerunner soundtrack and this fucking song.

Floating was released on BYG Records (1967–1978), a French label that focused mainly on psych, jazz, and progressive rock out of France and the US. (For an excellent introduction, check out the Finders Keepers compilation The BYG Deal [2009].) While keeping the lights on with reissues of classic American jazz records for the French market, BYG recorded a string of avant-garde and free jazz albums under the Actuel imprint for the likes of Don Cherry, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Gong, Brigitte Fontaine et Areski, Sonny Sharrock, and Archie Shepp.

This single is the only recording made under the name Inter-Groupie Psychotherapeutic Elastic Band, but the members of Aphrodite's Child would continue to play together, mostly on each other's solo material but also in other one-off side projects like this one.


Update: Apologies to anyone who had trouble opening the file. I've reuploaded it, so the music is yours for the listening.

Oiseau de nuit (1975)

Night Bird speaks to the dreary lives people create for themselves. And when we finally find some means of escape,  we all too often retreat to the same drab existence we sought comfort in all along. The film premiered in 1975 at the inaugural Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Animator Bernard Palacios helped found the Annecy film club in 1971, and then helped organize the AIAFF in extension. Night Bird is better remembered abroad as part of a program of animated shorts that had first been shown at AIAFF but rechristened as the Fantastic Animated Film Festival in the US. 

Today, Palacios teaches animation workshops
in St-Laurent-le-Minier and organizes the animation festival Le Lézard Vert. He recently wrote a book of poetry,  Mes ordinaires trésors sont. See the Comments section for his full filmography.

January 29, 2012