Phonogram S.A.I.C. 1971 / Out-Sider 2017
South American psychedelia from Stockhausen students who vanished in the vanguard of their own.
“Spontaneous Pop”: that’s how the Wenger brothers, singing multi-instrumentalist Jörn and drummer Dirk, or called the pieces which they worked on in in the late ’60s at a homemade studio in Paraguay and which would be released two years later in Argentina. By then, this LP’s creators moved to study in Germany under the guidance of one of the century’s most brilliant music minds, and JODI the duo, ceased to exist for good, leaving behind a cache of tracks as brilliant as the transparent “Despierte” that could be a hit in the U.K. if it crossed the Atlantic.
Given Spanish titles while sung in English – save for one of the bonuses here, “Buscándote” by THE RABBITS, Dirk and Jörn ‘s first band -there’s an irresistible charm to the likes of “Experimento” which displays a whistle-and-Farfisa-enhanced sneer of a punk kind. But while the brothers went for wild organ improvisation in “Reflexiones Heladas,” this album isn’t avant-garde by any means, except for the Wengers applying DIY sound effects to most numbers and letting their hair down on “Jodi-Ritmo” that’s as garage-smelling as it gets.
With “Espíritu Fosforescente” showing the duo’s blues bent, and their classical roots sprouting out of “Recuerdos De Un Amigo Ruso” where baroque piano meets innocent pop in a psychedelic rendezvous, they didn’t shy away from rambunctious rocking. As a result, there’s a nice rumble to the jagged instrumental “Fantasmas Del Sonido” to contrast “Canción Cariñosa” and its delicate appropriation of Buddy Holly’s jangle. Still, for all the variety and rawness of this record, it gels well enough to retain its taste decades later delivering on the “Pops De Vanguardia” promise.