Julie's Haircut - Karlsruhe / Fountain

by Bill Golembeski Rating:8 Release Date:2018-09-07
Julie's Haircut - Karlsruhe / Fountain
Julie's Haircut - Karlsruhe / Fountain

Speaking simply from the point of an old prog guy, these Julie’s Hair people are the real deal. Now, this is only a single A side/B side release that spins for about fifteen minutes, but it’s a nice insight into this Italian band’s evolution. Now, this band’s origins are rooted in garage and psych. Well, there’s not much of that here. It’s not as hard hitting as their album, Invocation and Ritual Dance of My Demon Twin. But these two songs are wonderful dreamy electronic progressive rock.

This music is a sonic understatement in overdrive.

There is, just as a reference point, a deep underground Pink Floyd root to this music that doesn’t need to build any wall because this isn’t stadium rock; rather it’s intimate and warm, and it is music that demands and awards attention.

The first tune, “Karlsruhe,” roams around a bit. The guitar is moody, like an Egyptian god. Quite frankly, this sounds like the great band Can, around its breezy Future Days album, although the percussion is more subdued. The vocals are processed and distant; the electronic sounds drip into at least one level of heaven. And there’s a piano that demands acoustic attention. And that’s an important aspect of the band’s ethos: They juxtapose the electronic grooves with very human acoustic moments of beauty.

But then there is “Fountain.” And this song is a journey. It’s a demanding journey. It builds a universe of momentum with deep electronic sounds, and then tune turns hard right with the soft beauty of an acoustic guitar and vocal, but then (what sounds like) a percussive thumb piano dances over the song.  The music envelopes its own beauty, while the guitar, flowing In the Wake of King Fripp, deepens the musical depth. There’s also a narcotic beauty to the song, as keyboards swirl and vibrate with the hymns of the universe and very human notes percolate through the heavenly haze. The great French progressive band Pulsar achieved the same balance with their albums, Strands of the Universe and (the absolute classic) Halloween.

It’s a really nice and very modern progressive rock song.

By the way, this single is really a special limited-edition release, and it’s on red vinyl. The two songs were available (according to the band’s website) as downloads on the Ashram Equinox Deluxe Edition. This is the first actual hard copy physical hold-it-in-your-hands version; and as I said, it’s on red vinyl with only 300 being pressed.

So, this may be really for the fans of this Italian band, who will be, of course, waiting for the next album.

This is electronic music; it’s acoustic music. It’s sort of funky, yet it is quite beautiful. But this is a single; it’s only a taste of any album’s delights. My suggestion is to invest in their previous record Invocation and Dance of My Evil Twin with its great sax, guitars that revel in hard psych solos, and the wonderful final tune, “Koan.” But, ultimately, this is music that smacks of all the great prog bands, demands patience, and rewards that diligence with universal grooves and the funky dung that clings to our well-worn, and very modern, blue suede shoes.

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