Sunday, June 1, 2014

Stephen David Heitkotter - Heitkotter (TIME-LAG 052)

lets get lifted together, friends :) peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

The austere cover may trick a few folks. However, it reveals nothing about the raw, frenetic acid fried contents within the sleeve. As we travel down the illuminated private press trail, eventually we begin to traipse when the signs become opaque and the lights dim. We have entered the hallowed territory of Heitkotter; cited in some places as one of the most obscure psychedelic masterpieces, the story that surrounds the album - much like the music itself - is murky and full of intrigue. Heitkotter is the sound of a person staring into the abyss before never begin heard from again. From what is known, Heitkotter was the drummer for a Fresno band, the Road Runners, in the mid 60's. The subsequent period included psychotropic drugs and mental instability. Steve recorded the LP before 1971 and, along with his brother, disseminated the promos to a number of FM radio stations in California's San Joaquin Valley. A full electric effort, nobody knows for sure if others participated in this recording. Steve's brother, Bill, posits that it was a solo effort; that Steve was too much of a loner at the time to have collaborated with former bandmates. The masters were destroyed due to non-payment. With Steve subsequently committed to a state mental institution, and no interest in the music being exhibited, one would expect that nothing else occurred. Yet, a vinyl digger unearthed the only known copy at a radio station closing sale in the mid to late 80's. Being the work of a genuinely insane person, Heitkotter's ramshackle outsider acid-garage-blues smolder with manic energy and a sinister nature. Sometimes the playing is tight and heavy, only for Heitkotter to go off on a tangent - sometimes returning to the thread; that goes for the vocals, too. Hoarse and rough, the lyrics are muddled. At times, they are unintelligible. The final minutes are ominous - the sound of a person disintegrating.

 The insert which accompanies the deluxe repress by Nemo at Time-Lag - mastered from the best original copy; 180g audiophile vinyl; exact reproduction of labels - makes the most apt statement about Heitkotter, "What's amazing is that today, even after a quarter century of vinyl excavation that has unearthed dozens of inconceivable LP's, there is still nothing to rival the Heitkotter in sheer primal tension, the sense of deadly, indefinite 'presence' that seems to stalk the record." Sold out at the source, one of the last copies that is being sold for a reasonable price is available at Fusetron.

peace and love, friends :)

thanks to artmaniac53 for the good vibe!