When I was younger, when I first heard of this guy, his name used to have me in fits of hysterics. Fifteen or so years later I just about have it under control, it hasn't been an easy few years though, I mean 'dick' and 'hymen' in same name? Whilst it was never as tough as when I first found out that American's said 'period' instead of full-stop, it was tough going non the less.
So, Dick Hyman's 'The Age of Electronicus', not an album to play at the end of a hard day's work. Last night I kicked my shoes off, slipped this on and slumped onto the sofa before the tones of Dick's version of 'Obladi Oblada' had even bagun to ring. In retrospect a bit of Bert Bacharach would have been a much more suitable soundtrack. Lounge music for lounging. As it was, unable to move, exhausted from a day of doing whatever it is I do I was stuck with a slice of Dick's 'Angry space music' period. In 'Obladi Oblada', Desmond and Molly Joe have been replaced by killer robots from the analogue age, giant room sized growling noise machines with patch boards for faces and stray wires for arms.
The sleeve goes a long way to describing what lies within. Somekind of crazy analogue city of towering synthesizers, giant building sized valves and Dick Hyman popping his head up from time to time as if to say 'Does this sound annoy you? Does it? What about now?'
This theme stays throughout the album and does not let up, a couple of inapropriate Beatles covers add to that 'Green Onions' and 'Time is Tight' they all sound as if they are being gnawed through by steel robot teeth. Not to say I don't like it, it's just not exactly suitable for relaxing after work, glass of Merlot in hand and lights dimmed.
A much more apropriate setting for 'The Age of Electronicus' or parts of it are of course the dance floor. 'His take on James Brown's 'Give It Up or Turn It Loose' is a tank buster. It's the kind of artillery you save for somekind of showdown, sonic warfare.