Ty Segall on Aphrodite’s Child – 666

As long as Hidden Gems has been a series, I’ve had a few folks on the shortlist for contributions. Pretty close to the top has always hovered Ty Segall, long a fixture here at RSTB, but also an understandably busy acquisition for the feature. As Ty’s latest, First Taste, approaches next month he’s found some time to think on a rare gem of psychedelic proportions while also giving a bit of insight into how it may have helped shape his new album’s sound. While First Taste might not reach double-fold prog lengths like Freedom’s Goblin its still mining an off-kilter pop sensibility, rooted in psych touches and prog embellishments. This time around the entire record is boiled down to sharp, punchy track lengths, a quality that also informs the third LP from Aphrodite’s Child. The band, and its harrowing, biblical epic 666, served as one of the first outlets for synth master Vangelis, but it’s equally a showcase for sharp-toothed soothsayer Demis Roussos. Though the band’s album spanned four sides of vinyl, they shook prog conventions by keeping the tracks rather tight, spurning the instinct towards improvisation, but not the instinct towards delightful excess. Check out how this album came into Ty’s life and the impact it’s had on his work.

“I was in Greece, and had seen the record before,” Ty recalls. Our friends were showing us around and telling me what Greek records to buy (I try to do this wherever I go). For some reason the cover looked too cool (it’s amazing) and I actually thought I had heard it before – and thought I didn’t like it, (wrong, I hadn’t heard it before.) Basically, it’s one of those few records that sounds as amazing as it looks. I passed up buying it the first time, and bought it later when I found it in The States. This was the gateway into Demis Roussos and Vangelis for me, although I had heard the latter’s Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire scores. It’s a monumental music find.”


So, I ask what makes this one such a find, such a rare gem among prog records. Ty counters, “Everything about this record is amazing! The concept – a performance of the apocalypse being held in a tent is interrupted by the actual apocalypse- Demis’ vocals, the music, everything. This record kind of opened up my mind a little more in a rock sense. I will never get sick of this record.” So, I ask if that’s true, how has it had an impact on his own writing and working? “I feel like it has directly influenced my new record in a big way”, he slyly lets on “though it has its own delightful merits, too.”


As Ty mentions, the album never seems to wear out its welcome. Though it has found some critical praise in hindsight, it remains an often-overlooked psychedelic classic. The LP is currently out of print, but thankfully it can still be found at reasonable prices used. I’d recommend picking one up if you’ve got any psych or prog leanings about you. As for Ty, First Taste arrives via Drag City on August 2nd. Though you can get a chance to hear the album plus a few other classic Segall slabs as he embarks on a live residency in NY, LA, UK and EU, playing the new album in full followed by a rotating schedule of his past works. Check the dates below for that.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

Ty Segall & Freedom Band Tour Dates:


Fri. July 26 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (First Taste + Melted) w/ Warm Drag
Fri Aug. 2 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (First Taste + Melted) w/ Richard Rose
Fri. Aug. 9 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (First Taste + Melted) w/ Vice Cooler
Fri. Aug. 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (First Taste + Goodbye Bread) w/ The Intelligence
Fri. Aug. 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (First Taste + Goodbye Bread) w/ Oog Bogo
Fri. Aug. 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (First Taste + Emotional Mugger) w/ Lamps
Fri. Sept. 6 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (First Taste + Emotional Mugger) w/ King Tuff (solo)
Fri. Sept. 13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (First Taste + Manipulator) w/ Ruth Garber
Fri. Sept. 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (First Taste + Manipulator) w/ DMBQ
Fri. Sept. 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom (First Taste + Manipulator) w/ DMBQ
Tues. Oct. 1 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (First Taste + Melted) w/ Lamps
Wed. Oct. 2 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (First Taste + Melted) w/ White Fence
Thurs. Oct. 3 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (First Taste + Goodbye Bread) w/ DMBQ
Fri. Oct. 4 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (First Taste + Emotional Mugger) w/ DMBQ
Sat. Oct. 5 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (First Taste + Manipulator) w/ DMBQ
Wed. Oct. 9 – Paris, FR @ La Cigale (First Taste + Melted)
Thu. Oct. 10 – Paris, FR @ La Cigale (First Taste + Manipulator)
Fri. Oct. 11 – London, UK @ Oval Space (First Taste + Melted)
Sat. Oct. 12 – London, UK @ Oval Space (First Taste + Goodbye Bread)
Sun. Oct. 13 – London, UK @ Oval Space (First Taste + Manipulator)
Tue. Oct. 15 – Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg (First Taste + Melted)
Thu. Oct. 17 – Haarlem, NL @ Patronaat (First Taste + Melted)
Fri. Oct. 18 – Haarlem, NL @ Patronaat (First Taste + Manipulator)

0 Comments
Previous Post
Next Post