This year’s been crammed full of essentials and surprise faves, so its getting hard to rise above the fray but the upcoming LP from Tonstartssbandht comes in as their strongest album yet, and a treat for Cosmic Americana heads all around. The White brothers dig deep into their sibling symbiosis to deliver an album that’s quickly climbing the year-end list around here. Figured it would be a good idea to see what they might have on the shelves as well, and I reached out to the band’s Edwin White to grab a pick for the Hidden Gems series. Check out how this Vangelis deep catalog cut came into his life and how its impacted him.
“Fais Que Ton Reve Soit Plus Long Que La Nuit is an early Vangelis album released in 1972 in Greece and France,” White notes. “It was recorded in Paris during the events of May 1968, as well as from 1971-1972. Vangelis had been in town at that time with his group Aphrodite’s Child, who were apparently in limbo with customs for a prolonged period of time while en route to the U.K. The album is described as a symphonic poem. Its title was taken from a phrase seen written on a Parisian wall, among the many graffitied slogans covering the city that May.”
“It consists of two side length tracks. Each is a stitched together collection of catchy protest songs, sung in stripped down folk styles as well as heavenly full choral arrangements shimmering with massive amounts of reverb. The short songs sometimes repeat in various styles across both sides, with field recordings of the riots and on-the-street interviews carrying you back into the live events,” explains Edwin.
“The LP’s thirty-one minutes never lag, and I always feel transported to a time and place I never experienced. Achieving this through music is not entirely unfamiliar — often it’s an implied goal if not an unintentional common occurrence. But doing this with such specificity, forever connecting future listeners with such an important geopolitical event, is an incredible feat. You are left with a melancholic yearning, for the things perhaps left unaccomplished by the movement. Yet the songs of the people instill pride and a powerfully uplifting feeling of optimism. One that rightfully should have been felt in May 1968, and which we should continue to feel and tap into when the time calls for it. We are all human here, wherever you live, wherever you were born. Let’s keep fighting for dignity and a better life for all. Music will always be one of many things which transcends any context or regional culture. Its message may be less direct than the written word, certainly more vague and open for interpretation. But to me, few things imbue meaning and understanding as deeply and as intuitively as what we all express through sound. God bless Vangelis for this inspirational experiment with art and brutal, consequential reality. I never tire of it.”
This is a perfect example of a Hidden Gem. I’ve long associated Vangelis with his sweeping synth work, and while I knew that he was in Aphrodite’s Child (also a Hidden Gem if you missed it) I wasn’t aware of this piece of protest/field recorded history. The album’s not widely available it seems, but looks like CDs can be had reasonably second hand, with a bit of a price jump to the LP, so its definitely worth seeking this out and immersing oneself in the moment. Tonstartssbandht’s new LP, Petunia, is out this Friday from Mexican Summer.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.