Welcome to a world of neglected musical misfits and bargain bin freaks; the LSD soaked lounge crooner, the astral trippin’ cowboy, the electronic porno balladeer, the psychedelic disco queen, the yodelling yoga teacher and the queer cult leader ......
For the last couple of weeks I've been leafing through an oddly enjoyable book called “Enjoy The Experience” by Johan Kugelberg. It's probably the most definitive handbook of 'odd' I've read. The book (which is lavishly presented) collects the lost fragments and faded dreams of a thousand or so obscure musicians who, despite having no record deal, released their own unique and occasionally brilliant recordings on an unsuspecting and largely indifferent world. It’s a fascinating story, populated by ordinary people with strange dreams and like the most interesting outsider art, the very best of these private press records have a raw immediacy and visionary power seldom heard (or seen for that matter) in the mainstream. If you're looking for a bumper book of weird and ‘out there’ graphic strangeness, this is the book for you. Unmediated by graphic design convention or artifice, many of the record covers function as highly illogical, off-kilter archetypes or pictorial missives of zoned-out eccentricity which perfectly mirror the highly personal and curious music contained within their respective custom made grooves. A plethora of weird gear idiosyncrasies elevate several of the designs beyond the mundane and into the sublime creating a ‘higher key’ vernacular graphic art of blurred amateur photography, awkward layouts, visionary typography and peaked ‘stare at the sun’ high school illustration.
Weird gear all round.
If you’re a seeker of eccentric vibrations from the late 1960s and 1970s this book is pretty much essential. Seek out.
“Enjoy the Experience” by Johan Kugelberg is published by Sinecure Books.