STIMULUS PROGRESSION is ecstatic to announce the reissues of two extremely rare private press discs by Northern California's Science Fiction, an LP of Musique Concrete tape loop compositions and a 7" single of outsider pop. Info below, but first a great quote from Mutant Sounds:
This cryptic and little known experimental electronic outfit unfurl two purgatorial and viscous side long drifts of surrealism-charged and cyclically inclined smeary/bleary oleaginous atmospherics, the eponymously titled A side’s tenebrous tone and entropic structure both predating and foreshadowing the work of everyone from The Loop Orchestra to The Caretaker to Tom Recchion to Philip Jeck, while side B’s “...City Of God” grafts spare acid guitar squall, female vocal loops and a two note piano motif onto this amorphousness for a sound midway between Richard Youngs’ Advent and distended 70’s French electronic rock in the mode of Fluence and Ilitch. I know one of the world’s top collectors who rates this in his top 5. I won’t go quite that far, but this IS as eerily prescient and vibe-rich a document of sub-underground weirdity as your likely to encounter for some time, regardless.
From the moment M & R Curtis met in late 1978 in Monterey, California, it was a vibrant and inspired creative era of their lives and by May ’80 had amassed what became the two Science Fiction releases, “Terrible Lizards” and “Secret Agent Man.” The result is two inimitable records both privately released in criminally limited quantities. Distribution was limited to hand delivering copies to radio stations between Monterey and San Francisco and “droplifting” them in record shops along the way. These records have become the stuff of legend, fetching insane prices from collectors and sometimes being so rare as to completely fall through the cracks of experimental and avant pop awareness.
The 12” LP, “Terrible Lizards” contains only two long form pieces at the intersection of Anton Bruckner and Gavin Bryars. The A-side, “Science Fiction” is made up entirely of bleary tape loop manipulations. Beautifully meditative spaces similar to William Basinski. On Side B, “…city of god” employs more tape loops, but with a more compositional sensibility. A woman’s voice on loop repeats the phrase, “Nature has entirely disappeared, we find ourselves in the city of god,” accompanied by a plaintive piano improvisation and a fuzzed out guitar solo a-la Eddie Hazel’s psychedelic meditation on Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain.”
The 7” single, “Secret Agent Man” expresses an outsider pop oriented flipside to Science Fiction’s prowess with a haunting cover of the 1966 Barri & Sloan penned Johnny Rivers hit. Primitive programmed rhythm and bass, male and female vocals, a backwards guitar solo and other analog home studio trickery are presented within subtle and tasteful parameters. The instrumental B-side, “Breathless,” employing a similar approach, sounds as if it could have been an outtake from Eno’s “Another Green World.”