Good Music We Can Know

Monday, November 21, 2011

More Libaek for the Walkabout Masters: Sven Libaek- Nickel Queen (1971); The Set (1970?)

This record can be found elsewhere amongst the blogs, if you look, but here at Flash Strap we (and I do mean I) have a compulsive desire to display all the Sven Libaek, and in turn make it available to you. Today's post will feature some stragglers of the Libaek catalog.

Nickel Queen is a logical straggler. It's a hard-to-find soundtrack to an obscure Australian film about a wacky-ish mineral-boom rush, and it features more than just a few vocal tracks. It's the vocals, more than anything, that drives down the stock of this Libaek effort- polished, cheesy choruses, folk-pop lite sentiments and melodies... not his best stuff, by a long shot, and not at all what anyone is hoping to hear from a composer with such a masterful ability to weave gorgeously evocative instrumentals. Yet these, the worst selections, aren't really that bad. They've grown on me, anyway. "Look (Every Day)" actually manages to pull off a pretty good take on sunshine pop a la Free Design, and honestly, it's sort of great. Especially when it pops up in the midst of some of Sven's most sunnily optimistic instrumentals, ever.

Lest all this talk of vocal tracks gets you feeling doubtful, though, it's mostly instrumental. Know that.

There's one track in particular that makes me know I absolutely needed this record, after all. "News From The Exchange" stands out from the rest of the album. An achingly gorgeous, perfect diamond teardrop of a composition, this effortlessly belongs with the very best of Mr. Libaek's work. Essential.

A quick note: I can't remember where I grabbed this rip-I know it wasn't Digital Meltd0wn- but it is Digital Meltd0wn's upload (though it may have come to him via Owl of the Warbles, it seems), so be sure to thank him if you have a mind to. Also, I remember there was a bit of a stir (I feel Mr. Zer0 II from Meltd0wn addresses this as well as I could, so I'll be brief) a while back on Pecks Pet Rips over the original ripper feeling the credit due him had not been paid, causing the links there to disappear- so I'd like to thank all the hands this has passed through to keep it alive and moving through the sharing loop. As anyone who has seen Zardoz knows, zealous guardianship of art and beauty can only lead to the invasion of Vortexes by Brutals, the felling of flying stone heads and their wizard pilots, and a realization by the erectionless cultural elites that their main desire is death, anyway.


Here's another soundtrack from Mr. Libaek, this one for a film about, I believe, homosexuality and the sexual revolution/youth culture in Australia. It's been made slightly less obscure due to having a few tracks from it included on the Inner Space: The Lost Film Music of Sven Libaek compilation. As far as soundtrack music goes, this is the superior record. A surprisingly wide range of emotions and evocations of scene and mood can be found within these 19 selections, all delivered in a warm, jazzy, smoky sound. Velvety, even. It is, at times, marvellously sophisticated stuff, even for Libaek. It also has less vocal pieces. There is one, which is mainly fine. The rest is fuckin' fabulous.

This rip was given to me on the down low by a friend (if I may) who feels differently than I (or Zer0 II) about rip credits and control. Since it wasn't his rip, he said, I could post it if I wanted, although he mightn't agree with the decision. Fair enough- after all, this album is no longer much of a task to find out there (though there may be a higher quality rip out there that I don't know about). Thank you, friend, for sharing. Everybody please thank this friend.

THE SET (192)

A major piece of the puzzle, which I would love to fill in, is this mysterious and awesome-looking record. I have no information, except that it exists, and I want to hear it so very badly. If you have a line on this, please share.

If you haven't yet acquired the essentials of the Libaek catalog, I encourage you to do so. I can help, here.



Holly said...

Thank you friend Flash, and thank you Flash's anonymous friend! :-)

paulvinyl said...

Thanks Flash for keeping the Libaek albums coming and also thank you for taking the time to write such great comments on the music you post.

Anonymous said...

OH LOOK AT THAT SWEATER! i want to knit a libaek sweater, made for making tunes and sweaters. miss you, friend. thanks for sounds.


feq'wah said...

The Set is really good! Dare i say his best? Perhaps, perhaps not, i'm just saying i'm impressed.


Flash Strap said...

I see where you're coming from, Feq'wah. The Set has some intense high points. I still can't get over the big three, though: Inner Space, Nature Walkabout, and Ride a White Horse. Every song on those albums is like a little nature diorama.

Ms. J: you should make that sweater, and it should be the most beautiful light blue color, and it should have a little schooner on it. Only you could do it right.

Anonymous said... will help ya

Rohan said...

I too would very much like to obtain 'The Music Of Sven Libaek' but it very seldom comes up on the eBay and I've never found a rip of it. I have a 45 of one of the tracks, 'Northern Territory' which is quite good - although this is recorded by Andy Sundstrom and I assume a different Sven version is included on this album. It is after all, the music of Sven Libaek.

Good to see someone else out there promoting the music of Sven! Nice work.

Flash Strap said...

Rohan, I would love to hear that 45, if you have a rip.

R said...

Yo Flash Strap, only just noticed that your comment. As it happens, I recently set up a blog with rips of 'The Music Of Sven Libaek', that 'Northern Territory' 45 mentioned in my comment and, if you're interested, the 'Bush Theme' 45 (from Nature Walkabout). That last one has versions of 'Bush Theme' and 'Lonely Australian Landscape' which are different to the ones on the LP - in fact they appear to be played by a different ensemble (same guys that usually play with Sven, but less of them - no Don Burrows for example). Check them all out at Urban Bowerbird -

Lee Shin said...

spot on with this write-up, i like the way you discuss the things. i'm impressed, i must say. i'll probably be back again to read more. thanks for sharing this with us.

Lee Shin