Mark Goodall - Gathering of the Tribe Volume 1 Acid(book) [Headpress - 2022]
This first volume in Headpress’s Companion to Occult Music on Vinyl series by Mark Goodall is a welcome and eminently enjoyable read. Mark Goodall is a lecturer in film at Bradford University, the director of films (Holy Terrors and The Beckoning Fair One) and plays in indie chamber folk band Rudolph Rocker.
To quote Headpress’s own book blurb, “The Gathering of the Tribe is an ongoing series about the mysterious power of sound and tone, with each book devoted to reviewing records that reveal divine and cosmic laws, voyages to other worlds or use sound as a tool for transformation.” The series is designed as a guide to helping you to build the ultimate occult-based record collection for yourself.
In this first volume, Goodall delves into the world of LSD-inspired music. Largely drawn from the late 60s psychedelic boom, the albums featured in this volume are generally a series of underground classics that include Ken Kesey’s The Acid Test (1966), an album that documents his and the merry pranksters experiences with LSD and the new creative doors it opened for them. The album mixes spoken word with garage rock and has become a cornerstone of the psychedelic scene. Another celebrated psychedelic pioneer, Timothy Leary also makes an appearance on the album 7 Up which he recorded with Ash Ra Tempel in 1973, this is the only album recorded after 1970 and sort of represents the end of the golden age of psychedelic music.
As well as these two classics, the rest of the albums collected here provide a fascinating look at occult psychedelia during its golden age. Mark Goodall makes for a knowledgeable guide on our trip through the acid-tinged madness of the late 60s. One or two of the albums on the list represent new material to me and I had great fun hunting them down, wholly based on Goodall’s words. Chiitra Neogy’s The Perfumed Garden (1968) in particular, was a revelation. It’s an album that I hadn’t previously heard of but is based on the 15th Century Tunisian sex manual for married Muslim men, and is performed by the young Ugandan-born actress and singer, Chiitya Neogy. The album features a mix of Indian-style sitar ragas and distorted guitar-based psychedelic pop that still sounds so fresh and effective today.
Overall the book is a joyful excuse to spend some time delving into the late 60s psychedelic underground, it features reproductions of all of the album covers featured as well as fascinating and informative reviews from Goodall who really knows his stuff. The book is small and at only 80 pages long makes for a great short read. In these days of busy lives when we have very little time to spare this is a wonderful book to delve into for a couple of hours.Darren Charles