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Heru Avenger, USA



Heru Avenger - New Aeon. 1998 Initiates International.
Heru Avenger - Magique Mistress. 1999 Initiates International.

Well since we're still on a (sushi?) roll with space rock albums, how about this little odd band that crept out of Orange County, California in the late 1990s? Even in 1998, no one was talking about Heru Avenger. If Greg Walker didn't send me a copy to check out, I probably would never have heard of them - even today. I listened to New Aeon a couple of times, liked it - filed it - forgot about it. An all too common problem when one is in constant accumulation mode, something I fortunately stopped doing a decade ago. And I never bothered to check out the second Heru Avenger until recently, and Greg still has copies - so I bought one!

Heru Avenger is the brainchild of one John Basil, an interesting cat who even managed to get a local article written about him. Sounds like my kind of introspective, intelligent recluse - honestly.

Both albums are remarkably similar, and thus I lumped them together. Basically this is psychedelic chill out music. For the psychedelic, we get loads of fuzz guitar, sequencer based electronics, sax (on Magique Mistress) and real drums. For the chill out, the albums keep a constant low key and steady pace, in a jazz sort of way - like a classic early 70s Miles Davis deep groove. There are no dynamics or compositional aspects to speak of. It's pretty much long space rock jams - all the time. Definitely good background club music - except instead of synthesized techno beats - it's all organic analog rock music. If chill out music existed in 1974, then this is what it would have sounded like. The OC Weekly, in the article quoted above, nails it perfectly by stating: "The first Initiates release was 1998's New Aeon, recorded as Heru Avenger with drummer Craig Teigen of LA's Afrobeat Down. The four epic tracks evoke Hawkwind at their most cosmic and expansive, with hints of the disciplined, improvisational funk of Miles Davis' On the Corner and Get Up With It. Heru Avenger's next release, Magique Mistress (1999), contains marathon, cyclical Afrobeat funk jams with spidery, fluid Michael Karoli-esque guitar and some Agharta/Pangaea spectral jazz ambience, inducing an awestruck stasis."

Comments

  1. HERU AVENGER was mostly a one man show of record collector John Basil. The music for both albums was made at his mother's house by the way...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Spyros - did you get a chance to read the article I linked to? I thought it was pretty interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, very interesting indeed Tom. Great job!

    ReplyDelete

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