The Silver Apples were not your average Psychedelic Rock band of the late 1960s. They used experimental sounds and some of the then-latest technology to create a musical landscape that prior to them had not been touched. Keyboards and synthesisers, a staple of the Silver Apples sound, were only really considered worthy of a supportive role in most music of the time instead of the electric guitar. This is the duo of the Silver Apples debut album and has frequently been observed as an overlooked classic. Let’s hear it and see how well it stands up today.
Oscillations begins this album with some awesome keyboard sounds that are totally out of this world. Soon afterwards, some pounding drums enter and we are underway. There is some decent singing from the singer Simeon and great drumming from Danny Taylor. A really awesome listen with some great melody lines in the right channel and pounding drums in the left channel, this is an audio treat. A very clever and Psychedelic piece of artistry, this has aged quite well. The song title is repeated until the end vocally, with some high-frequency electronic sounds. A stunning track to hear.
Seagreen Serenades begins with some loud and banging multitracked beats, interesting keyboard sounds and a classy sort of listening experience. This sounds really unorthodox and tripped out, this music is highly artistic and different. Some interesting musical interaction is going on here, with wind instruments and a whole bunch of electronic sounds and textures to match. Nonetheless, this is cool and impressive. A really awesome listen, this is a great and pioneering listen in the musical history books. Proto postmodern EDM? Quite possibly. Nonetheless, this sounds amazing.
Lovefingers begins this piece with some spacey sounds in the right channel, quickly followed by an excellent drum part in the left channel. This sounds very science fiction styled, it sounds so freakily unorthodox. Anyway, this piece progresses along nicely. It is a surprising and underrated effort from the Silver Apples, it just sounds really wacky, yet artistic. A weird and odd piece of proto-Electronic music, the lyrics that are sung here are fairly impressionistic as well. Really interesting and catchy listening, there is an instrumental break that sounds really awesome with the lone electronic sounds. This builds up in intensity at the end, before ending with beeps and bleeps. Definitely different.
Program begins with a sampling of some strange accordion led obscure recording, followed by samples of speech from the radio. Soon enough, keyboards and drums in the left and right channels respectively, enter. This is a really cool and groovy tune to listen to. It would not be very surprising if Robert Wyatt got his ideas from this album, this does sound really impressive and awesome listening to. The choppy drumbeats and samples of random speech with some cool keyboard sound really out of this world. This is music for those who believe in aliens that walk this earth, it is that wacky. Some more singing occurs, followed by snatches of violins and radio talk in English and Spanish. This is a real LSD trip for those who dig that drug and the music of the late 1960s. This has inspired so many others since it was created. Brilliant, it ends quickly after four minutes.
Velvet Cave begins with a rather interesting keyboard in the right channel, followed by feedback styled sounds and drums in the left channel. Once again, this is a real science fiction styled listen that sounds dramatic and fantastic. A really weird, but totally wonderful listen, these guys made keyboard music to take drugs to. The singing is always calm and delivered well, and the duo do extremely well on these songs. The layered and interesting sounds present in this song are really amazing and artistic, and this song is a clear glimpse into the future of music. There is a sped-up tempo change towards the end which gets really dramatic before a fade-out concludes the song. Excellent.
Whirly-Bird begins with percussion in the left channel, quickly followed by a keyboard bass part in the right channel. Soulful singing then emerges, making this another well done and very unusual listening experience. After about a minute into it are some clanging sounds to go along with the music. This sounds really very different to anything else made before or since, that’s how revolutionary this music is. A clever and intricate piece of music, this will take you places. A really excellent listening experience at barely over two and a half minutes long, it ends fairly quickly. A great song to be put on repeat.
Dust begins with some eerie pseudo-mechanical sounds, which are actually treated drums and percussion. It launches into a spacey and different listen that sounds perculiar, but very, very good. A definitely different and indescribably good listening experience, this sounds really spacey and electronic. This is the record David Bowie should have made in 1969, instead of singing Space Oddity. A really nicely layered and dynamic piece of music, the trippy percussion and out there keyboards, with descriptive singing on top nails it all. It gets louder and more chaotic towards the end. A really great listening experience, cymbal crashes finish off this tune. Brilliant.
Dancing Gods begins with some pounding tom-tom drums. Soon after, the song gets going very nicely with some singing and additional percussion based textures. This sounds like a voodoo chant, it is super odd but awesome listening. The fact that the PC didn’t even exist back in 1968 shows the painstaking and devoted hard work done by Silver Apples to impress the listeners of the world. The lyrical matter refers to the dancing Gods, of course, whoever they may be. A great and interesting piece where the world of the Hippies met the world of intellectual Electronic musicians, this is really great listening. Exciting, well designed and exceptionally brilliant, this track sounds legendary. In the second half there is gradually more emphasis on the pounding drums gradually, which power this piece along. A really enjoyable and unique setting for music of this sort, the vocals cut out towards the end whilst the drums and Electronics take over. A really excellent listen, this finishes with the pounding drums, repeated lyrics and subtle electronic sounds. An effortless epic.
Misty Mountain may come across as a Lord Of The Rings reference, which it probably is. It begins with psychedelic keyboards that are multitracked, followed by dramatic drumming and some soul searching lyrical singing. This is the last track on the album, but it continues the fantastic flow and feel throughout. Short, at under three minutes long, it does not fail to impress. A piece of beautiful music, the Silver Apples knew that the future was based in computer styled technology, even when this was recorded in 1968. This ends with a fantastic drum led finish, awesome stuff.
This is a hugely underrated album. Whilst the commercial world of music was listening to The Beatles self-titled White Album in particular, the Silver Apples were a pioneering force of Electronic music that was good, consistent and listenable that proved that you didn’t need guitars to make Psychedelia with. These guys were not around for much longer, sadly, and their second album flopped. Still, any Electronic music fan should hear this album today. It’s history, and great history at that.
Music for science fiction fans of the Hippie movement.