the beat of the earth / the electronic hole
Around 1969 / 1970, Phil Pearlman made a demo album for his band, Beat Of
The Earth. Only 150 copies were pressed. This album, entitled "The
Electronic Hole" included a coverversion
of Frank Zappa's 'Trouble Every Day'.
The album has been (re)released on CD.
It's unclear if the band was still called "Beat Of The Earth", or if the entire project was entitled "The Electronic Hole"...
|the beat of the earth: the beat of the earth
(1967, lp, usa, radish as 001) - 150 copies
|the electronic hole: the electronic hole
(1970, lp-demo, usa, radish as 002) - demo use only, 150 copies - incl. 'trouble every day' (frank zappa)
|the beat of the earth: our standard three minute
(19??, lp, usa, radish as 0001½) - 500 copies
The Beat of the Earth had only three albums:
1(A)THE BEAT OF THE EARTH(Radish AS 0001)1967 R4
2(B)THE ELECTRONIC HOLE(Radish AS 0002)1970 R4
3(A)OUR STANDARD THREE MINUTE TUNE(Radish AS 0001½)1994 SC
(1) had a pressing of 500.
(2) was for demo use only and had a pressing of about 150 copies.
(3) had a pressing of 500 and is a collection of unreleased recordings from 1967 - not a reissue of (1) as often advertised.
Beat Of The Earth was assembled by Phil Pearlman, who had earlier released a
surf/hot rod 45 Chrome Reversed Rails (shown as by Phil and The Flakes, on the
Fink label). One of the earliest known electric experimental bands, The Beat Of
The Earth sound very similar to their East-coast counterparts The Velvet
Underground on albums (1) and (3) listed above. These two records were recorded
live in the studio during the Summer of 1967 and consist of long, unstructured
jams using a myriad of acoustic and electric instruments. This early incarnation
of the band is the one most familiar to collectors and copies of the first album
have been changing hands for hundred of dollars since the mid-eighties. The
music the band produced during this period is not for everybody (compare to the
long tracks on the first two Velvet Underground albums), but their debut remains
an unusual and rare item of significance from the California rock scene.
During 1968-9 the line-up of the band was in constant flux and Beat Of The Earth made no known "proper" recordings, but Pearlman continued to add to his own collection of demos using local studios in off-hours via his friendship with the engineer Joe Sidore. At the end of 1969, Pearlman assembled The Electronic Hole strictly for personal use - specifically, to draft musicians for his new band. Several names are listed on the sleeve but I believe this is actually very close to being a Phil Pearlman solo project. The album is entirely different stylistically from the earlier one in that it abandons the freeform improvisational approach in favour of 'compositions' including a wild cover of Zappa's Trouble Comin' Every Day. None of the tracks are given titles on the album which complicates singling any out for commentary, but there are real highlights and the raw, unpolished feel only serves to make it utterly magical. Pearlman plays sitar on one track to great effect, and another has the thickest wall of fuzz guitars imaginable - an effect he created by running his Fender amplifier into the amp circuit of a child's chord organ ("sounded great for about two weeks, then it blew up!"). There are few albums I known of that have such an eclectic yet appealing sound. Had the story ended here it would have been a real tragedy, as Pearlman's finest hour was yet to come. Six years later (with who knows what in between), recording commenced on the majestic Relatively Clean Rivers album with an entirely new band and musical vision.