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Baker's Dozen

Brain Food: Pete Fowler's Favourite Psychedelic Albums
Robin Turner , September 22nd, 2016 09:32

Before he brings his virtual-reality installation to the Liverpool Psych Fest this weekend, the Super Furry Animals collaborator and Monsterism creator takes Robin Turner on a tour of his 13 most out-there records


Tonto's Expanding Head Band – Zero Time
Tonto's Expanding Head Band were very early synth adopters. Tonto was an acronym for The Original New Timbral Orchestra which was a reference to what they worked on: the biggest polyphonic analogue synth in the world. Tonto was almost like a cockpit of synths arranged in a horseshoe shape. When they played it, they were inside the machine. Zero Time was hugely influential, most notably on Stevie Wonder who heard it, freaked out and asked them to produce his records. They ended up doing Music Of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions and Fulfillingness' First Finale. They also did a load of Isley Brothers records, including 3 + 3. Zero Time borders on New Age in a way. I'd never really heard music like this before – totally instrumental, the whole record composed on synths. I saw them live when they played at the Big Chill festival in 2006. I hadn't known they were playing [a line-up consisting of the band's Malcolm Cecil and his son, DJ Moonpup, with a portable version of Tonto performed]. It was amazing, even if it was a bit odd because they interspersed songs with educational stuff, little bits of interviews with Stevie Wonder and other people they'd worked with. It worked though – what a show!